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8 Ways to Treat Dry Skin Around the Eyes ----- Back

25.02.20 - How To

8 Ways to Treat Dry Skin Around the Eyes

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Words by Antoinette Barnardo

The skin around your eyes is extremely delicate. That's why it's prone to fine lines and wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles, no matter what your skin type is. In addition to those concerns, your under-eye area and eyelids are also susceptible to extreme dryness.

Here, we'll be taking a look at the most common triggers of dry skin around the eyes, along with the best ways you can treat it. 

Common Causes of Dry Skin Around the Eyes

The skin around your eyes can become drier than most other areas of your face due to a lower concentration of sebaceous (oil) glands in that area — particularly the outer corners of your eyes. 

In addition to dryness, a lack of moisture-producing ducts is also a possible reason why under-eye skin is the first to show fine lines, per a 2015 study from Kagoshima, Japan

There are several reasons why your under-eyes and eyelids may be drier than usual. They range from acute (temporary) to chronic (long-lasting).

Acute Causes of Dry Skin Around the Eyes

If the skin around your eyes is dry on occasion, consider the following possibilities.

1. Cold Weather

The winter months can wreak havoc on your skin, but it can especially impact your under-eye area and eyelids. Since the thin skin around your eyes doesn't have a high concentration of oil glands, it's prone to extreme dryness when it's cold and dry outside.

2. Dehydration

Drinking water won't solve all of your skincare woes. However, how well you hydrate your body will be reflected in your complexion. Dehydration can impact your skin by introducing flaking, cracking, and even temporary fine lines. 

3. Sun Exposure

A lack of skin density and protective glands makes the area around your eyes vulnerable to UV damage. Unprotected exposure to sunlight can create dryness and wrinkles since the sun can deplete whatever moisture is present in the skin around your eyes. 

4. Makeup Removal

Highly pigmented eyeshadow and voluminous mascara can make your eyes pop. Unfortunately, these cosmetics can be difficult to remove, even with a good cleanser. Prolonged rubbing and scrubbing can make the skin around your eyelids red, dry, and irritated.

Also, failure to properly remove makeup from your eyes can lead to dry, cracked skin, among other problems, such as brittle eyelashes and bacterial infections. 

Chronic Causes of Dry Skin Around the Eyes

If you experience dry skin around your eyes on a regular basis, it may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Visit your dermatologist or primary care doctor for a proper diagnosis. Chronic dry skin around the eyes is often a result of the following skin conditions. 

1. Eyelid Eczema

Also known as eyelid dermatitis, eyelid eczema is a chronic condition that can have a number of triggers. Symptoms include inflammation, scaly skin, flaking, and itchiness. Eyelid eczema can be broken down into four categories:

  • Eyelid atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema): Caused by airborne allergens (such as pollen, leading to hay fever) and asthma. 
  • Irritant contact dermatitis: Caused by irritants present in skincare and cosmetics that may damage skin.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis: Caused by ingredients in certain products that induce allergic reactions.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis: Typically found on the scalp but also anywhere else that may be oily, such as the eyelids. 

2. Blepharitis 

Blepharitis affects the oil-producing meibomian glands that are located by the eyelashes. The result is greasy, dry eyelid skin accompanied by watery eyes and photosensitivity. Blepharitis often appears at the same time as a flare-up of another skin disease, such as seborrheic dermatitis (a form of eczema that impacts the oil glands), rosacea, or allergies.

How to Care for Dry Skin Around the Eyes

Caring for dry skin around your eyes can be as simple as using the correct skincare products, eliminating potential irritants, and developing mindful habits that will leave your overall body feeling healthier. Here's what you can do to protect the delicate skin in your eye area:

1. Cleanse Thoroughly

If you wear eye makeup regularly, it's imperative you remove it completely at the end of the day. Traces of mascara and eyeshadow can not only dry your skin but even encourage the growth of styes or the development of conjunctivitis (pink eye). Work a cleansing balm or oil onto the eye area then wash. A pass with a separate eye makeup remover will pick up any remaining residue. 

2. Moisturize

The skin under and around your eyes needs extra moisturization since it's thin and lacking in protective glands. The lotion you use on your face can be sufficient at providing what the skin in the eye area needs — especially if it includes moisture-boosting ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid. 

Meanwhile, a separate eye cream will specifically target the delicate skin under your eyes and on your eyelids. YORA's Define Eye Contour, for instance, hydrates and plumps the skin around your eyes thanks to its hyaluronic acid blend of PRIMALHYAL 50 and PrimalHyal™ 300, making it both an effective moisturizer and anti-aging product.

3. Use a Hydrating Mask

For an extra hit of moisture, use a hydrating mask at least once a week, or as your skin permits. Seaweed, cucumber, and green tea are some of the best ingredients you can find in these masks, as they're rich in antioxidants that will enhance the skin around the eye area. Hyaluronic acid is another star ingredient to look for that will make your undereyes look plumper. 

The YORA Revitalise Face Mask is an overnight gel mask that can make your skin more vibrant, especially around the eyes. It’s formulated with T.R.U.E. Active Complex, which contains traditional Chinese herbs that act as a barrier to moisturize the skin.

4. Be Gentle With Your Eyes

Rubbing your eyes — either when you're tired or trying to remove waterproof mascara — can make the skin around them dry, irritated, and more prone to fine lines. When cleansing or applying treatments, don't apply too much pressure to the skin around your eyes. Either gently drag or lightly dab. Also, make sure to wash with lukewarm water, as hot water can strip the skin of needed oils, resulting in dryness.

5. Protect Your Eyes From the Sun

Keep the skin around your eyes safe when you're out and about by using proper protection. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will effectively guard against UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays, making sure to reapply at least every two hours. Also, consider wearing a hat or a pair of sunglasses for another layer of defense against the sun.

6. Seek Hypoallergenic Cosmetics

If your eyes are prone to irritation via contact dermatitis — and even if they're not — make the switch to hypoallergenic eye makeup. Look for mascara and eyeshadow that is designed for sensitive eyes or sensitive skin, as they'll often contain few ingredients and be free of fragrances and dyes. 

Of course, scan the ingredients lists for anything that may specifically irritate your skin. Remember that everyone has different triggers. Make sure to patch test any new cosmetic product you buy before using it. 

In extreme cases, you may have to limit your makeup usage drastically if your eye area is too sensitive.

7. Visit a Dermatologist or Other Specialist

If you're having trouble keeping the skin around your eyes healthy, despite making a number of changes, visit a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. A dermatologist or other specialist, such as an ophthalmologist, will be able to test for allergic reactions or underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to your issue. They may even prescribe topical steroids or other medications to help alleviate symptoms that over-the-counter solutions can't.

If you suspect that your eye area is being affected by the skincare you use, observe whether these products include common irritants such as fragrance, lanolin, or formaldehyde. While a healthcare professional will be able to give you an exact diagnosis, ceasing use of such products may help you pinpoint possible allergens.

8. Practice Good Habits

Resist the urge to rub your eyes. Make sure to clean your makeup brushes after each use. And eat a good, balanced diet with sufficient water intake, especially if you've been diagnosed with a form of dermatitis. A 2014 study from The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found a possible link between diet and flare-ups of chronic skin conditions. 

Taking Care of the Skin Around the Eyes

Dry, itchy skin around the eyes is uncomfortable and unsightly. Fortunately, it can be soothed and in most cases won't negatively impact your vision. Adopt a few eye-specific treatments into your skincare routine, be mindful of any allergic reactions from any cosmetics, and adopt good habits to keep your eye area vibrant and radiant.

Words by Antoinette Barnardo

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