Looking at my facial imaging photos ( posted on Oct 8), I saw that that there were two dark patches under my eyes– also known as under eye shadows. It showed that this was not from indentation creating dark hollows, but true accumulations of sun damage and melanin. That’s the bad news. The good news? This is the job that Tri-luma was born to handle.
I had used Tri-luma last spring and was pleased with the results, but this triple powered crem cannot be used indefinately, so I had stopped using it for several months. I also realized that dealing with hyperpigmentation under the eyes is not a short term problem. The cells which produced so much melanin have a very long memory. They are born to make melanin and given the right circulstances — sun exposure and stress– the cells again fill up with dark pigment.
I’ve had good results with Tri-luma. The blue /black shadows are pretty much gone, and the reddish blue areas are much much lighter. However, the latter, which are caused by leaking of the tiny under eye blood vessels, tend to reappear with things like allergies, jet lag and and, no kidding, chinese food. This week, I got an industrial strength migraine headache, and the next morning, the reddish shadows made a return appearance. Not as pronounced as before Tri-luma, but the area certainly looked more shadowy today. Do I reach for my trusty Tri-luma. Not so fast. I have been using Tri-luma off and on since March. Label instructions advise against using it longer than three consecutive months. Dr Marmur was pleased that it worked, but told me to try to take a three month break before using it again. She knows that I like to work on these shadows, but Tri-luma can’t really be used as a maintenance … Continue Reading… →
This week I had my monthly bookclub meeting which meant great conversation, a perfect brie and of course several glasses of a crisp Pinot Grigio. The next morning I was reminded what alcohol does to the skin. My under-eye circles which had nearly faded way ( thanks to Tri-luma) had now suddenly made an encore appearance. The reddish/blue shadows were a clear sign that alcohol had caused minute leaking from tiny blood vessels. under the eye. I now have to wait until the body can breakdown this hemoglobin for the color to fade. To help things along, I applied a compress of cold Lipton tea bags. The cool temperature and tannin in the black tea should shrink the swollen blood vessels– and shrunken vessels won’t leak anymore blood and fluid. Within 48 hours, the lurid color had faded a bit and I can cover it with a dab of green Dermablend cream under my regular concealer. But I know what … Continue Reading… →
Sometimes there are simple answers to complicated problems. I was bummed out that most of the improvements I had seen with Tri-luma were reversed by seasonal allergies. But yesterday I went to an allergist who gave me such a simple and effective solution– a saline nasal rinse. You simply spray a salty solution into each nostril and blow. I did it before going to sleep and by morning, the newly returned shadows were noticably lighter. I have to keep using the saline nasal spray all summer, but its wonderful to have such an easy, low-tech solution.
This just goes to my core belief that we need to get to the causes of beauty problems to really see a difference. If we don’t deal with changes in the body that are driving the problems, then attempts to fix the problem are just a frustating waste of time… and money.
Tri-luma is a cream that is a combination of Retin A, hydroquinone ( established skin lightener) and a steroid to keep things calm. It has been shown to successfully lighten unwanted dark areas on the skin– but not for everyone. When it works it can lighten under-eye shadows as well as brighten a dull patchy complexion. However it can also be irritating which may actually increase pigmentation — creating more shadows and dark patches. Definately not the result I am looking for.
My first two days on Triluma were uneventful. I followed standard Retin A protocol and waited an hour after washing my face before applying a small dab of Tri-luma under my eyes. In the morning there was no redness or irritation. I am going to take photos every week to note any changes. The … Continue Reading… →
These are my under eye circles, untreated but after four months of Retin A on the rest of my face. Dr. Marmur of Mount Sinai says they are caused by both melanin deposits and loss of fat pads under the eye. In the first photo you can see that there is a depression in facial contours under the eye. That dip is part of aging. Look at a baby or a child under age 10. No depression in that area. The darkness in the skin due to melanin which may, and the operative word here is “may” respond to skin lighteners like kojic acid or hydroquinone. But to make a bigger difference I will need injectable fillers to erase the shadows. The idea of injecting stuff under my eye makes me cringe, so I’ll see how far I can get with under eye creams and gels.
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 … Continue Reading… →