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Despite never suffering from acne as a teenager, Rachael, 40, from Southampton, has experienced severe adult acne since her 20s as a result of hormonal imbalances. Rachael’s symptoms include oily skin, sore, infected break outs and low self-esteem when the breakouts are at their worst. Rachael’s general health is good, taking regular exercise, and eating […]
I thought I’d heard it all. Then one of my patients told me she’s been smearing Preparation H under her eyes.
She was desperate to get rid of the under-eye bags and puffiness. She looked like she hadn’t slept in a week. And that sagging, bloated skin added years to her face.
But using hemorrhoid cream under your eyes? Don’t do it. Preparation H is not formulated for the delicate skin around your eyes. It can cause irritation if you use it repeatedly.
Would you like to know how to look more youthful, rested and full of energy?
Today I’ll recommend some easy, safe and effective remedies to help tighten up the skin around your eyes and decrease the bloat. And you won’t have to spend a ton of money on expensive spa treatments or plastic surgery.
But first, let’s get straight about the difference between puffiness around your eyes, and bags under your eyes.
What’s Packed in Those Under-Eye Bags?
The skin around your eyes is very thin and delicate. Any imbalance in your skin’s natural fluids shows up there first.
Seasonal allergies, a cold, or a sinus infection can all lead to inflammation. And that leads to water building up in the upper and lower eyelids.
The same thing happens when you eat lots of salty foods like soy sauce, or overindulge in alcohol, or cry salty tears all night.
The good news is that all of these puffy conditions are temporary. But don’t confuse temporarily swollen lids for more permanent under-eye bags.
Unlike puffiness, under-eye bags are most common as we get older. There is some genetic link. For years doctors assumed that bags formed when the skin and muscle around your eyes weaken with age. But that’s not the whole story.
Scientists only recently discovered what’s really causing those bags. In a study from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, researchers examined MRI studies of 40 subjects aged 17 to 80. Although it was a small study, the researchers discovered that bags aren’t really caused by sagging, tired skin. The culprit is fat accumulating in your eye socket as you get older.1
The problem is common. In serious cases sometimes the only effective solution is eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty. Doctors make incisions in the eyelid and remove or reposition the fat. The procedure should give you long-lasting results but can cost up to $5,000.
You don’t have to go under the knife to get rid of puffy eyes and that haggard look.
Easy Solutions for Tired Looking Eyes
During my trip to Bali, I discovered some little-known traditional herbs. Some have amazing anti-aging properties for the delicate skin around the eyes. We’ll be in development shortly so stay tuned. I’ll let you know when to expect an exciting new eye care product.
In the meantime, here are my favorite natural remedies you can start using right away for treating temporary puffiness around your eyes.
- If you have allergies or a cold, try irrigating your nasal cavity with a saltwater solution. Use a neti pot, available in health food stores. Flushing your nose can help relieve fluid buildup that triggers puffiness.
- To quickly calm puffy eyes, place slices of cucumbers, chilled tea bags, or even a package of frozen peas under your eyes. The cool temperatures reduce swelling.
- Sleep on your back and add an extra pillow under your head to help drain fluids. Sleeping on your side or stomach can lead to fluids collecting under your eyes.
- Don’t miss your workout. Exercising improves circulation. And it helps move fluid through your body without accumulating.
- If you notice puffiness on a frequent basis, eliminate processed foods. Foods high in sodium promote fluid retention. Also avoid sugar and gluten. They contribute to inflammation that can show up on your face as puffy eyes.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1.Darcy, Sean J.; Miller, Timothy A.; Goldberg, Robert A.; Villablanca, J Pablo; Demer, Joseph L.; Rudkin, George H. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Characterization of Orbital Changes with Age and Associated Contributions to Lower Eyelid Prominence, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 122(3):921-929, September 2008. PMID:18766060
I travel over 20,000 miles a year uncovering exotic healing herbs from all around the world.
But there are also some incredible healing herbs right here at home. They’re loaded with plant chemicals called flavonoids that can have important anti-aging benefits.
You see, your body pulls off a neat trick when it comes to eating and drinking…
Chemicals found in fruit, leaves, bark, roots, stems, and flowers give plants protection from the environment. So when you eat fruits and vegetables, take an extract, or drink wine or tea, those plants pass on the benefits to you.
There are more than 4000 flavonoids and we’ve just scratched the surface of learning what they all do. But many protect your skin.
Take the flavonoid apigenin, for example. Korean scientists found apigenin blocks the activity of a certain skin-aging enzyme. This enzyme speeds the breakdown of collagen, the main protein in your skin.1
Apigenin promotes healthy skin by slowing skin breakdown.
And a team at the University of Kansas exposed two sets of skin samples to intense ultraviolet (UV) light. One set was untreated skin. The second set was treated with apigenin. The skin treated with apigenin were protected from developing tumors.2
Several other studies – including one published just last year – agree that apigenin increases the skin’s defenses against overexposure to UV light.3
Other studies show apigenin…
- Boosts the skin barrier against microbes and helps hold in moisture.4
- wiped out fungal infections.5
- Switches on genes that trigger DNA repair.6
How do you get more apigenin for its skin-beautifying and protective benefits?
1) Parsley is the richest food source of apigenin.
You may not think of parsley for better skin… it’s often there on your dinner plate, completely ignored. You probably even toss it away without eating it. But parsley is full of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin Aand flavonoids like apigenin.
Eat some parsley every day, or a pretty good substitute is parsley leaf powder in supplement form.
2) Celery, artichokes, peppermint and rutabaga have a fair amount of apigenin.
Iceberg lettuce, bell peppers, and some fruits also contain a little.
You’ll find it in the spices basil, thyme and chamomile, too. Red wine also has a good amount of apigenin.
3) Probably my favorite source is the chrysanthemum flower (Chrysanthellum indicum).
Chinese herbalists have used this flower to promote younger-looking skin for over 2,500 years. They also made an anti-aging tea from it.
Chrysanthemum tea is delicious, and Chinese specialty stores carry it as Ju Hua. You can use chrysanthemum alone, or with the addition of other herbs to enhance the effect.
- Chrysanthemum and mulberry can clear up a wind-rash from your skin if you’ve been out in the cold this winter.
- Chrysanthemum and Gou Qi Zi (Lychee berries) helps give you clear skin by detoxing your liver.
To get apigenin by drinking chrysanthemum tea, add hot water and about 5 grams of Ju Hua together in a cup. If you want, add lychee or mulberry and cover. Steep for 5 or more minutes. The tea smells nice and tastes excellent.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1 Lim, H. and Kim, H.P., “Inhibition of mammalian collagenase, matrix metalloproteinase-1, by naturally-occurring flavonoids,” Planta Med. 2007; 73(12): 1267-1274.
2 Abu-Yousif, A.O., et al, “Enhancement of UVB-induced apoptosis by apigenin in human keratinocytes and organotypic keratinocyte cultures,” Cancer Res. 2008; 68(8): 3057-3065.
3 Byun, S., et al, “Src kinase is a direct target of apigenin against UVB-induced skin inflammation,” Carcinogenesis. 2013; 34(2): 397-405.
4 Hou, M., et al, “Topical apigenin improves epidermal permeability barrier homoeostasis in normal murine skin by divergent mechanisms,” Exp Dermatol. 2013; 22(3): 210-215.
5 Singh, G., et al, “Treatment of dermatophytosis by a new antifungal agent ‘apigenin’,” Mycoses. Aug 2014; 57(8): 497-506.
6 Das, S., et al, “Apigenin, a bioactive flavonoid from Lycopodium clavatum, stimulates nucleotide excision repair genes to protect skin keratinocytes from ultraviolet B-induced reactive oxygen species and DNA damage,” J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2013; 6(5): 252-262.
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