Your Own Private Eye Spa

Your Own Private Eye Spa

By Anne Ellegood

These days, it seems like we're all pretty stressed. The things we face every day – traffic, hectic schedules, irritating coworkers – slowly chip away at our sanity, to the point where we all need an outlet – some way to relax and recover, to recharge mind and body.

Some women and men carve out time in their schedules to indulge in spa vacations – saunas and mud baths and seaweed wraps. Others can only find time for mini-retreats at home: a long hot bath, a massage from a friend after a tense day. All of this self-pampering can definitely help, but most people overlook one area that, in many cases, desperately needs the attention: The eyes.

Too often, it seems, we take our eyes for granted – forgetting what a gift they are, and how often we use them. We soak our feet when they're sore and moisturize our skin when it's dry, but our eyes get tired and neglected, too, and deserve the same indulgence.

Hopefully, you're already taking basic steps for your eyes – getting enough rest, drinking plenty of water, eating the right foods, taking the proper supplements (for some tips on proper eye diet, click here). Still, there are other things you can do that may help alleviate stress and strain on your eyes, and keep them healthy and sparkling for years to come.

If you wear contact lenses, for instance, you should always take great care to keep your lenses moisturized. OPTI-FREE® RepleniSH® contact solution offers long-lasting moisture that helps keep your contacts feeling moist and comfortable throughout the day. If you find yourself having a particular dry spell, rewetting drops can head the problem off at the pass.

In addition to that, many people use a few simple homemade spa remedies that may work wonders on tired, puffy eyes. They're made with all natural ingredients, and may help refresh and rejuvenate your eyes. Still, it's always a good idea to be careful and talk to your doctor before attempting any sort of spa treatment. Make sure to check for any allergies or eye conditions.

That said, let's get started!

Cucumber slices – Cucumber slices aren't just for salads. They can also make a soothing treatment for puffy eyes (after those long hours or late nights). Slice some fresh, chilled, cucumbers into ¼ slices. Place over your closed eyes, and let them rest for at least a half an hour – the longer though, the better. By the time you remove the slices, the puffiness should be gone, and you should look more refreshed. HINT: Out of cucumbers? Raw, sliced potato can also do the trick!

Tea bags – If you are a tea drinker, here's a great way to recycle those used tea bags and possibly help alleviate tired, swollen eyes. After the bags have cooled, fold them in a soft tissue (to keep from staining your skin), then place them over each eyelid and let them sit for ten minutes. The natural antioxidants may do wonders for your eyes. HINT: Chamomile or green teas work best.

Teaspoons – This beloved trick has been handed down for generations (Note: my grandmother used to do this!) and may help reduce swelling in the eyes. Here's how it works: Keep two teaspoons in the refrigerator to chill them. When nicely chilled, place a spoon over each eyelid, and let them rest there until they warm up (usually about 5 - 10 minutes).

Ice-milk cotton pads

Ice-milk cotton pads – This tip, said to brighten the whites of your eyes, is very popular in Europe. First, soak cotton pads in a dish of ice-cold milk and squeeze most of the liquid out. Then, place the pads on your eyes. As they warm, repeat this process (for about 20 minutes). By the time you're done, your eyes may be as bright as diamonds!

Sour cream and parsley pillows – These magic pillows may give your eyes the rest they need! Mix two teaspoons of sour cream and mix well with a teaspoon of finely chopped parsley. Take two squares of cheesecloth, put a dollop of the mix on each and fold them into little “pillows.” Put one on each eye for 10 – 15 minutes, and they may help reduce puffiness and increase circulation.

Sour cream parsley pillows

Avocado-almond masque – This rich masque may help moisturize and relieve puffy eyes. Simply blend 3 slices of ripe avocado with 5 drops of almond oil (found at most health food stores) and smear it around your eyes. Rest for 5 minutes and then rinse off with cool water. I suppose you could eat it off if you wanted, but that's probably not recommended.

In the end, it doesn't really matter which techniques or recipes you try, just as long as you remember to take care of your eyes, like you would with any other part of you body. After all, you only have the one set!

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OPTI® eSTORIES is a place for eyes, of course - a forum for sharing tips and stories, for offering new vision and perspective, for discussing lifestyle and image, all through the window of our eyes. More than that, though, OPTI® is about celebrating the beauty within all of us, and the way our eyes can be just as unique as we are. Fun and feisty, elegant and soulful. It's all here. It's all OPTI®.

If you have any questions or comments about our articles - or a suggestion for future articles - we'd love to hear from you.