A New Look for Your Eyes
Often the first part of the body to show signs of aging, the skin around the eyes has few sebaceous glands to produce oil and keep the skin supple. But with a little ayurveda knowledge, you can fend off some unsightly problems.
Dark circles. Ayurvedicpractitioners believe that poor eating habits are reflected in the face, especially in the undereye area. Mary Jo Cravatta, an Ayurvedic practitioner in San Rafael, California, says eating too quickly, consuming a lot of caffeine and cold drinks, and skipping breakfast can stress the digestive system, making it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients. Dark circles can also be caused by anemia and lack of sleep, says Monisha Bharadwaj, author of Beauty Secrets of India.
Internal solution: Consume warm foods and beverages, and eat at least one tablespoon of ghee or olive oil every day to aid digestion, Cravatta says. Eating, exercising, and going to sleep at the same time each day will help regulate bodily functions and improve general health. Cravatta also recommends sleeping or meditating with a hot-water bottle on the abdomen to soothe the digestive organs.
External solution: Bharadwaj recommends putting slices of raw potatoes or apples on the area for 15 minutes every other day. She says the starch in potatoes and the potassium, B and C vitamins, and tannin in apples all help fade dark circles.
Puffiness. "Puffiness around the eyes occurs when the process of digestion is disturbed," Cravatta says. If you regularly eat in front of the television or computer, chances are that you aren't chewing and digesting food properly. Puffiness can also be caused by allergies, fluid retention, and the accumulation of overly emollient night creams, Bharadwaj says.
Internal solution: Chew your food thoroughly. To reduce fluid retention, limit your salt intake. Bharadwaj also recommends drinking a glass of hot water in the morning to kick-start the kidneys and draw retained water from the tissues.
External solution: Stimulate the tissues around your eyes with this self-massage recommended by Cravatta: With your ring finger, apply light pressure on the inside corner of your eye socket. Move your finger in a circular motion up to the area below the brow, then around and down below the eye, staying on the bone of the eye socket. Make five rotations.
Crow's feet. Squinting, dry skin, and sun damage can cause the fine lines at the corners of the eyes known as crow's feet.
Internal solution: Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, which is dehydrating.
External solution: Wear sunglasses to avoid squinting and to protect the delicate skin around the eyes from harmful UV and UVA rays. Also, you can try dabbing almond oil gently on the skin at the corners of your eyes.