by Dr. Aaron Tabor
Last Reviewed 04/02/2015
Thin skin and few oil ducts can leave the delicate area around your eyes more vulnerable to the signs of premature aging. Giving special skin care attention to the eye area can go a long way toward maintaining a younger, healthier look. Here are ways you can address the top under-eye concerns that can rob your eyes of their youthful, bright appearance.
Lighten Up Dark Under-Eye Circles
Some believe that dark under-eye circles result from lack of sleep. Though that can be true, it is not always the case. Fatigue does slow circulation, causing blood to pool, which also makes vessels more visible.
Dark under-eye circles, however, can be hereditary. They can also be caused by the natural loss of fat under the skin or a reduction in collagen production that occurs with aging, exposure to the sun, and/or allergies. Stress and allergens can cause histamines to be released in the body, swelling blood vessels and causing them to show through thin under-eye skin.
To combat dark under-eye circles, try these tips:
- Sleep at more of an upright angle with an extra pillow or two. This can stop blood from pooling.
- Try a collagen-boosting eye cream as a regular part of your skin care program to plump the tissue under the eyes.
- Apply sunscreen—being careful not to get it in the eyes—to stop the overproduction of melanin that can worsen dark circles.
- Take an antihistamine if you suspect your dark circles are due to allergies.
Send Bags Packing
Puffiness around the eyes can appear as a result of stress, fatigue, poor nutritional habits, and/or water retention. It can also be caused by other health factors, including thyroid dysfunction, allergies, skin ailments, and more. Discuss your condition with your health-care professional if your puffy eyes are persistent or accompany other symptoms.
Unless caused by another underlying issue, puffiness under the eyes often can be minimized with these easy measures:
- Use cold compresses to reduce swelling. Applying cold to swollen areas constricts blood vessels, alleviating puffiness.
- Drink adequate amounts of water to stay hydrated and help flush your system.
- Reduce the amount of salt in your diet.
No doubt you’ve seen the depiction of women enjoying spa treatments with slices of cucumber on their faces, but most eye-care professionals do not recommend this. Fruits and vegetables can contain bacteria, which, when placed near the eye area, can cause an infection. The fact that cold cucumber slices might reduce swelling is most likely due to the fact that they act as a cold compress more than the properties of the cucumber itself.
Tell Crow’s Feet to Take Flight
The thin skin around the eyes makes this area most prone to wrinkles. Add to that the use of our eye muscles when we talk, laugh, or shoot a sincere smile at someone, and our eyes become particularly vulnerable to wrinkles. Some choose to use plumping or paralyzing cosmetic procedures to guard against wrinkles, but there are other non-invasive skin care methods you can employ to protect your eyes.
- Consider an eye cream that incorporates nourishing, natural substances such as squalane, which increases hydration, andjojoba esters, which promote firmness.
- Use sunscreen to protect the tender eye area from ultraviolet damage, which destroys the skin’s elastin.
- Wear sunglasses when outdoors to prevent squinting.
- Be mindful of your facial expressions during stress or concentration. Many squint and/or furrow their brows in times of intensity.
- Maintain a gentle touch when cleansing and applying moisturizer, as harsh treatment of the eye area can break down collagen, the skin’s firming agent.