Homemade Remedies For Eye Wrinkles

Bear with me on a brief tangent here. (I had an epiphany, sue me.)

This woman is actually 63 years old. Just kidding. Image: Greg Peverill-Conti

This woman is actually 63 years old. Okay, so I’m kidding.  Image: Greg Peverill-Conti

I have a theory as to why so many people in my age group hear, “You look SO much younger than your actual age!”

I mean let’s face it. By simple math, it’s not possible that so many of us look younger than “most”  of us. (Think about it.) Well, not unless we are suddenly looking younger, overall, than the previous generation at the same age — which would mean we’re expecting an overall older look, and we’re being surprised by what we actually do see.

Lightbulb moment. (Don’t you love when that happens?) We are looking younger than previous generations of 30-somethings, 40-somethings or 50-somethings. When I think back to my mother in her 30s and 40s, I recall a generation that cut their hair into “older lady” styles at that time. They got properly into “older lady” clothes. They started doing “older lady” things.

We’re not like that any more. Today, we’re staying vibrant — in so many ways.

But what happens when our skin doesn’t get the memo that we’re feeling younger than ever well into middle age? The dark side to all this happy extended physical youth is that we put higher expectations on ourselves to stay younger looking…no matter what. And we tend to jump for the expensive creams and serums (and there are plenty out there to chose from) … in fact, I actually tested one, and created a video for it here:

My advice: don’t panic, and don’t go spending until you have to. Try some natural ideas first.  Here are some of my favorite homemade remedies for when those pesky wrinkles just don’t realize we’re still truly 17 at heart. (And surprise — they’re not all things you put ON your face.) Enjoy and stay beautiful!

1. Exercise

I know, I know. I groaned too. But there really is yet another good reason to exercise (sorry). Exercise speeds up our entire metabolism — and I’m not just talking about the fat-burning part. Ultimately, regular exercise speeds up the metabolism of our cells, too, including the skin cells under the eyes. This means they “act younger” — with a faster turnover rate and better health overall. The result: less premature aging.

2. Water

I’ve never believed in the eight 8-oz. glasses a day rule — isn’t everyone’s body unique, after all? — but dehydration really does contribute to the look and depth of wrinkles in the skin. Hydrated skin is “plumped out,” which helps to blur those little lines. So make sure you don’t get dehydrated during the day.

3. Sunscreen

I probably sound like a broken record about this, but you really do need to use a gentle, eye-friendly sunscreen around your eyes. Almost nothing will age the delicate, thin skin around the eyes faster than  UV rays, which cause DNA damage to the skin cells. Wear UV daily — even on cloudy days.

4. Grape Seed Oil

You knew I’d get to the wonder products, didn’t you? Here’s one that’s undersung but does an amazing job: grape seed oil.  This easy-to-obtain, inexpensive little oil contains antioxidants such as proanthocyanidins that have been shown in studies to actually repair DNA damage to the skin, minimizing the look of wrinkles. Dab just a tiny amount under each eye before bedtime.

5. Mashed Avodado

Avocados contain properties that amp up oil production under the eyes, which is important as the skin under your eyes has very few oil glands and hence, less lubrication than the rest of your skin. They also have an astringent, tightening property that helps smooth out the look of fine lines instantly. Mash up some fresh avocado and use it as a mask, applying it to closed eyes for 15-20 minutes. Wash off gently and go about the rest of your eye care/makeup routine.

6. Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E oil is so hydrating and repairative that it has been used in stretch mark and scar treatment. Dab a bit under each eye at bedtime (don’t overdo this). In the morning, wash off gently.

7. Green, Black or Chamomile Tea

Teas contain tannins, which help firm up the eye area, minimizing the look of bags and wrinkles. Use any of these three teas in the same way: steep in hot water for 10 minutes; remove from the hot water and squeeze out the excess liquid. Place in your refrigerator until cool or cold. Now place on your closed eyes for 20 minutes. The effects will last for hours. This is a great morning treatment for tired eyes, too.

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Using Olive Oil For Healthy Skin

Oh yes. You WILL be hooked. Image: 96dpi

You will be hooked. Oh yes. You WILL be hooked. Image: 96dpi

I first came across the idea of olive oil for the skin when I was pregnant with my eldest (now age four). I had been buying Vitamin E (ever notice how the simplest oils are ten times more expensive when a new use is invented for them?) — and yes, I liked it. Nice and smooth, good absorption.

However, I ran out of my beloved Vitamin E oil at one point and discovered that Walgreen’s (love love love Walgreen’s!) was out, too. Oh noes, crisis. (Give me a break, I was hormonal and emotional.)

I”m sure I could have gone a week without oiling my tummy (and my breasts…and where else? Oh, yeah, the backs of my calves…boy did I streeeeeeeeeeeetch during pregnancy), but, well, I didn’t want to. Period. Being Ms. Au Naturel, of course I Googled my fingers off to find a home-available substitute, and I came across olive oil.

“Eew,” I said to myself (and I believe I actually did say “ew,” no literary license there), “that greasy stuff?”

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and adding the laziness factor of not wanting to haul my gigantic 32-weeks preggo self to Rite Aid or Wally World, I grabbed my bottle and dabbed it on. And…WOW. I was, and am, a convert.

So. What can olive oil do for the skin? Let’s talk a little about that today.

How Olive Oil is Extracted

Image: Ride to Dine

Isn’t this cool? Olive press. Image: Ride to Dine

There are several different methods manufacturers use to produce olive oil. What you want is the cold-pressed variety.

I don’t find that I necessarily need “extra-extra virgin” (sorry, Rachael Ray); plain old virgin will do.

Olive oil is produced by literally squeezing (pressing) the olives in an (you guessed it) olive press. Non-heated olive oil gives you the freshest oil with the most vitamins left in. What you’re looking for is minimal processing here.

Virgin olive oil can be found at any grocery store. Don’t go crazy on the cost, often you’re just paying for a fancy label or a smaller manufacturer.

What Olive Oil Does For Your Skin

So why use it? Well, first and formost it is, of course, moisturizing. It tends to absorb quickly if you only use a LITTLE. A little. (Did I mention “a little?”) More on application below.

Olive oil is also said to help prevent the development of tumors following the exposure of the skin to UV rays: see this interesting study.

Olive oil tends to have a healing effect on the skin, going beyond simple moisturization to the repair of skin cells. That means skin looks and acts healthier. In addition, it is hypoallergenic to most users; an external olive oil allergy is virtually unheart of, according to experts.

Yup. It’s a wonder oil.

How to Use It

Okay. Remember when I said “a little” above? Go very light on this oil. A little goes a long way. And too much will have a greasy effect (ask me how I know this…never mind, don’t ask me, it’s too embarrassing a story).

Ahem. Aaaaaaaanyway. Here are your olive oil application tips:

  • Use one drop at a time. Place the drop in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. You should just barely feel and see a sheen on both palms.

    Olive oil can help prevent stretch marks. Image: ChristineTM

    Olive oil can help prevent stretch marks. Image: ChristineTM

  • For the face, wash thoroughly first. Exfoliate if you wish. Then apply the oil from your palms per above, onto your face, gently patting. Using the tips of your fingers, dab lightly all over the skin.
  • For makeup removal, pour a teaspoon of olive oil into a small dish. Dab a cotton ball into the oil. Wipe eyes gently, then rinse. Olive oil will remove most types of eye makeup, including waterproof mascara.
  • Use olive oil to soften your cuticles before a manicure. Dip fingertips into a small bowl of olive oil for 5 minutes. Remove, wipe dry with a towel and proceed with your manicurel.
  • To prevent stretch marks, pour one drop at a time directly onto the area. Massage in gently. Add more drops as needed. Olive oil may work on stretch marks that are already present due to its healing properties, but since all skin acts differently and some stretch marks can be very deep and/or dark, prevention is always better.

Trust me, you’re going to be hooked.

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Great Facial Ingredients From Your Fridge – Our Most Delicious Picks

picOatmealBaby

Oatmeal: it isn’t just for massive cleanup projects anymore. Image: sdemory

And here I was thinking my son’s leftover oatmeal was only good for the garbage can. Think again! My latest “from home” beauty project has been facials, and I’ve found some cool ingredients and methods for applying them.

I loooove experimenting with home ingredients, so try these out with me. (And hey, if they don’t work out, at least you have lunch!)

From-Home Ingredients, What They Do, and How to Use Them

1. Sugar

I know, I didn’t think sugar was very “good for you” in any way either. I know some families that don’t even keep white sugar in the house. On my better days I pretend to be one of them but hey, anything for my beautiful moms out there — so in the name of transparency I’ll just say: pick up some sugar, and make yourself a great face scrub.

Sugar softens slightly but doesn’t lose its granular consistency when added to warm water. This means it gives just enough exfoliation to really clean out pores and remove older skin cells without tearing or irritating the skin (as some products, such as larger-kernel apricot scrubs, can do).

To make your scrub, simply add a couple tablespoons of warm water to one tablespoon of white sugar. Stir and wait five minutes, then apply to your face. Rub in gentle circles. Rinse with water. You don’t need to follow up with a cleanser, but if you do, make sure it’s very gentle and non-stripping, as the sugar scrub will have lifted most of the oils from the surface of your skin already.

2. Papaya

Image: Tuluum

Image: Tuluum

Yum! Papaya is one of my favorite fruits (luckily, it’s my middle son’s favorite too, which gives me an excuse to buy it without the guilt — yeah, I have issues). Amazingly, it is apparently also good as a skin cleanser and “brightener,” adding a glow to the face.

According to my research, papaya’s anti-sun damage and sun spot activity is due to the active enzymes in its peel (and to a lesser extent, throughout the fruit).

To get the full benefits of these actions, you’ll need to use a papaya face mask once to twice per week. Simply peel the papaya. Turn the peel inside-out and rub its inside over your entire face. You’ll feel some of the “stickiness” transferring onto your skin. Wait 15-20 minutes, just until you begin to feel a tightening effect (this means it has dried). Rinse. Add a gentle cleanser and do a second rinse.

3. Oatmeal

Image: desegura89

Image: desegura89

This one wasn’t as much a surprise to me. My mother recommended oatmeal scrubs when I was an oily teenager. Now that I’ve grown into an oily adult, I still use the occasional oatmeal mask to help combat blemishes and to tone my skin overall.

Oatmeal has slightly astringent, drying properties, so this ingredient isn’t recommended for dry skin. For oily or combination skin, it’s great. This one is an actual recipe, as follows:

1/4 c. steel-cut oats (uncooked)

2 tbsp. plain, full-fat yogurt

1 egg

Grind the oats in a grinder or food processor until fine. Mix it into the other two ingredients. Place on the skin of your face as a mask. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

4. Yogurt

Image: roboppy

Image: roboppy

I did just mention yogurt, so let me go into a little more detail about this wonder ingredient. Yogurt moisturizes the skin, yet it’s also anti-bacterial, which is why it’s so great for any type of skin (oily, dry, normal or combination). Its acids also help to fade sun spots, a really amazing feature out of a home product.

I have seen many yogurt home recipes that include lemon juice. I do not recommend this. Lemon can be overdrying even in combination with other ingredients. And if it’s used in too large a concentration, it can sting and even leave a chemical burn-like rash on the face (ask me how I know this).

Luckily, yogurt stands on its own as a great facial mask product. You can also use it as a spot treatment for acne; simply dab it on your breakouts. Do not wash off until your regular cleansing time (morning or evening).

5. Avocado

The oil of the avocado is remarkably like the natural oils your skin produces. This makes it an ideal moisturizer; it absorbs readily and does the job without clogging your pores.

Mash avocado well with a fork or in your food processor. While it’s processing, wet a washcloth with warm (not hot) water. When the avocado is ready, smear it on your face. Lie back and place the washcloth gently over your face. You only need to do this for 2-5 minutes. When you’re done, wipe off GENTLY (don’t rinse). Follow with your daily makeup routine.

Hope you found these ideas as delicious as I did, my beauties. If you try these ingredients, please let me know how you make out. I love to hear from you!

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Homemade Recipes for Dark Eye Circles

We know she's worth it. But we also know that Mom counts, too. Image: Sean Drelinger

We know she’s worth it. But know that Mom counts, too. Image: Sean Drelinger

You wouldn’t believe how many things I’ve taken right from the fridge and slapped on my face in the name of saving money and time on my beauty routine. (Or maybe just slapped my face — got to stay awake somehow with a newborn, after all!)

Being a mom is wonderful. It’s amazing, it’s tender. It’s an experience no one can describe until they’ve done it themselves. (I know, I’ve tried. I’m pretty sure I just came off as weird.)

The one thing it’s not, at times, is beautiful. Oh, the love and shared-time parts are, surely. But any mom who’s glanced in the mirror after three or four wakings during the night knows that it’s not exactly gentle or forgiving to the skin.

The woman at the left isn’t me…but she just as easily could be. I had that same expression — that “I love this little being so much it almost hurts, but wow, am I supposed to be this tired?” half-enraptured, half-puzzled look for nine months straight with a little one who just wouldn’t sleep.

But really…standing at the Lancome counter with Li’l Boy in his Maya wrap as some dolled-up sales person squirted perfume in my milk-leaking direction was always the last thing I wanted to do. So I got creative with things I had at home. And I did a little research. Here are two awesome recipes that I tweaked and tried — and found actually did work.

Cucumber and Tea Eye Circle Reliever

Ingredients:

one bag of black tea

two cucumber slices

washcloth or compress

Method:

1. Boil a half-cup of water on the stove.

2. Add the tea bag and allow to soak for 20 minutes.

3. Remove the tea bag, squeezing it out into the water. (This portion can be done ahead of time — even the night before.)

4. Allow the tea water to come to a cool temperature in the refrigerator.

5. Wet the washcloth in COLD water. Wring out very thoroughly. Then place the washcloth in the cooled tea and allow to soak for 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, cut two thin slices of cucumber.

7. When you’re ready for your treatment (nap time has to come eventually!), wring the wash cloth thoroughly so it won’t drip. Lie back and close your eyes; place the cucumber slices over them. Place the washcloth over these. Sit for 15-20 minutes if you can, then remove the washcloth and cucumbers.

Cucumbers reduce puffiness, and the tannins in the tea are great skin-tighteners as well as a huge help in reducing the appearance of dark circles.

Potato Eye Mask

Ingredients:

cold potato slices (white or red potatoes)

washcloth

cold water

ice

Method:

1. Place some ice in a small bowl. Add enough water to cover your washcloth.

2. Place the washcloth in the ice water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cut two 1/4″ potato slices large enough to cover your eyes.

4. Wring out the washcloth so it won’t drip.

5. Close your eyes and place the potato slices over them. Fold the washcloth and place over the potato slices and your eyes. Lean back for 10 minutes.

Potatoes have a light bleaching effect (don’t worry — it’s far weaker than traditional skin bleaches) and produce a cooling effect that lessens eye bags.

Enjoy — and remember, you are beautiful…just like the lovely and very in-love mom in the pic above.

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