Our eyes can tell others if we are happy, sad, angry, tired, or wide awake. Their expression encompasses our emotions and can be an easy indication of how we feel. As we age, our eyes can also show signs of sleepless nights, stress, or simply, our genetics. The most common concerns pertaining to the eye are associated with puffiness, dark circles, sagging, and wrinkling. While some may start to experience these signs in their late teens and early twenties, others were born with it. Many cosmetic companies have created temporary solutions for these concerns, but very few are effective in creating long term effects. In this article, we will address clinically effective ways to treat common concerns for the eye area, while also diving deeper into our understanding of why they happen.
Have you ever woken up feeling swollen or incredibly puffy, especially around your eyes? This puffiness, also known as “bags” under your eyes, is very common and could occur for a variety of reasons. For one, it could be genetic. If you’ve looked back on childhood photos and have seen those little puffs in all you pictures, or if you turn to one of your parents or grandparents and see it, it is likely something you inherited. As stated by the Mayo Clinic, all eyes are surrounded by fat pockets that act as support. These fat pockets may be present in some individuals and less apparent in others. As you age, this fat can move to the lower eyelids and cause increased puffiness. The puffiness can also be caused by fluid accumulation beneath the eyes, often as the result of eating a salty meal or sleep as stated by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Remedies for Eye Puffiness
If you occasionally wake up with puffiness around your eyes, these at-home treatments recommended by Johns Hopkins Medicine may be a great option for you. Start with a cold compress, like frozen spoons or chilled cucumbers. By applying these cold objects to your eyes for a few minutes, you may reduce the inflammation surrounding your eyes, as well as decreasing the blood flow to the area. In doing so, the swelling surrounding your eyes should subside.
A second option is caffeine. While you may be tired and tempted to drink it, applying the caffeine to your skin is an effective way in constricting the blood vessels around your eyes to reduce the swelling. If you don’t have an eye cream that contains caffeine, try leaving chilled caffeinated tea bags on your eyes for a few minutes to help reduce inflammation.
Those with consistent under-eye bags may benefit more from medical options. Receiving a hyaluronic acid filler, laser resurfacing, or chemical peel are all non-invasive treatments that help smooth the undereye area and reduce the size of your bags. If you choose to undergo any of these procedures, it is best to have them performed by a board-certified dermatologist or ophthalmologist that specializes in treating this area of the eye. The eye is incredibly sensitive, so be cautious when treating this area!
Dark circles may appear with the same randomness as eye puffiness – sometimes it may accompany temporary illnesses like the flu or common cold, other times it may be caused by a lack of sleep or anemia. In many cases (just as with all of our beautiful features), dark circles may be hereditary. Mayoral Derm in Coral Gables, Florida describes dark circles as hyperpigmentation due to excessive melanin surrounding the eyes. This is more common as we age because as the skin loses collagen, the dark circle may become more prominent.
Treating Dark Circles
There are some Retin-A products that can treat mild dark circles by blocking the production of melanin. This may not be the best option for those with sensitive skin because the skin surrounding the eyes is thin and delicate. As with puffiness, dark circles can also be treated with soft tissue fillers that work by stimulating the production of collagen and producing natural-looking changes in the skin. As for the drugstore creams or luxury lotions that could cost upwards of hundreds of dollars, most have shown very temporary (less than 24 hours) or mild results.
Wrinkles and Sagging Skin
Wrinkles are a sign of aging, but that is no reason to be afraid of them. Much of our society criticizes wrinkles and promotes ways to get rid of them for very expensive price tags. In addition to wrinkles, the skin starts to sag more as we get older. As a result, some of us may experience droopy eyelids. While some may feel uncomfortable seeking treatment through injections like Botox, a trendy supplement may help slow the process of you developing wrinkles and loose skin.
Which trendy supplement? Collagen!
In a recent study published in October of 2019, Bolke and collegues investigated the effects of collagen on skin aging and health. The collagen—just as many than are on the market today—was drinkable. The results were very promising, demonstrating improvement in skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density. While consuming collagen may not reverse the signs of aging, it definitely has the capability to reduce the chances of their onset.
Continue to check back on our website for upcoming articles diving deep into the benefits of collagen and creating facts vs. fiction on many supplements promoted by the beauty industry. Remember—your skin is beautiful just the way it is. If you choose to make any changes, we’re glad we can provide you with advice and guidance in choosing the best option for you.