The summer sun is shining more frequently and intensely. As we spend more time outdoors, it is important to remember to protect our eyes - an easily forgotten, taken-for-granted body part. This delicate area, known as the periorbital region, is unique and needs extra attention in our skin care routine.
The blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen to the eye are very small and capillaries are so teeny that red blood cells can only fit through one at a time. The skin under the eye covers the fat pads that cushion and protect our eyes from injury, but this thin tissue is susceptible to environmental pollutants and is also very sensitive to UV exposure and damage. These factors cause the skin in this area to thin even more and wrinkle at an accelerated rate in comparison to the rest of the skin on our bodies.
As we age, the skin naturally loses collagen while the fat deposits under the eye begin to shrink. Couple this with lifestyle choices including lack of sleep, specific food ingredients, stress and fatigue, this can exacerbate the look of dark circles, ‘sunken eye’ and puffiness. The combination of all of these factors also facilitate the degradation of collagen harming the eye area and causing crows feet, which showcases the telltale signs of aging often before anywhere else on our body does.
The good news is that we take steps to minimize many of these changes. Through conscious healthy choices we can repair superficial lines and prevent further damage or deeper wrinkles.
Following these steps can lead to healthier skin around the eyes:
Use sunscreen year round. The eyes are susceptible every day from direct and indirect UV rays. Sunscreens with Zinc Oxide are generally non-irritating
Wear sunglasses when you are outdoors or exposed through glass for extended periods
Cleanse your skin- especially at night to remove the dirt, debris, lotion or makeup from the day. Your skin is repairing and healing at night. Let it breathe.
Use a gentle cleanser and appropriate moisturizer to comfort and soothe skin
Consider a vitamin supplement like Lutein, which just like in the eyes, helps filter UV light damage reducing oxidative stress in the skin, protecting against signs of aging
Reduce or eliminate salt intake
Drink water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Room temperature water allows faster absorption in our bodies
Invest in products formulated specifically for the Eyes- peptides, hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamins B,C& K are excellent ingredients to look for
Get as much peaceful, restful sleep as consistently as you can
Melissa Elia is a Licensed Esthetician, CIDESCO Internationally licensed skin therapist and holds a master degree in psychology with over 20 years of clinical experience. In the Spa and Beauty industry since 2001, she has trained on over 100 skincare brands giving her a unique perspective to help improve her clients’ skin and product choices. With a heightened focus on the scientific and holistic processes that heal the body, her philosophy of creating a balanced system originates from her fascination with clinical psychology, physiology and inspiration from her own struggle with adult acne. Since 2013 Melissa has combined her counseling skills & esthetic training to provide thoughtful, effective facial consultations and product education to her clients.