Its amazing what you can learn at a medical conference. At a lunchbreak at the recent Mount Sinai Derm meeting, I sat down next to two young dermatologists. They were talking about milia, those little white bumps under the skin– sort of faux pimples. ( In the picture below my milia is under my eye). Milia are formed when a pore becomes blocked with dead skin cells. They are more common as we get older, the result of slower cell growth. Unlike the garden variety pimple, they do not contain oil or bacteria so they don’t become red and inflamed. Milia just sit there. Forever.
Another important difference, milia are actually in the dermis and if you try to remove them yourself, you can do real damage to the skin. Seriously, you … Continue Reading… →
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… →
I have been using Tri-luma about 3X a week since the middle of May. As you can see from the photos, there is a real difference in the before and after photos. Before Tri- luma I had two types of shadows– greyish blue shadows and reddish areas.
After about a month I was really happy to see the greyish blue circles had faded away and the reddish tones were much lighter and easily hidden by a dab of concealer. Then just as I was about to proudly take some “after” photos, a bad allergy season hit and the dark circles made an encore appearance. The allergy congestion caused the tiny blood vessels under the eyes to leak, producing more reddish- blue shadows. After a trunkful of allergy sprays, pills, and rinses, the … 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… →
I had been on Tri-luma for almost three weeks and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. The under eye shadows had lightened considerably. Only the area closest to my nose still had dark blue smudges. I made plans to take some great “after” photos after I got back from a weekend in the country. And that’s where it all unraveled. Saturday morning I woke up sneezing and by Monday my eyes were swollen and red. And the under eye circles? They’re back!
When I had blogged about the causes of under eye circles in March, I explained that congestion of allergies causes pooling of fluids and hemoglobin under the eyes — and here I am the poster girl for under eye allergy shadows. I am hoping that when I get past this allergy episode, Triluma will lighten my under eye shadows again.
I have been using two eye care products for about a month and neither has made a visible difference. In the morning I applied a roller with caffeine and at night I used a cream with AHA’s. My shadows are still there and the slight bagging under the eyes actually seems a bit worse. So when a dramatic looking package at Sephora caught my attention, I was hooked. Called Hylexin, the box had a photo of a young woman with a football players black smudge under her eye. The box copy said that this product was for’serious dark circles’ (hence the name) and not for dark circles that ‘pop up in the morning and are gone by breakfast ‘ .
Directions on the box said to do a patch test on my arm. I opened the tube and was rocked back by a heavy fragrance. I hesitated a moment, took a breath and applied … Continue Reading… →
Eliminating or at least reducing dark circles depends on what is causing them in the first place. For shadows caused by melanin ( from sun exposure) ingredients is focused on techniques that ” bleach” out the darkened skin tone. There are shelves of products which contain ingredients such as hydroquione, kojic acid, azaleic acid and niacinamide. Other products contain caffeine which are known to shrink blood vessels. The theory here is that swollen capillaries in the eye area make make the skin look puffy and leak minute amounts of blood into the skin. Sounds reasonable, but we’ll have to see. Another category of ingredients such as Haloxyl claim that they can break down the hemoglobin ( from the leaked blood) that are causing the shadows. I am trying to get my hands on the clinical trials that support these claims, but I know Haloxyl are used in a number of expensive brands.