Enhance your eyes

Keep the skin around your eyes soft and supple

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Moisturizing: Enhance your eyes
Keep the skin around your eyes soft and supple
First published in Chatelaine.com’s December issue.
© Rogers Publishing Ltd.
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Your eyes and what they convey can be the most expressive part of your body. Consider the alluring gaze of Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra or Audrey Hepburn’s sparkling twinkle as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Unfortunately, the skin around your eyes is also one of the most delicate areas of your face. “It’s very thin and is not protected like other parts of the face,” says Dr. Alastair McLeod, a dermatologist in Vancouver. The eye area will age over time and there is no way to change that, McLeod says. “It’s easily affected by everything from cleansing to age to frown lines.” But don’t despair–there are ways to protect your peepers and counter those fine lines and crow’s feet.

Cleansing

Frequent cleansing and rubbing the area around your eyes can abrade the skin and cause it to form wrinkles. McLeod suggests always using a gentle eye makeup remover to clean this area of the face. Use a soft cotton pad and lightly dab the remover over and under the eyelid.

Moisturizing

Very few oil glands reside under the thin skin near the eyes and this part of the face craves frequent moisturizing. Eye cream is an important part of any skin care regime because it intensely hydrates the area. But, be aware that the moisturizer you apply to your face is very different from eye cream.

·McLeod recommends experimenting with various eye creams that have simple ingredients. “Avoid creams that have a lot of botanicals, because they can irritate the skin.” If you have oily skin, avoid heavy eye creams and look for a lightweight, oil-free formula instead.

·Although you can use eye cream at any time, most experts suggest that you start using it regularly in your 30s, an age where the skin cells start to slow down the regeneration process. Over time, as skin ages, switch to an eye cream that contains ingredients which will prevent fine lines and wrinkles from deepening. McLeod suggests using eye creams that contain Retin A to rejuvenate the skin. Other products, such as those containing Retinol and Vitamin C, promise to reduce wrinkles by stimulating the proliferation of epidermal cells and augmenting the microcirculation of the eye area.

·It’s very important to apply eye cream gently to your skin. Place a dab of the cream under each eye and use the pad of your finger to lightly smooth the cream from the outside of your eye to the inner area. Avoid covering the eye cream with face moisturizer after application.

Makeup application

·When applying foundation or concealer, mix it with a small dollop of eye cream. This will keep the area under the eyes looking soft and smooth.

·Do not use beauty products, such as eyeliner, that pull the skin area around the eyes. Instead, use a soft brush to apply eye shadow or liquid liner.

Pay attention to what you eat

·Simple factors like sleep, nutrition and health can also affect the skin around your eyes. Foods high in antioxidants, like green leafy vegetables and orange or yellow fruits, can nourish the skin and help fuel cell regeneration. A good night’s sleep can also do wonders to the eye area.

·Puffy eyes can be a result of too much caffeine or salt (sodium), which dehydrate the body. Drink plenty of water everyday to keep your skin well-hydrated and to flush toxins or sodium from your body. Use a gel formula eye cream that readily absorbs into the skin. For a quick fix, apply a tea bag, cucumber slice or chilled spoon to the eye area.

·Dark circles under your eyes can often make them look tired and worn out. Unfortunately, McLeod says dark circles are genetic and sometimes cannot be avoided. But some eye creams can offset the dark pigmentation under the eye. Try creams that contain Vitamin C or Retinol to brighten dim under-eye shadows.

·McLeod also suggests protecting your eyes from the sun with sunglasses. Remember, sun damage is one of the most prominent contributors to aging skin.