Skin Health Magazine Issue #10 / Winter 2019 - Page 15

T he eyes are special. They inspire poetry and music, works of art and first loves. They’re the lens through which we view the world, and often the first thing the world notices about us. From a skin care perspective, the delicate area sur- rounding the eyes is equally complex and there is so much to address — dark circles, puffiness, loose skin, fine lines. To understand more about why this area of the face is so prone to visible ageing, we spoke to two of the industry’s eye experts, Dr Sheraz Daya and Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai. For starters, this is ‘special skin’ While the skin on the face varies from the fore- head to the cheeks and chin, the eye area is the most delicate. “The skin around the eyes is ten times thinner than the rest of the face,” says Dr Sheraz Daya, a pioneering ophthalmologist and the clinical director at Centre For Sight. “Therefore, extra care needs to be given to this area.” Ten times thinner. This knowledge is a fundamental starting point. Such thin skin is why many issues are so visible here; it’s also why the weakest finger — the ring finger — should always be used to apply eye creams and serums. How and why your eyes show the signs of ageing Most women have had that moment — looking at our crow’s feet in a selfie or staring sleepily at our puffy eyes in the mirror — when we thought: ‘When did that happen?’ According to Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai, interna- tionally-renowned ophthalmic reconstructive surgeon and Director of Perfect Eyes Ltd, this delicate area is the first to show any signs of ageing. “As we get older, we lose the fat padding under the eyebrows,” she explains. “This causes the brows to appear hollow at the inner corner and droopy on the outer corner, which can make our eyes look sad.” And then there are those permanent lines fanning out from the outer corners of the eyes, almost like whiskers. As we hit our thirties, she says, “smile lines give way to crow's feet around the outer corners of the eyes.” In addition to age, these lines can be caused by “sun damage, squinting, smiling and smoking.” Now, we’re not saying you need to eradicate these lines completely - they add character and remind us of happy times - but softening them can make the eyes appear more rested and, yes, youthful. Why the eye bags and dark circles? The state of the area under our eyes is particu- larly susceptible to lifestyle factors. According to Dr Shah-Desai, the puffiness and dark circles often visible here (especially first thing in the morning) can be caused by “a lack of sleep, eye rubbing, dehydration — through excess alcohol and caffeine consumption — and poor skin care.” These, she says, “can have the same effect as smoking-induced loss of collagen.” Then there’s that annoying thin-skin situation. “Thin skin under the eyes makes underlying blood vessels more visible,” she says. “The fat pads under the eyes change as they age, leading to hollowing and puffy eyes.” Prevention and treatment A blend of good choices and strategic skin care can help keep your eye issues from worsen- ing and treat the ones already taking hold. Dr Shah-Desai recommends, as a preventative measure, protecting delicate under-eye skin with regular use of eye creams containing hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and brightening Vitamin C. And, “for dark circles and crepey skin,” she recommends the use of “a combina- tion of superficial skin-boosting products and deep Hyaluronic Acid filler injections, which work to plump thin skin and restore volume.” To further combat damage to the delicate skin around the eyes, Dr Daya emphasises the impor- tance of good lifestyle choices. “Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays,” he says. “Remove eye make-up every night, ensure you get enough sleep, and stop smoking. This will not only help with the appearance of your eyes but also improve your overall eye health.” ISSUE #10 | 2019 | 15