The Eyes Have It

September 26, 2016 Chelsa Chester


There is an old saying, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” So we better make sure those windows are clear and bright.

The skin around your eyes is one of the first areas to indicate your lifestyle habits developed over the years. It’s a delicate part that often shows the effects of decades of squinting in the sun, late-night partying, lack of sleep, and smoking just to name a few. Being more delicate and fragile compared to any other part of the body, the skin around the eyes is often the first to show signs of aging. Thus, the common complaints are wrinkles or “crows feet,” puffiness, and dark circles. All of these conditions can be scientifically explained, and fortunately, have simple remedies. 

Crow’s feet, or the wrinkles you can see at the sides of the eyes while squinting or smiling, are caused by constant muscle movement, skin thinning, and dehydration. The skin around your eyes lacks the ability to produce oils like the rest of the skin on your face, causing dehydration and skin weakness around the eye area. Crow’s feet can first be seen in your early 20’s, and as you age your skin loses the ability to bounce back into its original form the way it used to. Eye creams containing SPF and Retinol A 1%, as well as sunglasses and hats can be used to protect against sun exposure and future wrinkles. 

Puffiness around the eye area can be hereditary, but is often seen after a lack of sleep. It is caused by fluid retention, or edema of the facial skin. Reasons swelling can occur vary from a diet high in sodium, crying, or sleeping without elevating the head. Using products specifically for the eye area is important to decrease skin sensitivity, for example using an eye-makeup remover specifically for the eyes, rather than a mineral oil-based product that can clog your tear ducts causing a lack of circulation around your eyes. A simple at-home remedy is elevating your head and placing a cool ice pack over your eyes for 10 minutes before removing your makeup after a late night! 

Dark circles around the eyes are one of the most common skin woes. Because the skin around the eyes is thin, the tissues underneath, which hold capillaries and veins, can be seen easily in certain situations. Dark circles are caused by increased melanin production (the part of your cell that has color) especially in darker-toned individuals. Weight loss and a lack of capillary health can also create shadows under the eyes. Capillaries are the very fine vessels that carry blood through small places in your body. Without proper health, they can become weak and break down, thus leaking blood, and in turn, discoloring the skin above. A lack of sleep is also known as the number one reason for dark circles. Thus, having a health lifestyle that includes adequate sleep, exercise and hydration is the best way to ward off dark circles.

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