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QUESTION: Hello, I woke up last week, with major puffiness, under eye lines and wrinkles, and while I am 42, I have been quite blessed with good skin and very few lines. Suddenly, I looked as if I aged 15 years overnight. Long story short, went to the doc who thought it was allergy related and gave me an antibiotic and hydrocortisone cream which only seemed to worsen the effects. I am taking an allergy tab, drinking adequate water, and have a balanced nutritional intake. The only thing I can think it may be is the Oil of Olay undereye age defying cream I have used for months. Why sudden, though? And if this is it do you have any Sensitive Under Eye cream moisturizers you can suggest? Tired of this new exhausted look!!!
Thanks so much for your time and expertise, Tammy

ANSWER: Hello Tammy. Nice to meet you. Let me cut to the chase. When it comes to under eye creams for puffiness, you want to be careful applying those under the eye area. You say "if it's an eye cream, why wouldn't I want to apply it under the eye"? I understand it sounds silly, but many (not all) eye creams can be too thick, causing you to have to do more massaging it in, to get it to absorb, which can soon after, cause more sagging under the eye, making the puffiness more pronounced. Also, with most eye creams, more thickening ingredients and oils are included in the formulations which can be too heavy for the under eye area, also causing irritation leading to more pronounced puffiness.

Sometimes, manufacturers are formulating inferior (regardless of the name brand) products that produce a higher return (profits) for them, rather than making quality products that are beneficial to the customer. In my opinion, if you want to purchase an eye product, look for a gel or serum (liquid) designed for under eye puffiness and/or wrinkles. Water-based eye gels and serums normally contain way less unnecessary ingredients, and a higher concentration of the active ingredients necessary for addressing the problem. Plus, eye gels and serums, usually contain less thickening agents, and few,(if any) oils are included in the formulation. This makes them absorb better into the skin without much massaging, rubbing, or otherwise unnecessary stimulation (which can make puffiness look worse).

Two more things to consider, Tammy. Consistent consumption of foods high in sodium can contribute to under eye puffiness. So reducing sodium intake can help. Sometimes certain medications can contribute to these under eye issues as well (i.e. perhaps the hydrocortisone and/or antibiotic?) As for the fine lines, again, look for eye gels and serums to take care of this. Also, read product labels to make sure there are natural ingredients in them. I believe about 60-70% of what we put on our skin absorbs through our pores into our blood stream. The skin under the eyes is very thin.


Please be advised, the gel or serum in most cases will absorb through this very thin skin. Remember when you use an eye product, be sure to pat, as opposed to rubbing or massaging the delicate area. Tammy, if you are interested, you can also check out the article I recently wrote about dark under eye circles. I know you didn't ask me about darkness under the eyes, however, there are things according to this article you can do at home to reduce the puffiness, perhaps.


Best wishes,
Tara
http://ezinearticles.com/?Dark-Under-Eye-Circles---Causes-and-Solutions&id=74513
http://www.beautifulbrownskin.net/

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: HI Tara, Thank you so much for your quick and efficient response. Can you suggest anything for the major swelling at this point? It looks as if there are balloons under my eyes. I have sufficient water intake and very low sodium intake, and a healthy diet. Is there any remedy to speed up the healing? The swelling and lines are horrendous.
I will NEVER use an under eye moisturizer again!!
Thanks so much, Tammy

Answer
Good morning, and you're very welcome, Tammy. I'm so sorry to hear about the under eye puffiness you're experiencing. Ok, Tammy let's try this. If you don't have one, buy a small cucumber. Cucumbers are rich in caffeic acid and vitamin C, which are known for relieving irritation and reducing swelling. You an also use a potato in the same way. Once you have the small cucumber or potato, chill the cucumber (or tater) in the fridge for about an hour, at least. Then, cut the cucumber (or tater) in one slice thick enough not to tear, yet thin enough to be flexible. Cut the slice in half (forming 2 semi-circles), then place the two halves under each eye for about 15-25 minutes, while propping your head up on an elevated pillow. You should see a reduction in the heavy puffiness by this time. Do this daily until you get the desired results you're aiming for.

If by this time, you don't see the results you are looking for, try making a cold compress. First, if you don't have any, get some gauze (I like gauze instead of wash cloth for this, as it is thinner, smaller and retains cold temps better)from your local drug store, cut into two small squares, saturate it with ice water, then fold the gauze as small as you can to fit under your eyes comfortably. Apply underneath both eyes, while again, propping your head on a pillow for up to 20 minutes or so. Chilled compress, potatoes cucumbers have been used forever to help with eye puffiness and swelling of the skin elsewhere. These two methods are very easy and inexpensive to do at home and I like that, who wouldn't?

Tammy also, I want to advise you that caffeine and alcohol consumption, as well as not getting enough sleep, can also make this eye area look worse. Try to avoid all these triggers at least while you try to address this bothersome issue. Also, be careful not to get cucumber juice in your eyes, it will sting like nothing you ever felt...ouch! This will surely make matters worse, Tammy. Oh, and if you know you have Oral Allergy Syndrome (Google it), definitely use the potato or chilled compress, and bypass the cucumber entirely. If under eye puffiness is interfering with your vision, there is any sort of discharge from the eye, or swelling will not go down, please visit a doctor as soon as you can. Hope this helps. Give the home remedies a try and let me know how this works.


Best wishes,
Tara

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Tara Logan-Hearn

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I will, according to my knowledge and experience, answer questions that involve providing information, tips, and advice in an effort to help one improve the following common ethnic and black skin care concerns:

Although make-up is not my specialty, I'm happy to help with advice on caring for the skin while wearing makeup. I affirm that I can not answer questions to which attention by a doctor is necessary.

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I've written for Bella Online, Beauty and Sugar, Self Growth and Oily Skin Blog. I've written the e-book entitled, "Achieving Flawless Skin of Color - 2 Easy Steps to Clear, Even-toned Skin From the Inside Out", which is now published.

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