Did you know the area around the eyes is the most delicate and structurally complex skin on the face? As a result, this particular area is one of the first places you typically see signs of aging, and is prone to the widest variety of concerns including fine lines, sagging, puffiness, dark circles, etc. The eye area also reveals the effects of lifestyle habits, including diet, sleep, and stress. Due to its complex structure and uniquely thin texture, it may come as no surprise that the eye area is also the most challenging area to treat, in a dermatologist’s office or at home.
In most cases, it’s impossible to permanently or completely eliminate these concerns. However, it is possible to make significant improvements. It will likely require a combination of products formulated with dermatologist standard ingredients that have been specifically designed or adapted to treat this area.
In order to effectively address the skin around the eyes, let’s first review how this skin is different.
How the Skin is Different
- It’s very thin. This skin doesn’t have the underlying structure to help it maintain its lift, firmness, and resilience (snap) which often results in fine lines and/or sagging, drooping, or crepiness. The thinness also means that the blood cells below the surface are much more visible, resulting in dark circles under the eyes.
- It’s very complex.There’s a lot more going on underneath the surface of this specific area of skin due to the fluids and network of tissues that support the eye.
- It’s structurally different. Most of the skin on our face is supported by underlying bones or cartilage. The skin around the eye is unique because it transitions from bone to the eye socket. This absence of supportive bone and different ‘pads of fat’ in the cheek and around the eye can make eyes look saggy, puffy, or droopy.
Visible signs of aging around the eye area include fine lines (crow’s feet), crisscrossing lines beneath the eyes, deeper wrinkles, eye lid bags, loss of firmness or sagging skin, puffiness, and/or dark circles. The overall effect makes our eyes look tired and lifeless. Though we cannot completely eliminate these concerns, there are ways to significantly improve the appearance and condition of the skin around the eyes.
How This is Accomplished
Realistically, you will need of combination of products, formulated with ingredients to target and treat this area of skin and your specific skin concerns.
First, select products that have been clinically tested in head-to-head comparisons versus dermatologist treatments and procedures. These are much, much more reliable than quasi-studies with user assessed results.
Next, be consistent. Consistent daily application is key to achieving optimal improvement. As with any skincare, stick to one regimen, rather than rotating in and out of different products.
Finally, be patient. Any effective skincare will require time to work. You will begin to see significant improvement after 60, 90, and 120 days. And because many dermatologist standard ingredients are dose responsive, like Retinol, your results will only continue to improve over time.
The Complete Approach to Eye Care
In our clinical and dermatology experience, the most effective results are typically achieved through a combination of the following:
- Eye Treatment Product—an eye treatment formulated specifically for the eye area so it’s gentle enough to use on the hood of the eye as well close to the eyelash. It should contain effective, clinically proven ingredients like Peptides, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and naturally derived antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients.
- Retinoid Treatment—a high potency pure Retinol or prescriptive Tretinoin that is gradually applied closer and closer to the eyelash, stopping at the point any irritation occurs. Some people can use a Retinoid right up to the eyelash, while others will only be able to use it up to where the cheekbone meets the eye socket.
- Nutrient-Rich Serum—a highly concentrated serum that supplements and increases the levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and cell-communicating nutrients that will support the skin’s own repair, growth, and renewal processes.
- Dark Spot Remover—if dark circles or dark spots are a concern, add a Hydroquinone product (either Rx or OTC) to help reduce the dark pigmentation under the eyes.
Though one product might be easier, you’ll achieve much better results through a combination of target treatments that are designed to treat the eye area.