Ways to keep your eyes bright and sparkling
Signs of ageing
The eyes are the first part of the face that shows signs of ageing. Lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet at the sides and creases are all signs of ageing. Dab a few drops of olive or almond oil or honey under the eyes and massage gently in a feather-like circular motion.
Follow up with a cold compress made of 1tsp grated cucumber, 1tsp grated raw potato and 1tsp china clay. Keep this refrigerated for 10 minutes, apply the compress on both eyes and relax.
To soothe tired eyes, you can use any of the following washes:
- A mild solution of one glass of cold mineral water with 2 pinches of salt. Pat dry with an extra-soft towel.
- Add 4tsp of rose water to a glass of chilled mineral water and wash your eyes with it.
- Blink your eyes in a small bowl of chilled mineral water. This will help release hidden pollutants and dirt from the eyes.
I have always believed that the eyes are the most alluring part of a person’s face. There have been innumerable verses dedicated to them and an unaccountable number of hearts that have lost their way in someone else’s eyes! I believe beautiful eyes reflect a beautiful soul. So, it’s important to take care of your eyes and the area around them.
The skin around the eyes is extremely thin and delicate. So, stretching and rubbing this area causes wrinkly creases. Sparkling and clear eyes show that your eyes are healthy. Just as the rest of the body requires certain nutrients, the eyes need vitamins A, B, C and E as well as proteins. Crunchy carrots, apples and oranges are excellent for keeping the eyes healthy. Dairy products like butter, milk, cheese and yoghurt, and meat products are high in vitamin A. A high-fibre diet, wholesome grains, fresh fruit and green vegetables will provide vitamins B and C.
Sleep is very important for the eyes and the lack of it can lead to dull, puffy eyes and the much-dreaded dark circles. I am astounded when I see women waking up in the morning without having removed their make-up. This can lead to infection and puffiness.
Here are some simple ways to keep your eyes healthy and shiny:
- Avoid using harsh astringents and masks around the eyes.
- Do not attempt to read under dim or flickering light. Never read in a moving vehicle, especially buses and cars.
- Try and restrict TV viewing.
- Vitamin C is essential for the eyes and extreme smoking robs the body of this. It can also cause wrinkles around the eyes.
- Cotton wool dipped in cold milk and rose water is excellent for removing eye make-up and soothing the eyes.
- Always use sunglasses when out in the sun.
- Avoid long hours in front of the computer and try and take regular breaks if that’s not avoidable.
Dark circles around the eyes can be a result of many things such as lack of sleep, stress, tension, internal weakness, lack of water intake and prolonged illness. It is important to sleep restfully and without disturbance. Increase your water intake and make lifestyle changes to reduce stress.
Massage the eye area with a teaspoon of almond oil to which you have added 10 drops of lemon juice. You can also apply an eye pack of 1tsp of freshly-extracted mint and 1tsp of fresh-grated cucumber. Keep it on for at least 20 minutes and wash off with chilled water. You will have to do this on alternate days for two weeks before you can see results.
To keep the creases at bay, keep the eye area well moisturised. Mix 1tsp olive oil and 1tsp petroleum jelly and store in a small glass jar. Dab a little on the eye area and massage gently around the eyes. You need to do this every day.
Eyes usually get puffy because of lack of sleep, excessive alcohol consumption, water retention or even crying! The following could help:
- Grind together 1tsp each of neem leaves, coriander leaves, mint leaves, cucumber, tea leaves and hamamelis or witch hazel to make a smooth paste. Apply it under the eyes.
- Dip two cotton pads in icy cold milk and place over closed eyelids.
- Splash ice-cold water on lids. Blot dry and relax with slices of potatoes over closed eyelids. This is extremely beneficial for puffy eyes.
- Dip cotton pads in hot water to which 1tsp of salt has been added. Place on eyelids to reduce puffiness.
Palming is one of the classic eye exercises. Cup your eyes with the palm of your hands. Do not let your hands touch your eyelids. Slowly close your eyes and remain that way until you begin to see a clear black screen. Open your eyes slowly. This exercise will help you strengthen the eye muscles and improve eyesight.
Blinking is good as it refreshes the eyes. The natural cleanser of the eye is a tear film that spreads across the cornea. Blink whenever you can. If you are reading or writing for long hours, blink your eyes several times to relax them.
Another excellent eye exercise is to hold a pencil approximately 10 inches away from your eyes. Look at it and then slowly look past it, preferably towards the end of the room. Repeat at least 10 times to feel eye strain vanishing.
A good exercise to improve eyesight is to walk barefoot first thing in the morning on grass. Dew has its therapeutic qualities and the blades of grass provide acupressure massage to the entire body.
Suparna Trikha is a nature care expert and a columnist. Find her on Facebook @suparnatrikha.