We don’t know about you, but we vastly prefer the term “laugh lines” to “crow’s feet.” Crinkles around the eyes are the sign of a life well lived, and plenty of laughs. But for many people, these lines are among the first signs of aging and nobody wants wrinkles to be a focal point of the face.
Related: Best Eye Creams for Wrinkles
Lines under the eyes are part of the aging process, which occurs from a loss of collagen and elastin, which support the skin. The skin around the eyes is also very delicate and thin, so it can age faster than other parts of the face. Sun exposure, smoking, squinting and rubbing your eyes all contribute to under eye wrinkles as well. Your body position when you sleep also plays a role. Since the skin around the eyes is thinner than the rest of the face, this area can be dry even if you have oily or combination skin elsewhere on the face, so it needs special care.
While eye wrinkles cannot be erased, there are things you can do to minimize their appearance. Here’s how to get rid of eye wrinkles, and prevent them from showing up.
1) Protect Your Eyes
The sun’s damaging rays are one of the primary causes of aging and fine lines, not to mention damage to the eye itself. Protect your eyes by always wearing sunglasses, especially when driving. Choose a pair that blocks UV rays, which is healthier for your eyes but can also help prevent wrinkles- constant squinting can lead to deep wrinkles. A wrap-around style or oversized glasses will offer the most amount of protection to the eye area, so feel free to channel your inner Jackie O.
2) Apply SPF
Choose a hydrating eye cream that is spiked with a good SPF, so the cream does double duty by moisturizing the eye area while protecting it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Heavy duty sun blockers include zinc oxide, which forms a physical barrier against the sun, and titanium dioxide. Choose a water resistant formula if you plan to be at the beach or the pool, or a tinted formula for the day. You may need to experiment with several different brands to see which ones feel good on the eye area and don’t leave you looking chalky.
3) Apply An Eye Patch
Let’s say you have a big night out or woke up looking particularly weary. One of the simplest ways to achieve a quick fix is to apply an eye patch to perk up the area. These crescent shaped pads are soaked with hydrating ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil and hyaluronic acid. The pads help to temporarily fill in fine lines and plump up the skin, and makeup will glide on easily without settling into creases.
Simply put, microneedling is a skin-rejuvenating procedure where tiny needles puncture the skin to trigger the healing process. Think of it as a controlled injury. The concept is that during the healing process, the body creates collagen and elastin, leading to smoother, firmer skin and fine lines appear less noticeable. A numbing cream is applied before the procedure but it’s not for the faint of heart. Microneedling can be performed by a dermatologist or aesthetician, although you can also do this at home by purchasing your own dermarollers- although you won’t be able to go as deep as a pro.
5) Water, Water, Everywhere
Water is critical for the health and function of the skin, and properly hydrated skin looks smooth and supple. Sometimes tiny lines around the eyes can be caused by dehydration rather than aging, so remember to reach for your eight glasses of water a day. Buy a refillable bottle and keep it at your desk at as a reminder to drink up, and a few slices of lemon or cucumber if you find plain water to be boring. Another way to hydrate is by spritzing the face throughout the day with an atomizer of pure water or a rose water blend for extra hydration.
6) Stop Smoking
This should be a given but it can’t be repeated enough. Smoking is one of the most damaging things to your overall health and appearance. Lighting up accelerates the aging process, as cigarettes contain chemicals that damage collagen and elastin, which causes skin to sag and crease. The nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood vessels which limits blood flow. With less blood, the skin doesn’t get the oxygen and nutrients that it needs and starts to wrinkles and crease.
7) Get Your Shut Eye
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for everyone but is one of the hardest things to consistently get right. Nighttime is when our bodies heal and without a solid seven or eight hours of sleep, your body will not have proper time to repair itself. Sleep deficiency can cause a whole host of problems, from an increased risk of health problems to sallow, sagging skin which can make lines and creases look even deeper.
8) Sleep On Your Back
While getting enough sleep is key, how you sleep also plays a role in preventing wrinkles. If you sleep on your side with your faced pressed against the pillow, it can lead to the creation of deep lines on that side of your face. Why is that? Repeated pressure or repetitive muscle motion in one targeted area breaks down collagen, resulting in visible lines. Try to sleep on your back or switch to a smooth satin or silk pillow to reduce creasing. Consider buying a specialty pillow, designed to keep you on your back.
9) Ease Up on the Alcohol
Alcohol, like cigarettes and the sun, can also speed up the aging process, contributing to fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. Excess alcohol can cause redness, dehydration and puffiness, along with loss of collagen and elasticity. When it comes to drinking, moderation is key.
10) Don’t Touch
Constant rubbing of the eyes can exacerbate fine lines by tugging and pulling on this delicate skin area. The more you rub, the more the skin stretches and breaks down collagen and elastin, causing skin to have deep creases. It’s a tough habit to break, but try to avoid rubbing your eyes if you’re tired. If you’re rubbing because your eyes are itchy, consider seeing a doctor to rule out allergies. Try not to touch the eye area unnecessarily – for example, avoid tugging on the eyes when applying or removing makeup.
11) Eat Your Vitamins
Beautiful skin often starts from within, so make sure you eat a healthy diet that is full of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed and sugary foods. Think of it as feeding your face and eating your way towards wrinkle reduction. Foods that are rich in vitamins C, E, and A as well as coenzyme Q10, which is found in fish, are antioxidants that can help reduce and prevent the signs of aging. Salmon and mackerel are packed with Omega-3’s, which help moisturize the skin and also protect it from UV damage. Carrots have high levels of beta-carotene — a nutrient that is known to help protect the skin against free radical damage.
12) DIY Masks
Women have been treating their skin with homemade remedies for centuries – after all, Cleopatra was said to bathe in milk. There are a few options for natural, homemade remedies that are gentle but effective on the eye area. Egg whites contain collagen and protein, which help to firm skin and tighten the area. To make a simple mask, whisk the egg whites until frothy and apply to the eye area using an upward motion. Allow to dry for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Avocados can also work, and some people swear by coconut oil.
13) Reach for Retinol
When it comes to tackling fine lines and wrinkles with a product, there’s no comparison to retinols. The vitamin A derivative stimulates collagen production that prevents fine lines. Retinols should be applied at night, and start slowly to prevent excess dryness and irritation. Roc Retinol Correxion Eye Cream helps to moisturize the eye area while smoothing away the appearance of eye wrinkles.
14) Massage With Oil
Massaging skin not only feels relaxing, but helps to stimulate blood flow to the area. Use extra precaution massaging the delicate eye area, as you don’t want to pull and tug the thin skin here. Dip your pinkie into an oil (coconut or olive work well) and gently rub from the inside corner of the eye to the outside, and repeat.
15) Buy a Good Eye Cream
The simplest and most cost effective solution to tackling eye wrinkles is to invest in a good eye cream, and use it daily. The right eye cream can prevent fine lines as well as treat existing ones. The product should hydrate and soothe the eye area, as well as help fill in fine lines. Look for hyaluronic acid as an ingredient, which is lightweight but helps to plump up skin. Hyaluronic acid is one of the wrinkle busting ingredients in Shiseido’s Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream, which can be applied twice a day.
Eye creams come in many different formulas, such as gels and creams. The right one for you comes down to personal preference, but makeup and the weather also come into play. The main difference between a gel and cream formula is texture, where creams tend to feel richer and gels are more lightweight. Choose a cream if you like a thicker, more luxurious texture and your eye area is very dry but keep in mind that some creams can cause eye makeup to run and concealer to crease.
Gels are great for warm, humid weather. Because the formula is thinner, gel eye creams tend to be absorbed quickly and won’t interfere with makeup. Many people choose a thicker eye cream for night time and wear a gel during the day. If you’re worried about pulling and tugging on the skin, try an eye cream with a metal applicator tip. The metal tip has a pleasant cooling effect and helps the cream glide on effortlessly without any stretching.
One product to consider is Advanced Dermatology’s Youthful Boost Eye Gel, which helps fight the signs of aging such as wrinkles and dark circles. The gel does a little bit of everything. It’s hydrating thanks to jojoba oil and cucumber extract helps to soothe the eye area. Another key ingredient is neem tree extract, which keeps skin healthy and supple and has anti-aging properties.