Some wrinkles are brought on by age alone, and there's nothing wrong with displaying a long and joyful life on your face. Still, it's normal to wonder why some areas of the face have more fine lines than others. Or why they seem to appear more readily. One such area is the under eyes.
And it's important to learn about wrinkle formation because some wrinkles can be a sign that your skin is craving more care; be it moisture, a break from certain ingredients, etc.
UV exposure plays a huge role in under-eye wrinkle formation. Over time, UV exposure leads to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which significantly contributes to the formation of wrinkles. If your under-eye wrinkles are paired with dark spots on the face as well, then sun damage might be your main concern.
Movement: We have expression wrinkles. Anyone can have them, no matter their age, and they're not a sign of any negative skin-related habits. If anything, these expression wrinkles mean you're smiling often, which, if anything, is good for your skin. Not sure if your wrinkles are expression lines? Look in the mirror and make a few different faces - smile, frown, squint your eyes, etc. If the fine lines match, then you've got dynamic wrinkles.
Free radicals: These molecules are created as normal by-products of cell metabolism or by exposure to external sources like X-rays, air pollution, cigarette smoking, and pesticides. When free radicals come in contact with the skin, they put it into a state of oxidative stress. When this state is prolonged, it actually speeds up the skin ageing process and triggers dark spots and other discolouration.
Sleep position: can definitely contribute to under-eye wrinkles. When you sleep on your side or stomach, you can easily tug on the delicate under-eye area. This repeat force over time stretches the skin and expedites the appearance of wrinkles. Changing how you sleep isn't an easy feat, but it's certainly worth a shot if you suspect your skin is suffering. If that doesn't work, consider adding a silk or satin pillowcase for a tug-free snooze.
Lifestyle habits: As with any skin concern, diet and exercise certainly play a role in under-eye wrinkles.
Harsh topicals: Finally, we have harsh topicals. Some ingredients like chemical exfoliants and potent retinol formulas can irritate the delicate under-eye area, resulting in fine lines over time. Even if you don't put these products directly on the under-eyes, they can easily spread from the rest of your face to this area.
Solutions for under-eye wrinkles.
Now that you have a general idea of what might be causing your under-eye wrinkles, let's get into the best ingredients to look for in your eye creams and serums. Plus, some lifestyle habits to keep in mind:
Retinol: is a great choice for wrinkle prevention, as it works to build new collagen. However, we're talking about gentle retinol that's found in under-eye creams, not face retinol serums.
It’s safe to use in this area if it’s formulated using a low concentration, a gentle cream type base, and compounded with other nourishing or hydrating ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, etc.
While this ingredient is highly effective, it's also highly irritating for those with sensitive skin. Thus, if you typically struggle to tolerate retinol serums at all, be cautious about using it in your under-eye care and opt for one of the next ingredients instead.
Antioxidants: As mentioned above, oxidative stress can lead to a host of skin concerns, including under-eye wrinkles. To protect this delicate area from free radicals, make sure you have antioxidants like vitamin C in your under-eye cream or serum.
Some may be able to tolerate vitamin C serums formulated for the face on this area, but they may cause irritation for others. Similar to retinol, the vitamin C found in eye creams will be less potent and mixed with more nourishing ingredients to buffer any irritation, so opt for the latter if you're prone to reaction.
Hyaluronic acid: is a popular skin hydrator for a reason; it pulls water into the skin, delivering a glowy, plump result. Because of this function, HA makes a great addition to any eye cream or serum and is found in plenty of products as is.
When used alone, hyaluronic acid will plump the under-eye area temporarily. This is great for makeup prep or a quick fix if your under-eyes are looking particularly droopy one day, but it won't have a lasting effect like retinol and antioxidants.
Peptides: more specifically, hexapeptide which can produce a mild, Botox-like effect, inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters that keep facial muscles from forming wrinkles.
One specific hexapeptide known as Argireline or acetyl hexapeptide-3 can help diminish the creasing that causes fine lines. Not to mention, peptides also help smooth texture and strengthen the skin barrier.
Eye patches: As face masks are great tools for a quick skin overhaul, eye patches offer a similar benefit. This is great for those who need some instant gratification be it to prep for a big event or just have brighter, plumper under-eyes every once in a while.
These eye masks often include similar ingredients as eye creams, but they work in a slightly different way.
Aloe vera: This ingredient will deeply hydrate the under-eyes (like its humectant cousin hyaluronic acid) but also helps to brighten dark circles.
In fact, one study found that the topical application of aloesin can directly inhibit hyperpigmented skin.
Caffeine: Caffeine is a popular choice in under-eye treatments these days, and for good reason. It’s a vasoconstrictor, meaning it constricts blood vessels. This leads to a tightening effect when applied to the under-eyes. Not to mention, caffeine is also an antioxidant, so it checks two boxes at once.
SPF: We know, putting sunscreen under your eyes doesn't sound like the most enjoyable experience, but it's essential. In addition to protecting the skin of your face with SPF, it’s important not to forget the eyelid skin and other sensitive areas - under-eyes, lips, and scalp included.
Just be sure to strategically apply the lotion, avoiding the orbs themselves, to mitigate any stinging or irritation.
Prioritise a nutrient-dense diet: vitamin C is an important nutrient to prioritise for skin health. Vitamin C (found in citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, etc.) is an essential cofactor for collagen synthesis and protection against reactive oxygen species. If you're not positive you're getting enough vitamin C in your diet, try adding a supplement to your routine
Don't skip regular exercise: Last but not least is exercise. Exercise improves circulation to all organs, including our largest organ, which is our skin. Improved circulation means better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to our skin cells and improved clearance of toxins, free radicals, etc.
Don't skip SPF: As we mentioned above, keep SPF under your eyes at all times
Be consistent with your skin care: No matter how powerful your under-eye cream is, it won't reach its full potential unless you use it daily (or as directed), so stay committed.
Keep the skin hydrated: Nothing will make wrinkles look more prevalent than dry skin, so keep the under-eyes (and face in general) hydrated throughout the day. If this means carrying a hydrating cream in your purse, so be it.
But remember, under-eye wrinkles are normal.
As a gentle reminder before we wrap up, don't be too hard on yourself about wrinkles under the eyes, because they're completely normal.
Look at children and babies—when they smile, they technically have "crow's feet" too. If you've gotten into the headspace of assuming your eyes should never move or all of your wrinkles are caused by something negative, remember that.
Once those wrinkles settle in, you can certainly call upon the ingredients and tactics above to encourage plumper skin, but all in all, eye wrinkles are a sign you're living your life and expressing joy—which is something to be proud of, if anything.
The Vintage Avenue Team x