We can look into someone’s eyes and observe their thoughts, emotions and feelings. Our eyes, like our body language, can reveal our truth. Just as importantly though, our eyes can show whether we have health problems, such as diabetes, fatigue, stress and even retinal detachment (Bausch & Lomb, 2019). It is not only the eyes that can reveal medical conditions, however, as the skin around our eyes, known as the periocular area, can also indicate medical problems, such as thyroid disease (Cavazos, 2017), whilst laughter and frown lines can portray our emotional state.
Lifestyle choices, such as poor nutrition, smoking infrequent exercise, disturbed sleep and stress can be the cause of eye bags, dark circles and puffiness, making us look tired and weary, while sun exposure, and environmental factors, like pollution, can have an adverse impact on the skin around our eyes. Ultimately, both our lifestyle choices and environment factors can contribute towards premature ageing around the eye contour. Fortunately, there are ways in which we can maintain and even improve our skin around the eye, which is the focus of this blog. General issues will be discussed, and products recommended. Firstly, however, let’s have a look at the eye contour in more depth, so that we can understand why this area tends to age quicker than other areas of the face.
The Eye Contour
The skin around the eyes is also known as the adnexa. It is thinnest on the eyelids, which becomes even thinner as we age, due to loss of collagen and elastin and this is one reason why the skin around our eyes ages quicker than the rest of our facial skin. In order to care for the area around the eye, it is useful to understand the process of skin cell renewal.
Eyelid skin is made up of several layers. New cells are reproduced in the deepest layers of the skin every few days, and as they travel upwards, they become drier and flatter. By the time these cells reach the surface layer, they are no longer alive and can give a dry and aged appearance This process is known as desquamation and whilst it takes approximately two weeks in a young person, it can take up to five weeks as we get older. Furthermore, there are not as many sebaceous glands in the eye skin, meaning that there is less sebum secreted. Sebum is sometimes referred to as an oily or waxy substance and its function is to both lubricate the skin and act as a waterproof barrier. With less sebum being secreted, there is an increased risk of our skin around the eye area becoming inflamed through, for example, transferring bacteria to the area whilst applying make-up. Furthermore, with fewer sebaceous glands around the eye skin area, this may be why ‘crow lines’ are deeper than the wrinkles in our forehead. For example, study findings on 58 Japanese cadavers indicated that in areas of the face where there were less sebaceous glands, wrinkles were deeper ((Mediniche, 2017, Mozes, 2015, Younas, 2018).
Bags under the eyes, whilst unattractive, are seldom an indication of a significant underlying medical condition, however, if there is severe swelling, itching, redness or painful symptoms, it is always advisable to seek medical advice, so that medical conditions, such as those discussed above, can be ruled out.
Some people will experience constant puffiness, loose skin and dark circles which, although not medically related, can be distressing. These problems are as a result of the tissue structures and muscles supporting the eyelids become weaker. Moreover, the skin can start to sag. Additionally, fluid can collect below the eyes, resulting in puffiness and swelling. While some people may opt for cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance around the eyes, there are other less invasive options that can be considered including incorporating an eye skin care routine into our daily cleansing practice to maintain or improve the skin around the eye area. Treating ourselves to regular professional facials that includes an eye treatment can also be advantageous.
Maintaining Healthy Skin Around The Eye Area
As the skin around the eyes is thinner than the rest of the facial skin, great care must be taken when choosing and using skincare products. Ideally, gentle, products should be used that are non-irritating, contain antioxidants, skin-plumping ingredients. Preferably, oil-free products should be used to reduce the risk of blocking small glands that can lead to ocular problems, such as styes. Very gentle exfoliants containing naturally occurring substances which are found in a variety of fruits, sugar cane and milk and are known as AHA’s, can be used around the eye area but not on the eyelid or directly under the eye.
AHA’s help loosen and remove the dead skin cells, resulting in a smoother, softer appearance and reduction of fine lines. Ingredients such as antioxidant vitamins A, B-complex, C, D and beta-Carotene help provide protection against free radicals. Free radicals are caused by environmental factors, such as pollution, as well as sunlight, smoking and stress, all of which can damage skin cells. Products containing sodium hyaluronate help reduce fine lines caused by dehydration, whilst herbal extracts, such as chamomile and cornflower help to reduce redness and inflammation due to their anti-inflammatory properties (Mediniche, 2017). Looking after the eye contour from 25 years upwards by using good quality facial products will help to maintain the appearance of the skin around the eye. Recommended products are described below, which should be used, where relevant, with cotton wool pads, so as not to damage the sensitive area around the eye. Moreover, avoid contaminating products by using a spatula rather than dipping fingers into pots Beaubelle 2 Phase Make-up Remover containing Oat amino acids and Cornflower blossoms is preservative free and has hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties ideal for cleansing around the sensitive skin around the eyes. It moisturizes, soothes and softens eyelids with its ultrafine natural oils. Beaubelle Dermazulene Soothing Toner
containing Sweet Marjoram, German Chamomile and Lavender essential oils has analgesic, calming, anti-septic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, calming and soothing red, blotchy and sensitive skin; it is also skin regenerating and hydrating. Beaubelle CLARITY
containing Coconut extract, Glycolic lactic acid and Lactic Acid is a 2-in-1 mild, exfoliating cleanser and is ideal for removing the dead skin cells from around the eyes, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, brightening and hydrating the skin. Anti-bacterial properties protect against bacteria. Beaubelle Eye Lift Cream
containing Peptides, Shea Butter, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Acacia Senegal Gum and Diamond Powder is ideal for mature and dry skin. It’s rich, honey-like emulsion, lifts the skin, tightens the pores and offers skin protection whilst its emollient properties help to encourage smoothness and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Beaubelle Anti-Fatigue Eye Contour Gel
containing Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Oryzanol (Rice Bran) and Centella Asiatica, is an excellent anti-aging eye product, effective in helping remove dark circles around the eyes as well as eye bags. This product moisturises, nourishes, brightens and reduces puffiness around the eye area. Beaubelle Essential Eye Concentrate
containing Orycine-Complex (Hydrolyed Rice Bran Protein), Soybean (glycine Soja) Protein, Horse Chestnut Seed Extract and Centella Asiatica Extract combat to address major problems around the skin area of the eye and helps reduce dark circles, eye bags, fine lines and wrinkles by oxygenating and promoting blood circulation to the area and restoring the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
In addition to a daily facial skincare routine, healthy skin around the eye area can, of course, be maintained and improved by drinking enough water throughout the day. This helps to maintain the elasticity of the skin. Avoiding or reducing smoking can improve blood circulation to the area, whilst limiting alcohol intake can reduce dehydration. Staying out of the sun can help reduce the risk of premature wrinkling of the skin and uneven pigmentation, as well as more serious skin conditions. Furthermore, doing simple eye exercises, such as raising the eyebrows, can help lift the skin and improve the overall appearance. The importance of maintaining bright clear skin cannot be underestimated, as it can contribute towards a sense of health and wellbeing from both a psychological and physical level perspective. Improving our Eye Q helps maintain youth, beauty and health through the harmony of body, mind and soul! DISCLAIMER: The information provided above is for personal information and interest. It is not intended to offer a medicinal treatment for any condition. Please consult your GP or nurse if you have any health concerns whatsoever.
- Bausch & Lomb. (2019). your-eye-concerns/diseases-and-disorders – bausch.com
- Cavazos, M. (2017). Pathologic Dark Circles Around the Eyes – healthfully.com
- Mediniche. (2017). Caring for The Skin Around the Eyes – mediniche.com
- Mozes, A. (2015). Why Skin Wrinkles More Around the Eyes – webmd.com
- Younas, A. (2018). Anatomy of the Skin Around the Eyes – consumerhealthdigest.com