It’s often said that the eyes are the window to the soul. It can also be said that the eye area is the window to aging. The skin around our eyes is some of the most delicate skin on our body, and is one of the first places to show discoloration and wrinkles. Let’s talk about the best ways to take care of this area.
Dark circles under the eyes, crows feet, puffiness. These are three of the most common under eye area afflictions. They’re common signs of aging, but can also be a tell for if something else is going wrong in the body—like if we’re not getting enough nutrients.
Dark circles (called periorbital hyperpigmentation by dermatologists) have a variety of different causes, and are one of the most common skin complaints, especially in women. The prevalence of dark circles can also be genetic, but your habits can influence their appearance, too—not getting enough sleep, stress, constant eye irritation, and nutrient deficiencies are all factors.
A frequent cause of dark circles is a lack of iron. Anemia is more common in women than men (in part because of menstrual cycles), and can additionally make it easier to bruise. An easy way to improve the appearance of dark circles are to eat more foods with high iron content (spinach, beans, lentils, and shellfish) or to take an iron supplement. If you have concerns of a severe iron deficiency, be sure to consult with your doctor.
Spinach and other greens also contain high amounts of vitamin K, which mean they’re doing double-duty in getting rid of your dark circles. According to the University of Oregon’s Macronutrient Information Center, vitamin K constricts blood vessel and is an effective coagulant, meaning it helps your blood clot. Bruising and dark circles are more prominent when your blood is thin and can easily leak out of damaged blood vessels. It also helps increase blood circulation.
Fortunately, crows feet are very, very common in aging women. Unfortunately, that means you will probably have to deal with them at some point in your life if you haven’t already. These are small wrinkles that appear at the corner of your eye, and are named after the appearance they take— tiny little crow talons on your face.
As you age (beginning as early as your mid-twenties), your skin naturally begins to stop producing as much of the natural oils and collagen that keeps your skin looking glowing and bouncy. This causes skin natural aging ailments like sagging and, yes, under eye wrinkles and crows feet.
It’s also natural for your skin to begin to thin while you age, which increases the appearance of wrinkles and crepey skin under eyes. And as we’ve already mentioned, the skin around your eye is already thin and delicate to begin with. It’s the perfect storm, and why there’s so many dedicated eye creams on the market.
However, we don’t believe it’s necessary to have a specific eye cream all your own if the other products you’re using are gentle. A facial oil like our Facial Recovery Elixir is not only perfect for your under eye area, but for your entire face. Dabbing a small, pea-sized amount of product around the under eye will keep this area moisturized and provide anti-aging ingredients like sacha inchi and rosehip oil. Both of these fight signs of aging by stimulating collagen production.
The other common question when it comes to the eye area, is how to reduce puffy eyes. And this is where the home remedies really shine. Puffiness is another way of saying inflammation, or irritation. We also call this having bags under our eyes, and they have a close relationship to dark circles.
Puffy eyes and bags have much of the same cause as dark circles—lack of sleep, aging, and stress. As far as the aging portion goes, as the skin and muscles around the eyes become weaker, so does their ability to support the area under your eyes. In addition, fat storages from above your eye can migrate further south.
As we mentioned, there are some great home remedies that will help you get rid of puffy eyes. Using cucumbers slices for puffiness is one, and so is green tea. These two remedies work as cool compresses that soothe inflammation, and any redness from staying up all night.
Tea bag compresses also have the added benefit of containing caffeine and antioxidants. Black and green tea contain flavonoid, an antioxidant, and tannins, which helps to reduce puffiness by drawing out fluids when caused by fluid retention.
There are also herbal teas, like rooibos and chamomile, that have anti-inflammatory effects without containing caffeine. Rooibos in particular may also be an effective way to reduce fine lines and increase skin moisture (it also happens to be our Beauty Editors favorite kind of tea!).
When applying products around your eye, being gentle is key. Use your ring finger—this isn’t just a trend you see beauty bloggers doing. You ring finger really is the best way to stipple in products to this area, as it’s the weakest of all your fingers, and therefore makes you less likely to bruise yourself.
A dedicated eye cream is one we think you can skip. Instead, explore natural, home remedies like teas and soothing compresses, and do research into which gentle, clean products you already have can benefit your eye area.