This is one of the most asked questions that skincare therapists receive. It seems that there is a lot of pressure for women to have youthful complexions and 'no wrinkles' ...which to me is plainly oppressive. One of the loveliest things I notice about anyone I meet is the 'crinkles' around their eyes when they smile. It indicates to me they smile easily and often which makes me feel calm and attracted to them. That can't be a 'bad' human reaction! 😊
However, the quality of the skin also alerts anyone to your health and while some of us may have been told we have 'oily' skin or 'dry' skin, everyone's skin is changing during the month and during the seasons.
What we do know is that the skin around our eyes is very delicate in comparison to the rest of our facial skin. There's also the sheer amount of work those small muscle structures around the eyes do ...every single waking moment your eyes are on duty. No wonder that the easiest way to feel less stimulation is to shut them.
People who have exponentially more stress in life will manifest more premature ageing around the eyes specifically because of the emotions that the eye area conveys. You may have seen concentration lines between the eyebrows, called 'elevens', on people who have had difficulty during their life, or who have not had the emotional skills and support they needed to get through challenging times. And those who have lived in harsh climates, living a majority of their life outside, will have pronounced wrinkling around the top of the cheekbones and outer eye area due to squinting.
The environment we live in determines to a large extent the amount of premature ageing we will experience, but our genetics will also have a considerable impact on how we age.
Did you know the skin around the eyes doesn't contain oil glands? Just like out lips this skin dries out more often and requires topical moisturisation. We need to give the eyes more care and attention if we wish to maintain great skin integrity and reduce fine lines and premature wrinkles. But what directly causes the skin to get damaged?
not enough quality rest and nutrition (stressing the eye muscles and body-skin biology)
dehydration (systemic and topical)
excessive screen time (with any device)
myopia or hyperopia (near sighted or far sighted causing the person to see 'out of focus')
environmental factors (overt UV exposure, dry climate, smog)
So now that you're aware of what causes the damage, how and what can you do to prevent damage and repair what has already occurred?
consciously choose to give your eyes a rest from screens approximately every 25 minutes
drink more pure water and regularly use a facial mist
get quality sleep by engaging in relaxation techniques after your work day is done
add a light moisturising oil or cream formulation to your eye-care routine with Vitamin C and other antioxidant nutrients
get your eyes checked every 2 years or less to assess the quality of your eyesight
Interestingly the pressure and damage from rubbing tired eyes or unfocused eyesight is incredible. This also goes for taking eye-make up off, so it is extremely important to use a light touch and non-toxic products.
Knowing if your eyesight is good or not can reduce stress and tension of the delicate eye area. You can actually reduce your premature ageing by calming your emotions too, so that means being conscious of what triggers distress and taking action before your energy is imbalanced. A cool or warm compress using a soft cloth can create an instant sanctuary of calm and give your eyes the pause they need. Using a Gua Sha massage to reduce puffiness will also increase overall eye health and improve the skin around the eyes.
Plump up with natural botanical skin nutrients that also hydrate. Some of the best I've found are Pumpkin Seed Oil, Kakadu Plum Extract and Pomegranate Seed Oil. You'll also find that Green Tea Extract and Camellia Seed Oil will become a beautiful part of your eye-care routine. However remember, 'less is more' when it comes to that delicate skin around the eye. A little applied regularly is the key, and to start now is better than never.
Q: Can you use your moisturiser or facial oil around your eyes?
A: Yes, as long as you use a tiny amount and apply it with your ring finger or pinky finger. These two have a lot less muscular pressure ability and will ensure you don't accidentally press too hard.
Dark rings and puffy eyes are indicators of different kinds of stress (dark circles may also be hereditary) and will benefit from changing your habits from non-beneficial ones to healthier alternatives.
Botanical Eye Assistance
We'd all like to avoid early onset of macular degeneration and there are commonsense pathways of nutrition we can choose to support our eyesight every single day.
Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis), Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), Chrysanthemum flower, Ginkgo biloba (improves blood flow to the retina) and Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contain antioxidant polyphenols. These all work as free radical scavengers, which help to counteract the oxidative damage that have a hand in creating problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts.
Increasing intake of foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin, like green leafy veges, brocolli, beans, peas etc., and yellow veges like carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato can also assist with slowing the onset or progression of macular degeneration. Non-vegan sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are egg yolks and fish oils.
Then there is the biggie; diabetes. High levels of sugar in your blood damage proteins which then create more free radicals which then increases premature aging. So while it may be wonderful to pop a supplement and increase 'all the good things', we also need to avoid the high-glycemic foods and beverages that would nullify our good efforts. A low-glycemic diet can assist with avoiding the onset of diabetes and related disease that would ultimately degenerate eyesight.
ALL these things are valuable to know...what to start increasing and what to begin avoiding.
As a Holistic Skincare specialist I will not simply present a wonder treatment and tell you 'this is the answer', because the basis of great skin is primarily systemic, meaning it starts with your internal health. Always go within first and increase detoxification to help you improve with less in your way to begin with. Reduce toxins overall, from dietary, lifestyle and personal care products. Do one of each to start and then gently increase the purity of your lifestyle in graduations so that it simply becomes 'what you do' and flows with ease.