From our 30’s onward, the fragile skin around the eyes starts to take on a darker hue, to droop under gravity, and to crinkle more easily. Frowning, squinting, and rubbing all take their toll, and the morning after a big night out can leave the face looking noticeably older. Since the eyes are the part of the body with which we interact most with others, attention paid here can be transforming age-wise.
Organic eye creams Jurlique’s Eye Gel is impressively firming, cooling, and visibly lifts dark circles within hours. It contains antioxidant extracts of green tea, turmeric, and grape seed; arnica to kickstart a sluggish circulation; and eye bright to soothe inflammation.
Weleda’s Intensive Eye Cream is based on oils rich in vitamins and moisture-preserving essential fatty acids, plus botanical extracts to counter puffiness. The Organic Pharmacy Lifting Eye Gel with rose hip and bilberry is recommended to deal with dark circles resulting from late nights and long-haul flights.
Choose light-reflective under eye concealers to veil dark rings. Place a dot where the inner eye meets the nose, and use a subtle brush of light-reflecting highlighter to bounce light off the brow bone at the outer edge of the eye and high on the cheekbones. But before going down the makeup route, be sure to check out what a good eye cream can do.
Since it contains few oil glands, the sensitive skin around the eyes becomes much drier with age and demands cosmetic oils that are mild, easily absorbed, and free from potentially irritating fragrance. Try using a tiny amount of jojoba or sweet almond oil, these are light, yet especially nourishing for dry skin.
When using eye oils and serums, apply a small amount using light strokes with the soft pad of your ring finger, the index finger is too strong and may drag delicate skin.
Rethink eye colors
If brows and lashes start to fade in color as you get older, rethink your makeup. Mascara may need to come down a shade, to stone or gray perhaps, or have lashes dyed professionally. Shaping with eyelash curlers gives a wide-eyed look. Avoid circling the eyes with liner and eye pencils, which can drag on mature skin.
To prevent creased eye makeup, use eye serum on the lids. Allow to dry for 4-5 minutes before applying a very thin layer of foundation followed by a dusting of face powder. Only then add a thin layer of eye shadow.
To ensure rested eyes the night before a big event, sleep upright on pillows and apply cold compresses to the eye area.
Protect against UV
UV radiation can contribute to degenerative eye diseases and cataracts. Choose sunglasses that guarantee full UV protection and wear them everywhere. Polarized lenses are best for reducing glare. For greater levels of protection choose snug-fitting, large-framed glasses or opt for space-age wraparounds.
Naturopaths might suggest puffiness beneath the eyes is the result of fluid retention, indicating that the liver and kidneys aren’t working as efficiently as they could. To make a difference, cut out alcohol and processed foods for a couple of weeks, eat more vegetables, drink water, and exercise to kick start circulation. Also set aside time for des-tressing.
Tighten under-eye skin and reduce inflammation by placing chilled chamomile, green or black teabags, or slices of cucumber beneath the eyes. Relax for 10-15 minutes.
Eating for eye health
Introduce lots of vitamin C and colorful carotenoids into your diet. Find vitamin C in strawberries, oranges, and mangoes, carotenoids in orange and dark green colored fruit and vegetables. In studies at a Boston university, such a diet was associated with greatly reduced risk of cataracts in over 50s. Don’t forget sources of vitamin E, calcium and zinc, too, associated in other studies with a significant reduction in risk of age-related muscular degeneration, the main cause of blindness post 55.
Weight-train your eyes
Keeping your eyes closed and relaxed, lashes resting on cheeks, raise your eyebrows. If you find this difficult, rest your index finger lightly over the lashes. Hold for five, then lower the eyebrows slowly. Repeat 3 times. Lightly rest your index fingers horizontally across the under-eye area, above the cheeks. Try to lift the weight of the fingers by lifting the under-eye muscles without engaging other parts of the eye. Repeat three sets of five lifts.
Banish crow’s feet
Place the tips of your ring fingers between your eyebrows. Circle down the nose and out over the cheekbones. Sweep up to the temples and to the center of the forehead. Repeat, circling for 30 seconds. Take the eyebrows between thumbs and index fingers, starting in the center. Pinch and roll, moving toward the outer eye. Circle the temples with your ring fingers. Exerting a little pressure, open and close the eyes rapidly.
An expert brow beautician can take years off your look, adding lift and lightness to the eye area by judicious plucking and shaping. Book a six-monthly appointment and ask for advice on keeping brows in check between times.