Winter Ages A Woman's Eyes By Almost Five Years, Say Experts
As well as having a negative effect on your mood, the British winter can also add years to your looks, according to a new study.
Scientists have found that the winter months add an average four years and eight months to a woman's eyes.
During clinical trials on behalf of Adonia Organics, researchers studied the eyes of 5,000 women, aged between 27 and 60, throughout the seasons.
It was found that the lack of sunlight in winter brings paler skin, which emphasises the bags under the eyes.
The problem is made worse by a higher level of fatigue during the winter due to a lower level of Vitamin D, which is generated in sunlight and is directly linked to the body's levels of serotonin, a natural "feelgood" chemical.
The study, conducted at AMA Laboratories in New York, found that 82% of women suffer from dark circles and puffy eyes during winter compared to 38% in summer.
"More science is coming out linking the lack of Vitamin D and K as one of the causes that plagues us with dark circles and puffy eyes, especially as it relates to fatigue and immune related issues. Once you have them, it is usually difficult to reverse them.
"Once you have them, it is usually difficult to reverse them.
"Our research has shown that women are worried about the ageing effect of dark circles more so than wrinkles which are easier to tackle and overcome," said anti-ageing expert Dr Mark Binette of Adonia.
He added: "Ten years ago women were searching for the next wrinkle attacking cream, it seems the market is more open now to alternative ageing signs such as dark circles.
"Lacking in Vitamins D and K has a considerable negative effect on the appearance of dark and puffy eyes and can age a woman by 4.7 years putting over 10% on a woman's age of 40.
"It might not be wrinkles or grey hair that ages you most, but dark circles under your eyes."
Dark circles are often caused by tiny capillaries that leak blood beneath the surface of the skin. As this blood starts to oxidise, it turns an ugly dark blue colour similar to a bruise.
Thin skin under the eyes allows fluid to build up, which becomes more obvious in winter as the skin becomes more transparent.
In summer it is easier to hide dark circles as people suffer less from fatigue and the skin is more tanned.
Adonia claims the new cream it has developed in light of the research, reduces the appearance of dark circles by up to 87% after eight weeks.
Help counteract the ravages of winter with our round-up of the best anti-ageing herbs.
Milk thistle encourages the liver to make a powerful antioxidant, which aids the regeneration of new skin cells and helps to create a glowing, youthful complexion.
Ginseng is a perennial herb and its root is used to help beat age-related problems such as high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It also helps alleviate stress, stimulates physical and mental activity, which may slack in older age, and protects the body from severe, physical pain.
The Rhodiola Rosea is an 'adaptogen' herb which has long been used to enhance the body's ability to cope with mental stress. It is also believed that the herb could help protect the brain from age-related mental disorders such as Alzheimer's and enhance body stamina and strength.
Rosemary helps to redress the skin's moisture balance, perfect for fending off sagging and wrinkles. It also helps protect the skin cells from environmental damage by aiding the development of collagen in the skin, leaving it plumper and more supple.
Ashwagandha is thought to help with the prevention of dementia by restoring the neurotransmitters in the brain. Ashwagandha also helps the body build a resistance to stressand can be used as stimulant for a healthy immune system.
Gingko Biloba contains crucial antioxidants that help to improve blood flow to the brain which help the body's peripheries function - ideal for those with poor circulation in the fingers and toes.
Also known as Uña de Gato in Spanish and Vilcacora in Indian, the Cat's Claw herb's super-immune-system qualities help battle age-related problems such as high blood pressure, bad circulation and high cholesterol levels.
The seeds from the grape contain powerful antioxidants called procyanidins that neutralise damaging free radical in the joints.
Pine bark, also known as Pycnogenol, strengthens capillaries, arteries and veins and fights inflammation to improve joint flexibility. It also helps the body to circulate more blood during stressful conditions without increasing blood pressure or making the heart work harder.
Known as the 'mushroom of immortality' this colourful fungi has been a folk medicine in China for thousands of years. It is traditionally used to treat age-related conditions like hypertension, arthritis, insomnia and lung disorders. It is also a great anti-inflammatory agent and can be taken in the form of tea or tablets.