Bags, circles, wrinkles, and dry skin are some of the things that commonly occur around our eyes.
But why? What is it about that particular area of our body that makes it appear to age quicker and makes it more susceptible to a rough night’s sleep?
The skin around our eyes is the thinnest skin on our face, and it is subject to a lot of strain as we move and squint our eyes.
The tissue below the eyes is also lower in elements like fat or muscle that would help support the skin.
Bags under the eyes, or mild swelling or puffiness can be caused by lack of sleep, stress, and diet issues. Fluids collect under the eye and make the area look swollen.
Fine lines and wrinkles appear because of sun damage and a lowered production of collagen as we age.
Collagen helps with the skin’s elasticity. And don’t worry, crow’s feet do not in fact come from rubbing your eyes! They form naturally but can be hastened with smoking, or by regularly sleeping on the side of your face and squishing your eye skin as you do.
Also, as you age, the tissues around your eyes and the muscles that support your eyelids can weaken and the fat may move into the lower eyelids. This causes your top eyelids to sag a little and the lower ones to appear puffy.
Dark circles under your eyes is usually caused by tiredness, blood build up, or just genes. It may also be the shadow from puffy eyes, or the natural hollows under the eyes that deepen with ageing.
If the blood vessels are dilated and that is contributing to dark circles, then coldness can help the vessels to constrict. You can hold a chilled spoon or frozen peas wrapped in a cloth on the area for a quick and easy solution.
There are also other skin concerns one can experience, where the skin becomes dry and itchy. In that case, it is important to keep the area clean and avoid scratching and spreading the irritation.
It can be helpful to identify any irritants that can aggravate any dry, itchy skin, such as a certain type of make-up, perfume, false eyelashes, or airborne allergens.
The eye area is delicate, so the same cream you use on the rest of your face or body often won’t do the trick, and can even potentially cause stinging.
Eye creams have been specifically formulated to be gentle on the under eye area. They tend to have more oil than a typical facial lotion.
Studies have found that vitamin C, peptides (short amino acid chains) and retinol (a vitamin found in food) can help support collagen production.
Cold temperatures can help reduce puffiness, so some people keep their eye products in the fridge.
Some of the best eye creams will be all-in-ones, covering various skin needs.
They will contain antioxidants, butters or oils, vitamins, peptides, and retinol, and will help with both replenishing and restoring.
You want to steer clear of both natural and synthetic fragrances, because they may contain allergens which aren’t something you want near your eyes.
Keep your expectations realistic. No product will fully prevent ageing or change things overnight, but eye creams can help smooth, firm, and brighten the eye area.
For eye creams that will be applied during the day, some sun protection (SPF 30 or greater) is ideal, since you want to avoid applying normal sun cream close to your eyes.
Consider products such as Q+A Natural Skincare Caffeine Eye Serum. Suitable for vegans, it is aimed at puffy eyes or dark circles and uses the properties of probiotics, caffeine, green tea, and pomegranate to soften your complexion and protect your skin.
Alternatively, Dr Organic Snail Gel Eye Serum uses organic extracts like olive leaf, and helix aspersa muller secretion from snails (the snail actually uses it to regenerate and protect its own shell and skin) to improve the appearance of skin around the eye.