The skin around the eyes is fine and much more delicate than any other skin on the body. It’s thinner, in order to allow the eye to move easily and quickly. This is a good thing, but it also comes with its own set of considerations. Because the eye moves constantly – even in sleep – this skin gets a workout. Many people suffer from dark circles, dryness, wrinkling, puffiness or loose skin around the eye area. The eyes are the window to the soul, and also to the health of the body. Life – all of it - even breathing - produces toxins for the body to eliminate
These toxins occur from lack of sleep, a poor diet, environmental toxins and emotional stress. The effects are clearly seen in the face, and especially around the eyes. Have you ever seen that extra glass of wine, or that lost hour of sleep, or that night on the computer – show up under your eyes? So, what can be done?
The trick is to reduce your toxic load. Besides improving sleep patterns, avoiding alcohol, eating right and dealing with stress in a healthy fashion (like exercise), you can also help the body to gently detox by nourishing, toning and tapping. Stimulating the tiny muscles around the eyes will help tone and improve the appearance around the eye area. The lymphatic system and the sinus system in the face benefit from nourishing products containing detoxifying and supportive ingredients to help the body recover and renew. Gently tapping or applying light massage from the outside corner of the eye in towards the tear ducts will assist the body in detoxing and reducing puffiness. You can actually feel the drainage through the sinus system.
Dark circles can mean a lack of iron (anemia), be a symptom of allergies or can be inherited. People of Asian or African descent can sometimes have heavier pigmentation around the eye area. Skin brighteners, or natural ingredients that have an enzyme called Tyrosinase – will slow and block the formation of pigment in age spots or dark areas on the skin. Ingredients that brighten and lighten are fermented ingredients, acids such as Kojic acid (found in fermented rice), Citric acid (found in citrus fruits), or herbs like horseradish, licorice root and uva ursi.
Puffiness is an accumulation of water – the body sends in the troops to deal with distress. If you are tired or hungover, eating salty or fast foods, or simply dealing with a difficult situation – the water arrives. The cucumber rings and tea bags you often see in spa ads are wonderful soothing solutions. They are astringent and diuretic – they tone the skin and help remove excess water. Ironically, drinking water is also a solution. It helps to flush the toxic buildup and reduce puffiness. As we age, fat can accumulate around the eye to store toxins, so it becomes more important than ever to reduce your toxic load daily.
Last, but definitely not least, is the power of gravity. Gravity pulls things down towards the earth, and the cumulative effects of gravity on the body is a natural part of living and getting older. When it comes to the eyes and gravity - the fine skin around the eye can’t do the heavy lifting. The last thing we want to do to our eyes is to load them down with heavy, thick eye creams. It is easy to get drawn in with the latest chemical actives and rich oils and butters, but using these products can actually worsen the appearance of the eye area.
In fact, one of the easiest ways to diminish gravity’s effect on the skin is to get upside down - yoga, inversions and non-weight bearing activities might actually improve the tone of the skin around the eyes (plus it’s fun!).
To bring things into focus: look for an eye serum with natural, food-grade ingredients in a light, absorbable formulation that tones and lightly firms. Seaweeds, aloe vera, astringent herbs like Spilanthes - all offer gentle toning and tightening qualities. Avoid chemicals or synthetic cosmeceutical actives; they add to your body’s overall toxic load. To assist the body to drain toxins around the eyes, a small amount of Moringa Oil or organic cold-pressed castor oil will stimulate your lymphatic system to do its job. Skin brighteners like sake kasu and licorice root will brighten and lighten.
If you work at a computer, give your eyes a 30 second break for every hour of work. At night, ease into a restful slumber by turning off bright lights and using candles or low lighting to ramp up melatonin production. Sip some clean fresh water before turning in for the evening and read a book instead of looking at a screen. Your eyes and brain will thank you for it!
Art + Nature = Beauty
Karen Van Dyck