Stress and Under Eye Circles

It happens to all of us.  When we don’t get enough sleep, catch a cold, work 24/7 or deal with personal problems, the face in the mirror includes dark under eye circles.  It turns out that the body reads all these problems as “stress” and reacts by producing large amounts  of  a hormone  called costisol.  This creates a cascade of changes in the body  that includes  higher blood pressure, a slowdown in cell growth and an increase in heart rate.  Under the eyes, dark circles become  more pronounced.  This is because cortisol increases leaking from tiny blood vessels and slows removal of  body fluids.  The result?  Fluids and hemoglobin build up in the eye area creating dark shadows,

Its really easy to tell people to relax and take it easy.  But while we are waiting  for the world to become an easier place to live, we all need a few quick tools to deal with stress induced circles  Here are three tips to try  until life calms down:

* After a rough night, put cold tea bags on your eyes for 5 minutes.  The caffeine in the tea will shrink wollen blood vessels.  Black tea works better here than green tea because it contains more caffeine.

* Cut salt intake.  Salt  retains fluids in the body that shows up as dark bags under your eyes.  Don’t add salt to your food and  avoid all processed food.

* Raise the headboard of your bed by 2-3 inches. This will encourage fluids to drain from the eye area.  You can do this easily if you put a thick paperback on each side. A nice hefty travel book is just  perfect.

2 thoughts on “Stress and Under Eye Circles

  1. Hi! I saw your post on and came over to read about your journey. Love it! I’m 53 and started using Retin-A 6 months ago. May I ask what strength RAM you are using? (I use .1 myself.) Also, I haven’t settled yet on a moisturizer or eye cream and I wonder what you’ve been happiest using.

    You are a very attractive woman, and your efforts to improve your skin are making you even prettier! I know you feel better, too, and that is most important. I know I am much happier with my new skin!

    • Hi Cathy,
      Thank you so much for you kind comment. I am using .04% Retin A micro. I am about 2/3 the tube and wondering if I shoulds move up to .1% when its time to refill. I had a bit of a struggle during the winter with irritation and dryness, so I’m a little reluctant to challenge my skin. I have found that the cleansers and creams that you use with Retin A really determine its success. I am very happy with my cleanser Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser and my daytime moisturizer Aveeno Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 30. At night I use L’oreal Skin Genesis which has hyaluronic acid which is a powerful moisturizer. I am trying out different eyecreams with sunscreens over the next few weeks and will be sharing my experiences. I’m so happy that you had a good experience with Retin A. If you have before and after photos that you would want to put up on the blog that would be amazing. Let me know if my choices of moisturizer and cleanser worked for you.

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