Taking care of your eyes is a no-brainer—but what about the area around your eyes? Of course, fine lines and crows’ feet are inevitable—especially if you have a Cheshire cat smile like yours truly. In fact, many folks in their twenties have less than perfect skin around their eyes. No big deal. This doesn’t necessarily make them look old.
Rather, dry, papery eye area skin combined with dark circles can really age you. To me, youthful eyes look awake and well cared for. Here are a few beauty secrets for maintaining those bright eyes. Next week, I’ll cover makeup tips for those days with you just have to fake youthful peepers. (Because let’s be honest, none of us always get those heavenly seven hours of deep sleep.)
Caring for the skin around your eyes:
The delicate skin around your eyes (including your eyelids) is thinner than the rest of your skin on your face. It contains fewer oil glands and is more easily dehydrated and damaged by UV rays. Here are a few ways to keep it looking as healthy as possible. For best results, combine these tips with a healthy, water-rich diet and plenty of beauty sleep!
1. Always wear sunglasses in bright weather—even in winter. This reduces squinting, which contributes to crows’ feet, while shielding the area from UV rays. Remember several years back when huge sunglasses were in? Well, the bigger the lens, the more protection, so embrace the Jackie O look!
2. Wear sunscreen. We know it’s important to slap sunscreen on our mugs daily. Be sure to blend that sunscreen into the area underneath your eyes. A thick layer may look too greasy or chalky and collect in fine lines, so keep things light unless you’re planning to outside all day. Mineral makeup—including mineral eyeshadow—provides a physical shield from UV rays—all the more reason to wear your favorite shade of natural eyeshadow.
3. Remove eye makeup with care. Whatever removal technique you choose, never scrub or pull at the skin around the eyes. Gently swipe, instead. Most eye makeup remover is more effective if you allow it to sit on your eyelids and lashes for a few moments while it softens and dissolves the makeup. For a water-based eye makeup remover, try Beauty Without Cruelty Botanical Eye makeup Remover, discussed here. For a lovely oil cleanser (that will work on your entire face), try Be Natural Organics Deep Cleansing Oil Treatment. You can learn more about the oil cleansing method here. Alternatively, coconut oil works well, too.
4. Give your eye area special attention. Most conventional eye creams on the market are water-based and filled with sketchy chemical promising to reverse the hands of time. I have the feeling that these creams are just another product we’re told we must have. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with a water-based moisturizer, because the eye area tend to get dry before the rest of our face, we’re better off with a thicker, more emollient cream. I like using organic rosehip oil around my eyes. Rosehip oil is rich in vitamin A, the only antioxidant that actually reduces pre-existing fine lines (rather than simply prevent them). (I like to think of rosehip as the natural version of a retinoid). To apply, use your ring fingers (which have the most gentle touch) to pat oil underneath your eyes and underneath your eyebrows. You can also apply oil onto your eyelashes and eyebrows to condition them. You’ll want to do this as part of your night routine, of course. Mascara over oily lashes would not end well!
5. Gently massage the eye area while you apply cream. This is a little trick to reduce puffiness and dark circles. Facial massage is also an excellent way to prevent premature aging and detox your skin. To massage your eye area, press both middle fingers on either side of your nose, move them towards your eyebrows and pause at the top of your cheekbones then swipe them along the eye socket and towards your temples. Repeat 15 times.
Now you’re ready for that beauty sleep!
More from Beauty Secrets: Preventing Split Ends
Also see: Bedtime Rituals for Beauty Sleep
Photos: Jonathon Emmanuel via Flickr, Newpn2000 via flickr, Peaceful Dumpling