Real Solutions for Dark Circles & Puffy Eyes

Airdate: 6/9/11

Which treatments and products really work to eliminate dark circles and puffy eyes? Find out the solutions for these eye area concerns and more!

Paula Begoun: Hello, This is Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, with my Paula's Choice team, Desiree Stordahl and Bryan Barron. Hi, guys.
Bryan Barron: Hi.
Paula Begoun: Hey! This is a busy show. I have so much to talk about. And I have been typing feverishly to get all of my notes together so I know what the heck I want to say and not jump around like I always do.
00:00:37 But I jump around like I always do, even though I try, believe it or not, I really do try not to. You know, one of the things I want to jump to –
Bryan Barron: I was going to say, "And we're off!"
Paula Begoun: I'm already jumping because I'm adding something we didn't talk about when we were talking about the show, the team and I were talking about this show. We got an interesting letter from a long-time fan.
00:01:06 Somebody who has used my products, Paula's Choice, for a long time, read my books back when I wrote my first book, "Blue Eye Shadow Should be Illegal." And she said she was so disappointed in my work lately because she missed the days when I just recommended a cleanser and no toners and – what else did she say? No toners and just baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
00:01:28 And she was so disappointed, you know my products were costing more money than hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, and I was recommending toners and what happened to me. And had I left my mission? And I think, and I wrote her back, it was actually wonderful feedback, but I get where she got confused because if you only read my book from – even my editions, because I have written 18 books on skincare and beauty – "Blue Eye Shadow Should be Illegal," "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me."
00:02:02 How many editions of that? Four editions of "Blue Eye Shadow Should be Illegal," the "Beauty Bible," four editions, or three editions of that. "Don't Go Shopping for Hair Care Products Without Me." So as I have written, the reason I write new editions isn't because I have nothing else to do. It is because it changes, the research changes. What we know about skincare just in the past five years is radically different than what we knew when I wrote "Blue Eye Shadow Should be Illegal"
00:02:36 The final edition of that book was in the late 80s/early 90s, but even if you just read the fifth or sixth edition, or even the seventh edition of "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," that information has changed. Some of it is exciting that it has changed. Some of it is that the cosmetics industry just keeps launching crazy products and making crazy claims.
00:03:02 But what I recommended 10 years ago or 20 years ago just doesn't pertain anymore. Baking soda is too irritating. Irritation is bad for skin. The research about that is abundant. Hydrogen peroxide, while it was great for acne, disinfected, and absolutely helped keep acne-causing bacteria, it also generates free radical damage, hurts the skin's healing process. I mean I could go on and on.
00:03:28 Toners. The reason I didn't recommend toners 10 years ago is because most toners sucked, they were terrible. And a lot of them still are, just mostly just water and fragrance, a little more than eau de cologne. So just that, just not good for skin, a problem. But now there are some out there that are beautifully formulated, loaded with state-of-the-art ingredients. They are great, don't contain irritants, antioxidants, beautiful formulas and they are great for skin.
00:04:00 I actually believe strongly, not only haven't I abandoned my mission or, I think I haven't changed anything. It's that the research has changed. And each edition on my book, and we update the research and the articles on my website at all the time to keep you up-to-date and to let you know where the state-of-the-art information is about what you should be using on your skin. So I appreciated that feedback from that wonderful – actually she is a customer, a wonderful customer, and I haven't changed, I promise.
00:04:36 The information that is out there that we can provide is better than ever. Our research is more spot on. Our team, Desiree and Bryan and the rest of the team is just wonderful. And we are giving you, and formulating products for you, is absolutely at the top of the game. But keep giving feedback. I love the feedback, talk to me. I want to hear it. Challenge me. I love being challenged.
00:04:49 So, last week, let's see, before we talk about real solutions for dark circles and puffy eyes, last week we had a couple of callers and we didn't have answers to their questions. We got too overwhelmed, not enough time, and actually just didn't have the research in front of us. So we did some research for Jeanne and Kiran. So, Jeanne wanted to know what foundation would give her a dewy look but not shiny for her combination skin.
00:05:32 On air, Bryan recommended Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup, around $24. And Jeanne actually tried it and actually thought she liked it. But we have a few more to recommend as well. Bryan recommends Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer. It is SPF 20 so it also has a great sunscreen and it does have a sheer – not a lot of coverage but it does have a sheer glow and obviously sun protection, too.
00:06:03 As well as Laura Mercier Mineral Powder, SPF 15, also comes in a loose powder. And then believe it or not, Bryan likes Victoria's Secret VS, standing for Victoria's Secret, Makeup Soft Focus Liquid Foundation. Oh, by the way, the Laura Mercier products, actually Jeanne, stick with the Clinique, it's cheaper. The Laura Mercier is $42, the tinted moisturizer. Laura Mercier Mineral Powder is $35. The Victoria's Secret though is just $16.
00:06:34 That's a pretty good bargain and you can go buy a beautiful bra and panty set.
Bryan Barron: That's something they never try to sell me when I am there thankfully.
Paula Begoun: I wonder why, Bryan. But it's good because they cost a lot of money. And they look like very uncomfortable bras and underpants, but then again, they don't carry anything in my size at Victoria's Secret. They must think chubby women don't want to look sexy.
00:06:58 I remember trying on one of those thongs, what do they call them, thongs? I said, who wants that up their backside? How do women wear – what do you just learn to have something itchy up your? What is that? It's like 5-inch heels. I mean I guess the concept is sexy and interesting but in the long run it is a torture device? I don't know, maybe I'm getting old. But then again, I saw Lady Gaga on the cover of "Vogue" and I thought, oh my god, between Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga, I've had enough of the world, I'm going away.
00:07:34 Okay, sorry. For powders, along with the foundations for a sheer glow and that dewy look without looking like you've got sparkles on your face, Avon Ideal Shade Pressed Powder, $9. Giorgio Armani, Bryan loves the silky feel of this Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Powder for $45. And believe it or not, you guys just have to trust us, expensive doesn't mean better – Maybelline Fit Me Pressed Powder, $6.99. Woo-hoo!
Bryan Barron: And both Maybelline and Giorgio Armani are L'Oreal companies.
00:08:07 With the Giorgio Armani powder you are going to get much prettier packaging, and they really do produce a nice range of shades, so if you want to splurge go for it, but you don't need to. You can try that Maybelline option first for $7 and see what you think.
Paula Begoun: It is wild. I forgot that L'Oreal had bought Giorgio Armani. L'Oreal and Estee Lauder just own a ton, a ton of lines.
00:08:30 And then for Kiran, Kiran was the lovely woman of Indian descent and she was looking for a bronzing powder to give her brown skin an extra glow. And we just came up short but now we have the answer for your Kiran, I'm hoping you are listening. Trish McEvoy's Dual Resort Bronzer for $35. Rimmel, and Rimmel gets – you know Rimmel and Sonia Kashuk at Target and Walmart, I think, just have some beautiful products.
00:09:03 Rimmel's Natural Bronzer is $5.49 and Avon, their Mark line of products, BronzePro Bronzing Powder for $10. Kiran, they will work for you and obviously I want you to lead towards the less expensive one and then if we ever meet you can take me out for coffee.
  So, I was going to say something else. Oh, oh gosh, should I talk about my boobs now? Maybe I should save that for the next? A few shows back I talked about the fact that the breast implants I got in the 80s have failed. It took a long time.
00:09:40 Actually they were only supposed to last about 10 years, I have had them in – what is that – it's like 30 years. Oh my god, they are old. Well, I'm old. So I am getting them redone. I found a physician here in the Seattle area whose specialty is breast revisions to redo the implant and redo the skin and everything.
00:10:01 And, I'm getting new – so I'm shopping for breasts. I just want everybody to know I have been looking at boobs crazily, just wondering what the hell I'm going to get. I'm a little nervous. I scheduled it for Labor Day, just before Labor Day weekend. I might put it off. I've actually been losing weight, but I don't want to get into that right now because we have to talk about dark circles. One thing, real quick, so guys I don't want anybody sending me recommendations, showing, but if anybody thinks there is a celebrity who has really great boobs I should consider, send me their names and I will take a look at their –
00:10:39 You know, no, okay. Sorry. Enough about my chest. So, sunscreen, real quick. A lot of scary, ridiculous stories on the internet about sunscreens being bad we are hearing from people that just makes me sick, that their friend, or they are afraid to use sunscreen because it is going to cause cancer. Please, please –
00:11:02 Sunscreens are safe and they are life and skin savers. There is nothing as carcinogenic as the sun. The sun is a killer. You don't protect your skin from the sun, not only will you prematurely age your skin, you absolutely compromise your skin's immune system and there is a growing body of research showing that sun damage, because of how it mutates cells and hurts the skin's immune system, that it causes other health issues.
00:11:38 Please, there is nothing scary about sunscreens. There is everything scary about sun damage. You give up sunscreen, you might as well pick up a cigarette and smoke, because that is as dangerous as the sun. Of course, I don't want you picking up anything like a cigarette.
  Okay, so puffy eyes.
00:12:00 Did I cover everything?
Desiree Stordahl: Yes.
Paula Begoun: Oh, we will talk about sunscreens with body wash next time because I want to get to – I've been carrying on and I really want to get to puffy eyes and dark circles and spend some time, a good amount of time on that.
  So here's what it is about puffy eyes versus dark circles is that some people have one or the other and the really unlucky people have both. And that is a pain.
00:12:28 So, it's interesting that there's some overlap in terms of what makes one worse and improves the other. So let me just start with puffy eyes and then we will go to dark circles. The part of puffy eyes that you can actually do something about is when puffy eyes are about swelling, eczema, irritation when you use skincare products around the eye that contain irritating ingredients.
00:12:57 What retention when you are eating a high – you know soy sauces and salt and processed foods that help you, that make it so you retain water. Obviously drinking, smoking, getting enough sleep, yada, yada, yada – we all know that one. Too much alcohol, you might as well, again, just smoking, not getting enough sleep – that's very hard to fight and get over it.
00:13:29 And then drinking and smoking obviously makes dark circles worst, over-drinking and smoking – smoking just causes skin to be necrotic, causes it to darken and yellow. So there's nothing you can do to undo the damage from that. Getting enough sleep, that's actually not as problematic as drinking and smoking. And, of course, sun damage. Sun damage particularly for dark circles is just terrible, but it's also for puffy eyes because it weakens the structure of the skin; weakens the collagen in the skin under the eye that is holding the tissues together to prevent fat pads from pouching through.
00:14:08 Fat pads you can't do anything about when it comes to skincare products. And the way you can tell the difference between whether or not your puffy eyes are a result of fat pads versus swelling and edema, pooling of water under the eye when you are lying down. The things that I am going to recommend that you do to reduce swelling –
00:14:33 If they don't work and you still have fat pads, you still have puffy eyes, then almost without exception that is about fat pads. Then you can't, there's nothing to do about fat pads. You can't make them go away with a lotion or cream. That's all about cosmetic surgery. And you know it's funny about blepharoplasty which is what they call an eye-tuck.
00:15:00 In some areas of the country it is actually only $3,000. In some areas it is much higher, particularly if you are in a big city. But generally it is somewhere between $3,000 to $7,000. And when I think of the money that women are going to spend every time a cosmetic company launches a new product and says, "We'll get rid of your puffy eyes and we will get rid of your dark circles," and they don't. Obviously they don't, or the thousands they launched over the past years would have worked already they wouldn't have needed to launch a new one.
00:15:30 But, you know, we hope the next one has the answer and we think about buying it and then – so, I know it is so hard, people go, "I don't want cosmetic surgery," and believe me, if you don't want cosmetic surgery, do not get cosmetic surgery. However, if you are looking for something that works, if the problem under your eye is fat pads, blepharoplasty is one of the few answers that is 100% certain that it will take care of it. Obviously there are risks.
00:16:00 But it is a solution. If it is swelling, meaning water pooling, edema, sleeping with your head slightly elevated, that should make a huge difference. Again, avoiding irritating skincare products, particularly eye makeup removers that you are wiping over your eye – when they contain cleansing agents that are too strong or coloring agents or fragrance which is just ridiculous in an eye product—that can cause irritation which causes swelling.
00:16:34 You would be surprised the number of eye products out there that you put around your eye that irritate the eye and cause swelling if you are washing your face with bar soap, if you are washing your face with drying, irritating cleansers that we didn't rate highly on Beautypedia, then you are going to have problems. You're either going to be constantly puffy from the irritation. You got to stop using irritating products.
00:16:59 Try sleeping with your head slightly elevated. Be gentle with your skin. No hot water. You really need to pay attention to that. Now, some swelling around the eye is about allergies, particularly this time of year. Btu for some people like me, I have allergies all year long, and then you might want to talk to your physician about an antihistamine or you can consider an over-the-counter antihistamine. You will know within a few days if that has improved, if allergies are the problem.
00:17:29 Because some people have low level allergies and don't even know it, but your eyes are telling you that they are there. And antihistamines can be an incredible solution and, again, you might want to check with your physician, but there are over-the-counter antihistamines to consider. You see in terms of cool compresses for puffy eyes, you know, I don't know – sure, you want to put some cold compresses on, if you have the time. I don't know who the hell has the time, but if you have the time, fine. But, if it is swelling, these other things are far more significant, not to mention if you just get up and walk around.
00:18:05 If it is about edema it will go down, however if it is about irritated skin, just getting up and walking around will make a difference. And the cool compresses won't change that either.
  A small eye vibrator that you might have seen around – you know they are kind of fun. They can move swelling. They can help stimulate the skin and reduce swelling. If you overdo it you will actually cause more swelling.
00:18:30 So I'm kind of 50/50 on the small eye vibrators you can use because you can overdo it and overdoing is always a problem. So, just to go over it one more time for puffy eyes: if it is about fat pads, cosmetic surgery, what they call blepharoplasty. Save your money. That is absolutely going to make a huge difference. If it is about swelling, if is about edema, sleep with your head slightly elevated. Please stop using anything irritating around the eye. That is a huge problem.
00:19:00 Pay attention to your salt concentration. Again, you know about the too much drinking, smoking, getting enough sleep. We know that one. Don't do those. They are – everything else won't work when those are predominant aspects of your life.
  Antihistamines to find out, check to see if it is about allergies. And cool compresses – eh – no one has time. And the small eye vibrator – well actually the one thing about a small eye vibrator, it would work faster than the cool compress, but you know it is worth giving it a try there.
00:19:36 They are cheap. They are like six bucks. You can buy them online. Dermal fillers for puffy eyes. There are Restylane and Hyaluron and those kinds of things – there are physicians who do use those. However, it is controversial. A lot of physicians, a lot of dermatologists and plastic surgeons don't recommend it because it can move and shift and actually make matters worse.
00:20:00 So the community, the dermatologist/plastic surgeon community is actually divided on the issue. I tend to be very cautious and I am very skeptical about injecting fillers under the eye because of the risks. The eye area, the skin is thinner, it's hollow, it is very easy to get the material to the pool. I don't' think it is a great idea, but again, you will talk to a dermatologist who uses it all the time. They will say, "Oh, no problem, it's wonderful."
00:20:32 Just know that the community, the medical community is split on the issue.
  Dark circles. Dark circles are primarily hereditary. That means it is based on your genes and your ethnic background and that makes it very difficult when it is genes. There is limited things you can do when that just happens to be part of how you have skin color, darker skin color around the eye area, particularly say for South Asians, the people whose background is Indian.
00:21:04 But another cause of dark circles, I am going to have some ideas when it is genetic, but let's just go through the causes. Surface capillaries, when blood vessels are really close to the surface, that blue color through skin tone can show up as dark. And that can cause dark circles.
00:21:28 Sun damage. That is a big one. The sun damage, because the skin is so thin around the eye, any sun damage will show up sooner under the eye area then they would on other parts of your face or body for that matter. There is also the issue of not protecting your skin from the sun separate from sun damage and the kind of sunscreens you use.
  So let's say you are being good about using sunscreen because you know that sun damage is the problem –
00:22:02 Could be why you have dark circles. But definitely even if you have hereditary dark circles, not protecting your eye from the sun will absolutely make matters worse. But sunscreen that contains synthetic sunscreen agents, not because they are bad, but because they can be irritating are problematic for the skin around the eyes. So anything you use around the eye for daytime needs to have a sunscreen. But the sunscreen should only be where the active ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and that's it.
00:22:41 So make sure that the active ingredients only say titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Do not use any sunscreen that contains a synthetic sunscreen agent. Again, it's not that it is bad, it's just that irritation on the eye area shows up with problems the fastest, either causing swelling and puffy eyes, or making dark circles look worse.
00:23:08 Let's go back to the surface capillary issue. So, surface capillaries and blood flow into the veins and blood vessels under the eye and around the eye is a major reason a lot of people have dark circles. Vitamin K in eye products that say that they can affect dark circles is just silly.
00:23:33 There's no way around it, it's just silly. Because vitamin K as a vitamin, as something as a supplement in the body is about, and the research about it, is about blood clotting. It is about vessels that spill over blood and helping the vein or the blood vessels to clot. Surface capillaries are about the blood vessels, not unhealthy blood vessels, but rather happy, strong blood vessels, pumping blood up to the surface of skin, not breaking and spilling over –
00:24:11 Spilling over red blood. Because if it did spill red blood out onto the skin, under the eye, you would have a different problem than just dark circles. Blood clotting is not an issue for why the under eye area is dark
00:24:30 However, even if that was the case, I have seen no research showing that vitamin K repairs or improves capillaries or blood vessels when you put it on topically. And having interviewed doctors that specialize in how your veins and arteries work, they think it is ridiculous, they think it is crazy.
  There is one study that people point to often that show that vitamin K when used with this product that was tested –
00:25:06 The dermatologist/doctor who did the study seems to have worked for the company who makes this product, contained vitamin K and vitamin E and vitamin C and a few retinols, but despite the fact that it wasn't done comparing it to any other product, it wasn't done double-blind. It was just a study looking at this product. And even though it contained other ingredients besides vitamin K, the research concluded that the success was because of the vitamin K when vitamin K wasn't the only ingredient.
00:24:41 It's nonsense. But, it's not dangerous. So as long as you use well-formulated sunscreens around the eye, as long as you use well-formulated moisturizers; it doesn't have to be an eye cream. There's nothing about an eye cream that makes it beneficial for the eye.
00:25:59 There are a lot of badly formulated eye creams out there, not to mention they come in jars. And if they have good ingredients, the ingredients wouldn't stay stable. Loaded with antioxidants. Your sunscreen during the day and your moisturizer at night can have a huge benefit for the eye area.
  For dark circles, the other thing is hydroquinone which blocks melanin production is something that you see recommended by dermatologists for use around the eye.
00:26:29 I would be concerned about irritation but you can always test it to see if it works, because definitely if built-up dark skin cells is the problem, then hydroquinone absolutely blocks it. There's no question about that.
Bryan Barron: And you will see results in what, Paula, you said about six to eight weeks, and then if you don't see any results you know that that is not the cause of your dark circles.
Paula Begoun: Right. Exactly. So you would use the hydroquinone to see if it worked, if you wanted to test it out. First, of course, you would test it to see if it is too, how it works for your face.
  00:27: 04 I'm skeptical, I really think hydroquinone can be too irritating for that part of the face. But, you know, there's no question that it can work. I mean if it is melanin build up. But if it is not melanin build up, if it is the surface capillaries that is causing the problem, blood vessels – that – it won't get you the results you want, that's for sure. And then you would stop using it because it didn't work.
00:27:29 And sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Let me say it again: sunscreen. But only mineral-based sunscreens. Your concealer can also contain sunscreen. Your face moisturizer that you use around your eye can contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as well. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.
  Oh, the other thing about dark circles, there is pretty decent research that treatments that cosmetic dermatologists do with a laser called a 1064 Nanometer, sorry for the technical terminology.
00:28:00 But this is this machine, this type of machine. There are many brands that use this 1064 Nanometer Q-Switched Laser. Some incredible results for brown discolorations if melanin is indeed the issue. And of course, concealer. Here's the trick with concealer is that you use a concealer that is only one to 1.5 top two shades lighter than your foundation.
00:28:33 If you go too white or too light with a foundation around your eye, you can get that raccoon, that reverse raccoon look where you have got this white mask around your eye. That doesn't diminish the dark circles. It just makes the face look strange. So one to 1.5 tops two – it is absolutely a great thing to test out at the cosmetic counter to see how it works for your skin.
00:29:01 We've talked about concealer, how to put it on before on another show so I am not going to into that right now. But, concealer, concealer, concealer. When all is said and done, you have got the right concealer, it goes a long way because everything I'm recommending, even the laser, even the blepharoplasty is not 100%.
  We've got to stop hoping for 100%. It is exhausting, ladies, and it is costing you a fortune.
00:29:29 You can get a lot, but what you absolutely can't get is you can't get it in a jar! The promises the cosmetic companies make about their products for their dark circles and puffy eyes, they are lying. I know none of you have bought a product that has made a difference or you all would not have tuned into my show tonight because you would have already found one. I'm sure you have all used a dozen of them and probably more. Stop searching around. It just has to be a well-formulated moisturizer.
00:30:00 Go to Beautypedia. Of course I love it when you use my products, Paula's Choice,, but the major thing is to use great products around your eye. Don't irritate the eye. You will look great – I promise.
  First caller, Desiree.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Kim from Ohio on the line.
Paula Begoun: Hi Kim.
Kim: Hi Paula, how are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good, how are you?
Kim: I'm doing okay. I have a question for you regarding dark circles.
00:30:29 As I am aging I am finding that my biggest dilemma other than a few fine lines is these dark circles. And I really don't feel it is related to lack of sleep or nutrition. It just seems like they are getting darker and darker. And a friend of mine had told me about a product called Bruise Relief which is actually of course for bruises but supposedly it is supposed to help the dark circles.
00:30:56 And I was just wondering if you had heard about that and what your thoughts were.
Paula Begoun: So, Bryan, could you quickly look up this product and see if is a vitamin K product?
Bryan Barron: I'll bet it is. And they are advertising right on their site, "effectively care for your under eye skin." Blah, blah, blah, dark circle, dark circle.
Paula Begoun: Do they have ingredients there?
Bryan Barron: Oh my gosh, of course there is a little bit of family history there. We love those stories where somebody came up with something in their own kitchen.
Paula Begoun: Well, okay, so while Bryan is looking at that Kim, let me –
Bryan Barron: I am looking for it to see what the heck is in it.
Paula Begoun: They never like telling you what's in it.
Bryan Barron: Well, or they really make you hunt for it.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Kim: It did say –
00:31:43 I found somewhere where it said glycerin, vitamin E oil, evening primrose oil and a thickener known as carbomer.
Bryan Barron: Carbomer? Okay.
Kim: Carbomer. And I'm sure there is more stuff, but that's all I know of.
Paula Begoun: Well that's not fair.
00:32:03 You've got the –
Bryan Barron: They are using all of the buzz words, "patent pending," and "all-natural" and "safe for sensitive skin." Okay, here are the ingredients – distilled water, glycerin, vitamin E oil, evening primrose oil, and carbomer – just like she said. That is all that they are listing.
Paula Begoun: No! Oh, that can't be a complete ingredient list. Because there is no preservative and those ingredients would go rancid. They wouldn't last even in the best packaging. So, okay –
00:32:30 So, first of all, two things: one is that dark circles under the eyes are not a bruise. They are unrelated to bruising. Everything else I just mentioned, genetics, sun damage. Some of the aging that you think the dark circles are related to is probably related more to sun damage. And some of it is that as you – how old are you, Kim?
Kim: I'm 42.
Paula Begoun: So, as we age, depending on our facial structures, one of the things that happens is that the eye starts sinking.
00:32:59 Like when you think about seeing older people you notice that their eye gets deeper in their face and that is simply because the eye is a hollow and there is no support structure under it. So, as you age, the eye tends to start sagging faster and recede into that socket. There is just less support structure. And especially if we haven't been good about sun damage, if we haven't been good about wearing sun glasses, that will all add up to a problem.
00:33:25 The idea that – first of all, even if it was about dark circles, that's not even a convincing formula, I mean about bruising, that's not even an interesting formula for bruising. I wouldn't call that anything for bruising. And if it was a bruise, then you treat it like a bruise. You put some cold compresses on it, you wear sunscreen, you put a good moisturizer loaded with antioxidants – this isn't even that loaded with antioxidants. And actually, vitamin E is kind of interesting. The research about vitamin E shows that it can be a skin irritant which means irritation would give you puffy eyes.
Bryan Barron: Well in the form of pure concentrated vitamin E oil –
Paula Begoun: Right, the pure concentrated, not the other.
00:34:04 There are types of vitamin E that would not be a problem, but in this case they are actually using the oil.
Bryan Barron: Right, as if you just popped open a vitamin E capsule. Because a lot of people like doing that for scars or stretch marks because there is anecdotal information out there that it helps and they end up getting a pretty strong skin reaction that lands them at the dermatologist.
Paula Begoun: Right, because it can be so allergic or sensitizing. So, a long story short, don't buy that product.
Kim: Okay.
Paula Begoun: Don't buy that product.
00:34:36 It has nothing to do with why – first of all it's a bad – just what they listed makes it not worthwhile even for any skincare concern. Definitely nothing about bruising and dark circles aren't about bruising, Kim. So, what I'm going to send you, I'm going to send you a couple of my products that I think would be – you know, you can always go on Beautypedia and see other products we recommend from other lines because we want to give everybody the best information about anybody's product out there.
00:35:07 I'm going to send you a couple of my antioxidant serums, particularly the one from my Resist line and I'm also going to send you one from my Skin Recovery line. And I'm going to send you the moisturizer I use around my eyes from my line that I just love which is my Moisture Boost Treatment. And my Resist sunscreen, even though you will think it is an eye, it's a face product, there is no such thing as an eye cream other than the label.
00:35:35 It's about brilliantly formulated products with great ingredients. There's no research showing the eye area needs anything different than the face. So, I'm going to send you my new Resist sunscreen and those two antioxidant concentrates and the Moisture Boost Treatment. And then I want you to call us back in a couple of weeks and tell me how you are doing.
Kim: Okay, Paula, thank you so much.
Paula Begoun: All right, take care Kim.
00:36:04 Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Jennifer from California on the line.
Paula Begoun: Hi, Jennifer.
Jennifer: Hi Paula.
Paula Begoun: What can I do for you?
Jennifer: Well, I'm calling because I am a new mom. And like many new moms, sometimes I get sleep deprived, especially if I have had a rough night with my daughter. And I just end up looking tired.
Paula Begoun: I know.
00:36:33 Well actually I don't know. I actually have never had children. But I have a sense of what it is like, like when I am working on a book and I'm up all night. Believe me, I get it. I get it. So, I'm sorry, finish your question, Jennifer.
Jennifer: Sure. Well, I'm just wondering if there is anything I can do to look more awake? I don't know if there is some different makeup tricks I can use or if there is skincare products I can use to just sort of – I don't know.
Paula Begoun: Let me tell you.
00:37:05 First, tell me what you are doing for your skincare routine right now, Jennifer.
Jennifer: Sure. Well I am using your products. I have actually been using your products since, I think, 2004. So it has been awhile and I love them by the way.
Paula Begoun: Thank you.
Jennifer: So, right now I have been using the Moisture Boost, the 1 Step Cleanser. My skin is more on the normal-to-dry. And although I have been trying out the new Resist one which I think I am probably actually going to switch because it is working really well.
00:37:36 And during the day I use the Moisture Boost, the SPF 20. And at night I use the Hydrating Treatment Cream.
Paula Begoun: Okay. Have you tried any of our antioxidant concentrates? Have you tried any of those?
Jennifer: I haven't.
Bryan Barron: And what about an exfoliant?
Jennifer: A while back I was using the 1%, the BHA lotion.
00:38:06 I stopped recently just because I don't know if it is bad for while I'm breastfeeding still. I'm sure that is totally a stretch, but I don't know. I listened to the show when you had the dermatologist on and she --
Paula Begoun: No, she doesn't like – right, Dr. Rogers doesn't like – isn't that right, Bryan? She doesn't like salicylic acid?
Bryan Barron: It's a category C drug which means a risk cannot be ruled out.
00:38:34 And we know that salicylic acid can – that it penetrates the skin. That trace amounts do get into the body. They are excreted but when you are pregnant or nursing there is that – it's a small concern.
Paula Begoun: It's the same issue of taking aspirin, because salicylic acid is --
Bryan Barron: Right.
Jennifer: I kind of figured it was a stretch, but I'm avoiding it anyway just in case.
Paula Begoun: No, I love being conservative.
00:39:01 So here is what I'm going to do, Jennifer. One is that I am going to send you my antioxidant concentrate from the Paula's Choice line because it has such a soothing glow it leaves on the skin. And I'm also going to send you my AHA resurfacing system because alpha hydroxy acids aren't a problem at all for any reason.
Bryan Barron: Paula, remember the Daily Smoothing Treatment has a little bit of salicylic acid in it, so why don't we just send her the liquid one.
Paula Begoun: Oh, god.
00:39:36 I have no memory. Right, what does it have, 0.5%?
Bryan Barron: Yeah, it's just a tiny amount, but if we are being careful let's skip that one.
Paula Begoun: Let's be careful. And you use it once a week and I think that will help a lot. But in this case, Jennifer, a lot of what you are experiencing in the morning is because moms don't get a chance to put their makeup on.
Jennifer: Oh yeah.
Paula Begoun: And if you can get the moments to get on a little foundation and a little blush, and a little lipstick, and a little mascara.
00:40:09 Or just foundation and blush, and a little concealer under the eye, if you could just get two or three steps in, and cut your hair short. Please, I know --
Jennifer: I've been meaning to actually. My hair has actually grown quite a bit since I've had her because I just haven't had time to get it cut.
00:40:30 So, I know, I need to do it.
Paula Begoun: You know what it is, I see women carrying their babies, their hair is hanging like string all over their face, it is getting caught, the kid is playing with it and pulling and they are screaming that they are pulling. It's a mess. It will grow back ladies, I promise.
  When you got kids on the hip, I'm telling you. And just the time to take care of it. And even when you have time you don't really have time. And you are feeling haggard anyway.
00:41:00 A short, cutesy little haircut can absolutely brighten your face because you don't have this hair hanging that looks all disheveled. I'm telling you, Jennifer, use the skincare products, get a little bit of blush and a little bit of lipstick and foundation, maybe a little concealer on. If you could get a little mascara on, that even adds to the deal. But that – and the short haircut I'm telling you – will save you time and you will, I promise, feel and look peppy despite the fact that you were up all night with a crying kid.
00:41:38 Yeah, just – I'm telling you, Jennifer, you will love me. Really. Honest, honest, honest.
Jennifer: Great. Well I already do, like I said, I love your products.
Paula Begoun: Thank you, dear. Thanks for calling.
Jennifer: I will just love you more.
Paula Begoun: Thanks for calling and give the baby a kiss.
Jennifer: I will.
Paula Begoun: All right, take care. Desiree?
Desiree Stordahl: All right, we have Chastity from New Mexico on the line.
Paula Begoun: Chastity.
Chastity: Yes!
00:42:03 I can't believe I got through. I'm so happy.
Paula Begoun: Hi Chastity. You know, I'm always wondering –
Bryan Barron: You're our 25th caller!
Chastity: Oh, I'm just so happy. I've been waiting and waiting, anticipating, telling the kids, "Be quiet, don't come bug me, I'm on the phone."
Paula Begoun: While you have this little window away from the kids let me figure out what I can do for you. Tell me what's going on Chastity.
Chastity: Besides the topic today is my huge one, my other one is do I need a combination skin type products?
00:42:33 I'm using Skin Balancing and the Resist line to fight both of my pain in the hiney areas. And I don't know, am I over killing it? Or is it needed after you get to a certain age and have all kinds of problems?
Paula Begoun: I'm not following your questions. Say it again?
Chastity: You know, for the Skin Balancing line, as you know for combination skin, can help with blackheads, blemishes.
00:43:03 Then the Resist line is –
Paula Begoun: Oh, I see what you are asking. I see what you are asking.
Chastity: So I have been using both of those, then the Moisture Boost moisturizer under my eyes because that is my only dry spot. And I didn't know for sure, do I need all of these or not?
Paula Begoun: Well it depends what all is. Tell me, so what cleanser are you using?
Chastity: I use the Skin Balancing cleanser.
Paula Begoun: And then what's next?
Chastity: And the Skin Balancing toner.
00:43:32 Then during the day I use the Skin Balancing serum and then the Skin Balancing SPF, or sometimes with the new Resist sunscreen which is the best thing in the world, I will use that, too, if I am feeling a little bit drier. And then in the evening I do the Resist line.
Paula Begoun: So wait one second. So, I would encourage you to stay with the Resist SPF 25. Especially given you just said you thought it was the best thing.
Chastity: It is.
Paula Begoun: It is better protection.
00:44:06 It is just titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It is going to be gentler around your eyes.
Chastity: Yes, I have noticed that.
Paula Begoun: For the skin type I hear you talking about, the Skin Balancing is really strictly for more combination skin than what you are talking about. So, I think what you've got going for the daytime sounds great. Now give me nighttime.
Chastity: Nighttime I still use the Skin Balancing cleanser and toner.
00:44:38 But then I will use the Resist serum and then depending on what day of the week it is I sometimes use your two new AHA Resist products which I can't think of off my hand.
Paula Begoun: So the Smooth and Resurfacing Treatment, go on.
Chastity: Yes, ma'am.
00:44:59 And then I will use the one with the hydroquinone because I have tons of freckles that after having kids have kind of merged together, so now I have a lot of bigger, lighter brown spots from tons of sun damage when I was a kid.
Paula Begoun: Right, right.
Chastity: So I use that in the evening.
Paula Begoun: And then your moisturizer is what at night?
Chastity: I will use the Moisture Boost under my eyes and sometimes I have to – I have been using, I don't know if this is good or not, your –
00:45:35 For the dry skin that was for lips and body treatment. Sometimes I have been putting a little bit of that at night under my eyes. Because right there on the outside corner of both of my eyes, when I put the concealer on, it still looks so dry.
Paula Begoun: You know, I do the same thing.
Chastity: Oh, okay.
Bryan Barron: I have done that, too.
Paula Begoun: I don't get as dry as you are saying all the time.
00:45:59 But I definitely can get dry and irritated at the corner of my eyes, particularly when my allergies are kicking in. I think what you are doing – how's your skin doing?
Chastity: Actually my skin is very good except for my constant blackheads on my nose and my chin which are the only places I have blackheads. But other than that, my skin is almost close to being normal except for my forehead is slightly oily. But other than that, it has improved tremendously since using your products.
Paula Begoun: Well, of course I love hearing that.
00:46:34 So here's what it is, Chastity. The blackheads on the nose are absolutely the hardest thing when you've got combination skin or oily skin or blemish-prone skin. One of the hardest things to kick out.
  We have a section on, it's all about blackhead removal, what to do about it.
  I think that you will want to either consider getting a facial, not because they will talk you into buying facial products, but when you see a really great aesthetician who knows how to do extractions and get rid of blackheads.
00:47:08 But you can also take a look on, I have an article about how to do it yourself. Sometimes you just need to use a comedone extractor that helps you get the top layer of that blackhead out. And then you continue using the AHA or BHA.
  I am going to send you my 2% BHA.
Chastity: Oh yes, that is what I also use.
00:47:30 I completely forgot. I use that during the day. That's my daytime exfoliant.
Paula Begoun: Okay, be careful that you are not overdoing it. And I would concentrate the BHA over the oilier areas, and then when you use the AHA at night, concentrate that on the drier areas. And then if you are still struggling with blackheads, then you need to consider the comedone extractor and check out my article about how to use that and what it looks like and the technique.
00:48:00 Or, see an aesthetician because sometimes you just have to get that black sucker out of there. There is just no way around it. A blackhead doesn't always just resolve.
Chastity: No, they sure don't.
Paula Begoun: Especially for stubborn skin. It doesn't just resolve no matter – you are using all the right things. There isn't anything else. You have the right skincare system down. Now you have to consider –
00:48:25 You know when my new retinol product comes out which I probably shouldn't have said; Kate is going to kill me.
Chastity: I kind of heard about that a few shows back. I was so excited.
Paula Begoun: I keep doing that. I have to stop doing that. I will be curious to see – we are experimenting with it right now and doing some panel testing. I'm wondering in terms of a serum, I don't know how much I think it would help blackheads. But, you know, I'm always surprised. But you are using the niacinamides, the skin toner, the Skin Balancing toner had niacinamide, and that has research showing it helps.
  But even with all of that, you are still going to have blackheads when you have the tendency and sometimes you just can't do anything about it.
Chastity: Yeah, I do everything perfect, and I think, what's up with these blackheads?
Paula Begoun: I'm telling you, it ain't fun.
00:49:05 So Chastity, I'm going to send you some more of my Skin Balancing products, except not the sunscreen because I want you to stay with the Resist SPF 25. And I am going to send you some more of the Moisture Boost and stay looking gorgeous. Thank you for calling, Chastity.
Chastity: Thank you so much.
  Paula Begoun. Take care.
00:49:30 Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: Rebecca from Georgia.
Paula Begoun: Hi Rebecca.
Rebecca: Hi Paula. I'm so excited to get on.
Paula Begoun: What can I do for you?
Rebecca: I have really bad dark circles under my eyes. And I know that they are genetic because other people in my family have them. And part of my problem is that my eyes are set really far back in my head and I was wondering if the issues with the circles if that is part of the problem, is that I have like shadows literally from my eyes.
00:50:02 And if there is anything that I can do to remedy that.
Paula Begoun: I can't believe I left that out. Oh, I am so embarrassed. Oh my god!
Rebecca: You mentioned it a little bit, I think when you were talking to the person --
Paula Begoun: I did, I said that your eye can sink back as we age. Oh, shadow. Yes. Some people depending on how their eye is set in their head, when they are deep set you are going to get a shadow that falls from the eyebrow down that tends to be deepest at the inset underneath the eye area next to the lower lashes –
00:50:42 Because that is just the deep part of the eye. And so when it is a shadow, you know, and the easiest way to tell if it is a shadow is you take a magnifying mirror and you go outside in the daylight and you look straight up into the daylight and straight out into the daylight –
00:51:00 And if you still got shadow, you know, even in bright light, if you still have a shadow falling on the eye and it is still looking dark, then it is about the shadow. And it can also be about – one of the things about dark circles or puffy eyes is given everything I listed is that it is often a combination of factors. In other words you could be using irritating skincare products, you can have allergies. You can be sleeping flat and not a little elevated and causing pooling.
00:51:30 Sun damage and increased melanin concentration. Not using products loaded with antioxidants that cause soothing and help healing around the eye. Not using a sunscreen around the eye or not, using a sunscreen that contains only titanium oxide and zinc. So it can be a combination of factors. Genetics, like I was mentioning with fat pads shifting around, so it is often a combination.
00:51:58 So, yes, absolutely, it can be about a shadow. And in that case, I mean it could be other things, too, so you would want to pay attention to the other things I have been talking about, but in this case, then it is all about concealer. And for daytime using a really good concealer. And then when you are not wearing makeup, a really moist moisturizer that puts a little bit of a glow under the eye. Some of these moisturizers with a little bit of shine can really – it's not going to camouflage anything.
00:52:31 But when skin looks a little bit more moist, a little bit more dewy/glowy, it can absolutely make it – not shiny. Shiny will pop wrinkles. You don't want shiny. I'm talking glowy, dewy, moist. That can help a lot. What moisturizer, Rebecca, are you using around your eye?
Rebecca: I use the Skin Balancing gel.
Paula Begoun: Okay, that's not enough. That's for the rest of your face.
00:53:00 I take it from what you are describing the under eye area is probably drier than your face?
Rebecca: A little bit but not significantly.
Paula Begoun: Let's try something that gives you a little bit more, because the Skin Balancing gel is relatively a matte finish. It is meant for combination skin. You don't want really a matte finish under the eye area. I mean it contains brilliant ingredients for under the eye area, as well as the face, it's just that the gel finish isn't the best to get you that glowy look around the eye.
00:53:33 So I'm going to send you a couple of things. I'm going to send you Paula's Choice Super Antioxidant Concentrate from my Resist line. I would like you to try that. I'm also going to send you my new Resist sunscreen SPF 25 from the Resist line. You will love it. It is wonderful. You can use it all over your face and around the eye. It is gentle, not irritating, because you have to protect the eye from sun damage.
00:54:00 And then I am also going to send you my Moisture Boost because it is the one I use, I can't help myself.
Rebecca: I've got that one as well.
Paula Begoun: Do you use that under the eye area?
Rebecca: I do occasionally, but at night, yeah.
Paula Begoun: So I'm going to suggest you use that and then put the serum, the Super Antioxidant serum over that. And then use the Moisture Boost under the eye during the day, just a little bit, and see if that doesn't help get you more of that glowy kind of look.
00:54:28 And I am going to send you my Paula's Choice concealer just to see if you like the concealer I created and see if that works for you. But I think that could be a really good combination.
Rebecca: Okay.
Paula Begoun: Does that help?
Rebecca: Yeah, and I have been using the Skin Balancing Mattifying Sunscreen so that is probably not what I should use under my eyes, is that what you are saying?
Paula Begoun: Right, that is exactly what I am saying. That's why I am sending you the Resist. I mean, you could use it under your face, there's no problem on the face.
00:55:05 It is because the eye area is just that little bit more sensitive that I am extra cautious given everything else that we do to our eyes, that I think this will go a long way. Again, some people can tolerate synthetic sunscreen agents around their eyes just fine, but you know, titanium and zinc oxide just is so gentle and such effective sunscreen agents.
00:55:28 And as Bryan said, because they have a slight, little bit of a light-ish cast, that they naturally have, so it adds a little bit of lightness around the eye. You also get a little bit of a glow, a lighter glow. It works a little bit like a concealer. So give those a shot. I think you will be happier with what is going on for your skin.
Rebecca: Okay, great. Well thank you so much.
Paula Begoun: All right, thank you Rebecca. My pleasure. So I know I always get in trouble Desiree when at the very last minute I think I can get another question in. I can't, can I?
00:56:02 Is that going to happen?
Desiree Stordahl: I don't think you will get to it.
Paula Begoun: Okay, all right. Oh, I love you ladies out there! I'm sorry. You know I was on Facebook today answering questions live and I can't tell you how much I learn from all of you when you ask me questions and you challenge my team and myself and get us to think and how we make recommendations and the products we create.
00:56:29 You feedback is a miracle. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy this process. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  So we continue doing this. We love it. So, next week, keeping you "Beautifully Informed," the Paula's Choice team is going to be talking about anti-aging super foods for your skin and body. We are having Deborah Enos back. Deborah Enos has helped me get my little health – oh gosh – you know my numbers did not come in so good, but I'm exercising. I have to tell Deborah, I'm exercising now.
00:57:01 I'm off of Splenda. I can't believe I'm off of Splenda. That is just like so shocking to me. I do use Truvia. Truvia came out with a product, is it Truvia, where it doesn't have a bitter after taste, and it really doesn't. It's actually kind of shocking. So I use a little bit of that, but just a little. I'm really cutting down on my sweet tooth. And she is going to share what she knows about super foods. Thank you, Deborah Enos. You are wonderful. You are a lifestyle-changing woman.
Desiree Stordahl: Also our callers on that week will get a copy of her free book, those whose call we take. So that is an incentive.
Paula Begoun: Will get her book free?
Desiree Stordahl: Yes.
Paula Begoun: Because her book isn't typically free.
00:57:40 On the 23rd we are going to talk about, speaking of blackheads and open pores, we are going to talk about how to shrink them. And of course in the meantime you can always look on for the articles we have written. But we are going to take your questions about it. We are going to talk about the process, how to make a difference.
00:57:59 As best we can we are going to get rid of blackheads. Oh, I'm sorry, that is not going to be a live show, that's going to be a rerun. But listen anyways because it is pretty much going to sound live because it was live at one time.
  On the 30th – five skincare products you should know about to treat aging skin. To treat wrinkled skin. On the 7th – July 7th – I can't believe we are talking after July 4th – Desiree, what are we talking about? Oh, foundation!
Desiree Stordahl: Foundation.
Paula Begoun: I'm sorry, Desiree?
Desiree Stordahl: The Foundation Show is on the 7th.
Paula Begoun: Yes, we are going to talk about how to choose the best foundation for your skin type. Which foundation works best. And we are going to give you our favorite foundations and we are going to be giving away Paula's Choice foundations.
  And then on the 14th we are having Dr. Leslie Baumann, she is a renowned dermatologist from Florida, about how to look younger without surgery. She is a physician who knows everything about lasers and dermal fillers and peels, alpha hydroxy peels, and salicylic acid peels and the whole bit.
00:59:10 So stay tuned, every Thursday, live from Seattle, with the Paula's Choice team keeping you Beautifully Informed. And me, Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. And please come visit us at Bye-bye.
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