I recently had a couple weeks of staying up way too late playing music. Though there was something really energizing about playing piano until 2am, the lack of sleep eventually made me feel, well, not so invigorated.
I woke up one morning and my eyes felt uncomfortably puffy, irritated and just doggone tired. I had heard that putting raw potato on your eyes can alleviate puffiness, irritation and dark circles. I decided to give it a try and was thrilled to have some relief. I felt ready to face the day and grateful for this quick home remedy pick-me-up.
Here's the deal.....
Potatoes contain a starch that has anti-inflammatory properties. They have a cooling effect much like cucumbers and they also have astringents that can remove fluid from under the eyes. Potatoes also contain an enzyme called catecholase that when exposed to air it oxidizes and becomes benzoquinone. "Benzoquinone is a mild relative of a chemical called hydroquinone, which has been the active ingredient in skin bleaching products. The safety of hydroquinone has been questioned and its use is no longer recommended, however, there is no evidence that hydroquinone’s much weaker cousin benzoquinone is unsafe."
Slice a raw potato into two pieces that will fit well over your eyes. I prefer thin slices so they conform to the contour of my eyes. You can put the slices in the fridge for 15 - 30 minutes if you'd like but be sure to place them in a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown. Pat them dry then lay them on your closed eyes for 10 - 20 minutes.
Alternatively you can grate a bit of potato and put it in a piece of gauze or cheesecloth. This method helps the potato to stay in place better and more effectively makes contact with the area.
Here are some tips to keep your eyes looking and feeling great:
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Avoid harsh chemicals and excessive rubbing around the eyes
- Avoid sugary, overly salty and processed foods. They can cause water retention and swelling
- Sleep on your back with your head elevated. This helps gravity keep the fluid moving down away from your eyes