Your Plan for Ageless Eye
The eye area, known as the occipital region, is one of the very first areas on the face to show signs of aging. That’s because the skin around the eye is very thin and delicate, and is deprived of a natural source of protection: oil glands. This makes your eye area more vulnerable to the aging effects of UV rays. The lack of oil glands also makes the skin appear dehydrated, which makes wrinkles easier to form. Staying hydrated every day will also help improve current signs of aging and fatigue, as well as help to prevent further damage to the delicate region around your eyes.
One of the biggest factors of aging is the constant contracting of the tiny muscles that encompass the eye region, which includes blinking and making various facial expressions. Consider this: You will blink 16 times a minute, 960 times an hour, 23,040 times a day, 161,280 times a week, 4,838,400 times a month, and 58,060,800 times a year. That’s a pretty hefty workout for the eyes! As we age, our skin naturally begins to lose portions of our three natural fillers: collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. The loss of elasticity also causes the formation of wrinkles. Blinking gradually causes the skin loses its elasticity and produce less collagen under the skin. All of this makes the skin start to sag and wrinkle. Another common cause of wrinkles around the eyes comes from changing our facial expressions like smiling or frowning. Remember your mother telling you not to frown or you’ll get wrinkles? Well, she was partially right! Another truth? Your lifestyle will show on your eyes.
Preventative Lifestyle Tips
If you’re a smoker, butt out now! This harmful habit triggers tiny blood within the layers of the skin vessels to tighten up, therefore effecting the circulation of oxygenated blood flow. This will not only cause a breakdown of elastin and collagen that help to keep the skin soft, tight and elastic, but will also paint on some not-so-flattering dark under eye circles.
Make sleep a priority. Aim for a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night because this is the time the body uses to rejuvenate and replenish. So keep those all-nighters to a minimum for the sake of your eyes.
Hydration, hydration, hydration! As mentioned, one of the most integral actions for preventing eye wrinkles from forming is hydration, so start your day off right by drinking a tall glass of water and keep sipping throughout the day. Aim for the standard eight glasses a day.
Quick Damage Control Tips
For those inevitable days when you’ve got puffiness or dark under eye circles due to lack sleep, hydrate those peepers with these classic tricks.
Cucumbers for eye pads. This works because cucumbers and the skin share the same level of hydrogen, making it bio-compatible with our skin. Place on tired eyes for at least five to ten minutes. Try cucumbers to quickly brighten those eyes before an evening out too! Caveat: If you have dark circles known as melasma or hyperpigmented skin, this is not an effective treatment, nor should you expect them to remove unwanted lines.
Tea bags can also be helpful in relieving fatigue around the eyes. By placing tea bags on the eyes after they have been steeped in water and cooled off, you will be able to relax your eyes after a long day of work. My personal favourite is to use green tea or white tea, due to the added benefits of antioxidants.
Eye Creams for Prevention
With pharmacy and department store shelves showcasing an overwhelming array of eye creams boosting promises of reduced puffiness, diminished dark circles and erased fine lines, it’s so easy to become discouraged. Do any of these products live up to their claims? A simple tip is to look for some specific active ingredients. Products that contain Retinol, Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxy Acids have been proven to be some of the most effective on the market at reducing wrinkles. These are some of my favorites eye creams:
- Olay Regenerest Eye Lifting Serum hydrates, and brightens the eye area and helps to firm loss of elasticity ($25)
- Clarins Eye Contour Gel has a lightweight texture, minimizes dark circles under the eyes and reduces puffiness ($25)
- Clinique Repairwear Intensive Eye Cream is appropriate for every skin types, lightly hydrates and targets the appearance superficial lines and wrinkles. ($38)
- Dior Capture Totale for Eyes ($75) aids in smoothing out wrinkles, diminishes dark circles under the eyes, reduces signs of fatigue
Treatments to Fix The Damage
Clinical treatments will create a synergy with your home care products to maximize effects and benefits. Gaining popularity are chemical peels and injectables like Botox or dermal fillers like Restylane and Juvederm, which are designed to restore youthful, more beautiful skin including the eye area. Botox is a substance that has been used for many years, not only as an anti-aging remedy but to also aid in controlling migraines and hyperhidrosis. Due to its ability to freeze the muscle, it is used primarily to stop the constant contraction of the muscle causing the effects of crow’s feet or those wonderful “11’s” in between the brows. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, will literally fill the crease of the wrinkle with hyaluronic acid (one of our body’s own natural fillers) therefore causing the wrinkle to disappear. Injectables are generally conducted 1-2 times per year, depending desired results and home care rituals.
For much deeper or pronounced wrinkles, treatments utilizing non-ablative lasers like the Fraxel are very effective. A non-ablative laser penetrates beneath the surface of the skin without damaging the outer layer. This stimulates collagen production, reduces lines, and improves skin tone and firmness. The procedure can be painful, so a topical anaesthetic is applied. Because non-ablative lasers do not damage surface skin, there is no recovery time. As you can tell by the length of this article, keeping your peepers youthful looking takes a lot of consistent TLC. There are no real shortcuts. If you start at an early age by doing all the preventative measures (use a good eye cream, drink lots of water, quite smoking, get plenty of sleep), you’ll certainly have the edge in warding off the telltale signs of aging. But if you currently have crow’s feet and dark under eye circles that are bugging you, it’s not too late to treat them. Nowadays, you have tons of treatment options for dramatic eye rejuvenation. For example, at our go-to derm’s clinic in downtown Toronto, they offer a popular treatment that combines injectables and lasers to erase dark under eye circles. Check it out here. Turning back the hands of time on your eyes has never been easier!