The Eyes Have It

Eyes are the window to the soul…. and can be a giveaway to the effects of allergies, lack of sleep, sun damage, excessive dietary salt or sugar, squinting and even smiling! Fortunately, many of the concerns can be addressed with the right products, treatments and lifestyle adjustments. Let’s dive into the most common complaints and the solutions I love the most.

DARK CIRCLES

The biggest complaint I hear from patients about their eyes is dark circles. If you have thin skin under the eyes, your blood vessels actually cast a dark shadow through the thin skin giving the appearance of a dark circle. The best way to combat this is to improve the skin quality and stimulate collagen which is best done with a retinoid. Hands down my favorite under eye retinoid is Retivance Skin Rejuvenating Complex - the best way I can describe it is “gentle yet effective”. It is not specifically an “eye cream” but is gentle enough that it can be used under the eyes. I recommend applying it every night as part of your skincare routine.

Speaking of collagen… we want a lot of it and want to avoid things that reduce it, so use your SPF! The sun breaks down collagen, thinning the skin even more, so use an SPF 30 or higher, such as Intellishade (tinted) or EltaMD UV Clear (untinted). While you’re at it, wear those sunglasses and hats too! These oversized sunnies are my go-to, and this hat is my favorite for keeping sun off of my face while outside.

Another product I love for dark circles is Teamine Eye Complex which is made specifically for dark circles. Y’all - this cream is potent! It is incredible for diminishing darkness, but its potency can sometimes cause irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin. For this reason, it is important to closely follow the directions on how, when, and where to apply it.

I am often asked if tear trough dermal filler helps dark circles and honestly, it doesn’t do much (if anything) for darkness. If you’re looking for a treatment to help combat your dark circles, I would suggest trying PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections under the eyes to help stimulate collagen and strength the skin.

And lastly, the easiest, most wonderful way to reduce the appearance of dark circles is a good night’s sleep, at least 8 hours a night!

UNDER EYE HOLLOWING

You know I love a good filler treatment and treating under eye hollowing is one of my favorites to treat because the results are immediate and can be quite dramatic. I personally only use Restylane-L in this area to correct hollowing and patients love the results, which typically last 9-12 months.

Of course, the more collagen you stimulate under the eyes, the less hollowing you will have, so again Retivance is truly a miracle worker for the eyes!

PUFFINESS

Under eye puffiness is common and there are several steps that can be taken to reduce it. If you suffer from allergies, taking a daily antihistamine such as Zyrtec or Claritin can help. Decreasing your dietary salt intake is always a good idea because  more salt means more water retention which ultimately means more puffiness. One of my favorite products for under eye puffiness is ELASTIderm Eye Serum - it contains caffeine which constricts vessels to decrease puffiness. This little gem also has a cold roller ball on it that aids in lympatic drainage to move fluid out from under the eyes that contributes to the puffiness. For even better results, my trick is to store it in the refrigerator so the roller ball gets extra cold and further reduces puffiness (and feels AMAZING!).

Another trick to draining that lymphatic fluid is the use of a Jade Roller (which I also keep in the fridge!). I personally keep mine in this mini beauty refrigerator so that it saves me a trip downstairs to the kitchen refrigerator. Since the purpose of this roller is to drain lymphatic fluid, it is important that you roll the tool in the correct direction(s) to allow proper fluid drainage. For the eyes, using the small end of the jade roller, start at the inner corner of your eye (right by your nose) and slowly roll the tool to the outer corner of the eye. Pick up the roller and repeat this motion approximately 5 times. Do not roll in the opposite direction, otherwise you’re just putting the fluid right back where it came from!

.As much as I love a good filler treatment, I would never inject filler on puffy under eyes because it actually worsens the puffiness significantly worse.

CHICKEN SKIN

True Southerner confession: Chicken skin is delicious, but not very pretty, especially when it’s under your eyes! Those tiny white bumps under the eyes (often referred to as “chicken skin”) are medically called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) which occur due to a process called glycation. They occur when excessive sugar molecules are bound to collagen and are commonly seen in individuals with high sugar intake - this includes fruits and veggies as they are high in sugar too! You need a product that specifically targets these AGEs in order to break them down. I’ve researched and tried a lot of eye products over the years, and the only one I have found to specially address AGEs is SkinCeuticals’ AGE Eye Complex - for free shipping and a complimentary face mask with your purchase, be sure to use promo code S-N5D-TZX-MSZ-KTM at checkout!

FINE LINES/WRINKLES

For fine lines and wrinkles, the most effective solution is Dysport or Botox injections - I personally prefer Dysport for the crows feet due to its molecular properties, but Botox is a great option as well. By relaxing the muscles that cause the skin to crease, the wrinkles are less severe and further damage is decreased. If you prefer a non-invasive solution or if you are currently pregnant or nursing, Revox 7 is a great topical peptide treatment to relax those muscles. It is important to note that Revox 7 is not a replacement for an eye cream, but should be used as a skin treatment in addition to your eye cream. For best results, I recommend using Revox 7 twice a day to the targeted area.

CREPEY SKIN

Crepey skin under the eye is due to two things: loss of collagen and loss of elastin. When those two start to disappear, our skin often gets crepey. It seems obvious that the solution to the problem is to stimulate collagen and elastin production, right? I know I’m beating a dead horse at this point, but again Retivance is the best product on the market to stimulate collagen under the eyes - just call it a miracle in a bottle! And what about elastin? Obagi’s ELASTIderm Eye Cream is made specifically for crepey skin around the eyes because it stimulates our own elastin production. For best results, I recommend using the ELASTIderm Eye Cream in the morning and the Retivance at night.

OVERALL ANTI-AGING

If none of these categories are your concern, but you want to prevent overall signs of eye aging, my favorite anti-aging eye cream is DEJ Eye Cream. This cream treats the D-E-J (Dermal Epidermal Junction) which is where we house a lot of our skin damage and wrinkles. If you’re ever unsure of which eye cream you should be using, you can never go wrong with this one! In a nut shell, this all-in-one product hydrates, tightens, corrects, and protects.