February 2009 Ageless herbal newsletter
We receive frequent e-mails from all over the world, in which people request natural and herbal remedies to prevent and alleviate bags under the eyes, puffy eyes, dark rings around the eyes, crow’s feet and wrinkles in the skin around the eyes.
This point was brought sharply into focus after we had a radio show two weeks ago about skin care and where people could phone in with any skin problems.
When interacting socially, most people focus on the eye area, making it necessary for us all to ensure that the skin surrounding our eyes is in tip-top condition – most of us don't want to appear haggard and fatigued! We want to present a vital and healthy impression to our friends, colleagues and specifically business associates.
To ensure good skin health and to prevent puffy, baggy eyes, crow’s feet and dark rings around the eyes, the problem should be looked at holistically, as there are many different factors, which contribute to this problem.
General health, state of fitness, genetic predisposition, sleeping position, allergies, nutrition and environmental factors all play a role in health of the skin and the body’s ability to repair and maintain the skin.
Although a product like our eye gel will assist in re-vitalizing the collagen and elastin in the skin around the eyes, you do need vitamin C in your system in order for collagen to be formed.
In the absence of vitamin C, collagen CANNOT be synthesized by the skin. To only take in 60 mg of vitamin C per day - the recommended daily allowance (RDA) - will NOT achieve much – it will only prevent scurvy.
To assist in collagen formation and re-vitalizing your fragile skin around the eyes - please consider taking an extra vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplement, but should you have any health concerns please consult your medical practitioner before doing so.
When taking a vitamin C supplement, look at one that contains bioflavonoids (vitamin P) as well, as these bioflavonoids add to the potency with which the vitamin will perform its work.
Have a look at the amount of hours you sleep and also check on the amount of hours you work in front of a computer terminal or watch television – both these actions place a tremendous strain on your eyes.
Eye drops will relieve the blood shot look of your eyeball, but will do little to soothe the tired eyes as such.
Some people recommend a daily supplement of grape seed oil to help relieve eyestrain, as some people do find relief by adding this anti-oxidant to their diet.
To relieve strain, look at having a regular soothing treatment, which can easily, and inexpensively, be done at home.
Some people believe in placing sliced figs or slices of cucumber on their eyes – and although it does work, it may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals.
If you are looking at an alternative treatment to freshen your eyes, try the following:
Eye exercises may also be of great benefit to the general health of your eyes, but first check with your optometrist or eye specialist before starting such a program. I was showed these exercises some years ago – and it may be worth your while to try them.
Fluid retention can be a major cause of swollen eyes, and here you will have to look at your general health and any other underlying medical condition. Diuretic pills (to remove excess water from your body) can be helpful, but many people do have side effects from them.
Vitamin C is a natural diuretic and an increase in this vitamin will not only assist in removing excess water from your body, but will also assist with collagen formation as discussed above. I am sorry to keep harping on the importance of vitamin C, but in my book it is one of the most amazing and underrated vitamins around, which can have a great effect on your general well being.
If you are ingesting a lot of salt, either directly or indirectly, it could add to your problem with water retention. Try and cut down on eating raw salt, and check food labels as well, as processed food can contain large amounts of salt – check for sodium on the label.
Although orthodox medicine does not always belief in the benefits of going on a detoxifying diet, I have personally witnessed the effect such a cleansing diet can have on the general health of a person, and particularly on black rings / circles under the eyes.
It would be wise to check with your medical professional before going on such a diet, but a break in your normal diet pattern, and giving your body a bit of a break, could do you the world of good.
Some natural healers do believe that black rings under the eyes and bags under your eyes are indicative of a toxic build-up in the body – and although some people might not agree with this belief, a cleansing diet as such, now and again, is not a bad idea.
You might not smoke yourself, but even secondary smoke can affect the way your eyes look. Most people will have a violent reaction to smoke, such as the eyes turning bloodshot or watery, while others will manifest their allergy in swollen eyes.
If smokers surround you, try and introduce as much fresh air as possible, and if you yourself smoke, take (you guessed it!) extra vitamin C, as smoking kills off large amount of this vitamin, every time you light up.
It seems that allergies are becoming more and more prevalent – and although some medical people might not agree with me, I do think that our un-healthy, stressed filled lives, surrounded by chemicals additives and preservatives, and environmental pollutants are contributing factors to the increase of allergies.
The reason for this statement is the fact that with so many stressors or triggers around, the body simply cannot cope with the large amount of gunk, and give up the fight, with resultant allergic conditions.
You might not have a major medical reaction to an allergen, such as wheezing, couching, sneezing or a closed chest - you could simple have a slightly stuffy nose, or swollen eyes most of the times.
Tests can be done to determine environmental or food allergies with a simple skin scratch test, a blood test or more alternative types of testing such as a muscle resistant test or a heart pulse test.
If you have any of the tests done, and they come up positive for any item that you could avoid as far as possible, go the extra mile and try to cut the allergen out of your sphere of living – be that either environmental or food in origin.
Environmental allergies are sometimes difficult to fight – if you suffer from a dust mite allergy for instance, you will have to ensure that your house is virtually dust proof, and that all drapes, mattresses, carpets and all other soft furnishings are treated with a mite and dust controlling solution, and that air conditioning filters are kept spotlessly clean.
If you are allergic to seasonal items, such as pollen, you could ask your medical practitioner for assistance during that time, with an allergy-fighting drug of some sort – but be careful of such medication containing cortisone – as this ingredient may cause more problems than it solves.
And once again, look at vitamin C to assist in fighting allergies – this humble little food supplement can help alleviate the symptoms to a great degree. And remember to look for the added bioflavonoids.
When selecting cosmetics or skin care products – be extra careful to choose a range that will not cause an allergic reaction, and that has been formulated with this in mind. Our gel has been specially formulated with this in mind and also contains herbs to soothe some allergies.
If you apply eye cream, or any facial cream incorrectly, it may cause your eyes to be puffy and swollen – especially in the morning.
Make sure the creams are not applied to the center corner (near your nose) of your eyes, as the cream could impact and obstruct a tear duct, which will cause swelling of the eye.
Our herbal eye gel will not cause such a reaction.
If you find that your eyes are more swollen in the morning, have a look at increasing the height of your pillows, by adding another pillow when going to bed. The raising of your head could assist with draining excess fluids as well.
Facial massage, and specially massage treatment around your eyes can assist in the draining of fluids around your eyes.
Although massage can be most beneficial – it must be done correctly, with concentration and not be rushed through.
First clean your face well and then use a very light textured oil or cream as massage medium to prevent stretching or stressing this fragile skin.
You might want to look at almond oil, since this oil is wonderfully emollient, without being heavy and greasy. Another oil that you might consider is jojoba oil, but because of the high cost of pure jojoba oil, it might work out a bit expensive.
You could also look at massaging with plain aqueous cream, since it is very economical and is also great to work with.
When doing facial massage, please keep your touch SOFT and do not stretch the skin – it must be done gently.
If you have long hair, tie it away from your face before doing any facial massage to prevent the oil or cream getting into your hair.
When you are finished doing the massage, remove the oil from your eyes by gently washing the area with a very gentle cleanser, or remove the excess oil by blotting it with a tissue. Make sure to remove excess oil or cream from the corners of your eyes, otherwise, as stated above, you might land up with eyes that are even more baggy or swollen.
While formulating our effective Ageless Herbal Eye Gel, our formulating chemists did extensive research into the effects that various herbs and herbal extracts have on the skin surrounding the eyes, concentrating specifically on herbs that positively influence drainage of fluids from the tissue, that reduce and prevent wrinkles and dark rings and that firm and tighten the skin surrounding the eyes, to naturally help create a more permanent youthful and radiant look.
Our research team discovered clinical studies done on the improvement of baggy eyes at the ophthalmologic clinic at the hospital of La Croix Rousse in Lyon.
This study only used four herbs in a gel formulation – which we also included in our product (and added some extra ones)– and was tested on people aged between 25 – 75 years of age, and applied twice a day. Biopsies were taken before and after each treatment.
The study showed a significant improvement in the production of elastin (a protein that helps the skin to be more elastic) and collagen (protein which forms fibers, which act as connective tissue between the cells in the skin) and excellent results were achieved in reducing baggy eyes.
We then took this pioneering formula, and added other natural herbal extracts, recently developed, to work in synergy with one another, which improves the result achieved in the above-mentioned study and which also reduces and prevents crow’s feet wrinkles and dark rings.
To explain the positive effect of our Ageless Herbal Eye Gel formula, it is interesting to take a look at each herb contained in the formula, the positive results that are achieved by their inclusion and the reason why each herb was included:
It stimulates the blood capillaries and increases circulation in the lymph. It also helps the veins to constrict and promotes healing of broken capillaries (the walls of the veins), which improves blood circulation in the skin surrounding the eyes.
In other words, this herb is used to reduce baggy eyes and improve circulation to the skin around the eyes.
This herbal extract is used in all our products in the Ageless range. It stimulates the fibroblasts (cells which form connective tissue) and therefore the collagen, which reduces and prevents wrinkle formation. Centella is also found to increase circulation and to be a diuretic (helps the body drain fluid). Centella, also known as Gotu Kola or Indian Pennywort is also widely used as an extract or in its natural form for its extensive healing properties, an excellent anti-inflammatory - healing wounds and preventing scar formation.
Centella is included in our eye gel to help drain fluid, increase circulation and reduce dark rings around the eyes, formed by insufficient waste removal from the tissue around the eyes. It is also included in our formula for its wonderful anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
It is ideal for use on delicate and sensitive skin. It is an excellent decongestant (reducing blockages) and is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. It is excellent to use to combat allergies and has a superb healing effect.
Camomile is used in our eye gel to reduce the effect of allergies (for example: hay fever and sinus) on the skin surrounding the eyes. It is also used to prevent free radical damage to the skin and as a powerful anti-inflammatory.
The flower of the cornflower was taken up in the French Pharmacopoeia since 1884 because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It is specifically used in ophthalmology for the treatment of corneal ulcers, conjunctivitis and minor wounds to the eyes, the eyelids and the skin surrounding the eyes. It has astringent properties and also has an antioxidant effect on the skin.
This expensive extract is used in our formula to prevent baggy eyes, as it gently tightens and firms the skin. It is also used for its anti-bacterial properties and because it prevents free radicals from destroying the cells in the skin. Cornflower soothes and calms irritated skin and is used to freshen and perk-up the skin around the eyes.
It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It has a major inhibitory effect on collagenase (a process which occurs in the skin which breaks down collagen). Green tea has astringent properties and also reduces inflammation and gently constricts the veins and capillaries in the skin, promoting fluid drainage from the tissue. Green tea is also known to promote cell generation.
Green tea is included in our formula to effectively prevent free radical damage to the cells – which cause the collapse of the supportive structure of the skin (which causes wrinkles), to prevent and reduce inflammation (a leading cause of skin aging) and to stabilize and prevent the breakdown of collagen, which also reduces wrinkle formation. It also tightens the skin around the eyes and is used to prevent that “hang dog, droopy eye” look.
It is an extraordinary remineralizer of the skin, providing natural silica to the skin. It also shortens blood-clotting time. Horsetail has great cell rejuvenating and regenerating properties and also has a stabilizing effect on the connective tissue, thereby increasing the firmness and elasticity of the skin. Its extraordinary effect on the skin even prompted the Commission E to approve it, as treatment for wounds and it is the flavonoids that are responsible for its unique wound healing and tissue repairing actions.
Horsetail is used in our eye gel to heal any damage done to the cells in the skin and to promote the health of the skin cells.
It maintains the integrity of the elastin in the skin. It protects the extremely thin and fragile elastin fibers and also has an astringent effect on the skin.
Lady’s Mantle is included in our eye gel to promote and maintain the health of the elastin in the skin, which in turn prevents the formation of wrinkles. It is also used to tighten and perk up the skin around the eyes.
This vegetable protein hydrolyzate is obtained from germinated, organic grown wheat seeds, using only pure water for germination.
This gel is included in our formulation as it has a cooling and almost immediate tightening effect on the skin, which radically decreases the appearance of wrinkles and also helps to eliminate the appearance of baggy eyes. The effect of this gel lasts for about 8 hours. Although it does not have any therapeutic properties, it does provide a wonderful cooling and refreshing feel to the formula.
It has a variety of cosmetic and medicinal uses, such as treating burns, warts, impetigo, skin eruptions, neuralgia, swollen joints, toothache and cellulite, but its greatest action is that of it being a circulatory compound, which helps other ingredients to be absorbed by the skin. It also assists with the removal of waste products from the skin and has topical anti-fungal, anthelmintic, molluscicidal and anti-mutagenic properties.
Apart from its softening and soothing properties, it also has itch-relieving and anti-irritant properties, as well as anti-inflammatory and pain killing actions - provided by the saponins and flavonoids.
Ivy is used in our eye gel to promote the absorption of other active ingredients. It is also used to relieve discomfort and inflammation, soothing and softening the skin surrounding the eyes.
Apart from the moisturizing, soothing and softening effect that it has, it furthermore contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (vitamin F) also known as essential fatty acids (EFA). When they are absorbed through the skin, they convert to prostaglandins (PGE), which are involved in cellular membrane and tissue regeneration.
With the abovementioned in mind rosehip oil brings about skin regeneration and enhances wound healing. It furthermore contains trans-retinoic acid, which is responsible for skin rejuvenation, quicker healing time and repairs skin subjected to excessive sunlight and resultant photo aging. The linoleic and linolenic acids in rosehip have also shown to reduce pigmentation of the skin and when used regularly it has shown to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Rosehip is used in our formula to heal and repair damage done to the skin, particularly sun damage. It is also used to reduce dark rings (pigmentation) and fine wrinkles and lines from the eyelids and skin surrounding the eyes.
We have now shared the secret of our extremely popular Ageless Eye Gel with you and we know that you will find it beneficial in combating wrinkles, lines, baggy eyes, crow’s feet and dark rings around the eyes.