The skin around the eyes is the thinnest of all the skin on the body. It is also the most sensitive and is more susceptible to irritant as well as allergic contact dermatitis.
Periorbital skin is usually the first area to show the first visible signs of premature ageing. This area of the face is prone to repetitive emotional movements like laughing, crying as well as squinting and scrunching the eyes in bright light.
Common Periorbital Eye Concerns
- Fine lines & Wrinkles
All of these can be extremely distressing but with the correct advice, treatments and products they can be minimized.
Fine Lines & Wrinkles
The causes of periorbital fine lines and wrinkles include extrinsic factors such as ultraviolet radiation, pollution (ground level ozone and particulate matter), infrared radiation as well visible light. Intrinsic or natural ageing can also contribute to fine lines and wrinkles.
It is best to introduce a good quality eye cream or serum with targeted active ingredients, into your skincare regimen before you notice any lines around the eyes.
To prevent fine lines and wrinkles, use a topical antioxidant in the morning, containing Vitamin C & E or green tea.
If your skin has signs of more mature ageing, we recommend you use a rich formulation with anti-ageing active ingredients like peptides and growth factors plus hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid as all of these will improve the texture of your skin.
Always wear good quality sunglasses when outdoors to avoid squinting as this may also contribute to fine lines and wrinkles if this action is repeated over a long period of time.
Sunscreen: If your eyes are sensitive, the use a chemical-free, physical sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide is recommended. For protection against visible light which causes pigmentation, iron oxide which has a slight universal tint and will not only protect but also help to conceal underlying discolorations.
There are many causes of periorbital pigmentation or periorbital dark circles that can contribute to a tired, aged and even sad appearance. One of the most common causes is atopic eczema or allergies where constant rubbing around the eyes produces Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). Other causes include hormonal factors such as pregnancy and use of the oral contraceptive pill.
Once the pigment is in the dermis it may be extremely difficult to improve but Peptides, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Caffeine in eye creams have been shown to reduce the appearance of dark circles. Some eye creams contain optical diffusers to diffuse light and help to improve the radiance of tired dull-looking eyes. It is important to apply a sunscreen over your eye cream if it does not contain one.
Periorbital Puffiness can be due to genetic factors, internal causes such as an overactive or an underactive thyroid or even renal failure in which case you would need to consult your physician. Another cause is atopic eczema or dermatitis which can also produce periorbital puffiness but this is usually temporary.
In the normal ageing process, a tear trough depression develops below the eyes and this may be associated with more prominent infraorbital fat pads. This can also produce shadowing in the tear trough causing dark circles, depending upon the ambient light.
If the infraorbital fat pads are very obvious, plastic surgery would be an option. Topical caffeine has been shown to diminish lower lid puffiness and pigmentation.