Now that it’s been winter for a good three months, you’ve finally got your dry skincare routine on lock. Slathering on all the heavy duty creams and oils will certainly keep dry patches down and out, but then what are you supposed to do about the skin around your eyes? Makeover removal, cold weather and sickness-induced rubbing can cause weird dry spots around your eyes, which tend not to heal up as quickly as the rest of your face. And it turns out there’s a reason for this: the skin around your eyes is way thinner and more delicate than on the rest of your face, so it requires extra pampering to appear smooth and lovely. If your eyes are the windows to the soul, you wouldn’t want the curtains to get wrinkled, would you? Here’s how to deal with those annoying dry spots now so they won’t wreak havoc later on.
Choose the right eye cream. Eye cream seems like the obvious first step for dealing with dryness, but you should make sure you’re choosing the right kind for your skin and your flaky issues. Some people benefit from just tapping on extra of their nighttime moisturizer around the eyes, and some folks need a little something extra targeted. If it’s just seasonal dryness, an eye cream with lactic acid will help exfoliate those flakes away. Hyaluronic acid is also your friend, since it’s a humectant and draws moisture to itself.
Figure out the culprit. Sometimes products can totally betray you, and if so, the first place it’s likely to show up is around your eyes. Remember when we said they were delicate? Yeah. If you’ve purchased any new makeup or skincare products and then started noticing dry skin and irritation around your eyes, one of them may very well be the cause. Facial cleaners and eye makeup removers are often too harsh on the skin around your eyes, even if they’re just right for the rest of your face. Take a break from them and see if the dry patches go away.
Don’t look in the light. Sunlight is supremely damaging for skin in large doses–we all know this. However, you might not know that UV rays are even worse for the skin around your eyes—the skin is especially thin, so there are fewer layers for it to pass through. Always wear SPF around your eyes, whether it’s in your daily moisturizer or in a targeted eye cream for daytime use. Wear sunglasses too on especially bright days. All that squinting will lead to wrinkles in the future if not protected today.
Treat from the inside out. It’s no secret that what you put in your body reflects on the outside. Ever notice how your eyes are puffy and dry-feeling the day after a night out drinking? A perfect example. So if you put something good into your body, it stands to reason that the effects will be really gorgeous, right? Right! Vitamin E and fish oil are particularly a great for treating dry skin, thanks to hefty amounts of antioxidants and fatty acids respectively. You can ingest a supplement of both, and as a bonus, Vitamin E applied topically is an extra helping hand for troubled skin.
No rough-housing. Since you’re committed to pampering your eye area, you should keep in mind that the way you handle it affects how it looks. Too much rubbing from conceal or foundation application, dragging makeup around your eyes rather than tapping or blending with a brush also takes a toll. You should always be using your ring finger when applying makeup to your eyes because it’s the cushiest (and therefore gentlest) finger.
Lower the temp. Hot water in general is a moisture-sucker for your skin. If you wash your face with too hot water, you’re likely to exacerbate any dryness issues. You should be using tepid water to wash your face only–don’t worry, it gets your face just as clean without stripping it of its moisture.
Avoid Retinoids around your eyes. Retinoids are a life saver if you’re acne-stricken. However, they are serious stuff–if you use them you’re well aware that where they banish blemishes, they almost always leave dry patches in their place. Something that strong on your eye skin is tricky business. Since retinoids breakdown in the sunlight pretty rapidly, you should only be using them at night in the first place. Laying a moisturizer over it is key to avoiding the dryness if you’re battling breakouts around your eyes.