Dry skin can be unsightly no matter where it pops up, but having dry skin around eyes can be especially bothersome. Dry skin can call attention to wrinkles, texture issues, and uneven skin tone. And when it’s around your eyes, it can be particularly noticeable. The good news is that there are many ways to quickly and easily hydrate the skin around eyes.
How Is The Skin Around Your Eyes Different From Other Areas?
They say the eyes are a window into the soul. They may also be a window into the health and hydration of your skin. The area around the eyes tends to show issues like dehydration and premature aging earlier than the rest of the skin.
What gives? Well, the skin in this area is actually different from the rest of your skin. Here’s how:
- Skin around eyes tends to be more sensitive than the rest of your skin. This can cause dryness and irritation from certain products.
- The skin here is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face. It dries out quicker and may develop wrinkles and fine lines earlier.
- There are no oil glands in the immediate under-eye area. This may lead to dryer skin.
- The under-eye area contains less fat and muscles than the surrounding areas. This may lead to a dark or dry look.1,2
Signs That Your Under-Eye Area Needs Hydration
Dehydrated skin lacks water. It can cause the following symptoms on the skin under eyes:
- Itchy skin
- Flaky skin
- Dull skin
- Dark circles
- Sunken eyes
- The appearance of “shadows” around the eyes
- Increased appearance of fine lines and surface wrinkles
- When you lightly pinch your skin, it doesn’t bounce back immediately3
Why The Skin Around Your Eyes May Be Dry
If you’re the type of person who regularly washes their face and slathers on cream, you may be wondering why you have dry skin around your eyes. When it comes down to it, the quality of your skincare regimen in that area relies on more factors than only cream. (Although moisturizers do play an important role). Here are some reasons for dry skin around eyes.4
With age comes a natural loss of collagen in your skin. Collagen is a type of protein that gives your skin structural support. With age, the body’s collagen and elastin production slows down. This leads to visible signs of aging like dehydration, sagging skin, and wrinkles.5
Environmental conditions, like hot and dry weather, low-humidity climates, air pollution, and even wind can affect the skin. Studies show that environmental conditions can lead to a decrease of water in the stratum corneum, the outer layer of the skin.6
Wrong Skin Care Ingredients And Routine
If your skin remains dry even after you wash and moisturize, you may want to look at the products you’re using and how you’re using them. Harsh products may contain common irritants like isopropyl alcohols, sulfates, and fragrances that can dry out your skin. Overwashing your skin can also lead to dryness.7
First thing’s first: when you notice that your skin is dehydrated, check in with yourself to make sure you’re drinking enough water. Studies show that increasing your water intake may improve skin hydration.8 Drinking things like caffeine and too much alcohol may have a dehydrating effect.9
And then, look at your diet. A healthy diet that’s high in fat and sugary, processed foods may be contributing to skin issues. Consuming fruits and veggies that are high in vitamins A, C, D, and E is important for skin health.10
The sun can cause dry skin around eyes for a few reasons. For one, heat from the sun can dry out skin and reduce its natural oils. In addition, UV rays can cause deeper damage that changes the skin’s structure for the long term.11
How Can You Hydrate The Skin Around Eyes?
Address Underlying Skincare Issues
If you suspect that the dry skin around your eyes is related to an issue like eczema, call your doctor. Your healthcare provider will likely recommend a specific skincare routine for your underlying skin condition. They may also prescribe topical medications.12
Use A Gentle Cleanser
Proper hydration starts with the right cleanser. While harsh cleansers can strip the skin of its natural oils, gentle facial cleansers can replenish dermal moisture and rejuvenate your skin’s appearance. Look for a cleanser with hydrating hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and exfoliating enzymes.
If you don’t already have an exfoliation habit, it may be time to start one now. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. This helps stimulate collagen production, uncover healthier skin, and makes it easier for hydrating products to absorb into the skin.
There are two types of exfoliants: physical and chemical. In general, chemical exfoliants are recommended for dry or sensitive areas. Look for products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid, beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid, and fruit enzymes like papain and bromelain. Swipe the product over your face, and follow it up with a moisturizer.13
Use The Right Cream
When it comes to skincare, the quality of the products and the caliber of ingredients matter. Simply applying any old cream may not be good enough. When you’re shopping for a cream to apply on dry skin around eyes, look for these ingredients:
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it pulls water molecules in from the environment and holds them inside skin cells. As you’d imagine, this is incredibly hydrating for the skin. Products with hyaluronic acid are great at keeping skin smooth, hydrated, and youthful-looking.14
This dermatologist-favorite ingredient pulls a lot of weight. Studies show that retinol may help skin retain water. It also supports natural cell renewal, circulation, and collagen production. This can all help improve hydration levels, texture, and the appearance of wrinkles.15
Peptides support collagen production, which can help improve the skin barrier, smooth the appearance of wrinkles, and promote a firm, youthful texture.16
Use An Eye Cream
Do you really need an eye cream when you already have a moisturizer that you love? In short, yes. You’ll want an eye cream in addition to a quality moisturizer.
Eye creams often contain concentrated ingredients that are more powerful than moisturizers and more suitable to that area’s sensitive skin. Look for an eye cream that contains hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and peptides to help plump and hydrate your under eye area.
Try An Eye Mask
The right eye mask can deliver a concentrated dose of ingredients that can hydrate, lift, and revitalize the under eye area. Under eye patches are an easy way to deliver hydration and see quick results.
To try one for yourself, apply the patch directly to the outside of each eye after you’ve cleansed and removed your makeup. Allow the mask to sit for 10-15 minutes while the hydrating ingredients soak into your skin. Gently remove the patch, and pat in any serum that remains on your skin.17,18
Spring For A Professional Facial
Getting a professional facial allows a skincare specialist to look closely at your skin and recommend the best course of action. Plus, of course, going to a spa is a great way to relax and treat yourself. If you’re feeling dry, opt for a hydrating facial that can add a needed influx of hydrating ingredients.
Prevent Future Dryness
Invest In A High Quality Skincare Routine
If you find yourself struggling with dry skin, it may be time to give your skincare products an overhaul. Consistent use of high quality products can make a big difference. Do some research on ingredients that you want to incorporate. Ask your dermatologist for recommendations.
Try A Skincare Supplement
A skin supplement that contains ingredients like Saw palmetto, MSM, vitamin B, vitamin A, and hydrolyzed collagen can help combat the causes of dermal breakdown. Adding these skin-healthy ingredients to your diet through a supplement can give you firmer, more hydrated skin.19
Eat Plenty Of Skin-Friendly Foods
Your diet is directly related to your skin health. It’s always a good idea to look at your diet and consider what you can add that might benefit your skin.
For added hydration and a nutrient boost, look for foods like salmon, mackerel, and herring, which contain skin moisturizing omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in healthy fats, like avocados and walnuts, can help keep skin flexible and moisturized. And foods high in beta carotene, like sweet potatoes and carrots, can help protect skins from sun exposure.20
Always Wear Sunscreen
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again: wear SPF. Sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to protect your skin from the drying effects of the sun.21
Get Enough Sleep
When you’re sleeping, your skin gets to work repairing itself. It rids itself of toxins, repairs cell damage, and replenishes moisture levels. If you’re constantly cutting your sleep short, you’re making it harder for your skin to do this work. So be sure to clock plenty of ZZZs.22
Keep It Hydrated
Dry skin around eyes can call attention to fine lines and, gasp, make you look older. Your skin truly looks its best when it is hydrated. Hydrated skin is smooth, plump, radiant, and more evenly toned. And the good news is that it’s so easy to keep that area of your skin hydrated. Pick out high-quality skincare ingredients, and start adopting habits now that will help your skin look its best for years to come.