When it comes to eye care, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Perhaps it's because of the sheer amount of products on the market today (creams! gels! serums! masks!) or because there's a bigger focus on other skin-care topics, like brightening or evening. Either way, the jargon surrounding taking care of the skin around your eyes often feels like Latin.
There's a wealth of factors to consider when thinking about the skin around your eyes, from diet and vices to sun exposure and sleep – after all, the eyes are the windows to the soul, and you can bet your lifestyle will take its toll eventually.
"As we age, the levels of collagen and elastin in the skin begin to decrease naturally, leading to a loss of firmness, density, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the eye area. The rate at which we age can be accelerated by a number of factors such as genetics, UV exposure, diet, and skin-care regimen (or lack thereof)," aesthetic dermatologist Dr. Phillip M. Levy, MD, explains. "The root cause of this depletion in collagen and elastin is when our dermal stem cells — the mother cells of the skin’s factories of collagen and elastin — become worn out and tired."
In short, your eyes aren't escaping your last sunburn or love of binge watching Netflix until 2 a.m. any more than the rest of your face and body. Why? Our eyes are affected by the big bad trio: the sun, fatigue, and pollution. However, while the majority of us (hopefully) have preventative measures in place to combat these elements (daily SPF, lots of sleep, regular water intake), the skin around our eyes is much thinner — meaning it's far more susceptible. Skin-care expert and founder of a brand of the same name, Tata Harper, stresses as much: "The skin around your eyes is thinner and more delicate, so fatigue, dryness, tugging (when removing eye makeup), and your everyday expressions can play an even bigger role."
This all sounds very ticking time bomb. If we haven't started an eye-care routine, is it too late? Rejoice — it isn't. "Now that the very source of skin’s regeneration system is known, it is possible to 'turn back' the effects of aging on these very cells," Dr. Levy tells us, "and hence re-stimulate the skin’s production of aging-fighting collagen and elastin fibers."