Dark under-eye circles are the second most common skin complaint - preceded only by acne - according to most dermatologists. And for those who don't get enough sleep, face stress in everyday life or simply have a genetic disposition, it's common to suffer from discoloration under the eyes. But what can we do to minimise the look of those pesky dark circles and bags that make us look less spritely than we'd like? Here are our top tips...
1. Stay hydrated. This is key to helping reduce bags under the eyes. If your body is dehydrated, its immediate response is to retain water, causing puffiness under the eyes. To stay properly hydrated, make sure you drink eight glasses of water each day.
2. Be gentle. It's really important to be gentle and careful with the under-eye area - it's very thin and sensitive, so any trauma or irritation will cause skin problems. Try to remove your eye make-up with soaked cotton wool pads instead of rubbing with wipes.
Make sure you're extra gentle with the under eye area as it's thin and sensitive
3. Sleep. Making sure you get a restful sleep - or at least enough sleep - is key to improving your complexion in general.
4. Use tea bags. Caffeinated tea bags can reduce puffiness thanks to a property called tannins, which is a mild diuretic. Soak two tea bags in warm water, then cool them down in the fridge for a few minutes. Place one tea bag on each eye for five minutes, and they will leave your eyes looking brighter and fresher.
5. Cool as cucumber. For another instant fix, it's useful to quickly cool down the area. Cucumber slices are the perfect tool for this - just leave two slices on your eyes for ten minutes and immediately see the difference.
Cucumber has a cooling and soothing effect
6. Cut down on salt. We're often told to cut back on our sodium intake - and for good reason. As well as causing you to retain water, it can also increase the puffiness under your eyes. Cut back on any excess in your diet and your skin will thank you for it.