They may be the windows to the soul, but eyes are among the first features to show signs of aging. These tricks will keep your peepers looking youthful. By Holly Corbett, REDBOOK.
Prevent crepe-y lids with a multitasking primer
Cakey eye shadow that settles into creases can magnify lines and add years to your looks, so smooth things out with an eyelid primer. The newest types incorporate ingredients that are also anti-inflammatories, such as soothing pomegranate, to help eyelids appear uncreased and younger, says Debra Jaliman, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and author of Skin Rules. The cream primer in Beautiful Day Colour Palette ($49) is made with mica and other natural minerals that diffuse light and don't settle into creases, as well as natural anti-inflammatories like Australian daisy and aloe.
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Fight wrinkle-causing free radicals with powerful antioxidants
Damage caused by highly reactive, cell-damaging free radicals and harmful UV rays are to blame for many premature eye wrinkles. An antioxidant-packed eye cream can help ward off some of the harm. Look for ones that have vitamins A and C, as well as hyaluronic acid, a moisturizer found naturally in your skin. Hevia Skin Science Day & Night Complex ($110) contains all of these ingredients, as well as red mangrove, a plant-based super-antioxidant. "Another very potent antioxidant that comes from marine algae is astaxanthan, which helps improve skin hydration to minimize fine lines," says Dr. Jaliman. Find it in First Aid Beauty's Dual Repair Eye Cream ($40).
Minimize fine lines with light therapy
A new crop of handheld LED devices uses light waves to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, helping to tighten skin around the eye area and lessen the appearance of wrinkles (just don't use directly on your eyeball!). Dr. Jailman was skeptical about the effectiveness of an at-home version - until she tried it herself. "I kept hearing about the LightStim and was really surprised after testing it out myself," says Jailman. "It made a difference in skin tightening after about a month. It takes about three minutes, doesn't hurt but feels warm, and should be used twice a day to really be effective."
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Minimize puffiness with a micro-massage
Love that fresh-eyed, radiant look you get right after a facial? Much of those beauty benefits can be linked to the facial massage, which helps increase blood flow, and brings more nutrients and oxygen to the area. "Just two minutes of massage a day can make a huge impact around the delicate eye region," says Cody Westfall, an esthetician at the Spa at the Napa Valley Marriott. "A gentle patting motion helps reduce puffiness or swelling around they eyes, making you appear more awake and refreshed, with the added benefit of helping your eye cream get better absorbed into your skin." You might also try Clarisonic's Opal Sonic Infusion ($185), a special anti-aging device especially for eyes that uses sonic movements to ease puffiness and make eye cream penetrate skin more deeply. Whether you do self-massage or use a sonic massage device, think of it like brushing your teeth - consistency pays off.
Prevent wrinkles when tweezing
Brows affect your face more than any other feature, but plucking the wrong way can actually cause premature lines. "Repetitive stretching of your skin, as with tweezing incorrectly, can harm collagen and elastic fibers, which promotes lines and wrinkles," says Dr. Neal Schultz, a dermatologist based in New York City. "Instead of pulling the skin all the way in the opposite direction when trying to grab a hair, hold the skin firmly with your fingers very close to both sides of the unwanted hair to minimize stretching the skin and chances of damage."
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Perk up peepers with collagen-boosting ingredients
As you get older and collagen production slows, the skin around your eyes becomes thinner and more wrinkle-prone. Peptides have been the beauty buzzword in the past few years, but another under-the-radar collagen stimulator may be the anti-inflammatory gotu kola, a swamp plant long used in Southeast Asia to speed wound-healing. "Gotu kola has been shown to be an effective natural collagen booster," says Dr. Jaliman, who also recommends seeking out a product with highly absorbable tetrapeptides at your local drugstore. Repêchage Opti-Firm Eye Contour ($59) is unique in that it contains both harder-to-find gotu kola and tetrapeptides.
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