As I've gotten older, I've started to be tormented by some evil twins: puffy eyes and dry eyes.
These two common conditions make your eyes look irritated and anything but beautiful. But here's the good news: Both can be addressed with a few simple steps.
One of the best ways to deal with puffiness and dryness is to close your eyes, apply a cold compress and relax - maybe even take a nap!
As for products, the best I've found for these issues is the TheraPearl Eye Mask by Bausch + Lomb. It's inexpensive (under $10) and reusable, and it holds the cold for 20 minutes. Pop it in the freezer (for two hours), then take it out whenever you need a quick fix to relieve dry or puffy eyes. (The eye mask is a major multitasker: Use it for sinus headaches, nasal congestion, even post-Botox swelling.)
Puffy eyes can also be treated with a moisturizer made specially for the delicate eye area. (One option: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream.) Using your ring finger, pat (don't rub!) a few drops around the entire eye socket; you should be able to feel the bone with your finger. (Never apply this type of moisturizer directly under or over your lashes - that's too close to the eye.) Now gently pat the area with your fingers, as though you're playing the piano, until it is completely absorbed.
Bonus tip: Use eye cream during the day only; applied at night, it could get into the eyes, causing irritation.
Dry eyes are an even more common complaint, and sometimes only a prescription from your eye doctor can resolve the issue. But for mild cases such as mine, try these tips from New York City ophthalmologist Dr. Monica Lorenzo:
- Wear sunglasses year-round to protect your orbs from the elements.
- Use over-the-counter moisturizing eyedrops such as Optive or Simalsan; steer clear of those offering to "get the red out," as your eyes will only get redder in the long run.
- In order not to overtax your eyes, take a computer break every 20 minutes.
- Raise your desk chair slightly higher than normal; this forces your eyes to look down a bit toward the screen, letting those natrual moisturizers known as your eyelids cover a bit more of your cornea.
Once your eyes are clear and gorgeous again, you can try making them even more beautiful with these everyday makeup tips for women over 45:
For more tips on living your best life, look inside The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts' Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More, and subscribe to The Best of Everything After 50 video series on AARP's YouTube Channel.
Photo: TheraPearl Eye Mask
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