Could your dark circles make a raccoon jealous? Instead of loading on your weight in an under eye concealer, let’s talk about the root of the problem. Dark circles can be caused by genetics, lack of sleep, stress, food allergies, a thyroid issue, and even a vitamin deficiency.
If your dark circles could be banished by a little attention to your diet, you’re in luck. Here are six natural foods that can help turn your complexion from the dark and stormy “raccoon” look to a refreshed, glowing goddess…
Up Your Iron and B12 Intake
When we’re talking vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the body, iron is a common culprit, particularly for women. Unfortunately, dark circles are often an early sign of low iron and vitamin B12 due to poor oxygenation in the body’s bodily tissues, which causes blood to pool and clot in the vessels, thus planting the evidence firmly in view under both eyes!
The American Institute for Preventive Medicine recommends a diet rich in leafy green veggies, lean red meats (i.e., poultry, fish, oysters, and beef) and iron-fortified cereals (i.e., with wheat germ)for patients with low B12 and iron, as well as those suffering from anemia.
Not only is green tea linked by several studies to increasing blood circulation (which can help blood circulation and banish dark circles), but you can also use the bags as comforting cold compresses on puffy, tired eyes.
In fact, studies published by LiveStrong claim that sipping green tea was found to significantly improve blood vessel function, improving blood transport through the body and lowering the risks of stroke and heart attack. Due to this brew’s positive effects on blood circulation, green tea bags have proven to be an effective anti-inflammatory to soothe sensitive, puffy, tired eyes.
Another common cause of dark circles is dehydration. If you’re not drinking enough water, San Diego-based holistic dermatologist and author of the book, Smart Medicine for Your Skin, Jeanette Jacknin, notes that eating and using avocados to make a face mask might be your dark circle cure.
Jacknin claims that the nutritional fatty acids in avocados restore moisture and skin elasticity while stimulating blood circulation around the eye area. To try it out, prepare a mask with one mashed avocado (riper the better), a half-cup of oats, and 2-tablespoons of honey. Cream over face and leave on for 15-minutes. Wash off completely and cleanse and moisturize as usual.
Pamper Skin with Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a well-known blood coagulation and circulation aid, according to Oregon State University’s Micronutrient Information Center. Luckily for us, we can find rich sources of this vitamin in several foods around the house.
Consuming foods rich in vitamin K, such as strawberries, leafy greens (i.e., spinach), liver, brussels sprouts, carrots, and broccoli have been shown to increase blood circulation and lighten dark under-eye circles, which is why many cosmetic creams include vitamin K among the ingredients.
Potatoes certainly are a versatile veggie. You can boil, mash, bake, fry, and even use them to remedy unsightly under-eye circles too! Research from Livestrong.com says potatoes transfer antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, to the skin around the eyes if placed in slices (like cucumbers) over closed eyelids.
A bonus is that potato slices retain coldness very well. So chilled slices can reduce swelling and inflammation of the blood vessels underneath the eyes in a matter of 10-minutes or longer to reduce the appearance of dark circles. Just pop a few slices in the freezer and gently apply to wipe away traces of a bad night’s rest.
Cucumbers are likely the most popular dark circle banishing tool. We often see spa goers with cool cucumber slices draped gently over each eye. However, those slices do more than look appealing, according to studies from the National Institutes of Health.
It turns out that cucumbers contain several antioxidants (i.e., isoscoparin, cucurbitacins, vitexin, and orientin as well as vitamins C and K), which can banish puffiness and discoloration under the eyes. Chill your slices and apply gently for about 10-minutes to lessen dark circles and accumulation of under eye fluid.