Updated: Feb 23
Most of us want to look younger than our actual age. When we try to estimate someone’s age, we usually and firstly look at their eye area and if we look at faces of people in their 20s and their 30s the main difference usually lies in the eye area: people in their 30s will be a lot more likely to have fine lines, dark circles and puffiness under their eyes. And there is a reason – the skin around the eyes is the thinnest and the most fragile.
Therefore, looking young as long as possible requires a special care for the fragile eye contour area as the skin around the eyes ages faster than the rest of the face.
SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF THE EYE CONTOUR
The eye contour area is different from the rest of the face, in particular because of the specific physiology of the skin in this zone.
Indeed, the skin of the eye contour area is very thin and much more sensitive. The epidermis is just 0.04mm thick compared with 1mm on the rest of the face. Similarly, the dermis is just 0.5mm thick against 1 to 4mm for the rest of the body.
There are virtually no sebaceous glands in the skin around the eyes so there is less natural lubrication that makes the area prone to dryness, and eyes are easily susceptible to irritation.
It overlies a particularly dense capillary network and has minimal fat padding, which makes the eye area vulnerable to stress and prone to dark circles and puffiness.
Muscles enable the eye to move, as well as they are key in draining surrounding tissue thus promoting lymphatic and venous return. That explains why the eyes can appear puffy on waking, as the muscles have rested all night.
It is stressed by frequent eye movements and squinting. Continuous use of screens, artificial lighting and environmental stressors like UV radiation and pollution strain the eyes and eye area leading to dehydration and irritation.
Because of all these specific aspects of the skin around the eyes, the following problems or a combination of them are first to appear in this fragile area:
Fine lines and wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles appear at the outer corner of the eye to form the so called “crow’s feet”. They are the result of the inevitable depletion of collagen and elastin fibres and of the exposure to strains and environmental stressors such as the sun, pollution and free radicals.
Dark circles are abnormal colouring of the lower lids that is a direct consequence of problems of micro-circulation. As we grow older, the capillary walls grow slacker and blood can no longer circulates normally. The result is accentuated subcutaneous pigmentation that is more noticeable under the eyes.
Dark circles fall into one of the following two categories:
- hereditary dark circles caused by hyperpigmentation of the skin;
- circulatory dark circles which are an occasional problem caused by poor circulation of the blood. They appear during periods of fatigue, stress, or lack of sleep.
Under-eye puffiness is in fact excess swelling of the lids. It has two distinct causes:
- Oedematous puffiness: this is caused by stagnating lymph. This type of puffiness, which is most noticeable on waking, tends to diminish during the day. Poor micro-circulation and the use of greasy cosmetics make this problem worse.
- Hereditary puffiness: this is the result of excess fatty cells building up in the area under the eye. They are a hereditary problem that can only be solved by surgery. However, hereditary puffiness is made worse by skin slackening, an inevitable part of the ageing process.
It is important to minimise morning puffiness not so much because it is a transient nuisance after awakening but because it is one of the biggest contributors to the ageing of the eye area.
The skin of the eye contour therefore needs very early, continuous and thorough treatment that will help to prevent further damage to the eye contour area and repair it.
Committing to a professional treatment
Committing to a professional treatment for the eye area is always worth the investment as these treatments usually employ a multidimensional approach like combining products with high concentrations of active ingredients, manual eye massage and patch eye masks like the BIOPTIC eye contour treatment (£35) by Ericson Laboratoire – Paris.
The BIOPTIC eye contour treatment lasts for 45 minutes and includes 4 products that are applied one on top of the other with gentle eye contour massage, and an eye contour twin patch mask soaked in a gel that targets all eye contour concerns. The treatment stimulates skin cell metabolism, repairs the eye contour area and makes it more resilient over time thus reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improving the skin suppleness, and providing skin nourishment and regeneration. It also acts on the puffiness and dark circles by encouraging the micro-circulation and helping with the supply of oxygen and nutrients.
Products are ophthalmologically tested and are suitable for the most sensitive eyes.
The BAGS REDUCER MASK addresses two major problems that are key for the formation of eye puffiness and bags: water retention and fat retention. It helps drain water and eliminate fatty molecule infiltration located under the eye area.
The REPAIR CONCENTRATE FLUID helps to repair the zone around the eyes by increasing collagen production and by making the skin more resilient over time thus reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The MICRO-COLLAGEN LIFTING GEL effectively and visibly smoothes fine lines and wrinkles by encouraging collagen and elastin production, and restores skin suppleness.
The ANTI-DARK CIRCLES FLUID reduces the appearance of dark circles under the eyes that are usually a result of less supple blood vessels and less water-resistant capillary walls. This combined with sluggish micro-circulation leads to deposits of by-products of blood cells degradation that give the purplish brown colour of the dark circles.
The TWIN-PATCH MASK FOR EYE ZONE is soaked in a gel complex that releases a combination of ingredients to fight signs of fatigue and to provide an instant beauty treatment to the eyes. Rich in draining, decongesting, veno-tonic, moisturising, and anti-ageing active ingredients, these patches decrease the puffiness, reduce dark circles, plump out fine dehydration lines, and protect the area around the eye from premature ageing.
The result is that the eye contour is more resilient, noticeably smoothed, and the eye area looks relaxed and brighter thus helping the eyes to regain their sparkle.
Saying YES to an eye cream
Saying YES to an eye cream as part of the home skincare regimen is also recommended.
A lot of our clients are confused about eye creams. They think that whatever they use on the rest of their face will work just fine on their eyes. Unfortunately, this is not the case and it comes down to a few key differences:
Eye creams are different as they are specially formulated for the thin and delicate skin around the eyes, and with special delivery systems and ingredients that are gentle and non-irritating.
The skin around the eyes absorbs the active ingredients in a cream much faster than the skin on other areas of the face.
An eye cream should do much more than just moisturising the skin of the eye contour area. While hydration is something that the skin needs, it is not going to do much about the signs of ageing that are a result more of collagen and elastin deterioration or the dark circles and puffiness.
For example, an eye contour cream should contain ingredients with lifting effect on the upper and lower eyelids and ingredients that are strengthening the capillary walls thus reducing leakages that lead to accumulation of glycotoxic pigments responsible for the appearance of dark circles.
Also a special attention should be paid on the way the eye cream is applied. Because the skin around the eyes is very thin and delicate, the eye cream should be applied with very gentle movements that avoid any stretching of the skin. The eye creams should also be applied along the edge of the bone that outlines the eye socket. As the skin of the upper and lower eyelids is so thin the cream will be absorbed further up without the eyes being irritated.
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