Look Into My Eyes — Everything you need to know about under eye treatment

Eyes are the window to the soul. Unless you have under eye bags that nightmares are made out of. As we grow older and more stressed our eyes seem to scream it to the world, glasses and wonderful concealer be damned.

What causes the under-eye terrors?

Under eye bags: Its in your genes. It can also be contributed to years of lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and a whole lot of salty foods. Also, as we grow older its a natural part of aging (I’m not talking about the 20’s and 30’s) due to elasticity and collagen loss.

Three typical under eye concerns are:

  • Hyper pigmentation under the eyes which is the dark circles under the eyes, aka raccoon eyes. This can be contributed to a number of reasons: Sleep, diet, allergies, and genetics.
  • Shadowing as seen as blue/green veins that are prominent under the eyes. This happens due to the aging process when the skin under the eyes become thinner.
  • Puffy or baggy under eye problems are commonly called bags. This can occur due to poor circulation or chronic baggy eyes can be a heredity problem. Another concern can be intake of excessive salty foods and water retention causing puffy under eyes.

Lifestyle changes to decrease under-eye problems:

1) Diet- a well balanced diet with controlled sodium levels based on normal (<2,500 mg / day) or doctor recommended amounts for those with medical conditions.
2) Sleep- a no brainer and one of the most appealing options as well. Undisturbed sleep of 7-9 hours a night within 1-2 hours of regular bed-time.
3) Exercise- a great way to increase circulation and keep not just your body & mind healthy but you under-eyes as well.
4) Taking a breather- being overworked and run down is one of the easiest way to show stress under the eyes. Try to schedule only as much as you can take on and remember to take a few minutes to refresh yourself.

At home remedies:

There are probably a million and one ways to help under eye problems, its really all trial and error to see what works best for you. Here are a few popular ones with reasons to why they work. After any remedy be sure to wash the eyes with cool water and moisturize.

1) Puffiness

  • Caffeinated tea bags (green or black tea). Tea bags are steeped in hot/warm water for 3-5 minutes and take out until the bags are warm and comfortable to the touch (you don’t want to burn your eyes!) Lie down, close your eyes, and place tea bags on closed lids. Keep on for 8-12 minutes and relax. If you like place a warm towel on your face to soak up dripping tea and give a more spa experience.  Why does this work? The caffeine in the tea helps constrict the blood vessels and reduce swelling. Tea also contains many anti-oxidants that the eyes can reap up to keep you looking fresh and younger longer. 
  • Cucumbers. A common and tried method that works. Simple as cutting up two slices, placing on the eyes and relaxing for 10-15 minutes. The cucumber works in the same way as the tea bags by constricting the blood vessels and reducing swelling. This is great remedy for the hot summer days.
  • Milk. The one product that is always around and a easy and cheap way to reduce puffiness. Soak two cotton balls in milk, lie back, and place one on each closed lid. Soak it up for 10 minutes. You can  again use a warm towel on your face on top of the cotton balls for a more relaxing spa feel. Why the milk? Milk contain lactic acid which way not only to reduce puffiness but dark circles.

2) Dark Eye Circles & Shadowing

  • Potato Slices. Cut two slices of potatoes, recline back, and place on closed lids. Keep on for 10-15 minutes. Potatoes contain natural skin lightening agents that help decrease the dark rings around your eyes. 
  • Rose Water. Dip two cotton balls in rose water and place on closed lids for 5-10 minutes. Rose water helps reduce dark circles by improving blood circulation to the eyes. This is one of my favorite remedies, its smells so divine, I feel like a queen in Egypt getting the royal treatment.

Under eye creams:

In a article by the Huffington Post, At What Age Should You Use Eye Creams?, Dr. Rebecca Baxt brings up when and why you need to start using under eye creams.

According to Dr. Baxt the best time to start counts on your skin type. Women with dry eyes need to start early as possible, I’m talking teens and early twenties, to keep the eye skin moisturized so skin doesn’t prematurely age. Others can get away with starting in their mid 20’s to early 30’s, right around the time when age starts to play a role in under eye health.

A good moisturizer and routine helps keep the skin around the eyes well moisturized.

Dr. Baxt mentions that “Eye creams keep the skin moist and that makes people look younger. When wrinkles get dry, they look deeper and worse. As a good and gentle moisturizer, eye creams help by keeping the skin moist so fine lines don’t show up as much.”

The best method to put on under eye creams:

1) NEVER EVER rub or smudge cream across the eyes. EVER! Under eye skin is sensitive and delicate (10X thinner than rest of face), a little pressure and rubbing the skin can cause damage to the skin and cause wrinkles.

The best way to put on cream under your eyes if you are using your hands is to use your ring finger to dab the cream and pat under the eye starting from the outside and working your way in. Do a light tapping method to stimulate the skin under the eye.

Here is a great picture that The Beauty Department posted of where to apply your under eye cream.
Under eye

**Please be sure to try anything with caution due to the risk of allergies or skin reactions. I suggest trying a small patch test first. **

Have any further questions? Want to know more? Tell me what you think 🙂


New Years Resolution– All About Health

Here I am blogging once again after midnight but this idea has been floating around in my noggin for a while now. New Years is around the corner and everyone is talking about their resolutions. Top 5 resolutions I’ve heard are losing weight, saving money, losing weight, quit drinking/smoking, and eating out less (to lose weight). I see a trend.

I have to admit I would like to lose some weight but that is not my priority this year. Weight is just a number. While it does matter its more important to see how healthy I am. I can weigh 100 pounds but if I’m having a Big Mac everyday and consider cleaning the snow off my car as adequate exercise I’ll still have problems. During my years in nursing school I have finally understood the importance of a healthy diet, lifestyle, and mental health. I’ve also first hand witnessed why its so important with every patient I’ve had including myself.

So my New Years resolution is to BE HEALTHY.

Being Healthy- My definition:

  • Not eating out more than once every 2 weeks. 
  • Eating healthy portioned meals
  • No frozen meals, minimal canned items, and healthy bread
  • More veggies & less meat
  • Getting regular check-ups
  • Cleansing my system out— I explain how I do this further down.
  • Exercising- gym or home workouts 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes each time
  • Cutting down on pop and drinking more water
  • Getting sleep of 7-8 hours every night- within 1-2 hours of a set bed time.
  • De-stressing — yoga, calm time alone, reading, etc
  • Preventive & holistic treatment methods

I plan to make gradual changes. If I honestly decided that starting 1st of January I need to start doing all of this, I will have failed on one or all of these counts by the end of the week. We are creatures of habit, changes need to be brought in gradually and one or two things at a time. That doesn’t mean I can’t make conscious decisions to try and grab water before I grab that coke can right away. I just don’t want to cold turkey everything because I will be setting myself up for failure.

Health has different meanings to different people. It is a level of functioning based on mind and body. I want to be healthy enough  to have controlled blood reports of anemia and amongst other things. I want to be healthy enough to run without my asthma interfering. I want to be healthy enough to feel good about my body inside and out. I want to be healthy enough mentally to face and concur my problems without it taking a toll of me. I want to be healthy.

One of the things I have started already is trying to get back into the habit of juicing to cleanse out my system, be nutritious, and heal my body. My favorite juice recipe is The Mean Green from the Joe Cross’s documentary movie Dead, Sick, and Nearly Dead. If you haven’t watched this I would highly recommend it. Its available on Netflix and Hulu. As gross as it looks and sounds the juice actually tastes pretty okay.

The recipe for the Mean Green Juice is:

  1. 1 bulk of Kale
  2. 4 stalks of Celery
  3. 1 Cucumber
  4. 2 Granny Smith Apples
  5. 1/2 Lemon
  6. Ginger Root (approx 1 inch)

Below I have pictures the ingredients and what the juice looks like. The 3rd juice picture is another recipe I like (super yummy) of Spinach and Mango’s.

Herb order
To have a healthier juicing experience I like adding flax seeds in my juice but I’ve had trouble with the whole seeds I have. So I went bought some flax seed oil and a few extra health items on iherb.com. In my house we try to use more natural and holistic methods to prevent and treat any minor problems. So I pre bought some cough syrup with zinc because at one point some one in my house is going to need it. I also got natural ear drops since I get ear aches easily and Chicago’s cold weather takes a toll. Then I got some yummy apricots for myself and tore into the bag before I could picture it as a healthy snack.

If you haven’t heard of iherb (I am little addicted to that website) it offers supplements & healthy products (food, beauty & cleaning) at a low price.

Iherb has a discount code for first time users. My referral code for the discount is RIM717 which gives a discount of $10 off 40 or more purchase and free shipping. Or $5 off orders of less than $40.

These are the small steps I have taken in a effort to be healthier. There are so many small details that will make a difference. This week I have yet to go to bed without taking off my make-up and moisturizing. My first small step in having healthy skin.

What do you do to be healthy? Do have any new years resolutions? Want more juicing recipes? Want to learn about the health benefits in details for something, let me know.

November Empties & Skincare Routine

Pizza face, acne girl, dot-to-dot, greaser have all been names that i’ve heard as a teen and in my early twenties. Over the last few years I’ve cleaned up my diet & skin care routine. I’ve probably tried every product on the market to help since I’ve been 13 years old. I finally got it right during my last few years of college.

So I’ve stuck with what works and I buy these in multiples when I do.

I actually ran out of all these within the month, which just screams for a blog post to me 🙂

Facewash: Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser, I get this at Sephora but many sites and stores have this available. My area constantly runs out of it, I have to call in to set one aside for me, or order online. This smells… well botanical and a tad bit like licorice.

Toner: Body Shop’s Vitamin E Toner, to cleanse out the dirt & any makeup traces I have left. This is a hydrating toner and despite having oily skin this works wonders.

Moisturizer: Body Shop’s Vitamin E with SPF 15. I LOVE THIS! This moisturizer is perfect for the cold Chicago winters without over doing it for my oily skin. The perk being that it has SPF which I am horrible at applying.

Vitamin E is known for its antioxidants properties which can slow the aging process, heal acne and scars, help overall damaged skin, and prevent from further damage.

The moisturizer is ridiculously hard to get, they are currently out of stock in stores and online but expect stock soon. So glad I have one last tube left. Though I have been regularly stalking their website to grab the toner & moisturizer. It is a little pricey at 18.00 for a small tube but they have great deals of buying 2 & 2 free.

As I mentioned I don’t just externally take care of my skin, I internally make sure to keep my body and thus my skin healthy.
1) WATER- Its true, water is your skins best friend. Hydration, hydration, hydration.
2) Skin healthy foods such as avocados, nuts, fruits, plenty of veggies, lentils, & salmon fish. All these foods provide great nutrients & antioxidants to keep not only my skin looking great but my body feeling great as well.
3) Stress reduction- take a breather. I read, blog, exercise or do yoga to unwind for the day. This only takes 10-30 minutes of my day and makes my body, skin, and mind feel and look younger.
4) Sleep, catching some ZzZz’s every night within 2 hours of my normal bed time and getting 7-8 hours EVERY night. Turns out those all nighters for school were a bad idea in more than one way.

It took me years of trials and some wisdom from nursing school to nail into my head that every aspect is important.

Any beauty secrets, tips, or words of wisdom to share? Tell me, I’d love to hear!

War against colds with sage tea

It’s that time of year people, and no I’m not talking about Halloween but the dreaded cold and flu season. Flu shot stickers are being smacked on everything you buy and even my itty bitty pumpkin was not spared. As a nurse i’m very much about prevention but sometimes colds have a nasty way of sneaking up on a person. In my case it’s in the form of my 5 year old neighbor who does sneak attacks of trying to cough or sneeze on me so I can be sick along with him. Kids.

I love medicine, I do. But sometimes its nice to find ways without pumping my body with drugs that don’t allow me to operate heavy machinery. This is where sage leaves come into play, did you know they have been used for centuries for various ailments.

Sage leaves are: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and an antioxidant. That overachiever.

So when symptoms appear for a cold or flu such as a scratchy throat, sore throat, runny nose, or cough I pull out a few leaves. It can be used when symptoms appear or when you are battling a full on war.

Preparation: A cup of boiling water with a few leaves of fresh or dried sage leaves. Steep for 2-5 minutes. Strain and serve.

I’ve read about gargling with sage water— just make sure its not hot!

I bought a plant of sage at my local farmers market for $2 that has helped make plenty of cups of tea for me or my family members so far. If you can’t find a fresh plant or don’t have fresh sage available, you can pick up dried sage at most grocery stores.

Warning: Do not take sage tea more than 3 times a day or longer than 2 weeks continuously. Also always check with your doctor before starting any herbal remedies.

Fight back against these nasty little buggers– the natural way!