November 2021, COVID-face—better known as the phenomenon of dull, dehydrated and sagging skin caused by more time spent indoors, in front of screens and wearing masks, is the main culprit that has consumers seeking new science-backed solutions to save their skin. Every year we hear people asking ‘what will be this year’s new hyaluronic acid?’. Well, 2021 has been the year of eyes and everything associated with Dark Circles, Puffy Bags, Fine Lines & Wrinkles and Redness & Irritation. The question is – what causes these skin concerns and how it is treated?

Important to note that the skin around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of the body. For this reason, it is easily harmed and is also hugely susceptible to premature ageing if not cared for properly. Remember, your eyes work a lot throughout the day, from blinking to expressing your emotions and this alone can cause premature ageing. Moreover, genetic reasons, ultraviolet (UV) rays, external stressors, and lifestyle choices can also cause the skin around the eyes to age quicker than the rest of the face.

Causes of common skincare concerns around the eyes
Understanding the causes of specific skin concerns can significantly aid in effectively targeting the problem, and reducing its appearance on the skin.

Dark circles are caused by four triggers, namely:
Lymphatic: Poor drainage creates a build up of fluids and this is what creates the dark circles. Muscular: When there has been a substantial amount of fat loss in the face area the muscles in the peri-
orbital muscles become visible. These muscles are brown and can present as dark circles. Pigmentation: As a result of over active melanocytes. In this case dark mark management would assist. Vascular: Vasodilation can occur which creates dark circles.
a. Puffiness. Can be attributed to insufficient lymphatic drainage, allergies or bulging of eye fat pockets. Puffy eyelids is as a result of fat redistribution.
b. Fine lines and wrinkles. Lack of moisture in the skin and sun damage may cause premature ageing, fine lines and wrinkles. When the skin’s ability to trap water is reduced, fine lines start appearing.
c. Redness and irritation. This can be an indication of a breakdown in your skin’s barrier making it sensitive, an allergic reaction or a sign of eczema or dermatitis.

A quick and easy instruction guide to protect the skin around your eyes

Kevin Khosa, Customer Service Manager at SKIN functional said: “These skin concerns require early and effective treatment at the onset to manage the severity as you get older. Using products that target specific skin concerns with science-backed formulations can help manage the solution.”

Ingredients that target:
Dark circles. Consider using a Vitamin C serum safe for the eye area. This ingredient scavenges free radicals and brightens the skin. Caffeine, Ceramides and Alpha Arbutin are also highly recommended alternative options. Shop here

Using a potent face serum that contains caffeine and peptides will help with puffy eyes. The Caffeine reduces excess fluid build-up around the eye area, reducing puffiness and the Peptides increase the production of collagen and have the ability to assist in restoring damaged skin. Shop here

Keeping the area around your eyes moisturised is what we consider the most important step in reducing premature aging and unwanted fine lines. Hyaluronic Acid, peptides and Vitamin C are your fighters in this war. Copper Tripeptide is also important as it increases the production of collagen and elastin and has the ability to promote the production of glycosaminoglycans, while providing powerful anti- inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits. Shop here

For redness and irritation Ceramides are essential for a healthy, intact skin barrier as well as Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 which is a phenomenal ingredient for preventing and treating skin sensitivity. Remember, when your skin is sensitive it means its barrier has been compromised. Consider incorporating a barrier supporting serum that has Squalane which mimics skin’s own natural lipids and inhibits loss of moisture, leaving the skin feeling soft and supple. Cannabis Sativa Oil is also a powerful anti-oxidant that scavenges Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), delivers perfect ratios of anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids. Assists in diminishing lines, wrinkles, dullness, and poor complexion. Shop here

Along with the above, commonly known preventative skin practices is avoiding sun damage by using an SPF every day. Sun exposure can play a big role in the skin aging process, and can lead the skin underyour eyes to become darker. A broad-spectrum sunscreen is truly an indispensable part of any skin care routine and should be applied every day. Even if it looks gloomy outside, UVA rays can still cause damage. Also, don’t forget your upper eyelid. This is one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to applying sunscreen. You need an SPF that protects you from UVA and UVB!

Be gentle always, when applying products, washing your face or even removing your makeup – use as little pressure as possible and always rub inwards towards your nose.

“Lifestyle plays a major role. Sleep well, eat well, exercise, drink loads of water and treat yourself every now and again to reduce stress and tension, whether it’s a massage or staycation – you deserve it. Environmental factors, as well as poor lifestyle choices and stress contribute more than you think to the appearance of your skin,” concludes Khosa.