Updated: May 21, 2019
The skin that surrounds your eyes is thinner and is much more delicate than that on the rest of your face. A loss of collagen (inevitable to a degree) means that wrinkles and fine lines appear around the eyes first, but that’s not all. As collagen decreases, veins show through more prominently, increasing the advent of dark circles. Thin skin also fills more easily with fluid, which can lead to puffiness around the eyes.
Fortunately, we can thwart early-onset eye aging with a few easy fixes. Read on for five common problems, causes and solutions.
Causes: Thin skin, diminished collagen
Lifestyle Solutions: Adopt a daily healthy, low-salt diet; take antioxidant supplements to build collagen and get sufficient sleep.
Topical solutions: Apply serums containing antioxidants, especially vitamin C, to rebuild collagen.
Additional tips: Remove eye makeup with oils or oil-based cleansers that do not irritate eyes and be careful not to stretch your skin.
Causes: Loss of collagen, too much squinting from direct sun exposure or excessive work in front of the computer.
Lifestyle Solutions: Avoid direct sun and wear sunglasses; if you do a lot of close work in front of the computer, take frequent rests—5-minute breaks every 30 minutes.
Cause: To determine the cause of your dark circles, gently stretch the skin under your eyes. If the area becomes darker, then the circles are probably due to thin skin and diminished collagen. If the color doesn’t change, UV rays causing hyperpigmentation are probably the problem. Blood that accumulates under the eyes, often due to poor circulation or lack of sleep, can be more obvious in fair or thin-skinned people, especially as fragile capillaries stretch and leak.
Lifestyle Solutions: Get sufficient sleep; take vitamin C supplements; eat vegetables and herbs high in vitamin K like basil, spinach and collard greens.
Cause: Stress, lack of sleep and hormones, as well as allergies that trigger the release of histamines in the body, which in turn inflame blood vessels and cause swelling.
Lifestyle Solutions: Get sufficient sleep; take allergy remedies and use a Neti pot to clear sinuses.
SAGGING AND BAGS
Cause: Heredity and age are the major causes. With age, the ligaments underneath the eyes that hold back fatty tissue begin to weaken, and the tissue can fall forward to form under-eye bags. Yet another cause is the stillness of sleeping—your circulatory system moves more slowly during sleep, leaving excess fluid beneath the eyes. A stressed or sleep-deprived body can prevent your circulatory system from flushing out this extra fluid, even after you've been awake for a while.
Lifestyle solutions: Avoid foods and beverages that encourage fluid retention including alcohol, coffee, white sugar, fried foods, white flour and salt.