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Help! Excess Baggage…..

September 10, 2009

To say that I have been tired this week is an understatement BUT the show must go on and in the midst of my wallowing in self pity (oh where is the chocolate fairy when you need her) I got inspired.  Now I could blame it on being in my mid thirties, blame the kids or blame my obsession with typing on computer screens long past bedtime but no. There must be a more analytical reason why  I have shopping bags under my eyes. Time to do some research!

eye picture from stockphoto

The skin under the eye is pretty thin – a lot thinner than say, the skin on your nose and that doesn’t help.  The thin skin allows the blood underneath to show up more than it does in other places and this is one reason why it can look a bit bruised.  The reason that it looks worse when you are tired, stressed or otherwise compromised is that your skin- the largest organ of the body – looses some of its glow when you do.  Dehydration, poor nutrition, sickness and lack of sleep can turn even the youngest of skin sallow so take care of it (me included).  The reason why bags tend to get worse with age (and why some people suffer more than others) is partly how you care for your skin and partly  genetic. Yet again, if your parents suffered from eye baggyitis then you most likely will too. As we age the skin’s scaffolding thins out making it sag and this saggyness causes the illusion of shadows adding to the baggy eye look.

Finally, there may be an allergy or sickness contributing to your problem. Anyone who’s had a bout of hay fever will testify to the havoc wreaked by all of that scratching and rubbing. Sinus problems, colds and flu can also contribute to puffiness around the eyes so it makes sense to concentrate on treating these causes before opting for anything more expensive.

So, what can we do about our excess baggage?  Well, do you want it sliced,  slathered or supported?


A little bit drastic but for those with severe eye sagging and bagging there really is no comparison and this is one procedure that really does turn back the clock. An eye lift must be carried out by a trained surgeon, will set you back at least $5000 and will take a good few weeks to recover from. However, once recovered from the results should last for well over ten years.

Personally the thought of surgery makes me squirm but for many, it really is a game changing decision.  Definitely a decision worth thinking through as all surgery carries a risk, and not just to your wallet!


If you are more inclined to reach for the cabinet for some baggage relief then what should you look for?

1) Anti-inflammatory ingredients.  Well, there are a huge variety out there ranging from the humble cabbage (yes, try it) to  cold cucumber slices, tea bags, coffee  and  those ready made icy face packs can all help.  Good old hemorrhoid cream is also worth a go – just so long as you get the right one.

The above work in a couple of ways. Cold stuff works by reducing blood flow to the area by constricting the blood vessels. This can give temporary relief and improve the appearance of the area. However, long term it is unlikely to do much good unless your puffiness is due to bruising.

Another way to reduce swelling is by using actives that constrict the blood vessels – vasoconstriction.  Cabbage contains natural vasoconstrictors as does the active allantoin (found in comfrey),  Oats,  Bisabolol (from chamomile) and some types of tea. You can either make your own poultice or search out a ready made product containing one or more of these ingredients.

Finally it is believed that ingredients such as Caffeine works as an anti-inflammatory active through its ability to reduce histamines in the body – histamines are part of the body’s immune response and cause the swelling associated with hay fever and allergies.  So that muggochino isn’t so bad after all! Interestingly enough L’Oreal have just launched a caffeine roll on for the under eye area to reduce eye puffiness. This product utilizes the cooling properties of a metal roller ball and the anti-inflammatory properties of caffeine – the only problem is that when applied topically, caffeine is unlikely to be able to illicit much immune response. Its just too far to go and the ingredient is too volatile meaning that most of the goodness will vanish before it reaches the correct cells. But don’t let that put you off, there’s no harm (and much fun to be had) in trying.

The result that you get will depend on a number of factors; the strength of the active in the product or extract you have chosen; the length of time the product / treatment is used; the severity of the swelling / dark circles before treatment; your underlying health.

So what about supported?

Well, nothing is going to work well if your skin (and body) is not being treated well. I certainly know how hard it is to heed all of the advice – get plenty of sleep (who are you kidding?), drink lots of water (boooring), avoid too much caffeine (and spoil my fun), eat lots of veggies (when I have time to peel them) AND breathe well (What?)……

Ok, so if you are like me and can only aspire to a cleaner, fresher lifestyle where tofu wins over caramel slice every time then you need to take heart.  Yes, your skin is your largest organ and yes it will than you for looking after it BUT as usual stressing over our personal failings will take its toll too.  One of the easiest things we can do is to breathe well – how simple is that?

While at the Natural Health Expo I was lucky enough to meet with Jim Efthimiou  inventor of breathe aeror – the better breathing gadget. Apparently most of us breathe quite shallowly while going about our daily chores and this is limiting our health potential. Now I didn’t have time to try one out at the exhibition but I have been assured that one is winging its way to me as we speak!  I can’t wait to find out if this little pocket “breathe better” toy really does make my skin shine – It does make sense, think about how bright and vibrant our skin looks after an invigorating walk or after doing yoga for an hour. Stay tuned…..

So, if you are suffering from a little excess baggage don’t despair!  Try something home made, breathe easy and if all else fails blame your mother.

I’m off for another coffee. Night!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2009 1:28 am

    Hi, nice site! I have an article on my site that give you advice on how to get rid of puffy eyes in just a few days!


  1. Help! Excess Baggage….. | Allergies

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