As you age, your skin loses some of its elasticity. Environmental factors, like sun exposure, as well as genetics play a role in how early wrinkles and fine lines will start to appear on a person’s face.
The skin around your eyes is an area that’s likely to show earlier signs of aging because the area under your eyeball (the periorbital hollow) is thin skin with blood vessels.
Having lines under your eyes is a normal part of getting older. If these lines make you feel self-conscious, you can address them through several preventive methods and home remedies.
The most common cause of fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes is simply aging. But other common contributing factors may be possible to avoid:
Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays break down the collagen in your skin. Collagen is the main protein in your skin tissue, and it’s key to your facial structure holding up over time. Ultraviolet rays can come from unprotected sun exposure, as well as sunless tanning beds. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), unprotected exposure to UV rays leads to an earlier appearance of leathery skin and wrinkles.
The Mayo Clinic reports that aside from age, smoking is the strongest predictor of wrinkles in women and men. Smoking exposes your skin to extra oxidative stress, damaging its collagen and elastin. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels in your face, obstructing circulation to your blood vessels and depriving your skin of vitamin A.
Repetitive movements and expressions
Facial expressions, like smiling, frowning, and furrowing your brow, can cause fine lines to develop on your face.
Even your sleeping habits can cause fine lines if the same facial muscles are being pushed up against a pillow during sleep each night. Your skin loses its ability to bounce back to its original place as you grow older. Research indicates that sleeping with your face buried in your pillow can contribute to lines under your eyes.
Certain home remedies and skin care products may be able to reduce the appearance of fine lines under your eyes.
Try facial exercises to tighten skin
Certain facial exercises have been shown anecdotally to be effective at tightening the skin underneath your eyes. There’s no reason to believe that these exercises are harmful, but the research we have about “facial yoga,” as some call it, is still extremely limited.
Treat your allergies
Allergies often cause inflammation around your eyes. They can also make your eyes watery. Rubbing or scratching your eyes due to allergy symptoms can contribute to red eyes and make your skin feel dry. Treating allergy symptoms can give your face a more relaxed appearance, and it can also protect the skin under your eyes in the long run.
You can gently exfoliate dry skin that forms under your eyes to promote new cell growth. Only use products that are specifically made to exfoliate and massage into the area underneath your eyes.
Protect your eyes too Your eyes are extremely sensitive to harsh chemicals. Don’t risk blurring your vision or damaging your eyes by using products not meant for use in that area.
Moisturize with an eye cream
Lack of moisture can increase the appearance of fine lines around your eyes. Look for moisturizers that are rich in ingredients shown to promote circulation and new cell growth. Retinol (a derivative of vitamin A), peptides, and hyaluronic acid are all backed by research and aestheticians.
Under-eye products in the form of cooling gels and serums might work best to fight fine lines.
Eyes, face, or body lotion? Keep in mind that applying the same moisturizer that you use on your face under your eyes could irritate your eyes. Creams that you use on the rest of your body tend to be too thick in consistency to be absorbed by the skin under your eyes, which is prone to irritation.
Avoid sun exposure — use sunscreen and a hat
You can help prevent fine lines from forming by protecting your skin from UV rays. Always wear an SPF of at least 30 when you’re venturing outside, even if it’s not particularly sunny.
When you’ll be in direct sunlight for several hours at a time, consider shielding your eyes with a hat as well as wearing sunglasses. Brimmed hats and visors serve an added benefit for your eyes: They keep you from squinting, an expression which can create wrinkles when it’s repeated often enough.
Eat a healthy diet
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E are all frequently used in skin care products. By incorporating foods rich in these vitamins into your diet, you’ll be helping your skin (and the rest of your body) to form healthy new cells. Some believe that there’s a strong link between a healthy diet and firm, younger looking skin. Consider colorful citrus fruits, carrots, and pumpkin to beef up the amount of these vitamins in your diet.
There are also ways to treat fine lines under your eyes using cosmetic procedures and facial treatments. These should be performed by a dermatologist or trained aesthetician.
Chemical peels can be applied to the face to remove dead skin cells and promote new cell growth. Chemical peels can’t treat deep wrinkles or tighten sagging skin, but they may be able to reduce the appearance of fine lines around your eyes.
Dermal fillers are injected into the skin underneath or around the eyes to “plump up” the appearance of the face. Fillers are temporary, and most products give you results that last six months to two years. Two well-known treatments in this category are Restylane and Juvéderm.
Microdermabrasion is a popular and minimally invasive procedure used to exfoliate your skin. A diamond-tip handpiece is the tool often used on sensitive areas of skin, like your eyes, for this treatment. Microdermabrasion gets rids of dull, dead skin cells and promotes circulation to the area of skin where pressure is being applied.
Lasers are becoming increasingly popular as a treatment of under-eye lines and wrinkles. Several types of laser treatments are available for this purpose. Fractional lasers are one option that works by poking microscopic holes into the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production.
Microneedling is an increasingly popular treatment that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. During this procedure, tiny needles are used to poke holes in the skin, which can be followed by the application of a skin cream or serum. As the skin heals, collagen is stimulated, improving fine lines, and the texture of the skin.
A small amount of Botox is injected into targeted muscles under the eyes, decreasing the appearance of wrinkles by causing the area to relax. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), most people see results in just three to seven days and experience a significant reduction in the appearance of wrinkles for three to four months.
There’s nothing wrong with getting some wrinkles and fine lines under your eyes. While skin care products, protection from UV rays, and a healthy lifestyle may make it possible to avoid fine lines or reduce their appearance, you might not be able to avoid them entirely. Make an appointment with a doctor or dermatologist if you feel your fine lines are problematic.