There is nothing like waking up gently to a ray of warm sunlight dappling your skin. Waking with the sun is not only beautiful but is also very natural. However, more commonly in our modern lives, we are woken suddenly by an alarm, at a point in our sleep cycle where we're not necessarily done resting yet, rather than being woken naturally as the sun rises. We roll over sloppily, look at the time and wonder how long we've been sleeping, and more often than not, we haven't been out for anywhere near as long as we ought to have been. Sleep is crucial for cell renewal and growth, and for giving the body a chance to catch up with itself, regulate its cellular processes and reset any damage from the day. Lack of sleep shows in many way, particularly in lack of energy and lack of oxygen to the brain, but on a more obvious level, it shows through our skin, and most prominantly, the skin on our face.

We all have dark circles around our eyes, but the darkness, soreness and intensity of them is constantly changing and depends on various factors. Circles are usually darker and more prominant if we aren't getting enough sleep, but there are other factors we can hold responsible for this unsightly and hard-to-conceal, off-colour pigmentation. Dark 'eye bags' can also be caused by allergies, iron deficiency, unprotected skin and excessive caffeine or alcohol - the list is endless. There are several ways reduce eye bags (without relying on makeup or artificial products). The most nourishing and in some ways the simplest method is to get more hours sleep. Not only this,  ensure you prepare your body and your skin well before sleeping, removing your makeup fully but gently, drinking lots of water and avoiding alcohol, caffeine and too much salt at dinner. Other ingredients in the diet such as junk food and ingredients containing white sugar can also contribute to puffiness - accentuating dark circles and obstructing cellular activity such as renewal - which is what helps our cells to thrive and our skin to glow. To improve skin pigmentation, try eatingfoods richer in Vitamins A, C and E, which are powerful antioxidants, and B12, which can be found in many vegetables, fruits and eggs. Some examples include sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, butternut squash, lettuce, carrots, papaya, oranges - among others.

You can also revitalize the sensitive area under your eyes and reduce the puffiness simply by relaxing the muscles. A fast and easy way of relaxing the muscles and feeling rejuvenated is by taking a moment to enjoy a cold compress like cucumber slices, chilled spoons, cold cotton pads or cool tea bags. You can also use self massage to gently move the skin, which will awaken and activate the cells in this area and will help to release any toxins and tightness.