…something that begins with W...WRINKLES!!
Why are wrinkles the first thing we see when we look in the mirror? Wrinkles indicate the one area of skin that shows the truth of our aging skin.
They say that the eyes are the windows to your soul, yet some mornings, mine can appear more like a black hole rather than a shimmering pool of mystique, laughter, and love! It is the first thing we see when we look in the mirror, and it is the first thing to dampen how good we feel about ourselves when the reflection back is a sea of lines and crevices, dark circles, little white bumps, or a blue and purple hue that shows up due to lack of sleep, poor circulation, or genetics. Combined with an increase in loose skin and puffiness and as we age, I have decided that my soul is not one of harmony, but of neglect and the signs of ageing if my eyes are my window to within!
However, I am never one to despair and I know that help is near. With the right specific eye care, daily protection, and improved sleep, then that mischievous sparkle will once again surface, and the dreaded crow’s feet and wrinkles diminish!
What makes the eye area so delicate and prone to showing the visible signs of ageing can be attributed to numerous things. Here are the facts you need to know…
THIN SKIN: First and foremost, the delicate skin around our eye area is finer than the skin on our cheeks, forehead, hands, or soles of feet. It is believed to be up to 10 x finer than other areas of the body, so it shows the visible signs of ageing more rapidly than other areas of the face or body.
So how do we treat thin skin? Begin with using a specific eye care product rather than taking your daily moisturiser to apply over the eye area. Fine skin needs a daily treatment which nourishes, protects, and hydrates without overloading the delicate eye area. If you are taking your moisturiser over your eye area, as well as your face, then it is highly likely that the ingredients in your moisturiser are too rich, too harsh, and potentially too dense of a consistency and texture. This causes the skin surrounding the eye area to become overloaded with product, which may cause puffiness or cause your skin to become milia prone – which is the little white spots that can appear and feel like they are trapped beneath the skin’s surface. When the pores become clogged with everyday dirt and debris from make-up, pollution, as well as the skin’s natural waste product, mixing in a rich product combined with a lack of gentle cleansing can trigger the growth of these white bumps. Add on a few dead skin cells and bacteria to those surrounding cells and the debris becomes trapped by the skin, causing a white bump to form on the surface, which cannot be alleviated without the removal of the dead skin that has trapped it.
ZERO OIL ZONE: There are no oil glands for sebum producing within the eye area, so there is no natural oil lubrication to ensure it stays hydrated, flexible and elastic, unless we use specific eye care products daily.
No matter what your skin type, whether it’s an oily, over producing skin to the oil-on-a-diet dry and dehydrated skin type, natural oils produced in the skin (or sebum) help to keep our skin supple, youthful, and strong. With no natural oil producing glands in the eye area, we need to replenish and simulate the same “action” as oils into the skin surrounding the eye. Naturally forming ceramides such as stearic acid are great ingredients to look out for in an everyday eye care product. Ingredients which support natural proteins already found in the skin are commonly found in eye care products. Whilst you do not want your eyeliner to slip off your lid before you apply it, you do want the skin left feeling soft and supple, so when you smile, laugh, and enjoy the day, you are keeping the wrinkle formation at bay!
DROOPY LIDS: The natural collagen and elastin within the skin help to maintain the skin’s youthful appearance surrounding the eye area. However, as we age and start to naturally deplete our collagen and elastin levels, if we don’t replace them, the skin become more fragile, less elastic, and more prone to dehydration. In turn, this increases the risk of more crow’s feet, fine lines, and deeper set wrinkles around the eye area. It can also be attributed to the “Droopy Lid” look, where the upper lids and the “mobile” part of the eye area (the section that when you close your eyes and move your eyeball whilst your eyes are closed, appears to be moving) start to drop, making your eyes appear heavier or closed as the skin meets your lashes.
The dreaded droop is not only caused by the combination effect of ageing, gravity, and collagen and elastin depletion as each decade passes, but as our skin is made up of more than 70% water and collagen, if we do not replenish this skin essential protein in our daily eye protection, we can essentially just welcome the wrinkles with open arms -- unless we like a regular visit to the aesthetician for a Botulism Toxin® top up!
Collagen is the secret to skin success, whether it be in your eye care, moisturiser, serum, or mask. It is the one skincare ingredient alongside Hyaluronic acid, no matter what your skin type, that has the potential to be a holy grail and I believe no one should live without! Collagen depletes from our skin at a rate of knots -- when you think of healthy, youthful skin, one would think that of skin that is hydrated, glowing, and its plasticity is off the charts – you pinch it, and it springs back into place in a nanosecond. That is skin full of collagen and elastin. When you look in the mirror and the droopy eye lids reflect back, you need to lift them into place before you apply any make-up. Or maybe you’re at the time of your life when it feels like only a matte eyeshadow can be used, as anything with even a hint of shimmer enhances the droopy lid effect, and a smouldering, smoky eye look was last applied over a decade ago! Then it is time to reach for the collagen eye care. Replenishing what we have already lost while combatting the effects of ageing, the droop, wrinkles, and crow’s feet, keeping the skin hydrated and strong should be number one on your priority eye care agenda.
Rich in Hydrolysed Marine Collagen Amino Acids, our Marine Collagen Instant Eye Hydration Repair Treatment is perfect for daily use and does exactly what is claims: it can increase the hydration levels in the delicate eye area by 78% in just one hour.**
In this eye treatment, efficacious ingredients such as Stearic Acid (a fatty acid that is found naturally in the protective outer layer of the skin that acts as one of the building blocks of the lipid layers in skin which help to form a barrier and preserve the skin's natural moisture) and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, or aloe vera (a succulent plant which offers many benefits and is suited for all skin types, especially dry, damaged, broken, sensitive and irritated skin) work together to offer anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, humectant, and soothing, anti-itch qualities for skin. Last, but certainly not least to the eye spy party is Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil which acts as a lubricant on the skin’s surface, giving the skin a soft and smooth appearance. This fusion of actives is a cream-gel formulation is light enough to be used both morning and evening for some seriously impressive results.
94% Agreed hydration levels in the skin around the eyes increased after 3 weeks*
85% Agreed delicate eye area skin had more elasticity after 3 weeks*
89% Agreed the eye area felt more nourished and the skin was more supple*
62% Agreed they saw a visible reduction of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area after 3 weeks*
94% Agreed the eye area felt moisturised for longer*
*Data taken from research over 3 weeks with fifty test subjects (real humans!)
** Data taken from skin moisture measurement results pre and post application of Instant Eye Hydration repair treatment by www.doctorsformula.co.uk
SKIN STRESS: We blink up to 28,000 times per day, so the eye area is under constant stress with so much use. If you are a happy soul, then all that skin creasing as we smile increases the stress and volume of wrinkles within the eye area over time. If you are a squinter or a frowner, the muscles around the area in the forehead and eye area are overworked every day, leading to more fine lines appearing. We apply and remove make-up with a heavy hand, pulling the skin in every direction possible, adding additional skin stress to the area.
We talk about stress and its effects a lot, but within your eye area, the visible signs of stress can be prominent and fluctuate daily. At the beginning of the week and after a relaxing weekend end, your eyes may feel bright and radiant. Fast forward a few days or after a weekend of indulgence, the dark circles may be prominent, the burning sensation might be looming, and the redness and irritation could already be in full swing! Both emotional and physical stress can impact the appearance of the eye area. Physical stress is caused through lack of sensitivity and gentleness when applying and removing products from the eye area. This unavoidable yet overuse of one single area of skin daily, it is no wonder our eyes can not only look aged and crinkly, but also age rapidly.
With emotional stress, the vicious circle frequently leads to loss of sleep, in tandem with the chemical response within the skin which can make it more sensitive and reactive. Then, we should hardly be surprised that our eyes and the surrounding skin can feel tired, red, itchy, and reactive. There is nothing more soothing than a cooling eye gel or dreamy eye cream which has been kept in the fridge and reached for when our eyes are at their most reactive. When we need an instant pick-me-up, the old tales of cold tea bags as an eye compress or cooling cucumber slices applied to the eyes to refresh and boost the microcirculation are age old tricks. Not so much for their soothing prowess, but the cooling effect the cold compress brings to your skin and the fact that these techniques may make you take 5 minutes out, take a few deep breaths and relax, slowing cortisol levels and the negative impact that stress can have on your skin.
THE DARK CIRCLE CURSE: With multiple causes such as age, lifestyle, lack of hydration levels, diet, or a microcirculation malfunction, the cause of dark circles is intrinsically linked to the structure of the blood vessels which supply the skin tissue and cells around the eye area with oxygen and nutrients, whilst simultaneously removing toxins or waste products. When sluggish, this microcirculation can cause the eye area to look dark, primarily as the area needs more nutrients and oxygen, but also because the skin is much finer, hence the discolouration appearing more prominent -- the same as when your under eyes can become dark due to lack of sleep.
Hydration is key. Not only for the eye area, but for overall health of your body and your skin. Dark circles can be caused through lower hydration levels as the skin starts to appear duller, the tissue dehydrates and knowing that the skin is finer and therefore closer to the bone, can cause the eye area to appear dark and more aged. The same applies to sleep or lack of it. Sleep is essential for both eye health and the health of the skin surrounding the eye. When we lose sleep, the skin can appear pale in colour, the paler we are the more prominent the blood vessels in the surrounding eye area can appear, and so dark circles start to form.
Genetics also play a part in how dark your under-eye area looks. Look at your parents, grandparents, and siblings -- do you have your heritage to thank for your dark under eyes? Sometimes even children have unusually dark circles, and it is not just a one off for a few days after their summer sleep over party. They are there from the offset, sometimes worsening with age, but on occasions they can also diminish as children grow older too.
Your overall health can also have an impact on the darkness beneath your eyes. Some conditions such as kidney health, thyroid disease or increased toxins within the blood stream have been reported on impacting the appearance and depth of colour beneath the eye area.
PUFFED TO PERFECTION: There is a reason that there are separate eye products on the market rather than just applying your moisturiser all over your face, neck and décolleté and your eyes. The texture, ingredients and activity levels in moisturiser are hugely different to those in eyecare products, mainly due to the lack of oil producing glands in the delicate eye area. So, if your eyes tend to puff up regularly, then it could be due to what product you are using on the area, as well as it is efficacy and consistency. It could also be linked to fluid retention, allergies, alcohol consumption or hormone fluctuation.
The first thing to take note of is what you are applying to your eye area. Puffy eyes when you wake up can be linked to the product that you applied just before you went to bed and to where you have applied it. Applying product to the “mobile” part of your lid tends to be one of the most common mistakes made when using an eye-care product, which then leaves you believing that you cannot use eye products. The simple equation is that too much of anything is not a good thing. The best way to visualise this is when you cry -- you saturate the eye area with water, flooding the skin and what happens? Your eyes puff. Now, flip that number of tears into your application of your eye cream, all over the eye, the lid and mobile part of the lid, and the result…. you puff.
When you apply an eye care product, simply take a small amount – about the size of a half pea. Smooth it between your ring fingers, as they will apply the least pressure to your delicate skin surrounding the eye and then tap on your face to find where you can feel bone. Through the brow bone, the sides of the eye and beneath the eye, around the entire orbital bone (just to be precise!) and that is it, no more, no less, just enough to smooth, pat and allow to sink into the skin BEFORE you apply your moisturiser. That way the eye area has been protected, prior to applying anything else to the skin, and you do not need to push your moisturiser too close to the eye as you have already treated it!
Then there are the responses triggered from allergies and hormones. When your body recognises an allergy trigger response, histamine is naturally produced. You may take an antihistamine to reduce the response of red, itchy, and puffy eyes, however the histamines can trigger your blood vessels to dilate, making them appear more visible beneath the skin, and your eyes to appear dark circled. When our eyes feel itchy, our initial instinct is to rub, which can worsen the symptoms and in turn cause inflammation and puffiness, increasing the chances of breaking capillaries and create further dark shadows beneath the eyes.
And then there’s the weekend blow out with alcohol that has not only left you sleep deprived, but you also feel that the dark circles are glowing in the dark! There is also a puffiness which you do not usually have, and that’s because alcohol and sodium rich foods can cause us to retain more water. The trick to reduce the swelling on your eye lids is to drink more water, flush the toxins out of the system and eat a healthy and balanced diet to top up the vital nutrients that your body needs to combat the negative effects and puffiness. Round it off with a few good night’s sleep and the eye area weekend binge giveaway signs should be banished… until the next time!
THE EYE AWAKENING: Consider your eyes as the ultimate focal point of your face. There is a reason we colour, shape, and prune our brows to frame our face. We wear make-up and colour to enhance them. Mascara is a staple we require daily. We test our eyes to ensure our vision is at its best. With just the one pair of eyes that carries us through from birth until we depart, we take great care of our eyes in how they look, but can neglect the skin that surrounds, supports and frames this oh so precious element of our everyday life.
The eyes really are the window to your soul, as well as your lifestyle, your health, and your emotions – so now, it is time to give them the support, care, and attention they deserve! I recommend our Marine Collagen Instant Eye Hydration Repair Treatment which can be found at Doctorsformula.co.uk. Go on, give it a try (and remember to get a good night’s sleep, check your diet, and reassess your lifestyle!)