Under-eye circles are the absolute worst. No one ever wants to look like they’re as tired or as stressed out as they really are. But sometimes, even with all the eye cream and concealer you pack on, the bags are still there.
YouTuber Darshika Patel decided to hack her way to a solution using something in her kitchen cabinet: baking soda. Patel describes her DIY method in the video below that has since gone viral with over 200,000 views.
Patel starts out by mixing one to two teaspoons of baking soda and water in a bowl to create a “runny paste.” She says it’s almost like sugar syrup.
Then, she applies the paste using the back of a spoon and smearing it onto her under-eye area.
Patel insists on smearing and not rubbing the concoction into the skin to avoid irritating your dark circles. “Your dark circles will get worse if you irritate the delicate skin under your eyes,” she says. This is when things started sounding a little suspect to me.
She waits five to 10 minutes for the formula to dry. When it’s all dry, it’s supposed to look like this:
Next, Patel suggests using a wet washcloth or baby wipes to remove the dried baking soda. Apparently, she always uses baking soda all the time as an exfoliant. “It will leave your skin feeling nice and smooth as if you just had a microderm,” she says.
Well, not all dermatologists believe so. TBH, even though Patel makes this easy remedy sound a little too good to be true, it can actually do more harm to your skin than good in the long run.
Joshua Zeichner, MD, told Refinery 29 that “Baking soda has an alkaline pH, while the skin’s natural pH is slightly acidic, which is necessary for healthy skin-cell functioning. Increasing the pH can lead to irritation and impairment of the skin barrier.”
Baking soda + under-eye bags = not a good mix.
Covering up under-eye circles and puffy bags has become an obsession in skincare. People are willing to try just about anything when it comes to hiding the telltale fact that they haven’t gotten enough sleep, or might be especially stressed out. Some people even deal with genetic dark circles that just won’t budge. It’s no doubt that if a quick fix appears on the internet, everyone’s going to jump on the bandwagon and give it a try, especially if the products are already in your kitchen cabinet.
Vlogger Darshika Patel posted a video that’s gone viral about using baking soda to banish your under-eye circles. Easy as one, two, three, right? Not so much. Darshika mixes baking soda in a bowl filled with some water to create a “runny paste” so it’s “not too harsh on your eyes” and “will do its magic”.
She also advises viewers to be careful throughout the application process, avoiding getting anything in your actual eye, because that obviously makes the whole situation worse. She recommends smearing the paste on with the back of a spoon or your fingers, applying it to the area under your eyes. After about 10-15 minutes, Darshika wipes the paste off with a baby wipe. She warns that after the removal, your skin will feel a bit tight, but “your bags will have diminished, and your dark circles should have also improved.”
This solution may sound convenient, but it has us scratching our heads. Why isn’t everyonetalking about this if it is the magic end-all-be-all dark circle eraser? We reached out to dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah of SmarterSkin Dermatology for her expert opinion on this web phenomenon.
“The pH scale runs from 0-14 with 7 being neutral, anything above 7 alkaline or a base and anything below 7 an acid. The pH of what you apply to your skin is important for maintaining healthy skin. Skin’s pH is slightly acidic, usually in the 4.5-6.5 range, and this is maintained by a number of things, such as the natural skin flora and glands,” she said.
So what does that have to do with putting baking soda on our face? Dr. Shah says, “The skin’s acidity is called the ‘acid mantle.’ When you apply something alkaline to the skin, such as baking soda, it can affect the skin barrier by disrupting the acid mantle (and the natural elements of the skin such as bacterial flora, glandular secretions, etc.). And the damage is cumulative, so that the more you do it, the more damage there is.” The damage can typically appear as to irritation, dryness, redness, and even itchy skin.
But don’t knock baking soda for skin issues completely. Some newer products have surfaced on store shelves that actually already have baking soda as an ingredient. Dr. Shah says this is a completely different situation than directly applying baking soda onto your skin, and these are safe to use. If an ingredient list contains sodium bicarbonate, “there is likely a very small amount of baking soda in the product; it is possibly just enough to provide a bit of exfoliation,” she said. A lot of these products also contain specific acids, such as salicylic, and Dr. Shah adds, “it’s possible that the sodium bicarbonate helps balance the pH levels.”
If you’re really looking to hide your under-eye circles, you can never go wrong with using good old-fashioned color-correcting concealers. Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in “peach” specifically targets circles and spots. Anti-aging concealers, such as iT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye, are filled with hydro-collagen and vitamins to help with radiance. And, if you’re looking for something to reduce puffiness you can also include patchology’s FlashPatch eye gelsor Clinique’s All About Eyes eye cream-gel into your routine. Sometimes, your pantry isn’t the best option for feeding your face
One minute we were feeling relatively fresh faced and the next, we’re peering into the bathroom mirror wondering how to get rid of the tell tale signs of sleepless nights and years passing that’s written all over our faces.
Everywhere you turn there’s a new ‘miracle’ product claiming to eradicate these pesky signs of ageing for good – but with whopping great price tags and no guaranteed results, wouldn’t it be nice to try some more natural alternatives?
Luckily there’s a whole host of natural tips and tricks that promise to seriously reduce bags under your eyes and dark circles, so instead of reaching straight for that concealer why not give on a go?
Causes of dark circles and bags
The reason we get dark shadows and eye bags has a lot to do with our lifestyles, so detecting what the causes of our eye woes are can help us to banish them from our faces for good.
1. Sleep (or lack of)
We can’t express how important a good night’s sleep is for a whole multitude of reasons, but there really is such a thing as beauty sleep. A lack of shut eye can make the skin appear pale and reduces circulation, which is why dark circles appear. Everyone’s different so figure out how much sleep you need and stick to it – it’ll work wonders for your peepers! It’s also important to completely remove all make up (with a clean flannel) as leaving eye make up residue can cause ageing.
Hands up who’s guilty of not drinking the recommended amount of water every day? Yep, us too. But drinking enough water is so important, especially when it comes to anti-ageing. Every organ in the body needs water and our skin is no exception, as it’s cells depend on water to function efficiently and repair damage. Noella Gabriel, who is in charge of treatments and product development at Elemis, told the Express ‘The drier and more dehydrated the skin is, the more it emphasises existing lines, so things can look much worse than they are.’ Aim to drink 1.6 litres of fluid a day and you’ll really feel the benefits.
Who’d have thought that being allergic to something could be having an unwanted affect on our eye bags and circles? Allergies like hay fever are actually a common cause of skin discoloration under the eyes, and food allergies in particular could cause constant puffiness. Make sure you track down the cause of your allergy and tackle it, and you’ll soon notice an improvement in your eyes.
Some women swear by a blend of baking soda and water, mixed to ‘sugar syrup consistency’, to banish their dark circles. Beauty blogger Darshika Patel put the theory to the test in this YouTube video, saying that it should ‘leave your bags diminished and your under-eye circles improved’.
To try it yourself, mix together baking soda and a small amount of water to form a paste, allow this to dry under the eyes for 5-10 minutes, then wash it away with a damp cloth. Darshika adds that your eyes may feel tight after the treatment, but ‘that’s good because it is tightening the skin around the eyes’.
No, we’re not talking some fancy herbal tea here. Good old fashioned caffeinated tea has long been used as a remedy of eye puffiness thanks to its mild diuretic properties and natural tannins. Simply soak two tea bags in warm water and allow them to chill for a few minutes (the cooler the better – try popping them in the fridge!). Then place one tea bag on each eye for five minutes, for fresher eyes fast.
Ok yes this is a little unusual, but bear with us! Potatoes are said to have natural bleaching properties, so popping a couple of slices under your eyes could help reduce dark shadows without forking out a fortune on expensive creams. Apply them as cold as you can to combat puffiness at the same time.
An oldie but a goodie, cold cucumber slices have long been known for the wonders they work on tired, puffy eyes in desperate need of freshening up. Place a slice over each eye, making sure it covers the darkened area too. Do this daily and lie down for around 10-15 minutes. The cucumber will get to work on the skin around your eyes and the act of taking time for yourself will help alleviate eye bag-causing stress, too!
Rose water is said to be a great natural product for diminishing the appearance of dark circles, as well as puffiness and wrinkles around the eyes. Not only is it soothing for irritated, stressed out eyes, it’s hydrating properties mean it’s able to restore the pH balance of the skin. This helps to remove dark pigmentation, while its anti–oxidant properties help to strengthen the skin cells and regenerate the tissues under the eyes. Simply take a cotton ball soaked in rose water and apply around the eye area for 10 minutes.
Thanks to its anti–inflammatory properties, almond oil can help to diminish pesky dark circles and under eye bags. It has great source of vitamin K that improves the blood clotting that in turn results in decrease in the appearance of dark circles and other skin discoloration around the eyes. Apply a small amount of your dark circles before you go to bed, and then wash off with cold water in the morning.