Alexandra Samuel, SELF magazine
When it comes to beauty, that oh-so-cliche phrase "the eyes have it" stands very, very true. Often, beauty issues near the eyes (bags, redness, puffiness) are a signals of over-all health issues. Since I've been the queen of puffiness and bags lately, I got a hold of Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City and founder of 37 Extreme Actives skincare to get they scoop on what it really means when eyes get bags or look swollen or red.
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If your eyes are puffy...Puffiness is usually caused by swelling, which can happen after you get a little carried away with cocktails or salty food. It's worse if you sleep on your belly, too. Look for topical creams with caffeine and coffee or tea extracts, which will rev drainage to de-puff. If you use the right anti-puff creams every single day (no excuses!), you can avoid puffiness long term, says Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas.
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If you get under eye bags...you are probably allergic to something. When I was a kid, I always had "shiners" from allergies. When I realized I was allergic to gluten, my bags almost (almost) disappeared. Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas says the more you have allergies, the more your bags swell and the more prominent your bags become. The fix? Find out what you are allergic to and take precautions. It's worth asking your doctor if you are allergic to dust mites, since those live on pillows and mattreses (which you can cover with allergy control cases) and can cause bags overnight.
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If you have red, watery eyes all the time...you may have rosacea of the eyeball. Yup! That's a thing. It's called Ocular rosacea, says Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas. Check with your doctor. If you do have ocular rosacea, avoid triggers of rosacea, such as red wine, sunlight, and foods like eggplant and avocado (sorry, no guac!). For instant relief, look for anti-inflammatory eye creams and apply them around the eyes.
What is your biggest eye issue?
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