Beauty

Published: Wednesday May 7, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday May 7, 2014 MYT 8:46:24 AM

Solutions for those pesky puffy eyebag woes

Your “always wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask” beauty questions are answered fortnightly by beauty professionals from beauty or skincare houses.

Problem: I am 23 years old, and I’ve dark circles and puffy double eye bags since my teenage years. I lead a relatively healthy lifestyle, I don’t drink and smoke, and I get sufficient sleep. I also maintain a healthy diet, however, there has been no improvement in the eyebags and I look tired all the time. 

I’ve tried using certain eye creams but it hasn’t produced any positive results. Is there a solution which will reduce my dark circles and eyebags so that I look more refreshed? – Shu En

Advice: According to Swiss line brand director Custodio d’Avó, dark circles and chronic puffiness can be associated to poor lymphatic drainage, which should be investigated from a medical point of view if the problem is very prominent and recurring.

Under-eye puffiness is due to weakness in the blood and lymphatic capillaries. Poor drainage of the interstitial fluids creates a water or lymph accumulation that generates under-eye puffiness. Moreover, this local edema induces inflammation and local distension of the tissues, increasing the “puffy” effect.

Dark circles are mainly due to a reduction in blood microcirculation, thus making blood capillaries darker and more visible. Blood stagnation induces blood leakage from the vessels to the interstitial medium. Hemoglobin then accumulates in the infra-orbital part, and its degradation by oxidation creates bilirubin, a greenish yellow pigment, the source of the grey-yellow colour that forms under the eyes.

Getting ample sleep and drinking water can contribute to a better situation. To combat eye puffiness, it is best to look out for gel textured moisturisers that don’t “weigh” too much on the skin and are quickly absorbed, ideally containing niacinamide (a derivative of vitamin B3) and botanical extracts which can boost drainage. 

The perfect choice for this is the Swiss line Force Vitale De-Puffing Eye Moisturizer that has all the mentioned qualities. An additional tip is to keep the product in the fridge, as application will have an additional efficacy due to the cool temperature.

To combat dark circles, look out for products with serum textures that address inadequate micro-circulation and/or oxidation of hemoglobin, such as the Swiss line Cell Shock 360º Anti-Wrinkle Eye-Zone Serum Triple-Collagen Infusion.

The product contains Swiss line patented Cellactel 2 Complex which boosts cellular metabolism, increases oxygen consumption by the cells and provides crucial amino acids, peptides and mineral salts essential for skin renewal. It also contains a bio-engineered anti-dark circles complex which comprise narcissus bulb extract and other botanical cellular extracts such as comfrey root cell extract and blue cornflower extract, which reduces the factors that contribute to hemoglobin oxidation.

It’s best to combine the use of both products by applying one drop of the serum followed by application of the gel moisturiser.

Swiss line will be giving Shu En a Swiss line Cell Shock Age Intelligence 3D Hand Cream worth RM288.

Problem: I have numerous blackheads on my face, especially on my nose, chin and forehead. I also have enlarged pores. I’ve tried lots of products to get rid of my blackheads but none of them seem to work.

Sometimes, I steam my face in order to squeeze those blackheads out but the problem persists. The blackheads keep coming back and it seems to be increasing. I also tried using blackhead stripes but they don’t work as well. 

I went for a facial once and the beautician told me that my blackheads are embedded deep in my skin so it’s difficult to squeeze them out. What product do you recommend for me? 

Is it possible to minimise the size of the pores on my face? How do I care for my skin so that it’s not that oily? – Mary

Advice: Basically, blackheads are typically caused by the overproduction of oil, which tends to occur when a person reaches puberty. It is a type of acne set apart by it’s appearance as a dark black spot, says Dr Brandt’s head of training, Hubert W. Hoi.

Blackheads form when pores are filled with dead skin cells and oil. Since the pore is partially blocked, the contents are still exposed to air. When they get oxidised, they turn black. Blackheads can also be caused by moisturisers, sun screens, make-up or foundations when they are overused and irritate the skin.

It also be a hereditary problem and learning how to eliminate blackheads may be a family remedy.

The first step is to cleanse the skin. Using a good face wash that suits your skin type will help improve your skin hygiene. Look out for the following ingredients that can help to eliminate blackheads.

> Salicylic acid treatments: Using an ointment or lotion with this component can help clear the clogged pores and soak up the excess oil.

> Benzoyl peroxide: This active ingredient works like an antiseptic. It helps clear the pores and peel off dead skin. Along with removing the blackheads, it also helps prevent infection.

> Retinoids: These not only clear and peel off dead skin, but also affects the sebaceous glands and helps to reduce oil production, hence attacking the root cause of blackheads.

Since oilier skin types are more prone to blackheads, the key is to have a consistent routine. Always cleanse your face properly twice a day (morning and evening) with a salicylic based cleanser. Use an alcohol-free toner that contains tea tree. Spot-treat problematic areas and moisturise with an oil-free moisturiser.

Scrub twice a week to exfoliate dead skin cells, and use a mask twice a week to absorb excess oil and draw out congestion. Try Dr Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner blackhead extractor which extracts dirt and excess oil, unclogs and tightens pores, and exfoliates and softens skins texture. It contains both salicylic and glycolic acid to assist the release of blackheads and ejitsu rose to reduce pore size.

Dr Brandt will be giving Mary a Dr Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner worth RM179.

  • Here's a chance to get your “always wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask” beauty questions tackled. E-mail your queries to beautyq@thestar.com.my to be answered fortnightly by beauty professionals from beauty or skincare houses. The queries should be beauty-specific and may be on skin or hair concerns, cosmetics or products, too. Please include your name, address and contact number. Published letters will receive a gift. All the best in your beauty quest!

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Beauty Q, Swiss line, eyebags

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