I have a feeling that almost everyone over the age of 20 has dealt at some point (or is dealing on regular basis) with some issues in the eye area: dryness, fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, or undereye bags.
There are on average fifty thousand monthly queries for “best eye cream” online. Sephora carries over 200 eye creams and treatments, and searching on Amazon for “eye cream” gives over 4000 results. It sounds like everybody and their brother is looking for a miracle treatment.
So, where to find the best natural eye balm? I subscribe to using only clean green products on my skin, and naturally, I want only the gentlest treatment for the delicate area around the eyes. I want pure and therapeutic-quality ingredients, possibly as few as possible, and zero nasties such as parabens, silicones, mineral oil, and the like. So, I make my own – I call it the miracle eye balm with coffee-infused almond oil and nourishing shea butter.
Before I give you the DIY recipe for my all-natural eye cream, let’s see what we are actually trying to combat here.
What Causes Dark Circles and Puffiness?
The area around our eyes is distinctly thinner and more delicate than the skin anywhere else on the face. So it is more susceptible to dryness and wrinkles. Other factors decide whether we experience other trouble in the under-eye area, such as brownish skin and/or undereye bags.
It is no surprise that the eyes are usually where the first signs of aging might show up. Crow’s feet, fine lines, and smile wrinkles all make their presence when the collagen in our skin starts to diminish (starting in our 20s). This decrease makes the skin around the eyes even thinner, and this in turn makes the tiny capillaries under the skin more visible.
The result – dark circles. Add to it the fact that the area under the eyes tends to accumulate more fluid in some people, and you’ve got the answer for why some experience undereye “bags” or puffiness.
Aside from the simple facts of aging, the eye area might look more brownish in tone in some people. This is due to individual pigmentation and it could be just related to genetics. If that’s the case, go ahead and blame your mom or dad (kidding). You’ll need to be particularly vigilant about using a good eye balm and also invest in a good concealer.
Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep is definitely the culprit that can potentially be easily avoided. Not getting enough rest shows right away in the eye area, and it can make us look fatigued, dull, and older than we are. So, try going to bed earlier and get some sleep. The appearance of your eyes will be proof that you did.
Too Much Sun
Too much direct sun exposure or excessive work in front of a computer screen can lead to too much squinting and development of fine lines around the eyes. Especially now, when many of us are working at home and online, this will become a larger issue.
In order to prevent the harmful effects of too much sun remember to always wear sunglasses when in direct sun. To counter the computer-related damage to the eye area, invest in good blue-light-blocking sunglasses and take frequent breaks from the screen.
Foods and drinks that encourage fluid retention can lead to under-eye bags. Alcohol, coffee, sugar, flour, fried foods, and salt might keep the circulatory system from flushing out the extra fluid from the eye area. Result – puffiness and the dreaded “bags.”
An easy solution is to drink less caffeinated drinks or swap high-caffeine drinks like coffee for less-caffeinated drinks like green tea. With its antioxidant content, the tea is a great choice for general health and beautification.
Certain foods with high levels of sodium and caffeine content will cause your body to retain water, aggravating the skin under the eyes and making them appear darker.The Healthy
A Few Things about Caffeine in Skincare
Taken internally, coffee and dark circles are not a team. But, if you apply pure coffee topically to the eye area, it actually has the opposite effect. According to this article, coffee, especially when frozen into ice cubes, can be used to de-puff and lighten the skin under the eyes. I tried it and it really works!
When applied to the skin around the eyes, the same caffeine that causes fluid retention when taken internally can reduce dark circles and puffiness by improving blood circulation. The caffeine may restrict the blood flow, which reduces the swelling that causes the bags. The coldness, of course, is adding to this effect. So, whether it’s iced coffee cubes or cold cucumber slices, the cold will do the trick.
Caffeine is soothing, anti-inflammatory and vasoconstrictive, which can decrease redness and puffiness.Dr. Jeannette Graf
For general tiredness and eye-dryness, I place some tea bags on my eyes. This always feels super soothing and relaxes the eyes. When making tea, I let the bags steep in the hot water and then take them out and place them on the closed eyelids. I keep them there until they cool completely. Black, green, or chamomile tea all work great.
The problem is they are all just temporary solutions. In order to really get the benefits of caffeine, it should be applied regularly, preferably daily.
Solution – Coffee-Infused Natural Eye Balm
I wanted to make something that would benefit my eyes in multiple ways. I am dealing with dry skin, some fine lines, and definitely the raccoon-eyes. Trying to make a natural eye cream or balm for dark circles, coffee seemed a natural go-to. I decided to make a coffee-infused undereye balm, hoping that it would address all of these common issues of the eye area. Of course, nothing can stop natural aging. But it is possible to slow the process by utilizing the purest and truly therapeutic ingredients.
As is the case with all of my creations, this balm is 100% natural and mostly organic (if I were to do a bit of math I’d probably come up with around 85% organic as only the sweet almond oil I used here is not organic). Featuring only natural ingredients, my eye balm is also cruelty-free, free of nonylphenol ethoxylate, formaldehyde-free, mineral oil-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, talcum-free, petroleum-free, paraben-free, and dye-free.
Making the balm is very easy. The only issue is time. It takes about three weeks to infuse the almond oil with the coffee.
How to infuse the oil with coffee
Here is how to do it. Place 2 TBS of fresh pure coffee grounds into a jar and cover with 1 cup of sweet almond oil. Cover the jar, shake it well, and place it in a dry and dark place like the cupboard. Shake it once a day for the next three weeks. After three weeks, strain using a finely meshed cheesecloth. Then strain it once more, this time using a coffee filter (this will be a slow process but it is important to catch all the coffee grounds). Keep the oil in a dark bottle. It should keep for several months.
How to make the balm
Every single ingredient in this balm serves a specific purpose. They are tailored to nourish and moisturize the tender skin around the eyes to reduce the appearance of dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. The balm’s dominant aroma is coffee, and the tiny bit of woodsy florals from lavender, geranium, and frankincense adds to the pleasant sensation. I use here only very little essential oils to keep the balm suitable for very sensitive skin around the eyes.
🌹COFFEE INFUSED SWEET ALMOND OIL – reduces puffiness and under-eye circles. Because almond oil is anti-inflammatory, it may help ease swelling of the skin (the under-eye bags). It is a great source of Vitamin A and E, Omega-3 fatty acids, and Zinc, very beneficial to all skin types. Infused with freshly ground coffee for three weeks, this caffeine-enriched oil will help diminish dark circles around the eyes.
🌹ORGANIC ROSEHIP SEED OIL – a cold-pressed, non-greasy oil, choke-full of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins A, C and E, Rosehip Seed Oil is perfect for mature skin and ideal also for the treatment of wounds, stretch marks, and scars. It penetrates deeply into the lower layers of the skin, regenerates cells, and increases collagen production. It also helps restore skin’s elasticity, reduce broken capillaries, fade hyperpigmentation, and balance oil glands.
🌹ORGANIC VITAMIN E OIL – when used topically, this oil can reduce free radicals’ effect on the skin which helps ward off the signs of aging. It may help reduce wrinkles and fine lines and keep skin looking youthful.
🌹ORGANIC REFINED SHEA BUTTER – This nut butter from Africa has high concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins which make it make it an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening skin. Shea butter also has healing and anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to which it helps soothe and tone the skin around the eyes.
🌹ORGANIC BEESWAX – The anti-inflammatory properties of beeswax encourage skin healing. It is also protective, helping form a barrier between the skin and the environment without clogging pores. Further, beeswax is high in vitamin A, which has been found to support cell reconstruction and health.
🌹GERANIUM Essential Oil – helps balance out skin oils thanks to its alkalinity. With antioxidants like vitamins A and C, geranium oil can help promote skin cell turnover, which often slows down with age which, in turn, helps create younger-looking skin with fewer lines.
🌹LAVENDER Essential Oil – noted for its anti-inflammatory, stimulating, and analgesic properties. Considered the queen of essential oils, Lavender is a miracle worker against wrinkles and lack of elasticity.
🌹FRANKINCENSE Essential Oil — Known as the king of essential oils, Frankincense has a variety of notable uses and benefits. This powerful essential oil is revered for its ability to beautify and rejuvenate skin when applied topically and to promote cellular health and immunity and produce a healthy inflammatory response.
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- 2 TBS organic shea butter
- 1 TBS coffee-infused sweet almond oil
- 1 tsp organic rosehip seed oil
- 1 tsp organic yellow (or white) beeswax
- 0.5 tsp Vitamin E oil
- 3 drops Lavender essential oil
- 3 drops Geranium essential oil
- 3 drops Frankincense essential oil
Place shea butter, beeswax, sweet almond oil, and rosehip seed oil in a double boiler. Heat up until everything is melted. Take off the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and pour into a 2 oz jar (or two 1 oz jars or tins).
Unlike a cream, a balm contains no water or other fillers or unnatural ingredients. Thsi is great because there is no need to add any preservative and the balm can last several months without spoiling.
Because the undereye area requires very little of the balm to become hydrated and rejuvenated, this treatment is a very economical option for moisturizing. A 1 oz glass jar will last you about three months.
How to use:
This balm is on the soft side. It’s best to use in the PM on cleansed and toned skin around the eyes. Take a tiny bit on your ring finger or the pinky, and dab lightly around the eyes. Try not to get into the eyes. It’s best to use it several minutes before going to bed in order to give it a chance to sink in and not run into the eyes.
If making it yourself is too much hassle, head over to my Etsy store to get a jar there. For my readers, there is always a coupon for 15% off to use at checkout (BLOG15). Or, get an even bigger discount if you subscribe to the blog (via the pop-up).
I also make a slightly more involved eye serum with hyaluronic acid, Aloe Vera, antioxidant botanical extracts, and essential oils. You can read more about it here.
I hope you’ll enjoy my natural eye balm as much as I do. It’s very luxurious and makes my eyes feel and look healthy and gorgeous. Enjoy!