Dark circles after a restless night, puffiness after a decadent meal, and tiny lines and wrinkles after decades of laughter and sun exposure — the skin around our eyes is among the first places to show signs of life.
But too much “life” can make us look more tired and older than we feel. That’s because the skin around the eyes is 10 times thinner and more fragile than the skin on other parts of the face. It becomes even thinner with time because it has fewer oil glands and less collagen and elastin — the things that keep skin looking plump and fresh.
Caring for this delicate area requires a light touch, the right products, and attention to health in general. Here are eight things to consider.
Support skin health in general with good nutrition. Drink lots of water to help maintain elasticity and keep skin hydrated, and eat a diet rich in foods high in skin-strengthening omega-3s (think: chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts), collagen-boosting vitamin C (bell peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, kale, broccoli), and antioxidant-rich vitamins A and E (avocado, almonds, olive oil, sweet potato, spinach).
Lay off sugar. Through a process known as glycation, sugar molecules damage collagen and elastin.
Quit smoking. Nicotine constricts the blood vessels in the face; constricted blood vessels mean fewer nutrients are delivered, which leads to collagen breakdown.
Wear sunscreen and sunglasses. UV rays greatly accelerate the aging process, adding years to your appearance. Apply sunscreen every time you leave the house. Wear sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection.
Avoid harsh cleansers and abrasive exfoliators. The cleansers you use on cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead are designed to remove dirt and oil and likely contains particles that will irritate the more delicate eye area.
Choose a nourishing eye moisturizer. An eye cream loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and fatty acids, and designed to maintain skin’s optimal moisture balance, diminish fine lines, and lift and firm the skin around the eyes will leave you looking fresher and brighter.
Use your eye moisturizer judiciously. Less is more when it comes to the application of eye moisturizer. A pea-size amount in the morning and again before bed is all you need — more than that and you risk getting the moisturizer in your eyes.
Pat, tap, or gently massage the eye area. Rubbing and tugging skin causes irritation, redness, and wrinkles. To ensure that you don’t apply too much pressure to this sensitive area, use your ring finger (it’s the weakest).
Like every other part of your body, the skin around your eyes requires care and attention — maybe even a bit more.Last modified: January 8, 2021