Why am I getting fine lines & wrinkles around my eyes?
One of the most common questions we get! Fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes are particularly common in both men and women. The onset of wrinkles in this area can occur considerably sooner than elsewhere on the face. The increased frequency of movement around the eyes—due to smiling, squinting and other facial expressions—allows for expression lines to become etched-in more quickly than the rest of the face. That, and the fact that the skin around the eyes is very thin, eye wrinkles can appear at almost any age. They will also appear more quickly if a person has a substantial amount of sun damage (sun worshippers, beware!). While there is no surefire way to guarantee you will never wrinkle, there are steps you can take to help prevent (and treat) eye wrinkles.
How to approach lines around the eyes?
Like most treatments in dermatology, I believe a multi-faceted approach will allow for the best outcome. I recommend tackling lines around the eyes in several ways. (Dark circles are a whole other topic, but these tips help those too!)
1) TOPICAL REGIMEN (SUNSCREEN, EYE CREAM + MOISTURIZER, RETINOID):
It is important to be diligent about sunscreen use to prevent further damage. Sun damage is the leading cause of fine lines and premature aging. In fact, many experts agree that wrinkles are the direct cumulative result of decades of unprotected sun exposure, rather than aging itself. Ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate the skin, invading the normally sturdy layers below and eventually destroying collagen and elastin. Collagen makes your skin firm and youthfully plump. Elastin gives skin resiliency and keeps expression lines from forming into creases and wrinkles.
I recommend sunscreens with at least SPF 30 that contain physical blockers such as zinc or titanium. A couple of my favorites are SkinMedica Daily Physical Defense SPF 30+ and SkinCeuticals Ultimate UV Defense SPF 30. EltaMD and Obagi also make great sunscreens. Don’t be afraid to use sunscreen around the eyes. If you become irritated, try a new sunscreen or ask your dermatologist for help and make sure you keep that area moisturized! Also, wear sunglasses to help avoid squinting.
EYE CREAM + MOISTURIZER
Invest in a good eye cream and moisturizer. If your eye cream is not moisturizing enough, make sure you moisturize over it. Many eye creams claim to erase dark circles and fine lines—while I think that many of these creams overpromise, I do think that long term use of an antioxidant, retinol and/or growth factor product (such as SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair or Lumiere Bio-restorative Eye Cream with PSP) in this area will definitely help. Antioxidants like green tea (found in Replenix products) or coffeeberry (found in Revaleskin products—both of which have great eye creams), work to fight free radicals, which are produced by pollution, stress and sun—a skincare nightmare! They attack healthy skin cells and cause collagen breakdown, which leads to wrinkles.
If you’re not using a retinoid cream, give us a call, because you should be. Retinoids include prescription-strength tretinoin (Retin-A), over-the-counter retinol and retinylaldehyde-containing products and should be incorporated into your skin care regimen indefinitely. Retinoid creams used nightly (or every other night), stimulate collagen renewal and prevent skin cells from breaking down. Women in their 20s and early 30s can use these to keep fine lines from turning into deeper creases. These products are often available by prescription or by direct dispense from a physician’s office. There are also some good over-the-counter options, such as SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex. For dark circles due to pigment, a hydroquinone-containing cream (such as EpiQuin in our SkinMedica Hyperpigmentation System) may be necessary. There are also some good non-hydroquinone lightening agents available today (products by DCL and NeoCutis are among our favorites).
Botox or Dysport injections are a great way to reduce existing lines due to movement, and also to prevent etching in of further lines down the road. In most individuals, crow’s feet are caused by smiling and squinting in combination with loss of facial volume and collagen. When it comes to the eyes, only a small amount of Botox can make a huge difference. Even treating the “bunny lines” can improve the appearance of the lines under the eyes.
Depending on the amount of volume loss, fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane may be injected in to correct some of the deeper lines. These fillers can also mask tired-looking “bags” and dark circles under the eyes. By filling in the hollow around the eye socket you can reduce shadows, puffiness and the sunken eye appearance.
3) CHEMICAL PEELS:
Chemical peels in the eye area are a great way improve the appearance of dark circles due to pigment, fine lines, and crepiness. Specifically designed for eye wrinkles, the new Glytone EnerPeel is a great option. The EnerPeel’s patented technology allows key ingredients, TCA and lactic acid, to go deep into the skin where collagen remodeling takes place. We recommend 2-4 treatments done 2 weeks apart. You will have some mild flaking—so little, if any downtime. We think you will love the results. The EnerPeel costs $99, and when you buy a series of 3, you receive 1 free!
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To schedule an appointment (or a complimentary consultation), please give us a call at 310.546.1188 or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you!