Laughing, smiling, fun days in the sun having drinks with friends…smoking, eating too much fast food, lack of sleep…typical activities for many of us; and the typical result of these activities on the thinnest skin on your body…the skin around your dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. Of course, your gene pool does have some affect on how your skin ages, as well; but lifestyle choices can make a world of difference.

As we age, one of the first evident signs creeps in around our eyes. Those darn crows feet and other tiny lines start to give away the fact that we’re getting older when other parts of our skin still manage to remain somewhat youthful. It’s no wonder, then, that one of the cosmetic products that is highest on our ‘beautifying’ list is eye cream. But before we touch on the importance of eye creams in your skin care regimen, let’s not ignore other preventive maintenance that can be exercised that addresses the items mentioned in the beginning of this blog.

  • Cigarette smoking – don’t do it! Nicotene and other properties in smoke dry out skin, while you squint as the smoke wafts by your eyes…not to mention the actual pursing of your lips that causes early wrinkles on that part of your face, as well.

  • Sleeplessness – the excessive production of cortisol in your body can wear down your skin cells. Not getting enough sleep is one cause of this cortisol production.

  • Alcohol – drying to your skin

  • Diet – What you eat is a huge factor in the appearance of your skin. Omega-3s and antioxidants are very good for your skin. It isn’t any secret that eating a healthy diet of fruits and veggies (antioxidants), coupled with fish (Omega 3) is much better for you (and your skin) than fast foods. Another favorite…cocoa…contains flavanols, a phytochemical that can help to improve circulation to your skin cells, improve its hydration and protect your skin from sun damage. Along with flavanols, carotenoids can also boost your skin’s ability to fight off wrinkles around the eyes. Foods that contain carotenoids are carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach, just to name a few.

  • Genetics – well, although genetics can affect how your skin ages and the presence of dark circles, as they say…we can’t choose our relatives!

The dark circles, which plague many of us, can be a by-product of stored toxins, allergies, and lack of water in our systems. Increasing water intake and addressing allergies can possibly help reduce the intensity of these circles.

Now a word about the topical eye creams that can help with wrinkles, fine lines and dark circles. The older we get, the less our body manufactures collagen and elastin (in addition to hyaluronic acid), three important ingredients for that youthful glow we’re after. Without these proteins, our skin loses its elasticity and its firmness, causing the skin around our eyes to age quicker, evidenced by the increased wrinkles and sagging.

When searching for eye creams that will address the lack of collagen and elastin, ingredients that are proven to help are those containing peptides and antioxidants, such as vitamin C and A. It’s also important to use creams specifically formulated for the eye area, since creams and lotions used on the rest of your face are generally heavier creams, which can even have a “side effect” called milia (small whiteheads), that can form on skin around your eyes.

While those of us who do moisturize our skin are prone to do it at the beginning of the day, it’s also important to moisturize your skin around your eyes at bedtime. The hours your body gets to sleep are the hours it uses to regenerate itself, so providing your skin with the nutrients it needs to help improve its firmness and elasticity at bedtime should become routine.

Naturally, you can always resort to more expensive and invasive methods to gain more youthful-looking eyes…botox, laser resurfacing or eyelifts…but following suggestions talked about above can make these options a last resort that won’t be needed for many years.

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