Wrinkles around the eyes

What cause wrinkles around the eyes?

Wrinkles around the eyes occur as part of the normal aging process. As we age the skin loses elasticity and collagen leading to the formation of wrinkles.

Before we talk about wrinkles let’s talk about what makes our skin healthy,

  • Collagen provides skin firmness.
  • Elastin supplies our skin with rebound, it helps prevent sagging.
  • Glycosaminoglycans or GAGs helps our skin keep hydrated.

As we age collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans all decrease, it is estimated that we lose 1% of collagen each year after age 20.

Why is there a change with collagen production?

The bottom line is that we are not completely sure. There are several factors that influence collagen production.

As we age oil production needed for skin hydration decreases, this will lead to drier wrinkled skin.

Matrix Metalloproteinases and wrinkles around the eyes

Matrix metalloproteinases  are  types of enzyme that breakdown collagen. MMPs are activated by environmental factors such as ultraviolet radiation and smoking. Our body needs these enzymes. For example, collagen breakdown is needed if the collagen is damaged, this is how the body heals itself. Our bodies are able to breakdown and rebuild. As we get older these processes may slow down or become out of balance.

Advanced glycation end  products (AGES)  and wrinkles around the eyes

Advanced glycation end products are caused from sugar exposure.  Sugar exposure leads to inflammation which can damage our skin.

Facial expressions and wrinkles around the eyes

The orbicularis oculi muscle surrounds the eye. This muscle is activated when smiling and squinting. As we age we lose collagen and elastin. Wrinkles become more prominent with muscle activity leading to crows feet.

Free radicals and wrinkles around the eye

According to the Maurer Foundation, “Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable molecules” They are  usually oxygen molecules which are caused from environmental exposure to carcinogens such as cigarette smoking, asbestos and pollution. It is important to note that free radicals are a natural byproduct of cell metabolism.  Too many free radicals can lead to further aging, inflammation and increases risk of diseases such as cancer.

Ultraviolet radiation and wrinkles around the eyes

We know that too much sun exposure will damage the skin. Free radicals are formed which will lead to breakdown of collagen and elastin breakdown. Collagen and elastin are needed to maintains skin’s supple appearance.

People that use tanning booths and are exposed to alot of sun usually have aged skin. We  see this type of sun damage in people who work outside.

Smoking and wrinkles around the eyes

Regular smoking will accelerate the aging process. Smoking will increase free radicals  which leads to collagen and elastin breakdown. You can decrease the effects of this by quitting or switching to vaping. This is less harmful and can be done by buying a vape pen and vape juice.

Alcohol and wrinkles around the eyes

Too much alcohol dehydrates the skin and dry skin is more likely to wrinkle. Alcohol can also create a histamine reaction that leads to the skin redness. Some alcohol contains sugar which leads to inflammation. It is best to limit your alcohol intake.

Genetics and wrinkles around the eyes

Treatment for wrinkles around the eyes ?

Ingredients in skincare that can help decrease wrinkles around the eyes appearance.

Look for alpha hydroxy acids which acts as an exfoliant. Exfoliants will help shed the outer skin layer making fine lines less noticeable.

Retinols are over the counter vitamin A derivatives that can help decrease collagen breakdown. They are not as strong as rentoids discussed below.

Growth Factors-The jury is still out on growth factors but Skin Medica’s TNS Serum has a long track record of success when it comes o eye wrinkles.

Peptides-The jury is still out on peptides. Peptides are probably too large to penetrate the skin and work on the underlying muscles but they can help increase hydration. Consider Wrinkle Helpers Peptide Serum

Primers will not treat wrinkles but can help hydrate and fill the wrinkle.

Ever’s Skincare under eye concealer treatment helps hydrate the skin while cover dark circles.

Medications for wrinkles around the eyes

Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A. This is one of the oldest products on the market, it was originally created for acne. People that were using it noticed less wrinkles, it is thought to decrease collagen breakdown. In addition, retinoids can help diminish age spots and even out our complexion.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you are using a retinoid. Retinoids can be irritating to your skin. Start off just using them once a week and slowly increase the usage. If you are using a retinoid product you will be more sensitive to the sun, ensure you are using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Try to use retinoid products just at night.

Cosmetic procedures for wrinkles around the eyes

A number of surgical options are available to help with treatment of wrinkles around the eyes. Most of these procedures include damaging the eyelid skin to some degree. As the top layer of skin is shed the newer skin that lies below  is less wrinkled. Some of these procedures will have more downtime than others.

wrinkles around the eyesMicrodermabrasion
Dermaplaning is a physical form of exfoliation. It uses a scalpel to remove facial hair and dead skin. The end result is similar to microdermabrasion.
This treatment is rarely performed for wrinkles anymore as there is significant downtime. None the less, the use of a metal scraper that twirls just like a dentist’s drill is an effective way to resurface the skin. This procedure will remove the outer layers of skin until pinpoint bleeding is noted. Scabbing is typical as the skin heals itself.

Botox for wrinkles around the eyes

Botulinum toxin type A also known as Botox works by decreasing chemical messengers that cause muscle contraction. It will soften the appearance of crow’s feet as the muscle under the skin is more relaxed. There is a risk of bruising with any injection. Botox is an effective treatment to help reduce crow’s feet. Unfortunately, additional treatments will be needed every 4 to 6 months.

Fillers for wrinkles around the eyes

Soft tissue fillers can help decrease wrinkles around the eyes.  Fillers such as hyaluronic acid can help camouflage prominent lower eyelid bags. They plump and can add volume, giving a more youthful appearance. Fillers are injected into the dermis making skin wrinkles less evident although Botox may be a better choice crows feet are caused by muscle movement around the eyes.

Side effects of fillers includes redness and bruising. As with any injection, there is a chance of infection.

When choosing a filler for wrinkles and eye bags consider how long the product will last. You many want to ask how often injections will be needed. In addition, you want to know what products are being injected. Some fillers are “thinner” than others. The thinner products do not usually last as long but there is also less risk of lumps under the thin eyelid skin.

Chemical peels for wrinkles around the eyes

Chemical peels are used to damage the top outer layer of the skin. This skin may  “peel” hence the name. The newer skin underneath is smoother with less fine lines. There are all different strengths as well as types of peels on the market, some have less downtime than others.

You may see deeper peels marketed over the counter (online). Be careful with these products. Some people will be at higher risk for developing post peel hyperpigmentation (darker areas of skin). These people should be pre-treated to help prevent this skin discoloration. Retin A and hydroquinone which is a skin lightener can help with skin hyperpigmentation.

Laser therapy for wrinkles around  the eyes

Lasers use a light source to damage the outer layer of skin. As the skin heals itself there will be increasing smoothness with less wrinkles.

There are two types of lasers, ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers require more downtime.

Non-ablative lasers do not damage the outer layer of skin as much as ablative lasers. There is less downtime but more procedures may be needed to end up with the same result as ablative lasers.

Radiofrequency for wrinkles around the eye

Radiofrequency can help tighten the skin around the eye. The newer machines have less downtime and can be effective for diminishing wrinkles.

Eye surgery for wrinkles around the eyes

A blepharoplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery. The goal is to make the eyelids look more youthful. This entails removing excess wrinkling eyelid skin. Fat pads may also be removed depending on your needs. Removing too much fat can give a hollowed out appearance. As with any surgery there is downtimes due to swelling and bruising.

Preventing wrinkles around the eyes

It is easier to prevent wrinkles than to treat them. Aging is a natural process and at some point we will all develop them but there are some things you can do to slow down the process.

Avoiding excessive sun exposure. Sun exposure is important for our bodies as it is needed to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for bone strength. Too much sun exposure is not good. The sun’s rays cause DNA damage that can lead to skin damage. Ensure you are wearing a hat and a facial moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30 will help prevent skin damage.

Avoid smoking. Smoking can cause DNA damage, leading to wrinkles.

Wear sunglasses, squinting in the sun can lead to crows feet. In addition, ensuring your current glasses allow you do see properly can help prevent squinting.

Too much alcohol can cause premature aging of the skin. Avoid alcohol because it dehydrates the skin.

Sleeping at least 7 hours a night. Lack of sleep lead to eye puffiness and a dull complexion making eyelid wrinkles more noticeable.

Stress management can help prevent wrinkles, stress wreaks havoc on our bodies. You can tell that someone has endured a lot of stress lately,  it is evident just by looking at them.

Eating a well balanced diet with plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants can help scavenge up those free radicals caused by pollutants, smoking and too much sun exposure. Eat plenty of colored vegetables and fruits such as berries.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, most of us to not drink enough fluids. Too much coffee and tea can lead to dehydration as they are diuretics.

Exercising regularly helps to maintain overall health which can help with skin health.

Lastly, moisturizing the skin. Moisturizing the skin and can help diminish the appearance of wrinkles. Keeping the skin hydrated diminishes the appearance of wrinkles.

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