Our eyes are a window: they reveal when we don’t get enough sleep, if we drank too much wine the night before or how much we laughed throughout our lives.
This is because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest on the face, making it more susceptible to irritation, dryness and environmental damage, which can contribute to the onset of skin aging. And that’s because the skin around your eyes doesn’t have as many sebaceous glands and collagen as the rest of your face and body, making it more prone to dryness, sagging, wrinkles. and fine lines, according to a study published in 2015 in Advanced biomedical research.
To help prevent these common eye problems, dermatologists stress the importance of using dedicated eye care products, as they are formulated specifically for the delicate eye area.
“When treating a skin problem around the eyes, it’s important to properly diagnose the problem first in order to get the best treatment and the best results,” says Joshua Zeichner, MDdirector of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Luckily, there are tons of products to choose from when it comes to eye skin care, including serums, creams, oils, and tools. So if you’re not using any eye care products, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start, and these pro tips will lead you to the best solution for your needs.
From lightening dark circles to reducing puffiness, discover expert-approved tips and product choices for common eye skin care concerns below.
Softens fine lines and crow’s feet
Crow’s feet are the hallmark of a happy life. Those horizontal creases that form at the outer corners of the eyes are largely the result of muscle movements that occur when we smile and laugh. If you want to soften them, “a retinoid product can be very helpful,” says Ranella Hirsch, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Cambridge, MA. Retinoids can trigger collagen production in the skin to help smooth out some of the wrinkles. A prescription retinoid such as Tretinoin Cream 0.025% can be quite effective, although Dr. Hirsch suggests sticking to the area outside the eye socket (you can feel the orbital bone at the perimeter).
To treat fine lines under the eyes, you can try an over-the-counter eye cream with retinol, which is a less potent retinoid. Whether you’re using a prescription retinoid or an over-the-counter version, start by tapping on a small dot one night a week and gradually work your way up to multiple nights of use to limit dryness and irritation. If you can’t tolerate a retinoid, consider a peptide eye cream, which can also boost collagen. Remember to protect your skin by applying a product with a Broad Spectrum SPF of 50 or higher. (To avoid stinging the eyes, Dr. Hirsch recommends using a sunscreen stick, which won’t run into the eyes.)
Lack of sleep can make dark circles worse, but it’s usually not the root cause. “The main culprits for creating circles are excess pigment in the skin and the hollowness around the eyes that occurs with age,” says Dr. Zeichner. To determine which type you have, stand in front of a brightly lit mirror. “Gently pinch a bit of the dark skin and pull it slightly forward,” he advises. “If the skin is still dark, it signals excess pigment. If the skin color looks normal, digging around your eyes creates shadows.
For dark circles caused by pigmentation, Dr. Zeichner suggests an eye cream containing vitamin C, which helps reduce the skin’s production of melanin (aka pigment). Choose a formula in a tube or pump bottle rather than a jar to preserve the potency of the ingredient, and apply it daily. “Think of vitamin C like exercise,” says Dr. Zeichner. “You have to be consistent and persevere for a few months to see results.” For more pronounced dark circles, you may want to consider in-office laser treatment, suggests Dr. Hirsch. Avoid rubbing your eyes, as chronic rubbing can cause more melanin to be produced, especially on more melanic skin types.
Hollowing is a different problem that occurs when the fat under the skin in the tear trough (the area between the lower eyelid and the upper cheek) decreases with age, making the trough deeper and more shaded. “An eye cream rich in hyaluronic acid can help plump the skin,” says Dr. Zeichner. For further enhancement, you may want to consider an injectable filler. Drinking water can also help. Although the water you drink will not directly hydrate the skin, when your body is well hydrated, sunken skin will be a little less noticeable.
Going to bed drunk or crying can leave you with puffy eyes, but chronically puffy eyes are often the result of allergies. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, antihistamines can help interfere with the pathway that triggers puffiness, if used correctly.
“You don’t want to wait until you have symptoms to start them,” says Dr. Hirsch. “Ideally, you want to take an antihistamine daily for two weeks before pollen peaks to stay ahead of allergies.” If you suffer from dust and dander allergies, Dr. Hirsch recommends getting an allergy protection cover: “This can prevent household allergens from sticking to your pillow, which can make a significant difference in eliminating that.
prolonged exposure while you sleep.
For an immediate fix, dab on an eye cream containing caffeine, which is an anti-inflammatory that helps constrict blood vessels to remove excess fluid from under the skin. You can also apply popular anti-puffiness eye patches or try a cool compress on your eyes, as cold temperatures also constrict blood vessels. (Just be sure to raise your head to help drainage.) “If you’re prone to puffiness, using a retinol eye cream daily will help firm the skin so the swelling is less noticeable.” , says Dr. Zeichner.
However, if you have what looks like a fatty bulge under your eyes that won’t go away no matter what you try, “it’s probably due to your cheek pad slipping, which can’t be treated with care. of the skin but can be made less obvious with an injectable filler or permanently fixed with surgery,” says Dr. Zeichner.
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