“I love fine lines and wrinkles!” … said no one ever. Most of us love the hard-won wisdom of aging, but not the pesky creases and dark circles that accompany it. Yes, they are an inevitable part of getting older, but when these signs of aging debut prematurely, they’re especially annoying. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to deal with them. Read on to for information on reducing under eye wrinkles and more.
First thing’s first: What causes under eye wrinkles?
The most common cause of fine lines and wrinkles in the eye area is simple: aging. As we get older, the production of collagen and elastin begins to slow, causing skin to become more and more wrinkled with time. This is because collagen and elastin are responsible for the structural integrity of the skin. Without them, wrinkling is inevitable – a natural part of life. In addition to aging, other common contributing factors that can lead to lines and creases in the under eye area include:
Unhealthy lifestyle choices (poor diet, smoking, not enough sleep, etc.)
Repetitive movements and facial expressions
Top Tips for Combatting Under Eye Wrinkles and Aging
Now that you understand what causes under eye wrinkles, let’s discuss how to reduce them. While there are many things you can do to combat this beauty dilemma, these are the most effective tips and tricks for slowing the aging process.
Be sun smart to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UV rays can cause sun damage and accelerate the signs of aging by penetrating deep into the basal layer of the epidermis. This is especially true of the delicate eye area where the skin is considerably thinner and much more susceptible to UV-induced pigmentation (think: age spots, fine lines, and dark patches). To stave off the sun’s rays and keep your peepers healthy, opt for sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection. Slathering on a good quality anti-aging eye cream with SPF is also recommended.
Drink water to ward off dry skin and wrinkles.
Sounds simple, right? Despite being an incredibly easy way to support a silky-smooth complexion, drinking H2O is one of the most important things you can do for your body, including the skin under your eyes. That’s because keeping yourself adequately hydrated can help improve blood circulation. By avoiding especially salty foods and increasing your water intake, you reduce water retention, which in turn reduces puffiness in the eyes. Adults are recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water every day to achieve proper hydration and support healthy body functions.
Say NO to smoking.
Did you know that smoking is a major cause of undereye wrinkles? It’s true — the reason behind this is the oxidative stress on the cells and the constriction of blood flow that prevents necessary nutrients from reaching the under eye area. This, in turn, causes fine lines, creases, and wrinkles to show up prematurely. Additionally, nicotine is a major contributor to decreased natural collagen production, which further accelerates the signs of aging. If smooth, wrinkle-free skin is your goal, put down the cigarettes.
Catch quality Zzzs.
Whether due to kids, work, or an over-packed schedule, getting sufficient quality sleep can be difficult. But if you’re on a mission to kick those under eye wrinkles to the curb, sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is crucial. In a recent study conducted by UCLA, researchers found that a single night of bad sleep can make cells age more quickly. When skin cells age quicker, the signs of premature aging follow suit. You can fight back with retinol eye cream (highly concentrated vitamin A), which may help stimulate healthy elastin and collagen production, as well as with a good bedtime routine that involves seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Snooze on silk.
In addition to catching seven to nine hours of restful zzzs each night, snoozing on silk is another way to combat under eye wrinkles. Cotton pillowcases are harsher and more abrasive on the skin, which causes friction. This leads to eyelid skin creases, which eventually give rise to lines and wrinkles. Opt for silk when choosing your pillowcases — your skin will thank you later.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
The sensitive skin around your eyes is extremely thin and delicate, so it’s prone to drying out, which often manifests in fine lines, wrinkles, and creases. To avoid this, moisturizing as part of your daily skincare routine is of the utmost importance. Applying a nutrient-rich skincare product like moisturizer won’t just keep your under eye area hydrated; it will also help to delay premature aging. Look for a cream that contains soothing ingredients known to hydrate, brighten, smooth, firm, and reduce puffiness. These include hyaluronic acid and gentle antioxidants like vitamin C.
Did you know that exfoliating too harshly can do more harm than good? The key to removing the day’s grit and grime without sacrificing your skin is to be ever-so-gentle and use an eye cream with a chemical exfoliant. (Avoid using a physical exfoliant — like a scrub — since the eye area is paper-thin and fragile.) Apply very light pressure and follow up with a hydrating moisturizer that supports the skin barrier.
Get your stress in check.
Easier said than done, of course, but high stress levels can cause an uptick in cortisol (the stress hormone) that leads to immune damage and visible changes in the skin. More often than not, these unfavorable changes appear as traditional signs of aging: wrinkles, crows-feet, creases, and a loss of firmness. They can impact just about anywhere on the skin but are especially evident in the delicate eye area. Think stress could be to blame for the lines around your peepers? Consider these stress-busting techniques:
Try Botox to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Can’t seem to rid your eyes of fine lines and wrinkles? It might be time to try Botox. This increasingly popular anti-aging cosmetic procedure works by injecting a skin-smoothing drug directly into the skin. The primary effect of this eye wrinkle treatment is muscle weakness that can relax the surrounding skin. When your dermatologist injects the treatment, it releases the tugging and pressure that is pressed upon the skin and superficial tissue, which then allows it to relax and lie smoothly.
That said, the fine lines, creases, and wrinkles that pop up under the eyes occur only in part due to muscle movement, so as a result, these beauty woes need to be approached with extreme care. If Botox isn’t administered by a dermatology professional with extreme precision, the result of treatment could be too much elasticity (drooping) — it may even make it difficult to fulfill simple functions like blinking. In other words, Botox is one choice in the battle against premature aging. Just be sure to do your research to ensure you’re receiving treatment from a licensed and experienced professional.
The Final Word
And there you have it — nine pro tips for reducing under eye wrinkles and aging. If you give these tips and tricks a try, keep in mind that magic won’t happen overnight. Just as the wrinkles under your eyes didn’t appear in an instant, the same is true with making them disappear.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.