Our Eyes. Such miraculous and fascinating little organs, aren't they? Our eyes are incredibly complex bundles of muscles, ligaments and blood vessels. They work so hard for us everyday, allowing us to navigate through life and do our daily work. Their biggest power lies in their ability to strongly communicate our emotions and intentions completely non-verbally. Your eyes can attract a mate, intimidate an enemy, and flash that ominous "just you wait until we get home" glance to your misbehaving child without uttering a single word.
How ironic and curious is it then, that the most intricate and complicated organs on our bodies are also the most thinly veiled? All of this complexity lies just underneath skin reminiscent of parchment paper or delicate lace, with our eyelids being the thinnest skin on the entire human body. It would make sense, then, that this precious skin would be most vulnerable to the signs of aging.
It is well known that the eye area is the first place to show signs of aging. We make constant facial expressions that, over time, etch out lines and creases from muscle movements repeating themselves over and over. Thin skin is less resilient to "bounce back", and after a while, the little crinkles just sort of stick around. The solution to this, as I see it, is obvious. Simply stop laughing so much and work on smiling less. Try not to cry or grimace, and whatever you do, don't get too excited about anything.
I jest, of course, as that advice is absolutely absurd and ridiculous! Joking aside, I find nothing more beautiful than a person with laugh lines that go halfway down their cheeks. These are the best kinds of people in my opinion. A person with an easy laugh and the capability to smile through life's many taint punches is truly a treasure in this world. As time marches inevitably on, however, we will all begin to see the seamless eyes of youth give way to loss of firmness and elasticity. When it comes to targeting eye area aging, this esthetician has seen it all (and tried a lot of it). The following are some no nonsense tricks and tips for preserving the skin around those peepers.
- Proper Diet and Sleep: An experienced skin therapist can always tell when these two important factors are amiss. High sodium diets and poor sleep habits typically result in under eye and eyelid swelling and discoloration. To reduce eye bloat and a darkened appearance, cutting out overly processed foods, drinking plenty of water and getting sufficient sleep can make all the difference in the world right off the top.
- Nutrient density is a must: This delicate skin craves fats and essential fatty acids to nourish skin and relieve it of the surface dehydration that exaggerates creases and crinkles. Drinking water until you explode won't be enough to hydrate this area. It requires targeted care in the way of a topically applied product to deliver moisture to the area. Nourish Rich Neck and Eye Cream does just that with a super dense cream formula rich in oleic acids (fats) and loaded with essential fatty acids to quench surface dehydration leaving skin smooth and supple. Night time is repair time for skin, so slather on this silky butter cream while you sleep for renewal and rejuvenation.
- Gentle Eye Makeup Application and Removal: We all love to play up our peepers with liners, shadows and mascaras. Choose creamy eyeliners that glide on like butter and try to avoid pulling or tugging at skin while applying. It's so very important that the removal process is gentle, too. Vigorous rubbing with harsh soapy cleansers around the eyes day after day will catch up eventually, leaving dry, compromised, and crinkly skin a permanent fixture. Allow makeup to dissolve with gentle oil cleansers and use very little pressure during removal.
- Limit Eye Stress: The deluge of visual stimulation bombarding us on the daily can't always be avoided. Some of us are required to work hour upon hour on computers, not to mention the time we spend on other gadgets. Along with the myriad of eye health problems this causes such as headaches, a burning sensation and sensitivity to light, this kind of strain also affects our eye appearance. Strained eyes frequently experience double or blurry vision facilitating the need to squint, which can cause premature wrinkles and eyelid discoloration. Treat eyes to a soothing compress before bed, preferably with moist heat to relax muscles and add moisture to dry eyes.
- Castor Oil for Gorgeous Lashes: We estheticians have known the benefits of castor oil for a long time. I pretty much give my lashes a vacation during the summer. I go mascara-free most days and treat lashes to castor oil at night. The ricinoleic acid found in this oil is great for increasing circulation, which is where castor oil gets it's "hair growing" reputation. This may or may not be completely true, but it certainly conditions lashes and prevents breakage due to the high amount of fatty acids. There are loads of expensive eyelash "treatments" out there that are "infused" with castor oil that are over priced dilutions. Do yourself a favor and don't buy into the marketing propaganda. Simply get yourself a bottle of castor oil, clean off a mascara wand from your empty tube for application, and viola! Word to the wise, this is an incredibly thick viscous oil. Applying it right before your night time Netflix sesh probably isn't the best idea. It may get into the eyes and believe me, things will get frustratingly blurry as you struggle to see that climactic scene. So, apply to lashes right before shut eye for the night. Oh, and added bonus, as a chronic dry eye sufferer, this oil does wonders for offering relief for morning dry eye discomfort, and is actually a known ingredient in many dry eye solution drops.
- Always wear those sunglasses and sunscreen: Yeah, this one is kind of obvious, but most people only think of the benefits and protection sunglasses offer to the eyes themselves, and not so much the skin around the eyes. We all know sun damage is the #1 nemesis of healthy skin, and super thin skin like that around the eyes doesn't stand a chance to its incessant destruction. Sun exposure to this area not only speeds up skin aging, but increases the chance of pre-cancer development near the temple area. Sun hats, and sunglasses, ladies. The bigger, the better.
- Retinol, Retinol, Retinol(prescription strength, preferably): Retinol is the absolute gold standard in preventative aging. While many people stop application at the upper cheek, taking that nightly retinol all the way to the under eye area will help strengthen skin tissue and diminish the appearance of lines. Retinols can always be diluted with creams or oils if you find them to be too much at full strength. Expect some dryness and peeling at first, but once acclimated, this should become a nightly habit for maintaining a healthy smooth under eye area.
By taking care of our eyes and implementing good habits we can keep them healthy and appear younger looking for longer, but the reality is our eyes will always reflect the life we've lived. Ageless eyes are not necessarily those unburdened by time and experience, free of lines and sun spots. Ageless eyes, to me, are those that can gracefully filter out some of the darkness of life and focus on the abundance of love and passions that reside in us all, wrinkled or not.