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  5. Under Eye Wrinkles: Age Factor, Causes, Treatments & Prevention

You are still in your 20s or early 30s. But, are you beginning to notice fine lines and wrinkles under your eyes? It is time to give some attention to this area of your face.

Premature fine lines and wrinkles under the eyes have become very common in the recent past. Learn how to delay the process or minimise their appearance below.

At What Age Do Under Eye Wrinkles Appear?

There are two kinds of wrinkles -- static and dynamic [1]. The latter are seen when you move your facial muscles -- like when you laugh or smile.

Static wrinkles are those that are visible when your face is immobile and there is no muscle movement.

Dynamic wrinkles under the eyes start to appear when you are in your late 20s or early 30s. In some cases, they have been known to appear even in the early 20s, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Static lines usually start appearing when you are in your mid-30s.

What Causes Premature Wrinkles Under The Eyes?

1. Ageing

Since the skin around your eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, the area under your eyes will start to age first. Fine lines and wrinkles are first visible in this area and the age factor is the commonest cause.

2. Smoking

Crinkling your eyes when you smoke leads to crow's feet. Your skin gets exposed to additional oxidative stress, which breaks down the collagen and elastin. Smoking restricts nutrients from reaching your face as blood vessels get narrowed and blood circulation is constricted, which leads to wrinkles [2].

3. UV Rays

When you don’t use adequate eye protection, the UV rays from the sun start breaking the collagen in your skin, causing lines and wrinkles. It can even give the skin around your eyes a leathery, rough texture. Environmental pollution too can cause premature wrinkles.

4. Personal Habits

If you tend to sleep on your stomach, your cheeks can get pushed up against your pillow, crinkling the area around your eyes, causing wrinkles [3]. Also, facial expressions like frowning, smiling or squinting your eyes frequently can cause lines to appear prematurely under the eyes.

5. Allergies

Allergies can make your eyes water or cause inflammation on your face, including the area around the eyes. You might even rub your eyes often if there is irritation. All of these can dry out your skin and lead to fine lines and wrinkles.

6. High Sugar Diet

If you have a tendency to consume sugary snacks that are low on antioxidants, you can hasten the process of ageing, lines and wrinkles under the eyes.

How Do I Get Rid Of Sudden Wrinkles Under My Eyes?

There are several procedures you can opt for, to remove wrinkles and lines under the eyes. Cosmetic procedures and home remedies are known to be effective, along with the regular use of under-eye creams and gels.

1. Cosmetic Procedures

A. Dermal Fillers

In this treatment, temporary fillers are introduced into the skin under the eyes to give a younger appearance and reduce wrinkles. The treatment’s effects are visible for six months to a maximum of two years.

B. Chemical Peels

This treatment cannot remove the lines and wrinkles under the eyes completely; it can only reduce it. Chemical peels [4] are for removing dead skin cells and to increase the growth of new cells.

C. Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion [5] does not use injections like dermal fillers and is non-invasive. A hand-held instrument with a diamond as its tip is moved over your skin to remove dead skin cells and improve blood circulation to the area which in turn reduces the appearance of fine lines.

D. Laser Treatments

This treatment has a wide range of options available to remove wrinkles under the eyes. Lasers make tiny holes in the skin, which promotes and engenders elastin and collagen production. This in turn reduces lines and wrinkles.

E. Microneedling

Microneedling [6] uses very small needles that make holes in the skin, following which a skin serum is applied. While the skin starts to heal, new collagen is created, which reduces fine lines under the eyes.

F. Botox

Perhaps the most popular treatment right now, botox injections [7] cause the skin and muscles under the eyes to relax, thereby fading wrinkles and fine lines. Results are visible in a week or less and can last for up to several months.

G. Facial Exercises

You can also try some facial exercises that may help to reduce the lines under your eyes. Also known as facial yoga, it is not a proven method to help reduce wrinkles, but is used commonly.

H. Exfoliate And Moisturise

Exfoliating the skin around the eyes can help reduce the wrinkles as new skin is formed when the dead cells fall off. Make sure you use a gentle exfoliator specifically made for the delicate, under eye area.

Moisturise the area under your eyes because the skin there, being very thin, can dry out faster than the rest of your face. Gently tap your moisturiser or under eye cream on to the area to reduce lines and wrinkles.

2. Home Remedies

  • Add a big pinch of turmeric to a spoon of coconut oil. Apply under the eyes, and wash off after 20 minutes. You can even add a few drops of almond oil to the mix.
  • Massage the area under the eyes with olive oil for ten minutes. Do not apply pressure. Wash off with lukewarm water.
  • Mix a small quantity of yoghurt with a spoon of rose water and honey. Apply as a face mask and especially around the eyes. Wash off when it goes dry.
  • Puree a small piece of cucumber and add a bit of yoghurt to it. Apply and wash off when dry.
  • You can make a mash of papaya or carrot and mix it with a bit of honey to make a paste. Apply and leave on till dry. Wash off with lukewarm water.

Prevention Tips For Under Eye Wrinkles

You can keep under eye wrinkles at bay if you start protecting your eyes from a young age. We have listed some tips that will keep the area under your eyes taut and wrinkle free for longer:

  • Vitamins in your diet can certainly help your skin look young [8] according to studies and research. Vitamins A, C and E, which are also used in anti-ageing creams, can be included in your diet through their food sources such as carrots, oranges, spinach, pumpkin, broccoli, etc.
  • Every time you step out, wear sunscreen and don’t leave out the area under your eyes. To avoid the UV rays of the sun, wear a hat or scarf and dark sunglasses, which protect your eyes and prevent you from squinting in the sun.
  • There are several options for moisturisers that give you anti-ageing and moisturising benefits with sun protection. Moisturisers that have ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, peptides and retinol are proven to reduce wrinkles by boosting collagen.
  • For the under eye area, choose an eye cream that is light and non-greasy. For the night, you can use an eye gel or serum. However, if you wake up with puffy eyes or bags under your eyes, you need to use less of it or change the brand.
  • Sleeping with your face on your pillow and on your stomach can cause under eye wrinkles according to studies. So try and sleep on your back. Sleeping in one position can cause lines and as you age, the skin is unable to bounce back to its line-free condition.
  • Cut down on cigarettes. It is the one thing that can stop your under eye area from wrinkling prematurely as soon as you give up the habit. Avoid being around people who smoke too, as second hand smoke can also break down the collagen in the skin.
  • Taking care of your allergies and preventing consumption of food items that cause an allergic reaction can stop your eyes from getting irritated and watering.
  • Whey you dry brush the area under your eyes, you are essentially exfoliating the skin. But, it is not yet certain that dry brushing helps reduce wrinkles under the eyes. It may improve blood circulation to the area temporarily, which might bring more nutrients to the under eye region.
  • When buying under eye creams, go for hypoallergenic and fragrance-free ones as they cause less irritation to the delicate under eye area. Also avoid using products that have harsh chemicals as they could affect your vision if used under the eyes.
  • Make sure you drink enough water during the day as lack of hydration can make fine lines and wrinkles appear sooner.
  • Cut down on the alcohol. That is because alcohol not only dehydrates the skin due to its diuretic properties, it can also lead to periocular edema or puffiness around the eyes.
  • You like using a lot of skincare products? Don’t. Using too many skincare creams in the eye region can actually block pores, cause irritation and redness. Use only as much as necessary.
  • Reduce your stress levels because your skin will bear the toll of your high stress. High cortisol levels affect the connective tissues of the skin and cause premature wrinkling..
  • If your work involves sitting in front of a computer screen all day, be aware of your eye and facial movements. You may be squinting, frowning or wrinkling your eyes while looking at the screen, all of which can cause premature wrinkles around the eyes.

Wrapping Up

To keep your youthful looks last longer, you need to make small changes in your lifestyle to ensure that fine lines and wrinkles do not appear under your eyes. Once you know the causes of lines under the eyes, taking the right precautions and using the right products will help.

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