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Skin Around the Eyes: Dermatologist’s Best Skincare Tips on How to Care for it

October 26, 2023

In this article, we share skincare tips for skin around the eyes, and include excerpts from Natural Beauty DIY Skincare for Women: Dermatologist Guide to Holistic At-Home Facials, by Dr. Teo Wan Lin, one of Asia’s most prominent dermatologists and leading international beauty KOL.

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We will be covering the science behind how the skin around the eyes differs from other parts of facial skin before moving on to home remedies that may alleviate common concerns. Here is an outline of the treatment protocol for the eye area.

Cold therapy for reducing congestion and inflammation in skin around the eyes

The undereye area is especially prone to pigmentation because of thinner skin compared to the rest of facial skin. The underlying blood vessels tend to show up more prominently. Sometimes the blood cells may leak a pigment known as hemosiderin, which appears as a brownish deposit on skin. Applying cold therapy constricts the blood vessels and reduces the development of pigmentation.

Barrier repair to improve barrier function in skin around the eyes

The key here is to use a hypoallergenic ceramide dominant moisturiser (no fancy eye creams necessary) and to use wet occlusion to increase absorption via the stratum corneum. 

Antioxidants to brighten skin around the eyes

For the delicate undereye area, I caution against using vitamin C or other types of antiaging serums designed for facial skin unless specially formulated for the eye area. I would especially avoid using any products containing acids i.e. AHA, BHA or retinols as these generally cause irritation over a period of time even if tolerated well at first. Instead, I will be recommending plant products which you can find in your pantry which are also safe for use around the eye area.

Massage to improve epidermal and dermal elasticity/strength in skin around the eyes

This helps to improve circulation and the massaging action also stimulates blood flow to prepare for absorption of actives. In addition, massage has been proven to stimulate collagen production and helps to lift sagging aged skin.

Treatment Protocol for Crows Feet Wrinkles, Eye Bags and Dark Circles

What you will need

  • Thin slices of cucumber (freshly sliced, refrigerated)
  • Jade roller
  • Gel pack (fever packs or similar shape will do, refrigerated for at least 8 hours)
  • Sleeping mask (optional eye mask, can help hold the gel pack in place) 
  • Ceramide-dominant moisturiser, dermatologist-recommended drugstore brand will do 
  • Silicone patch designed for eye area OR cut your own from medical grade silicone 
  • Skin icing tool i.e. metallic alloys designed for cold compresses preferred to reduce the risk of frost-bite (users should self-test depending on their freezer temperature, manufacturers’ instructions to minimise adverse events)
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Treatment Steps

  1. Start with cleansed face, be mindful when addressing the delicate eye area, I usually would skip cleanser there and focus on the rest of my face
  2. Use the smaller roller end of the jade roller and gently roll back and forth on slightly damp skin for 3 minutes. 
  3. Apply a thin slice of refrigerated cut cucumber over skin around both eyes, keep it in place with the cold gel pack for 10-30 minutes. If you are worried about the pieces shifting, you can wear a sleeping eye mask over the gel pack
  4. Apply a generous amount of moisturiser, massage in gently. Ensure it does not get into the eyes

Dark circles

Undereye pigmentation can be due to genetic factors, aging skin and sleep deprivation. The skin around the eyes is thinner than that of facial skin. This means that the underlying blood vessels is likely to show prominently compared to other areas of the face.

Sleep deprivation is a well known cause of dark eye circles, partly also because the eyes easily show signs of fatigue as well. Aging causes thinning of both the epidermis and the dermis, the effects of which become even more prominent at the delicate undereye region. In many cases, undereye hyperpigmentation is genetic and may not improve with any form of treatment. Nevertheless, the treatment protocol I propose here is a holistic approach that tackles the reversible causes of undereye circles.

FUN FACT

Cucumber is a potent source of skin brightening vitamin C, beta carotene, manganese and cucurbitacin D which actively targets hyperpigmentation. Studies show that it decreases melanin content. This treatment utilises cold therapy to reduce inflammation and constricts the blood vessels to minimise the appearance of dark circles

Crows feet, wrinkles

Before step 3, apply 1 tsp of broccoli juice (cold-pressed ideal) by tapping onto the affected areas before applying the cucumber slices. Before step 4, apply the silicone patch for minimum of 2 hours for immediate anti-wrinkle effect before an important event. Alternatively, as part of your regular treatment regimen, you can apply the patch overnight for great efficacy.

@drteowanlin #skinhealth #dermatologist #tiktoksingapore #docsoftiktok #bestmoisturizer #learningisfun #beautytips #beautytok #skincare101 #skincareroutine #beautyhacks ♬ MOMENTS IN LIFE – Turreekk

FUN FACT

Broccoli belongs to the family of brassica oleracea genus of cruciferous plants. It is also a natural source of retinol, coenzyme Q10 and ubiquinone. This makes it a great anti-wrinkle agent which stimulates collagen production in skin.

Eye bags 

Eye bags are the toughest to address with regards to treatment of skin around the eyes. Many cases are genetic, though it also occurs as part of aging skin. If advanced, correction may require surgical intervention which is beyond the scope of this book. However, the regimen I prescribed above is especially helpful for prevention when done on a regular basis. Actives like natural retinol tightens skin and reduces the appearance of sagging skin. Sometimes, eye bags can be due to edema, also known colloquially as water retention. In this case, I recommend using a skin icing tool before step 3.

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