As Friends’ Phoebe Buffay once said, “You need to do something about your eyes … there’s too much wisdom in there.” Well, we may not be trying to pass for 19, but there’s no two ways about it—the eyes are giving us away.
Wisdom we can take; it’s the rest that’s a worry
It’s sad but true: one of the first things we notice with age is fine lines around the eyes, dark circles, and bags. The fragile skin around the eye is the thinnest area on the body and does not renew as quickly as we age, which causes a variety of visible symptoms.
According to Violaine Bargues, product development manager at Good Ventures, an ethical product development company with a focus on organic personal care, “The skin around the eyes requires the use of lighter products with less butter and oils than on the rest of the face.”
You also need to think about how you’re applying the product itself, she continues. “It’s important not to add too much pressure on the area; we normally recommend applying products with the ring finger.”
The key to combatting aging, Bargues suggests, is to increase the density and firmness of the skin by using active ingredients to increase cell regeneration. “Skin around the eyes becomes even thinner with age, so it’s important that cells get renewed to replace dead ones and improve skin resistance.”
Ingredients with a naturally high eye-q
“Hyaluronic acid acts as a ‘water reservoir’ for the skin,” says Bargues. “It has the ability to retain 1,000 times its weight in water.” According to Bargues, this mega-ability for hydration means it has a plumping quality, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines.
“Tuberose extract has had some amazing results,” says Bargues, “including on all the different concerns surrounding the eye area: eye bags, dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles.”
More than slapping a couple of slices over your eyes, cucumber extract, often used in eye serums, helps to hydrate the skin, combat inflammation, and reduce
dark circles, thanks to its high levels of vitamin K.
Did you know?
Related to melons like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew, ultra-low-calorie cucumbers are about 95 percent water and loaded with lignans, antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamins, along with trace elements and minerals.
At-home techniques to def-eye aging
You’ve probably dabbled in dry brushing your body, but how about your face? Benefits include increased blood flow, lymphatic system drainage, and gentle exfoliation. All of these can brighten the complexion and relieve puffiness under eyes.
Starting with freshly cleansed skin, very lightly and gently brush from the chin up to your hairline until you have covered the whole face, then do the same from your chest to your neck.
A gorgeous ritual to build into your skin care regimen, facial massage is a great way to combat aging. According to A-list facialist Abigail James, it stimulates circulation, encourages detoxification by getting your lymphatic system moving, and firms and lifts your facial muscles. All of this, potentially, helps fight against aging’s gravitational pull!
- Cleanse your face, then gently rub 1 tsp (5 mL) plant-based facial oil all over your face and neck.
- Drain the lymph nodes in your neck in firm circular motions, then with thumbs under the chin, rub all the way out to the ears with a “pinching” motion along the jawline.
- Using big, upward circular motions, progress to the cheeks and around the mouth.
- Push the skin up to the cheekbones with the knuckles, hold for a second, then drain out to the ears.
- Stroke outward, underneath the eyes, with fingertips, then push brows up with fingertips and hold for a few seconds, then circle round the eyes.
- Tackle crows’ feet by alternating single finger strokes upward and downward, one side at a time.
- Continue this criss-cross movement across the brow.
- Gently massage the hair line.
- Finish by reversing large, stroking movements down the face, neck, and décolletage.
The tea bag trick
Not just an old wives’ tale, the “cold tea bags on the eyes” thing has some merit. Why? It may be a combo of caffeine and the cold compress effect, which have both been shown to reduce puffiness by having a shrinking effect on blood vessels.
Simply steep two tea bags (black, green, or white tea will all work) in hot water for 10 minutes, squeeze out excess water, and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Place one tea bag on each eye, and relax for 20 to 30 minutes.
Laura Sugden is a health coach, writer, smiler, and recent facial massage addict. freebirdliving.org; @free.bird.living
This article was originally published in the March 2020 issue of alive Canada, under the title “The Eyes Give You Away.”