Our eyes speak volumes about us. You can tell if someone is sad, happy, tired, stressed, or fatigued just by looking at their eyes. But the eye area is also the most delicate part of our face. They are truly an indicator of our overall health and wellbeing.
Why is the under eye area so delicate?
The skin around the eyes is actually different to the rest of the skin. It doesn’t have any sebaceous (oil) glands and because it’s so thin, it’s also most susceptible to damage of collagen and elastin. Collagen and Elastin are responsible for keeping the skin young, plump, and firm, so that’s why the eye area tends to age much more quickly than the rest of the face.
So is it really necessary to buy (another) cream just for my eyes?
This really depends on what your eye concern is and how your eyes react to products and ingredients. The whole idea of an eye cream is to tackle issues like dehydration, dark circles, wrinkles, and fine lines without irritation. More sophisticated eye creams will also have a delivery system that is able to penetrate the skin around the eyes more deeply, and often has a lower amount of active ingredients than products used for the rest of the skin (ironic since they seem to cost so much for so little!). Eye creams are certainly a safer option than just spreading your serums and creams closer to the eyes. However, they are not going to reverse the signs of ageing or completely eliminate dark circles, which is why the best way to treat these issues is to invest in a really good concealer.
Skin Types and Eye Treatments:
- Dry Skin: Cream
- Normal Skin: Cream/Gel
- Oily Skin: Gel
- Combo Skin: Gel
Dark circles are a very common issue for almost all skin types, primarily because the skin in this area is far more sensitive, as it is not supported like the rest of the face. There is no subcutaneous tissue and the skin is much thinner, so when we encounter intrinsic and extrinsic changes, it will appear here first. It can also be caused by a skin condition, but the triggers are very difficult to pinpoint and it is often hard to diagnose.
Tiredness - Sleep deprivation, Oversleeping
Tired skin = oxygen deprivation = sluggishness of blood circulation. When your skin doesn’t have the correct amount of oxygen, everything becomes motionless...like pressing pause during a film. The blood flow stays immobile under the eye area, causing a blue looking pigment, present in the deoxygenated blood, to leak from capillaries into the tissue. As the skin is thinner in this area, it is more visible. Ta-dah, hello dark circles.
A good night sleep, ideally only 7-8 hours. Yes, oversleeping is actually BAD for your health. And guess what? Some claim coffee makes our blood vessels constrict, so less visible...one oat milk latte, please!
Dark circles may actually come almost with their best friend; we’ll call her ‘puffy’. In this case, place something cold on this area (cold spoon, gel eye patches) as this can really help. I personally like to put my eye patches in the fridge, and apply them during the peak of my hangover, when more than my eyes are feeling delicate.
Margaritas + tequila shots + gin & tonics + coffee = dehydration. In case you didn’t know, this toxic mix contributes significantly to dark circles. Alcohol decreases blood oxygenation, replacing the oxygen in the blood. It causes pollution of the cells, this includes cells around the eyes.
Water, green tea, water with lemon and/or cucumber. Anything that contains WATER. Again, if you know that the root of the problem is dehydration and that your dark circles are “temporary”, simply use cold eye patches and/or a gel-cream eye treatment that will help to soothe the area.
Sun exposure leaves our capilaties vulnerable and more prone to ‘leak’. Plus, in certain skin types it can increase melanin production, making them darker. The eyes are greatly affected by UV light and will show this through the appearance of brownish shadows.
Unfortunately, this condition is only manageable and can not be fully treated. This is why it is really important to prevent it, especially for darker skin types. It is important to have an antioxidant eye serum as well as a SPF to create a shield against the sun.
Genetics - Thanks Mum & Dad
Yes genetics ! Dark circles are more prone in people that have excessive pigmentation, melanin deposition, or low levels of collagen in the area under the eyes.
As this is a genetic condition, there is not much that you can do to get rid of them. However, there are some treatments that can help to brighten this area. Liquorice extract, caffeine and Vitamin C are some of the best ingredients to look at.
As we age, collagen begins to reduce and even harden through a process called glycation. This results in loss of elasticity and skin integrity and eventually leads to fine lines and wrinkles. Because the skin around the eyes is thinner and more delicate, this area may be more susceptible to wrinkles. The under eye area will appear puffy, wrinkly and more pigmented.
In this case, boosting the cell production and hydrating this area will help to diminish those effects. For these types of skins, an anti-wrinkle cream that contains retinol would be great as it will brighten and tighten the eye area.
- Teenvogue.com - Dark Under Eye Circles Meaning and Treatment
- Blissoma.com - Causes of dark eye circles take action to reduce dark circles under eyes naturally
- Skinceuticals.co.uk - What Causes Dark Circles Under The Eyes
- Dailymail.co.uk - Why I Dark Circles Eyes
- Paulaschoice.co.uk - Shed Some Light On Dark Circles
- Elle.com - Best Under Eye Mask Patches/
If you want to understand more about the skin health of the eyes and want more specific product recommendations, book in a Holistic Skin Session with one of our Skin Mentors.