Telltale signs life's upheavals showing on window to the soul

Combat stressed skin and puffy eyes with these expert tips

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06: A model poses backstage before FENTY PUMA by Rihanna Fall / Winter 2017 Collection at Bibliotheque Nationale de France on March 6, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Fenty Puma)
SOsmagSkin0804 PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06: A model poses backstage before FENTY PUMA by Rihanna Fall / Winter 2017 Collection at Bibliotheque Nationale de France on March 6, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Fenty Puma)
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From work-from-home culture to disrupted sleep patterns and everything in between, it’s not uncommon to feel a little burnt out or fatigued.

As our eyes are the facial feature that’s been getting the most airplay recently with mandatory mask wearing – they are also putting all our dark circles, puffy lids, skin sins and visible signs of stress on display.

If you are in search of brighter, more awake-looking eyes, then take note of these expert tips as we chat to Kevin Khosa from SKINfunctional on how to combat stressed skin and bringing eyes back to life.

What are some of the main factors that can cause skin to look tired and lacklustre? Fatigue, stress, poor diet, a lack of exercise and a rise in stress hormones can greatly affect the body. The result of this is an increase in cortisol levels which alter cellular metabolism, blood circulation and a depletion of cellular energy stores, which negatively impacts the cells' ability to function optimally.

Insufficient sleep alters bio rhythms which also increases stress hormones (cortisol) in the body, altering cellular metabolism, leading to a reduction in cellular activity and therefore an inability to replenish skin cells. Stress also causes an over-production of pigmentation, leading to blotchy, uneven skin tone. Stress hormones are also associated with chronic inflammation in the skin which depletes the body’s antioxidant reserves.

What are the main causes or triggers of dark circles and puffy eyes?

There are four main trigger types for dark circles:

1. Lymphatic: Poor drainage in the skin creates a build-up of fluids which can result in the appearance of dark circles. Visible signs of ageing such as puffiness and fine lines can make the appearance of dark circles more prominent.

2. Muscular: When there has been a substantial amount of fat loss in the face area, the muscles around the eyes become visible under the skin. These muscles are brown and can present as dark circles. Unfortunately, this cannot be treated with only product application. 

3. Pigmentation: The darkening of the under-eye area, caused as a result of overactive melanocytes can also translate as dark circles. Products with arbutin or vitamin C as ingredients are useful for combating this. 

4. Vascular: Vasodilation, the widening of blood vessels under the skin due to a decrease in nutrients, low blood oxygen levels, can occur which results in dark circles as the blood vessels appear darker under the thin skin of the under-eye area. This is also a trigger where product application will not assist fully with.

What are the best ingredients to look for when wanting to combat dark circles or puffy eyes?

Caffeine should be the ingredient of choice when looking to combat dark circles and puffiness, as is present in SKINfunctional’s Caffeine + Peptides Dark Circles, Puffiness and Lines. It helps reduce excess fluid build-up around the eye area, which reduces puffiness, as well as increases blood circulation in the eye area.

What is one misconception that people may have about treating dark circles around the eyes?

There is a misconception that puffiness can be removed completely, however it is a condition that can unfortunately only be managed.

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