Wondering how to cure under eye circles and other eye related issues? We asked an expert
By Chere Di Boscio
They eyes are the windows to the soul, they say – and more. Due to the fact that they’re surrounded by think, fragile skin, they also speak volumes about your age and overall. It’s here that wrinkles first appear, as well as dark circles and eye bags – which are actually the result of the natural fat pad that sits under the eye falling, causing puffiness.
Additionally, our eyes are often what people notice about us first – no wonder we spend a small fortune on eye care products and makeup, including shadows, mascaras, eye liners, under eye concealers, primers, creams – you name it.
Whilst hiding our imperfections is one route to looking better, prevention is always the best strategy. To learn how to prevent and cure under eye circles and wrinkles naturally, we spoke to one of the most knowledgeable experts out there: Dr. Debbie Palmer, Board Certified Dermatologist, Medical Director and Co-Founder of Dermatology Associates of New York and creator of natural skincare brand Replere.
So, what causes dreaded dark circles in the first place?
Over time, we all have thinning of our fat layer or under eye volume loss, which can make the eyes seem darker and more hollow. But other causes of dark under eye circles include allergies, heredity, smoking, hyperpigmentation from sun damage, alcohol or caffeine consumption, sleep deprivation and dehydration.
What causes that little fat pad under the eye to puff out?
A fat herniation is when the fat pad under the eye shifts out of place. We don’t really know why this happens. Sometimes, it’s caused by fatigue; sometimes it’s allergies or even the weather! When herniation has become more prominent, surgical correction may be needed.
What causes wrinkles around the eyes, really?
With photo-aging from ultraviolet rays of the sun, our dermal layer of skin loses collagen and elastin, which gives our skin its fullness and elasticity. With repeated motion of the skin, this thinner skin begins to show fine lines and wrinkles. We commonly see this around the eyes as “crow’s feet” or “laugh lines”.
How can we avoid those little wrinkles around the eyes?
Every day, it’s important to apply a titanium dioxide or zinc oxide sunscreens. These are less inflammatory than more chemical ones. You also need to reduce exposure to the sun to limit possible sun induced hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen also protects the skin from damaging UV rays that can break down collagen and thin the skin in this location, causing wrinkles. Also, wear UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses and to avoid rubbing the eyes as this can cause inflammation and swelling, leading to wrinkles.
Can fillers be used under the eyes to make them look less hollow or dark?
Yes, I commonly treat this area with hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm or Restylane. They can help replace the volume that is lost with age, but it must be done correctly and conservatively, or you could end up with a puffy look.
How can we cure under eye circles naturally?
To cure under eye circles naturally, I recommend to patients to apply a topical antioxidant in the morning under their makeup, like Replere ® Renew & Firm Eye Serum. This will help build the collagen under the eye up. I then recommend simply hiding those circles with makeup! Try priming with a colour corrector, pink for fair skin and peach for medium to dark skin, before layering a concealer.
What are more preventative steps to avoid dark circles?
Again, I’m a big believer in sunblock, and of course, getting plenty of rest. Build up collagen under the eye with a good serum, and wear UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses. Also, avoid rubbing the eyes as this can cause inflammation and swelling and possible skin darkening.
Is there any other kind of treatment for those of us who have them?
You can use an LED light treatment or Ultherapy to increase collagen production. A thicker layer of collagen conceals superficial vessels, making them less apparent and making discoloration less apparent.
Topical retinoids even out skin tone and increase collagen production, and products containing glycolic, azelaic and salicylic acids increase collagen production and even skin discolouration.
What can be done for puffiness?
It is possible to tighten the skin around the eyes with topical creams, and fractional laser resurfacing. Avoid salt and alcohol, due to water retention that can worsen swelling. Avoid salt and alcohol, due to water retention that can worsen the problem. I also recommend sleeping on two pillows at night to avoid swelling in the morning.
Use both topical and oral antioxidants to decrease inflammation, even out skin tone and increase collagen production. A thicker layer of collagen conceals superficial vessels, making them less apparent and making discoloration less apparent. Topical retinoids even out skin tone and increase collagen production, as do products containing glycolic, azelaic and salicylic acids increase collagen production and even skin discoloration. Again, I recommend our serum for this.
Besides fillers, are there any dermatological treatments we can use to make the skin on our eyes look tighter and more refreshed?
Other procedures that can be performed around the eyes to refresh them include chemical peels, and Botox.
What is Quercetin and how does it help our eyes?
Quercetin is an antioxidant flavonoid widely found in nature. Because it is an antioxidant, it has anti-inflammatory benefits. It is one of the most abundant dietary flavonoids with an average of 25-50 mgs being consumed daily. Foods containing quercetin include: red kidney beans, capers, dill, cilantro, red onion, radicchio, kale, cranberry, sweet potato, blueberry, apples, broccoli and black or green tea.
Finally, how is Tocopheryl acetate good for our eyes?
It is also known as vitamin E acetate. It does not oxidize as readily as free tocopherol (vitamin E) and can penetrate through the skin where it is converted to free tocopherol. It is an antioxidant and provides anti-inflammatory benefits.