The soft skin around your eyes is some of the thinnest on your body. That’s why it’s imperative that you care for it like a pro. Here are five easy-to-incorporate lifestyle changes, rooted in science, and all about eyes.
In this blog post, we explore:
- Why and how the skin around your eyes is so sensitive
- How to care for the skin around your eyes
Why and how is the skin around your eyes so sensitive?
Seriously Thin Skinned
The dermis and epidermis layers around your eyes are some seriously thin skinned areas touting the lowest levels of elastin in your body. With barely any fat under and around them, most of us find that the telltale signs of aging happen waaay earlier here than on most any other part of the face.
The skin around your peepers is uber delicate and has a very limited moisture barrier. As we age, skin cells reproduce more slowly and the dermis (top) layer of skin whittles more. Elastin and collagen fibers relax and skin loses its ability to retain water. Oil-secreting glands become less efficient and skin is just generally slower to heal. All of these factors can bring on fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging skin and perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than around, you guessed it, your eyes.
When it comes to under eye bags, dark under eye circles or puffiness, researchers say multiple causes can be at play including aging, genes, fatigue, and stress, but that two of the most important factors are poor circulation and something they call, “vessel fragility.” What is vessel fragility? Since your skin sits right above a huge network of blood vessels (tiny capillaries), when these are tired or weakened, they break more easily. This damage causes hemoglobin to leak and break down at the dermis and epidermis layer. This causes discoloration and depigmentation under and around the eyes.
How can you take better care of the skin around your eyes?
Proper eye care and good health is essential to maintaining a youthful appearance and supporting the all important skin around your eyes. Here are five clinically tested and science-backed tips for starters.
- Get Your Eyes Checked
When it comes to regular check-ups, most of us overlook our optical health. If you’re squinting more than usual or find yourself straining to see the words on a menu, you’re likely overdue for a thorough eye exam. Stressing to see can actually cause fine lines and wrinkles to form more rapidly around the eyes and tire them out (hello bags!).
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends an eye exam in your 20s and another in your 30s if you’re not having any significant issues. Then, a more comprehensive exam should be done at age 40 to check for signs of disease or changes in vision. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of eye disease, you’ll want to visit your ophthalmologist more often. Adults aged 65 or older should have their eyes checked annually or bi-annually.
- Use Different Products
You should use creams and serums that are specifically made to treat the temperamental skin around your eyes. Look for highly moisturizing products with antioxidants. Vitamin C, E and even Vitamin K can help ease the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness or dark circles. Vitamin A, a retinol derivative that can also be found in AgelessRx’s Tretinoin Cream, has shown positive results in improving fine lines and wrinkles as well as in building back collagen and elastin. One study out of India found that women saw improved elasticity, pigmentation and fewer lines and wrinkles around their eyes while using a cream with caffeine and Vitamin K together.
Remember, dab it on day and night and be gentle.
- Gotta Wear Shades
Not only does protecting your eyes from harsh UVA/UVB rays help prevent skin cancer around your eyes, but it will also hide them from damaging rays that lead to crow’s feet. Some research now suggests that prolonged sun exposure around the eyes can lead to vision problems and eye disease later.
If you drive a lot, make sure you wear sunglasses in the car and if you’re on an airplane with an open window shade, don them then too. The sun’s rays can transmit through glass. Consider a hat if you’ll be outside for a longer period of time.
When looking for protective eyewear, the Cleveland Clinic says it’s important to look for lenses that block both UVA and UVB rays and go for a very high SPF rating. You should be able to find this information on the front lens’ sticker or on the tag.
Finally, get an annual skin check. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests you see a dermatologist once a year for a full body skin cancer check-up. If you notice any new spots or moles around your eyes, you should go more often. More information can be found here.
- Keep Up Your H2O
Think about it. Lack of moisture (dehydration) can cause your skin to look and feel depleted of the nutrients and minerals it needs on the regular. And the more dehydrated you are, the more hollowed out or busted your eye area will look. You’ll notice bags, puffiness, and more pronounced discoloration most under them, but also on the thin eyelid skin. Wrinkles and fine lines will likely appear more pronounced and your make-up or moisturizer won’t go on as smoothly.
So, drink up and we promise you’ll notice a difference. For starters, the Mayo Clinic recommends 15.5 (3.7 liters) cups of water per day for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) per day for women. Try adding lemon or cucumber to enhance your H2O. *On that note, doctors also recommend keeping alcohol to a minimum as it also only dehydrates you more and can lead to more pronounced signs of aging.
- Don’t Play Rough!
The skin around your eyes can be injured easily. Even rubbing your eyes too hard or putting in contact lenses in a rush can cause capillaries to break and the skin to be pulled past its breaking point. It’s crucial to go easy around there. Always dab, don’t rub in, your products. Pat your eyes carefully after you wash your face. If you wear contact lenses, use caution when inserting them and taking them out.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies and are more apt to itch and rub your eyes, make sure you’re taking medications regularly and consider using a daily eye drop. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says millions of Americans suffer from eye allergies, most of which have a very manageable fix.
*Oh, and while we’re on a PSA pedestal, make sure you get proper sleep, eat well and manage stress too! The rest of your body will thank you and your eyes will look and feel so much more sparkly.