BEAUTY CLINIC: Bringing down a black eye

 Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go 

Q I’m scheduled to have a cataract operation shortly and understand there will be some discoloration around the eye area (not certain if this will be a full-blown black eye). Is there anything that will reduce the bruising as quickly as possible, also something to conceal it?

A As you say, there will be discoloration from the bruising associated with surgery and it seems very likely that you will have a black eye. Dr Peter Fisher, Director of Research at the Royal London  Hospital for Integrated Medicine, recommends these homeopathic remedies. (We have used homeopathy for many years and found it effective, including for surgery.)

Dr Fisher says: ‘I advise homeopathic Arnica montana 30c, £4.95 for 100 pills and Ledum palustre 30c, £4.95 for 100 ml, 1 pill of each four times daily for 1 day before and 5 days after the surgery. Both Ainsworths ( and Helios ( homeopathic pharmacies have an efficient online ordering system. 

You may also wish to try a cold compress for the first 24 hours (eg a bag of frozen peas or a chilled metal spoon) and then warm (not hot) compresses after that. Simply ring out a soft flannel in warm water, or infuse a chamomile teabag, squeeze it gently and apply when warm but still damp.

Tapping the area around the bruising may help activate the lymphatic area near the bruise and speed up healing, also snacking on pineapple, which contains enzymes that reduce inflammation and speed healing. Purple and red fruits are full of antioxidant vitamins that may also help.

We recommend Dermablend SOS Concealer Stick, £15 from Boots nationwide and, also, to camouflage the bruising. This has just re-launched with a creamier texture that’s easier to blend. 

Dermablend make up artist Claire Ray offers these tips for concealing your black eye.

· Remove any eye cream, gel or serum and pat dry with a tissue to make sure the area is free from oil or moisture, which will make the concealer patchy.

· Using your fingertip, gentle pat the concealer over the bruise – the heat from your fingertip helps blend the product into the skin – then blend outwards. If the bruise is very dark, repeat until covered.

· Set the concealer with translucent Dermablend Setting Powder, £18, to give you up to 14 hours of coverage. Use a small blusher brush so you don’t apply too much powder. 

Beauty Bible loves… Soap Co, £12 each for 300ml (£7 for soap bars). This will warm the cockles of your heart – and that glow might just spread throughout your whole body, we think.

Soap Co. is a wonderful social enterprise that employs people who are blind, or disabled or disadvantaged in other ways. Based in East London (and with a workshop in the Lake District), they’re not out to make a profit; everything goes back into the business to help create more jobs.

Soap Co, £12 each for 300ml (£7 for soap bars). This will warm the cockles of your heart – and that glow might just spread throughout your whole body, we think

However, noble ideas are only as good as what they produce – because while we all like the idea of shopping philanthropically, we won’t return for a repeat purchase unless that product is as good as – or better than – what we’re used to.

So: the really good news is that Soap Co.’s products are fab. There are three scents to choose from: fresh and airy White Tea (we’re torn between this and the zesty Citrus fragrance), along with the slightly more exotic Black Poppy & Wild Fig. There are lovely, non-drying Soaps – and an intriguing Soap Pebble, which is wrapped in Lake District sheep’s wool, for exfoliation – along with Hand Washes and Hand Lotions.

Better still, they’ve the very stylish packaging is made from old milk bottles – part of their efforts to make everything as low-impact as possible. (Refills are available for the hand and body products, too.

Most definitely beauty with an extra feel-good factor. 

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