So we’ve made it through Spring. A time for new life and unveiling a fresh layer after a winter hibernation. Lambs, blossoms, daffodils.
But every year that sneaky little asshole that we call Spring gets me. I get old lady leaky eyes, they puff up, my nose runs (more than usual) and for me the first week of September usually rounds off with a sinus infection. For me Spring = the pain in the proverbial that is hayfever.
Now, I do realise that we’re now just over a week into “summer” (ha!) but with Wellington’s windiness I still seem to be battling with the fever of the hay, as do a number of young ladies I’ve spoken with over the past week so this post still seems relevant*…
Most of my symptoms can be dealt to with some nasal spray and hayfever meds. But those puffy eyes. Jeebus they’re a trial. I’m not a massive selfie taker, in fact if I’m totally honest I hate having my photo taken full stop. But as part of this blog I’m starting to take more photos of myself (until I can start pulling in you guys as models) and I’m finding these puffy eyes of mine quite unsightly. So if you too are suffering from the bane of Spring and have the puff, or if your eyes tend towards puffiness all the time stick around as I help you get rid of those puffy eyes.
Eye cream placement and amount of product
Somehow my mind always works on “the more the merrier” school of thought, I must have had a deprived childhood (joking mum!). I’m now trying to relearn that more = better is not always true. More puppies? Definitely. More eye cream? Not so much. You don’t need to use more than a tiny amount of eye cream, about the size of a matchstick head. A little bit. Any more than that and you risk causing more of the puffiness you’re trying to banish.
As for the placement. I’ve just started getting facials, I’m not sure why I haven’t really tapped into the brilliance that is having beautifully luscious creams massaged into my skin before but that’s a post for another time. What I have noticed and questioned was the placement of the eye cream. My facialist applied it a lot lower than I normally do. Like a good inch lower. Now I know to apply eye cream on the orbital bone, I’m well schooled about that and have told many a client to do that also. But was I actually doing it? Nope. Go lower than you think with your eye cream, your circulation will move it to where it needs to be.
The old cucumber/teabag trick
Soothing, anti-puffing. Relaxing. If you’re after some de-puff action pop some slices of cucumber or some cooled tea bags on your eyes. Black/gumboot tea bags as they contain the caffeine which is going to act as a skin tightener. Do it while you’re wearing a face mask for a super indulgent feel-good experience. This trick is great if you’ve been bawling and have some time to fix yourself up, but not so much if you’re getting ready in the morning and want to give your puffy eyes a swift kick.
Products specifically designed to de puff
I’ve been using MAC’s Fast Response Eye Cream for the past couple of weeks. This gear works by using caffeine as a topical skin tightener to reduce puffiness. It also has an awesome (siliconey) slip to it so that makeup is a dream to apply on top. I’ve been using it in the mornings and then reaching for my super rich and hydrating eye cream in the evenings as I don’t find the Fast Response as hydrating as I would like. I’ve also read a couple of reviews where the users have experienced some irritation, so if you have sensitive skin I’d pop into your local MAC counter to see if they can give you a wee sample to try before you buy.
I also adore eye creams with metal applicators - I’ve tried the Roche De Posay Pigmentclar Eyes and the Clinique Even Better Eyes… Applying product under itchy, puffy eyes is a dream when you’ve got cooling metal on your skin.
This is a tried and true puff reducer. Pop two metal spoons in the freezer overnight. Pull them out in the morning and run them under the tap for a second (to stop an ice burn/ spoon sticking to skin situation). Place them on your eyes for a couple of minutes. Ta da your eyes are fresh and awake and hopefully rid of puffiness. This is a great one also if you have to get up early and your eyes don’t want to be awake.
Haemmoroid cream/ Prep H
If you’re a fan of Miss Congeniality you may have heard of using Preparation H/haemmoroid cream under your eyes. The main ingredient phenylephrine, works to constrict blood vessels and some have expanded on that to suggest it also shrinks under-eye tissue. Dermatologists appear divided on this one, with most suggesting that if you are going to go down this path only use it for extremely special occasions. As I’ve not found any studies on using haemmoroid cream under the eyes I would personally steer clear. There are a bunch of things way worse than a bit of puffiness that could happen as a result of getting a bit of that gear in your eye.
Sleeping with your head slightly raised
This is one for my sinus-impaired friends out there. Stack your pillows up a bit higher and everything will drain down away from the battle field that is your nasal cavity. And hopefully that draining will stop the fluids from pooling under your eyes. Sweet relief.
Under eye massage/ facials
To help flush excess fluids away from your under eye area use your ring finger to pat/roll from the inner corner to the outer corner of each eye. Move to your temples and continue to pat/roll down to your jaw. If you do this for a minute or two while you apply your eye cream you’ll be on your way to happy under eyes.
Reduce salt and alcohol intake, increase water intake
I love salt. But in excess salty foods can lead to swelling everywhere, including your eyes. Now I’ve got low blood pressure so I’ve got a good excuse to not give up the side of salt I have with my meals, but I’d encourage you to give it a whirl. And if you do overdo it and have an excessively salty meal apparently the potassium in a banana can help contain the impacts on your body. Interesting science fact right there.
I love wine but I’m off the booze train for a bunch of reasons at the moment (again, NOT PREGNANT). The effects of alcohol can contribute to swelling and puffiness so keep it in moderation. If all else fails ensure you’re drinking enough water to counteract the dehydratey effects of those cocktails.
And last but not least, drink 8 glasses of water. It will help with all of the things that ail you, not just puffiness.
* I am also one of those insanely emotional empathic types who wells up at Kleenex advertisements and Finding Nemo, and have had some of my nearest and dearest going through some super shitballs life events lately. And so I cry with them and their pain. I find the frozen spoon trick most helpful for recovering from these incidence.
Have you tried any of the above and found them to work? Any other tips for us allergy ridden, Spring haters? Let me know in the comments below.