Your eyes tell a lot about you, and they tend to spill out your age too, via the skin around it. As our eyes age, the eyelids get thinner too, and this gives away your age instantly.
This is why top do dermatologists have offered their secret treatments and makeup tricks that can brighten and wake the skin around the eyes up. Here are some of their best kept secrets:
Some puffiness is genetic, and no eye cream will erase or reduce it. But if your bags come and go, fluid retention is probably the cause. Salty dinners, late nights, a cocktail or two — they can all make your body hold on to water. Since lid skin is thinner than elsewhere on your face, you’ll notice swelling more.
What you can do: Thanks to the pull of gravity, morning facial puffiness is usually gone by lunchtime. To speed things up, try placing a chilled eye compress, cold water-soaked tea bags, or cucumber slices over lids for five minutes. Cold constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling. The caffeine in many eye creams is tightening, too. Gently press on the bones around your eyes as you apply it. The pressure helps stimulate circulation and drain excess fluid.
Lines and wrinkles
Every time you smile, frown, yawn, or squint, the skin around your eyes get crinkled up. Eventually, as the collagen levels diminish, your skin literally stays scrunched, and deeper creases take the place of fine lines.
What you can do: A few ingredients are essential. The first is retinol, a vitamin A derivative that rebuilds collagen levels and helps smooth fine lines. Antioxidants like green tea and vitamin C, which help skin retain collagen, are effective wrinkle reducers, too. If your skin is especially sensitive, swap vitamin A products for peptides — proteins that also stimulate collagen growth.
Those dreaded dark circles
Since skin becomes more translucent with age, blood vessels appear more prominent. When blood vessels show through skin, they can give the eye area a bluish cast. A less common cause of darkness: post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, doctor-speak for clusters of brown pigment that collect underneath the eyes due to heredity or chronic rubbing (often because of allergies or bothersome contact lenses).
What you can do: Daily use of any basic eye cream will temporarily plump skin so blood vessels are less visible. Eye creams are a better choice for this purpose than regular face creams, because they tend to have a higher concentration of emollients for plumping and a thicker texture, which makes them adhere to the ever-mobile eye area. To improve the look of brown pigment, try an eye cream with botanical skin lighteners like licorice and kojic acid.
The big one: Sagging eyelids
As collagen, elastin, and fat decrease with age, eyelids get droopier. Genetics determine when your skin will sag and to what extent. And like any skin ageing, sun exposure hastens the effect. As a result, some women have sagging in their late 30s.
What you can do: No eye cream alone will reverse sagging once skin begins its downward slide. While only surgery gives you truly long-term improvement, artfully applied eye makeup can do wonders too, to make drooping lids less noticeable.
When you want faster, more dramatic results than even the best eye cream or makeup trick can’t offer, you’ll find plenty of longer-lasting (but costlier) options at the dermatologist’s or plastic surgeon’s office.
A medium-depth peel (like trichloroacetic acid, a.k.a. TCA) stimulates collagen growth by removing the top layer of skin. The body senses an injury and cranks out new healthy skin as a way of healing itself. You’ll look like you have a bad sunburn for five to seven days, but then facial skin will be smoother and less lined for six months to a year.
Skin resurfacing with laser treatments
Many kinds of lasers are used around the eyes, usually as part of an all over facial rejuvenation treatment. Lasers help reduce wrinkles by resurfacing skin and stimulating collagen production. As with a peel, you’ll look badly sunburned for a few days to a week before the smoothing shows up; it’ll last for a year or more, until new wrinkles form.
The best solution for dark undereye circles
Hyaluronic acid injections. This clear gel filler is injected directly into the hollows beneath the eyes to even them so they no longer appear as dark shadows. Expect swelling, mild bruising, and tenderness for up to a week afterward (the bruising can be covered with concealer). Results will last three to six months — or more.
Lift sagging eyelids
Blepharoplasty. During this surgery, the doctor makes tiny incisions around or inside the eyelids to remove loose skin and excess fat, which create a droopy, sleepy look. It takes about two weeks before the bruising goes down; you may not want to return to work until then. But the tightening effect lasts for years. This procedure could make one look 10 to 15 years younger.
Botox: The modern enemy of wrinkles
Botox injections. The doctor makes tiny injections of botulinum toxin into the muscles that cause wrinkles, forcing them to relax. The injections take effect in a week or so, and the area stays smooth for three to six months.