Eye do!

The skin under the eyes is the thinnest and the most delicate, so look after it well

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The skin under the eyes is the thinnest and the most delicate, so look after it well

If you run your fingers lightly all over your face, you can tell for yourself that the skin around the eyes feels thinnest. It is also the area that gets rubbed and pulled most often – especially if you are a contact lens wearer or a believer in heavy eye makeup. Also, we think nothing of rubbing our eyes with our fingers, pressing our palms against them, rubbing some more and squinting in harsh sunlight. All these factors, along with age, can wrinkle the skin under the eyes sooner. Dark circles and bags under the eyes do their bit to make this part of our face look uncared for.

I’ve listed here for you a few tips on how to look after the skin under the eyes, and how to deal with that perennial problem – dark circles.

*Always handle the skin around the eye gently with a very light touch.

* Avoid using astringents or toners on the under-eye area as these contain ingredients that dry the skin, this can make thin skin wrinkle faster.

* Never apply heavy moisturisers, night creams or face masks on the area under the eye. These products can cause puffiness because they may have a higher percentage of oil in them. Also, the wrong eye cream can cause puffiness and bags under the eyes if it is too rich for your skin type.

* While wearing or taking off lenses, be as gentle with the under-eye area as possible, as this area is under daily stress because of the lenses. The under-eye area has fewer oil glands which means this part of your face doesn’t recover from the wear and tear of all that daily pulling of the muscles around the eyes. This is why the lines and crow’s feet are the first to appear with age.

* Choose an eye cream that is light in texture. Do not massage the cream into the area. The right way to apply an under-eye cream or gel is to gently dot the area on the nose in line with your eyes. Then dab gently on the orbital bone and continue until you have reached the bone right under your eyebrows.

* Use a light tapping motion to apply, unlike the full fingered pressure we give to applying creams on the rest of our face. The tapping motion also improves circulation so it dissipates any puffiness and will help with reducing dark circles too as they are a result of poor circulation.

* To remove makeup, use a light touch and choose cleansers and creams that are suited to the skin around the eyes. A cleanser with a bit of a moisturising effect helps and, depending on your skin type, almond oil-based creams should help with the moisturising of the area.

* To cleanse the skin around the eyes, moist cotton wool and a moisturising cleansing gel can be used to remove makeup.

* If your eyes look tired, use cotton pads dipped in chilled cucumber juice, rose water or potato juice. Place them on the eyes and lie down for about 10-15 minutes. You can also place used tea bags dipped in chilled water on your eyes. If you don’t have time to extract the juice from the cucumber, just place slices on your eyes – that will help reduce the look of tiredness too.

* If you are cracking an egg for breakfast, after you have poured out the contents, run your hand along the inside of the egg shell. The remaining egg white that comes off on your fingers can also be applied to the skin around the eyes. This will help tighten the area. Wash off after it dries.

* Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Wear sunglasses when you are outdoors and make sure they come with UV ray protection.

* Avoid smoking. Most smokers tend to squint and that leads to crow’s feet around the eyes.

Dark circles

The chief cause of dark circles is a lack of adequate sleep. Also, because the skin under the eyes is the thinnest, circulation can be affected and the blood vessels sometimes show through the delicate skin too – adding to the appearance of the under-eye circles.

How do you get rid of under-eye circles?

There are several creams that help to diminish under-eye circles. Ingredients such as Vitamin C, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, and Boswellia extracts in eye creams help to reduce dark circles.

While applying makeup, use a concealer under the foundation to minimise the dark circles. Make sure your concealer is a shade lighter than your foundation shade.

Avoid too many late nights and too much alcohol as these only serve to increase the dark circles under the eyes.

If you don’t wish to look like a raccoon or older than your years, look after this delicate area of your skin and you will be just fine.