Why are they so delicate?
The skin around the eyes is actually different to the rest of the skin. They eye area does not have sebaceous (oil) glands and also is most susceptible to damage of collagen and elastin (because it is so thin), which are responsible for keeping the skin young, plump, and firm. These are a few of the reasons that the eye area ages much more quickly than the rest of the face.
So is it really necessary to buy (another) cream just for my eyes?
This really depends on what your eye concern is and how your eyes react to products and ingredients. The whole idea of an eye cream, is to tackle issues like dehydration, dark circles, wrinkles, and fine lines without irritation. More sophisticated eye creams will also have a delivery system that is able to penetrate skin around the eyes more deeply, and often have a lower amount of active ingredients than products used for the rest of your skin (ironic since they seem to cost so much for so little). Eye creams are certainly a safer option than just spreading your serums and creams closer to the eyes. However, they are not going to reverse the signs of ageing or completely eliminate dark circles, which is why the best way to treat these issues, is really to invest in a good concealer.
Dark circles are a very common issue for almost all skin types. Primarily, because the skin in this area is far more sensitive, as it is not supported like the rest of the face. There is no subcutaneous tissue and the skin is much thinner (so when encounter intrinsic and extrinsic changes, it will first appear here first). It can also be caused by a skin condition, but the triggers are very difficult to pinpoint and is often hard to diagnose.
Tiredness - Sleep deprivation, Oversleeping
Tired skin = oxygen deprivation = sluggishness of blood circulation. When your skin doesn’t have the correct amount of oxygen; everything becomes motionless...like pressing pause during a film. The blood flow stays immobile under the eye area, causing a blue looking pigment, present in the deoxygenated blood, to leak from capillaries into the tissue. As the skin is thinner in this area, it is more visible. Ta-dah, hello dark circles.
A good night sleep, ideally only 7-8 hours. Yes, oversleeping is actually BAD for your health. And guess what? Some claim coffee makes our blood vessels constrict, so less visible...one oat milk latte, please!
Dark circles may actually come almost with their best friend; we’ll call her ‘puffy’. In this case, place something cold on this area (cold spoon, gel eye patches) as this can really help. I personally like to put my eye patches in the fridge, and apply them during the peek of my hangover, when more than my eyes are feeling delicate.
Margarita + tequila shot + gin & tonic + coffee = dehydration. In case you didn’t know, this toxic mix contribute highly to dark circles. Alcohol decreases blood oxygenation as it will replace the oxygen in the blood. It causes polluting of the cells, including the cells around the yes.
Water, green tea, water with lemon, water with cucumber. Anything that contains WATER. Again if you know that the root of the problem is dehydration, and that your dark circles are “ temporary” simply use cold eye patches and a gel-cream eye treatment that will help to sooth the area.
Sun exposure leave capillaries vulnerable so more prone to leak. Plus, in certain skin types it can increase the melanin production making them darker. Eye affected by UV light will usually appear with brownish shadows.
Unfortunately, this condition is only manageable and can not be fully treated. This is why it is really important to prevent it, specially for darker skins type. It is important to have an antioxidant eye serum as well as a SPF to create a shield against the sun.
Hereditary Genetics - Thank you Mum & Dad
Yes genetics ! Dark circles are more prone in people that have excessive pigmentation, melanin deposition, or low levels of collagen in the area under the eyes.
As it is a genetic condition, there is no much that you can do to get definitely rid of them . However, there is some treatments that can help to brighten this area. From the different articles that I read, hydroquinone liquorice extract , caffeine and Vitamin C looks to be the best ingredients to look at.
Another interesting cause to look at when speaking about dark circles is your nutrition. In fact, people that are deficient in iron will show dark circles. Iron is needed for the formation of health blood cells and so for the oxygen supply to the tissue. A deficiency, will have the same effect on sleep deprivation on the body. This can only be verified by a blood test. Most of the times people will suffer from constant tiredness, headaches etc.
Try to eat more red meat, liver and green leafy vegetables as they are the one rich in iron. If you prefer to take iron supplements the trick is to complement it with Vitamin C or a glass of orange as it will help the body to fully absorb it.
Of course, there is many other factors that causes dark circles such as weight loss, allergies and eye dryness, hormonal changes etc. If you’re not sure what’s your reason, check Paula’s Choice article “ How do I reduce Dark circles “ that gives great advices to reduce dark circles.