Under eye circles and puffiness are one of the most common skin woes, and incidentally one of the most preventable as well. While the pigmentation under your eyes is often genetically caused, excessive puffiness and swelling can stem from a number of easily adjustable factors which, when removed from your routines, will cease to be an issue. If you continuously find yourself waking up with swollen, puffy eye bags and a cold spoon no longer does the trick to return your skin to normal, there’s one habit that dermatologists agree may be the leading cause for this skin issue.
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High Sodium Snacks Before Bed
Salt is undeniably a delicious addition to many meals, but indulging in high sodium snacks such as chips, popcorn, or pretzels before bed without adequate water consumption can make a significant impact on your complexion in the morning, particularly as you age. “Thinking about salt intake with dinner can benefit your skin in the morning. The more salt consumed, the higher the fluid retention and the potential for swelling around the eyes,” explains Erum N. Ilyas, MD, MBE, FAAD.
Not only this, but as you grow older, the skin on the face naturally becomes thinner, making swelling even worse. “As we age, it’s important to note that the puffiness usually gets worse. This is also due to a weakening of the fascial tissue which leads to what is called fat herniation. Sometimes it is best addressed also by a dermatologist versus a plastic surgeon,” suggests dermatologist Anna Chacon, MD. Hydration ties into this issue as well, and if you’re often eating high sodium meals or snacks before bed without counterbalancing this with water, you may find that the issue becomes even more apparent, enhancing the appearance of bags under your eyes and making you look more tired than you may be.
Rather than indulging in a bowl of salty chips or popcorn while watching television in the evening, consider swapping out this habit for a different, more nutrient dense snack. Fruit or vegetables with hummus is a great way to get an extra boost of antioxidants and vitamins, and hummus will help to keep you full throughout the night so there’s no need for a midnight snack. Making sure to have a glass of water or tea before bed will also help to retain moisture in the skin, reducing the swollen appearance of your eyes in the morning. “The problem may be remedied by getting a good night’s rest, as well as sometimes using cold compresses or warm compresses to the area to help with circulation and blood flow,” suggests Chacon.
At the end of the day, keeping your sodium intake to a minimum will benefit your body and skin as a whole, allowing for a better night of sleep while reducing the appearance of swelling on your face. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important keys for maintaining a healthy body and appearance, and this can be achieved through being mindful of the snacks you eat in the evening, and staying hydrated as well. In order to minimize the appearance of dark under eye bags it’s vital to stay vigilant of a healthy routine even outside of your skincare products for ageless skin as the years progress.