Why do I look so tired

Your eyes might be the window to your soul, but sometimes they can let your face down. Dr Kalpna Pindolia explains why they can make you look tired and what you can do about it.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought: ‘why do I look tired all the time?’. Indeed, the eyes are uniquely expressive in communicating your emotional state. The joy expressed by the eyes is absolutely wonderful, in my opinion.

However, the ‘you look tired’ statement does come across as ambiguous; is it compassion, or actually bit of an insult? It can certainly make us feel disheartened hearing this comment, and it can even compound the feeling of fatigue for that day. How frustrating is that?

Signs suggesting tired eyes include dark circles, puffy lower lids, wrinkles and hooded upper eyelids. These are usually as a result of genetic influences, general health (like thyroid disease) and skin interaction with the external environment like with sun exposure and smoking.

Whilst total eradication of some of these problems are unlikely, there are some things you can do to help your eyes.

  1. Prevention is always better than cure, so use of good sun protection including UV sunglasses and a big hat will limit damage to the delicate eye skin.
  2. Hydration helps and reduction of alcohol and salt intake will also contribute to healthy looking texture of the skin around the eyes.
  3. Ample sleep and avoidance of stress will also naturally reduce the appearance of fatigued eyes.


Quick fixes

Puffy eyes can be a concern when you wake up but it’s good to know that morning puffiness will usually settle quickly with eyelid movement which helps to reabsorb any residual fluid.

But if you need a little help, there are some quick fixes for puffy eyes. Some of the more ‘natural’ techniques include the use of cucumber slices, potato, milk, caffeinated teabags and the application of cold spoons. These  have all been used to temporarily refresh the eye area.

They help constrict the blood vessels which reduces puffiness and gives a lighter appearance around the eye. It won’t last long though.


Cover ups

Make-up with colour correction in another option.  Peach or orange tones can reduce the blue hue caused by superficial blood vessels. A good concealer, a shade lighter than the skin, can also cover dark circles and areas of hyper-pigmentation.

Creams applied to the area can be heavy and gels may contribute to puffiness, so lighter serums tend to be a better vehicle for topical potions.

Applicators using systematic lymphatic massage to reduce fluid accumulation can also assist in reducing swelling.

Hydroquinone containing cosmeceuticals can reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation which is notoriously difficult to manage in this area. Agents that promote collagen and elastin synthesis can also improve the resilience of the delicate eye skin.


Non-surgical interventions

There are a variety of non-surgical options for puffy eyes.

Chemical peels and laser are part of the armoury against those tired eyes.

Botulinum toxin can also be used to temporarily lessen the dynamic wrinkles around the eyes like the ‘crow’s feet’ which may age the appearance of the eye.

Dermal fillers can also be used in a subtle way to restore volume loss of the tear trough region, rejuvenating and refreshing the eye area.

Recently, innovative non-ablative techniques using ionisation of atmospheric gas have been introduced as an alternative to surgical blepharoplasty. These do not remove tissue but heat it, causing it to tighten. Surgical techniques, on the other hand, remove the excess skin and fat.


Summing up

So, there are various options available to manage eyes that look tired.

The trick though, is to prevent damage to the area. Do the simple things to manage these concerns and then if still troublesome, consult with a doctor who can advise you on the best form of management for your eyes.

A word of advice: It is always important to do your research first and empower yourself with as much information as possible before undergoing more invasive procedures. A responsible practitioner will always spend time with you considering all options, and then give you plenty of time to consider them.


Dr Kalpna Pindolia is an aesthetic doctor and trainer who delivers anti wrinkle and dermal filler treatments. She takes pride in delivering safe treatments which naturally rejuvenate and refresh facial appearance with a ‘less is more’ approach.




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