3 Simple Ways To Win The Aging Eyes War
High on stress and low on rest? The delicate skin around your eyes will be the first to suffer.
With the world dictating some major mask-wearing for the forseeable future, your eyes have never been more important. Annoying, then, that the skin around your eyes is thin, fragile and prone to dryness, meaning it ages super-fast and totally gives the game away when you're tired. Sigh.
So, if you're looking for the best ways to solve inevitable eye issues such as fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, puffiness and dark circles, you've come to the right place.
Here are our top three ways to up your anti-aging eyecare game.
1. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of A Good Night’s Sleep
Even though the sleep sweet spot is between seven and nine hours a night, a whopping 40 percent of Americans get less than seven hours. That’s a lot of people not getting enough zzzs, and a lot of you whose appearance is probably suffering because of it. You’ve all been there, right? Woken up after a crappy night’s sleep only to be faced with dark circles and bags under your eyes. So not what the beauty doctor ordered.
The harsh truth is that skipping on sleep does a real number on the skin around your eyes. Lack of sleep makes your blood vessels dilate (hello dark circles), leads to water retention (ditto puffy eyes) and can even decrease moisture levels in your skin (dry skin, be damned). You know that term ‘beauty sleep’? Yeah, that.
The solution? Go to bed earlier, for one; skip caffeine in the evening; don’t eat too late and disconnect yourself from your smartphone at least 30 minutes before you turn in. Words With Friends can wait until the morning.
2. Add An Eye Cream To Your Skincare Routine
As well as it being thinner and more fragile, the skin around the eyes is generally drier than the rest of your face, so it requires extra moisturization and a delicate touch. It also gets a vigorous, daily workout due to constant muscle movement from talking, squinting, frowning, laughing, eye rolling, the works. It’s no wonder, then, that the skin around your eyes is among the first areas to show the visible signs of aging.
And this is where a quality eye cream comes into play. Note, the word ‘quality’ – after all, like most skincare formulations, not all eye creams are created equal. We believe it’s all about key ingredients that have been tried and tested to offer results. And our three favorites for the skin around your eyes? Hyaluronic acid, peptides and antioxidants.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Say hello to the darling of the skincare industry. And rightly so because hyaluronic acid does, for sure, pack a very powerful hydrating punch which is super-important for the dry skin around your eyes. Countless studies prove that HA holds more than 1,000 times its weight in water giving it an amazing ability to draw moisture into the skin. Just remember, however, if a product formulation doesn’t include some kind of occlusive emollient to seal in the moisture, it’ll just evaporate from the surface of your skin rendering all that delicious HA, well, kinda pointless.
Occlusive emollients include things like ceramides, cocoa and shea butter, squalane and various oils such as jojoba and olive.
Peptides are small chemical compounds that create the building blocks of essential proteins such as collagen, elastin and keratin. It’s a little confusing, we know, but bear with us. Without these proteins, skin loses its firmness, smoothness and suppleness, so the objective for peptides in skincare is to help stimulate collagen and elastin production for healthier, more youthful-looking skin. Make sense? Good.
By strengthening the skin, peptides have also been shown to help improve dark circles under the eyes and the appearance of puffiness. Gotta love that.
If you don’t stop pesky free radicals (caused mostly by environmental damage) from damaging valuable collagen and elastin in your skin, your eyes will pay the price and leave you with any number of concerns including crow’s feet and sagging skin.
And the only way to win the free radical battle? With antioxidants such as vitamins C and E which have the unique capacity to neutralize free radicals before they get the chance to strike.
To make the most from your eye treatment, never use too much and try not to be too heavy-handed with it. This means a tiny dab (less than a pea-size) should be enough for both eyes.
Apply it to one ring finger, then press it between your other ring finger to get an even distribution for each eye. Next, lightly press, don’t rub, each ring finger around each eye, working it around the orbital bones and over your brows as instructed on the label. Using your ring fingers rather than your forefingers means you’ll get a much lighter touch which reduces dragging (read: wrinkles).
3. Make Better Lifestyle Choices
Whether it’s sugar, salt, alcohol or a combination of all three, your vices are the source of many skin concerns. All three of these oh-so-good, yet oh-so-bad treats are extremely dehydrating and not only exacerbate dryness to your skin but may cause fluid retention, sagging skin and dark circles under your eyes.
Sugar, specifically, is seen as the root of many skin evils. One word: glycation. Glycation is the name of the process in which sugar molecules attach themselves to proteins (namely collagen) and fats in your skin, causing them to become stiff and inflexible. The end result is a severe loss in your skin’s elasticity and an acceleration in the visible signs of aging.
Instead of constantly over-indulging in salt, sugar and booze, up your intake of beans, oily fish, nuts, tomatoes and leafy green veggies.
Boring, we know, but totally worth it in the long run.
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.