Dear Miss Kelly,
Hi, I’m Gen. I would like to ask what kind of beauty products I should use. I’m 28 and recently noticed that my under-eye area is beginning to show lines. I think wrinkles may be forming! I am not afraid to age but of course I want to age gracefully. I also want to know if those pills available at the pharmacy are safe. The ones that promise to whiten or make skin look beautiful—how safe are these? Thanks! —Geneviv Villacortes
While some people don’t notice fine lines around their eyes until they are in their 30s or 40s, unfortunately there are a few of us who may see an early onset of lines in our 20s. Depending on what brought it on—excessive sun exposure, smoking or simply not looking after your skin (especially if it’s on the dry side)—we tend to forget that the skin around our eyes is significantly thinner than the rest of our face. The eye area is missing a fatty layer, which basically acts as shock absorber and gives skin its suppleness and elasticity. Also, it has fewer oil glands so it is less able to hold in moisture, making it more prone to dryness.
The good news here is that it’s not too late. You can start by maintaining a skincare regimen to target fine lines and wrinkles, the most important of which is the eye cream. Applying just any moisturizer or worse, lotion, may be too heavy for the skin around your eyes and may cause irritation. These can also block your tear ducts and cause your eyes to appear puffy.
While the beauty market seems to be saturated with eye creams, taking the time to read the label will benefit you as you’ll find different brands provide products that are tailor-made to your needs. Below are key words to look out for when buying an eye cream:
De-puffing—These creams may contain ingredients like caffeine, chamomile or cucumber that help shrink puffy skin around the eyes.
Diminishes dark circles—Under-eye circles are caused by broken capillaries or lack of sleep; a retinol-based cream can remedy this problem but an adequate amount of sleep each night is still the most effective way to reduce dark circles.
Minimizes fine lines—This is what you want. These usually come in thicker formulas and are applied at night. Retinol and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) are usually active ingredients of the best eye creams, but can make skin sensitive to the sun.
When it comes to eye cream, its application is as important as the product. Great care must be taken when applying it, as the skin around the eyes has the tendency to stretch, sag or wrinkle when too much force or pressure is exerted on the area. The best way to do it is by gently tapping the cream under the eyes and on its outer corners using your ring finger. (Since this is the weakest finger, it is less likely to stretch the delicate skin around the eyes.)
Another important thing to consider is the amount of cream you apply on the eye area. In this case, less is more. You will be reaping the same benefits if you apply a little of the product as opposed to slathering it on your eye area. What’s essential here is consistency, not how much you apply.
Now, to tackle your second question about taking whitening or beautifying pills—always ask your dermatologist or doctor first before taking anything. These days there seems to be a countless supply of pills or capsules that promise to whiten your skin or clear it of blemishes. There isn’t any doubt that some of these work—some really do—but most likely they will include side effects that you may not necessarily read or understand in its accompanying literature. You may not know if these will have an adverse effect on your body and it’s a risk you shouldn’t take without consultation from an expert. So, see your derma first and surely you’ll find what’s suited to your needs.
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