Eyes are often called the window to our soul however this fragile area of our skin is often prone to the first signs of aging. The skin around your eyes in as thick as five sheets of paper and it’s often where we pull and tug at the most when removing mascara, eye shadow, and eyeliner. However puffy, lined eyes with dark circles can be attributed to many different factors. All of which we will discuss below from genetics to make-up to how much time you spend in front of a computer. All of these contribute to aging eyes.
However before we go into the factors lets talk about what normally happens when you walk into a department store or salon with concerns about your eyes. 9 times out of 10 the shop assistant or therapist will simply try and sell you the latest eye cream or gel with all the selling points that they revised last night before coming in to work that morning and setting themselves a target of selling 2-3 of them to customers regardless of that fact whether it was right for your skin or not. At Winslow Skincare, we always perform a full consultation, analysing your skin and prescribing the product we believe is truly right for your skin and all of its concerns, not the one we simply have chosen to sell because it’s gives us the highest profit margin or the most commission. We pay attention to texture, pigmentation and collagen levels around your eyes. We will make detailed notes on what we believe would be the best product for you and why and then we go about recommend great home care advice that will cost you nothing but make a big difference to your skin care regimen.
What do you use to remove your eye make-up? The same remover that you use all over your face or a separate one? The skin around your eyes is actually a different pH to the rest of your skin which is why using the same exfoliant, cream or eye makeup remover can sting and cause permanent damage around this delicate area. Always use an eye makeup remover that is designed for use around the eyes or at least formulated for sensitive skin. However, I would rather you use a damaging, alcohol based eye makeup remover than not use one at all! Leaving your mascara and eye makeup on overnight not only makes your eyelashes brittle and weak but also cause congestion around the eyes leading the milia (hard white spots that have to be removed surgically) Also leaving your makeup on overnight cause this semi-melted/dissolved eye makeup to make its way into your eyes and cause irritation and redness.
And what if you use heavy, waterproof makeup? Opt for an oil based makeup remover such as Dermalogica’s PreCleanse that effectively grabs on to oil based makeups and pulls the impurities away from the skin, leaving a superior clean.
Puffiness can occur in the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. It is in it’s most basic form fluid retention that is due to a lack of movement in the lymphatic and drainage systems around the eyes, there are lots of treatments and products that claim to reduce puffiness and fluid retention around the eyes however there is a very simple thing that we do every day without thinking about it that helps to reduce puffiness around our eyes. All we need to do is do more of it.
When you blink you are moving the muscles around your eyes, if you had puffiness of fluid retention anywhere else in your body e.g. your ankles or lower legs the doctor would probably tell you that in order to re boot the lymphatic system and speed up drainage you would need to do some form of excersie or movement in order to get the blood and lymph flowing to this area. It is exactly the same principle for your eyes and blinking in the only form of exercise we can do for the eyes. You may be thinking since we all on average blink about 12-15 times a minute how come some people have puffier eyes than other? The answer would be computers. Studies show computer users blink much less frequently, about four or five blinks per minute, blinking refreshes and drains the eyes of fluid so 4-5 blinks a minute just isn’t enough.
Other causes of puffiness can be hay fever (however this does tend to be seasonal) also natural irritants such as allergies to pet hair or foods which can also produce itching, swelling and redness. Also if you rub your eyes a lot then this will call a build up of fluids around the eye area.
Genetics play a big part in dark circles, if you when you were a child you suffered with dark circles it is more than likely you will continue to suffer from them as an adult. Likewise if your parents suffered with dark circles then they would of passed that on it (thanks Mum and Dad!) Sleep is also a huge factor, dark circles are caused by tiny dialted capillaires around the eyes that when they leak leave a dark blood pool below the lash line, also known as dark circles. The reason the blood appears blue and purple, not red is because your body removes the blood with a specially designed enzyme, however a bi-product of this reaction is the dark purple or blue colour left behind (caused by the hemoglobin in your blood). This is why it is so important that you protect the skin around your eyes as it is so delictate. Another common culprit behind dark circles is seasonal allergies. This is because the sinuses become congested and this limits blood flow, the small cappillaries enlarge and pop, leaving the blood behind and the enzyme gets to work.
Other causes can be changes in hormone levels e.g. pregnancy, menopause or medication. This is why we always perform a full consultation asking what medication you are taking if any, to fully establish the root cause of your skin concern.
Nearly all of us have some form of dehydration or fine lines around the eye area, often caused by unprotected UV exposure. Many of our eye creams don’t contain an SPF and if they do it is usually very low around an SPF 15 or 30. In addition when we apply makeup around this area we often remove what little SPF was there in our pulling and tugging of the skin, the SPF simply slides away or blends in with the makeup reducing it’s effectiveness. The muscles around the eyes will start to drop and sag with sage. In addition we are now putting our eyes under more strain than ever, constantly glaring at computer screens and phones gives our eyes little or no resbite.
If you concerned with eye lid dropping and sagging then consider The CACI Eye Lift which we offer at Winslow Skincare however if fine lines and dehydration are your concern then start looking for an eye cream with a vitamin complex to help repair and protect this delicate area, with an SPF to protect against damaging UV rays as well as a silicone base to provide a shield over this vulnerable area.
It’s not just the cream but the application!
After you have found the perfect eye cream then the second part is the perfect application. You only need a small amount with all eye cream (size of a grain of rice) and distribute the product between both ring fingers. Then they should gently apply the product by patting around the eye orbit, moving from the outside corner in. See picture below for a full Dermalogica massage routine around the eyes to reduce puffiness and dark circles.