The skin around the eyes is up to ten times thinner and more delicate than the rest of the face, therefore making it vulnerable to the effects of sun exposure, environmental pollutants and glycation. As we age, oxidative stress generated from sun exposure, environmental elements/pollution, and glycation produce destructive structural changes that favor collagen degradation.
The under-eye skin, lids and surrounding skin is extremely thin, with the lowest elasticity, firmness, and oil production, the worst barrier function (i.e. limited absorption of actives and poor protection from environmental stressors and often times develops the deepest wrinkles. Dark circles and puffiness usually come hand in hand and are usually caused by a circulatory problem in which the small blood vessels and capillaries, as we mature, lose the ability to return the blood back to the system and tend to back up into the lymphatic tissue (which is called edema) where fluid is accumulated and thus causes puffiness. Sounds so encouraging, right? Well, we have some tips to help navigate through the sea of treatments to determine what is best for you.
Looking to target issues of puffiness and dark circles, choose an eye cream which contains anti-inflammatory fighting ingredients such as Arnica, Caffeine and/or soothing tea extracts.
“Everyone should be using an eye cream/treatment by the mid-twenties.” Dr. Goldfaden says
Visible changes under and around the eye area include hyperpigmentation or” dark circles”, some fine lines and textural changes due to the thinness of the skin from diminished levels of collagen production. Look for treatments which contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, including – Red Tea/Rooibos, which has high levels of Vitamins A, C and E to ward off free-radicals and give an extra boost to collagen production and Arnica – a plant that has the power to fade bruises, heal sprains and fight inflammation in different areas of our body, including under our eyes. By building collagen, the treatments help to minimize the appearance of dark circles that are in-part caused by blood vessels close to the surface of aging, thinner skin and reduce inflammation around the eye area.
Dark circles can be a result of dehydration, so using a deeply hydrating ingredient such as hyaluronic acid (which has the ability to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water) will help combat the appearance of darkness but also help with strengthening and plumping the skin as well.
Retinol creams and treatments for those who can tolerate them, gentle can be helpful. Retinol can help to increase cell turnover thereby minimizing dark-circles and textural changes. They also can help stimulate collagen production thereby preventing volume loss and strengthening the skin.
Peptide-based eye creams often present an effective alternative (especially if you have sensitive skin) to retinol-based products. Peptide based eye products can be beneficial if you’re looking for an alternative to dermal fillers/plastic surgery or just for maintenance purposes in the interim. Peptides are designed to provide collagen-boosters to your skin and improve circulation, so you can often expect reduced darkness and an increase in skin plumpness and elasticity.
Mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes — are common as you age. With aging, the tissues around your eyes, including some of the muscles supporting your eyelids, weaken. Normal fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, causing the lids to appear puffy. One of our favorite ingredients to combat puffiness? Caffeine.
There’s a reason caffeine is often found in products that are meant reduce the appearance of puffiness. Coffee is chock-full of important antioxidants that can prevent or slow down the damaging of cells, therefore reducing inflammation in your body. Caffeine also works to reduce the amount of blood that accumulates under the eyes (a major factor that contributes to dark circles), so it acts as a double-power active for the eyes.