The Skin Around Your Eyes Works Really Hard.
You already know that eyes blink. But did you know they blink about 21,000 times each day? Combined with squinting and smiling, the skin around your eyes works really hard.
This skin is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face - and it doesn’t have many oil glands to keep it moist. Under eye circles and puffiness form with allergies. Heredity and thinning skin cause dark circles. Sleep loss and sun exposure contribute to wrinkles around the eyes. All this wear and tear means the skin around your eyes is the first area to show signs of aging.
The good news? There are many ways to make the skin around your eyes more beautiful. Following are some of the best eye rejuvenation techniques.
EYE REJUVENATION | 3 WAYS TO FIX LINES & WRINKLES:
Each time you move your face, the skin around your eyes moves too. As we age, production of collagen and elastin slows. (Collagen gives skin firmness and structure, while elastin gives skin its elasticity.) Skin thins and repeat movements cause fine lines and wrinkles.
1. SKIN CARE PRODUCTS moisturize and fight winkles. But they also take much longer to get results than eye rejuvenation treatments.
- Use Vitamin A products like tretinoin (Retin A, Renova, etc.) or retinol on the skin around your eyes. Prescription products like Retin A and Renova will give a quicker, more dramatic result; however, some people may find them too irritating.
- Vitamin C, niacinamide, and peptide creams will also reduce wrinkles. They are a great choice for people who cannot use Vitamin A, because they're less irritating BUT they don’t work as well. To get an even better result, you can layer vitamin A under a peptide at night. Then use a Vitamin C product in the morning.
- Erasa XEP 30 is a neuropeptide cream that can be applied to wrinkles around the eyes – as well as the rest of your face. This cream mimics the neurotoxin of a cone snail found off the coast of Australia. Because there is no actual snail toxin, Erasa won’t make you sick.
2. BOTOX INJECTIONS are commonly used in eye rejuvenation. When Botox (or another botulinum toxin) is injected into the muscles that cause wrinkles, your muscles relax and your wrinkles smooth. Results start to show in about a week and last about 4 months. To learn more about Botox, read these: Considering Botox? Here Are 4 Reasons to Try It AND How much Botox will you need? How much will your Botox cost? AND our Botox page.
3. MICRO-NEEDLING adds thickness to the skin. It can be used on thin skin, like the area around your eyes. Most lasers and chemical peels cannot be used close to the eyes because of a risk of eye injury. Dr. Lance Setterfield writes in his book, The Concise Guide to Dermal Needling, Expanded Medical Edition, “One should always treat (with micro-needling) below the eyes because it gives the greatest, ‘Wow,’ and this is the first area to show signs of loss of structural integrity.”
In my own practice, I found this to be true. The first place my micro-needling patients noticed improvement was in the wrinkles around their eyes. To learn more about this method of eye rejuvenation, read our blog posts, Micro-Needling Results AND What is micro-needling? AND Micro-needling Is Better - 9 Reasons Why.
EYE REJUVENATION | 4 WAYS TO FIX DARK CIRCLES:
When blood vessels show through skin, the area around the eyes can look blue. To know for sure your discoloration is caused by blood vessels, press on the dark circle with your fingertip. If the blue fades, blood vessels are the cause of your dark circles.
1. SKIN CARE PRODUCTS can be used for eye rejuvenation. Retinoids build collagen and thicken under eye skin. This form of vitamin A comes as tretinoin (prescription) and retinol (over the counter) creams that you can apply to the circles around your eyes.
“Not only can you, you really should—that’s where most of the damage shows up,” says Jonathan Weiss, an Atlanta dermatologist. “Studies have shown that people who apply retinoids right up to the eyes get the best results.” And if you get it in your eye? “It may sting a little, but it won’t do any harm,” says Weiss. The skin around your eyes is no more likely to get red or flaky than anywhere else on your face.
After the retinol, apply a rich eye cream to reduce irritation. The result? In about 3 months, dark circles will be less noticeable.
SkinCeuticals makes 2 different retinol formulations that will minimize dark circles and wrinkles. Read more about them in our post, Want Younger-Looking Skin? 3 Ways Retinoids Make Skin Beautiful.
2. ANTIHISTAMINES Allergies contribute to dark under eye circles by dilating under eye blood vessels. If this is the case for you, an over the counter antihistamine may help.
3. GET MORE SLEEP Fatigue can also create dark circles. Dr. Garrett Bennett of New York City Sinus Surgery writes, “Not getting enough rest each night, or working long hours without time to recoup, is a common cause of dark circles. Your sinus cavities are located directly below your eyes, and drain during sleep. Lack of sleep prevents the sinuses from draining completely, creating swollen eyes and dark circles.”
4. COLOR CORRECT TO CONCEAL DARK CIRCLES Color correcting primers come in a variety of bright colors that cancel out the blue undertones of dark circles. Apply with a sponge in a sheer layer beneath foundation. It is very important to pick the right color for your skin tone. People with dark skin should pick an orange-based primer. If your complexion is fair, you will want a peach color corrector.
EYE REJUVENATION | 3 WAYS TO CORRECT DARK SKIN UNDERNEATH YOUR EYES:
Dark skin underneath the eyes can be inherited or a result of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Sometimes skin reacts to an injury (like frequent eye rubbing from itchy eyes, allergies or contact lenses) by creating dark pigment. One way to tell what's causing your dark circles is to press on the dark circle with your fingertip. If the color does not fade, then pigment / melanin is the cause of your dark circles.
2. AVOID THE SUN Apply sunscreen up to your lower lash line every day. A hat and sunglasses will give even more protection.
3. COLOR CORRECT TO CONCEAL DARK CIRCLES Color correcting primers come in a variety of bright colors that cancel out dark under eye circles. Apply with a sponge in a sheer layer under foundation. It is very important to pick the right color for your skin tone. People with dark skin should pick an orange-based primer. If your complexion is fair, you will want a peach color corrector.
EYE REJUVENATION | 3 WAYS TO FIX PUFFY EYES:
Some people inherit puffy eyes and no eye cream will fix it. If the puffiness comes and goes, it could be a result of your diet and lifestyle. Late nights, salty foods and alcohol can cause fluid retention. “Since lid skin is thinner than elsewhere on your face, you’ll notice swelling more,” explains Jody A. Levine, M.D., a New York City dermatologist.
1. GRAVITY Most of the time, puffy eyes are gone by lunch. You can speed the process by putting a cold compress on your eyes for about 5 minutes. Cool cucumber slices or tea bags dipped in cold water will reduce swelling. Dr. Levine, recommends eye creams that include caffeine which stops inflammation and is full of antioxidants. “Gently press on the bones around your eyes as you apply it. The pressure helps stimulate circulation and drain excess fluid.” You can also try sleeping on an extra pillow. The added height allows any accumulated fluid to drain.
2. LOWER BLEPHAROPLASTY If your puffiness is there all the time, you may have developed under eye fat pads. In some people these pads show more with age. If this is the case, you should talk to a plastic surgeon about eye rejuvenation. Surgery may be your best answer.
3. CAMOUFLAGE WITH MAKEUP Oprah.com recommends using an illuminating concealer pen over the shadowy space just beneath the bags. The pen makes this area look more shallow, so puffiness is less noticeable. Note: If you put concealer on the bags themselves, the bags will be MORE noticeable.
EYE REJUVENATION | 4 WAYS TO FIX UNDER EYE HOLLOWS:
“Hollow eyes are caused by the loss of orbital fat in the lower eyelids,” says Dr. Edward J. Gross, a plastic surgeon from Lake Mary, Florida. “This is caused by hereditary factors, aging and volume loss.”
1. HYALURONIC ACID FILLERS Sometimes a hollowness under the eyes can appear as dark circles. In this case, the best solution is a hyaluronic-acid filler injection, like Restylane, Juvederm, or Belotero. The filler raises / fills the depressed areas so they no longer look like a dark shadow. This eye rejuvenation treatment can cause swelling, bruising and tenderness that lasts about a week. Results last about 6 months.
2. LOWER EYE LIFT OR BLEPHAROPLASTY Loose skin under the eyes can make hollowing look worse. Extra skin is removed and fat is moved to smooth out under eye hollows. Dr. Gross explains, “Lower blepharoplasty provides conservative repositioning or removal of the herniated fat. Oftentimes we offer lower blepharoplasty along with hyaluronic acid fillers, which are always recommended after surgery for optimal results.”
3. MICRO-NEEDLING Micro-needling adds thickness to the skin and can be used around the eyes. Most lasers and chemical peels cannot be used close to the eyes because of the risk of eye injury. Dr. Lance Setterfield writes in his book, The Concise Guide to Dermal Needling, Expanded Medical Edition, “One should always treat (with micro-needling) below the eyes because it gives the greatest, ‘Wow,’ and this is the first area to show signs of loss of structural integrity.”
In my own practice, I found this to be true. The first place my micro-needling patients noticed improvement was in the wrinkles around their eyes. To learn more about this type of eye rejuvenation, read our blog posts, Micro-Needling Results AND What is micro-needling? AND Micro-needling Is Better - 9 Reasons Why.
4. CAMOUFLAGE WITH MAKEUP Illuminating concealers can make hollowed areas look full. Oprah.com recommends the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector, Broad Spectrum SPF 25. The inner corners of the eyes often look shadowed, so be sure to apply concealer there too.
EYE REJUVENATION | 3 WAYS TO FIX SAGGING LIDS:
As we age, our skin produces less collagen and elastin. We start to lose the fat pads around our eyes, so eyelids start to sag. “Genetics determine when your skin will sag and to what extent,” says Diane Madfes, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. “And like any skin aging, sun exposure hastens the effect.”
1. BLEPHAROPLASTY In this type of eye rejuvenation, loose skin or excess fat around the eyes is surgically removed. Bruising goes away after about 2 weeks. And results last for years. “This procedure can make you look 10 to 15 years younger,” says Mark A. Codner, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.
2. MICRO-NEEDLING adds thickness and increased elasticity to sagging lids. This type of eye rejuvenation works by triggering new elastin and collagen growth. It can be used on the thin skin around the eyes. In contrast, most lasers and chemical peels cannot be used close to the eyes because of a risk of eye injury.
3. CAMOUFLAGE WITH MAKEUP Makeup can make sagging lids less apparent. Celebrity Makeup Artist, Sandy Linter says, “The trick is to define the lashline and neutralize the lid.” She recommends applying a light, nude-colored shadow from lashes to brow. A cream or mocha will work well, depending on your skin tone. Next dip a liner brush in a gray, brown, or black shadow, and apply color as close to the base of top lashes as possible. Linter says, “Shadow creates a softer, more natural look than a pencil liner.” Finish with a dark-brown or black mascara.
SOME PEOPLE RECOMMEND BRIGHTENING EYE DROPS
This is controversial. Proponents claim the drops quickly make your eyes look more awake. They work by constricting blood vessels in the eyes to make your whites look whiter. HOWEVER, many of them aren’t safe for people with glaucoma. And overuse of the drops can cause eye irritation – and more redness. One brand in particular uses a blue ingredient called methylene blue. Currently, this ingredient is not approved by the FDA. To be safe, stick with moisturizing eye drops.
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