All About The Eyes

"The eyes are the mirror of the soul."

Did you know that the skin around our eyes (periorbital skin) is much thinner than the skin on the rest of our face? In fact, the skin under our eyes (0.5mm) are some of the thinnest found on the human body (2-3mm). With such delicate skin on your face, it is inevitable for eye bags, dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles and crow's feet to surface on the skin of our eyes. So, what exactly are these skin troubles, what causes them, and how could we overcome them?

Eye Bags

Eye bags are common as we age. With ageing, the tissues around our eyes and muscles supporting our eyelids weaken. Fat that helps to support our eyelids could move into our lower eyelids, causing our lids to look puffy. Accumulated fluid under our eye area may also add to the swelling.

Other than ageing, eye bags may also be caused by the following factors:

1. Genetics: The cause of eye bags is partly hereditary - it's in your DNA. If your parents and/or grandparents have eye bags, you may get them too.

2. Lack of sleep: Insufficient sleep at night prevents your body from flushing out excess fluid. This causes fluid to gather in the tissue under your eyes, causing eye bags to appear.

Solution: Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

3. Fluid retention after a salt-heavy meal: Salt causes your body to naturally retain water. When you ingest too much salt, it tends to dehydrate you. This causes your body to retain excess fluid to avoid further dehydration. The excess fluid may then gather around the skin under your eyes, leading to the appearance of eye bags.

Solution: Reduce your salt intake during mealtime.

4. Smoking: Tobacco fumes kill healthy cells in your body and break down collagen production. This accelerates the ageing process and accentuates eye bags. Constant contact with tobacco fumes results in dehydrated skin. Thus, the body retains water to prevent the skin from becoming even more dehydrated. This ultimately leads to eye bags surfacing from the under-eye area.

Solution: Cut down on excessive smoking or quit entirely.

5. Allergies: During an allergic reaction, your body releases chemicals (histamines) that cause your eyes to swell and become puffy. Allergens accelerate fluid build-up underneath your eyes, which further causes eye bags.

For eye bags, try: Lavien Hyaluronic Acid Micro Patch

Dark Circles

Dark circles appear when the thin layer of skin under your eyes show your blood vessels and the blood they contain. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and ability to regenerate. Therefore, the skin under our eyes become thinner.

Ageing aside, dark circles may result from the following factors:

1. Fatigue: Sleep deprivation may cause your skin to turn dull and pale, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels beneath your skin to show.

Solution: Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

2. Straining your eyes:  Prolonged staring at computers and/or TV screens can cause significant strain on your eyes. This strain causes blood vessels around your eyes to enlarge and as a result, darken the skin surrounding your eyes.

Solution: Avoid prolonged staring at electronic screens and take breaks in between long hours of screen exposure.

3. Exposure to UV rays: Overexposure to sun rays causes your body to produce excess melanin (body's colour pigment). Overexposure to UV rays can cause pigmentation in our eyes' surrounding skin to darken.

Solution: Wear protective accessories (e.g. wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses) and use sunscreen daily (try: IWLT Protective Base Sun Cream).

4. Dehydration: When your body does not receive sufficient amount of water, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and sunken.

Solution: Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 cups of water daily.

5. Allergies: Histamines (chemicals released by your body during an allergic reaction) may cause your blood vessels to dilate and become more visible beneath your skin.

6. Genetics: As with ageing, family history plays a part in the development of dark circles under your eyes.

For dark circles, try: Wish Formula Panda Eye Essence Mask

Fine Lines & Wrinkles

The skin under our eyes does not have many oil glands. Therefore, it cannot produce as much collagen and/or elastin as the rest of our face. This makes the skin under our eyes more prone to moisture loss and dryness, which is the reason why fine lines & wrinkles appear on our faces, especially as we age.

The following factors may also attribute to fine lines & wrinkles:

1. Overexposure to UV rays: Exposure to UV light breaks down the skin's supportive connective tissue (collagen and elastin), which lie in the dermis. Without collagen and elastin, your skin loses strength and flexibility, causing it to sag and wrinkle.

Solution: Wear protective accessories (e.g. wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses) and use sunscreen daily (try: IWLT Protective Base Sun Cream).

2. SmokingSmoking changes the blood supply to your skin and accelerates the normal ageing process of your skin. Your skin tone may appear darker and texture may turn rough.

Solution: Cut down on excessive smoking or quit entirely.

3. Repeated facial expressions: Facial movements (e.g. smiling, squinting) leads to fine lines and wrinkles. As our skin ages, facial muscles lose flexibility and cannot spring back in place. This results in the permanent appearance of fine lines & wrinkles on your face.

Solution: Avoid squinting your eyes whenever possible.

4. Inflammatory foods: Inflammation causes skin tissue to break down, leading to a loss of collagen and elastin. It also results in redness, flaking, roughness and spots.

Solution: Avoid food that are high in sugar or saturated fats (e.g. sweets, white sugar, fried food, carbonated drinks).

5. Stress/FatigueWhen you are stressed and/or tired, your body releases excess cortisol, the "stress hormone" known to cause premature skin aging and wrinkles.

Solution: Pick up relaxation techniques (e.g. yoga, deep breathing) and get sufficient sleep at night.

For fine lines & wrinkles, try: Galantry Premium Wrinkle Kit, Lavien Hyaluronic Acid Micro Patch, Wish Formula Panda Eye Essence Mask

Crow's Feet

Crow's feet are wrinkles that branch out from the outer corners of the eyes towards the temples. They develop because tiny muscles contract every time you make a facial expression. Unlike wrinkles or fine lines, crow's feet can look deeper or more obvious on the skin.

Crow's feet may occur due to the following reasons:

1. Sleep position: Sleeping on your side or stomach may result in excessive pulling of the skin, which can contribute to the development of ‘sleep wrinkles’.

Solution: Sleep on your back or use silk pillows that can help your skin to retain moisture overnight and slide (instead of pull) against your skin.

2. Stress/Fatigue: Chronic stress causes inflammation. Furthermore, losing sleep due to stress over long periods of time prevents the skin from rejuvenating.

Solution: Pick up relaxation techniques (e.g. yoga, deep breathing) and get at least 8 hours of sleep at night.

3. Overexposure to UV rays: UV rays destroy elastin and decrease the production of collagen, both of which are essential in keeping your skin young and elastic.

Solution: Wear protective accessories (e.g. wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses) and use sunscreen (try: IWLT Protective Base Sun Cream).

4. Sugar: Glycation (a natural process by which a protein/fat molecule bonds with sugar) causes collagen and elastin to weaken in our skin. It also expedites the depletion of hyaluronic acid, decreasing the level of volume and fullness that is present in young skin.

Solution: Avoid processed foods that contain high fructose corn syrup and other sugars.

5. Smoking: Smoking reduces collagen and elastin in the skin, and decreases blood flow too. Simply put, your skin cannot get adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrients to function properly.

Solution: Cut down on excessive smoking or quit entirely.

6. AlcoholAlcohol is a strong diuretic that may dehydrate and damage your skin. Excessive drinking over time strips the body of nutrients and can cause the skin to lose elasticity.

Solution: Increase your water consumption or consume red wine (high in antioxidants) if you really need to unwind.

For crow's feet, try Galantry Premium Wrinkle Kit