Exfoliation is the single most important treatment you can do for more beautiful and younger looking skin. Many people ask if this includes the eye area skin, fearing they’ll irritate or damage it. The answer is definitely yes and today I’ll tell you how to do so safely and effectively.
Your all important but delicate eye area skin can benefit immensely from effective chemical exfoliation. The reason your eye area is so important is because your eyes are the first things people look at when they see your face. The eye area skin is the first part of your face to show signs of aging. This is because both the epidermis and dermis are thinner than in other areas, so signs of aging, like dull, discolored skin and fine lines become apparent sooner.
Specifically, the skin below and next to the eye should be exfoliated to make the skin brighter, clearer, more even toned, and smoother. Fine lines can also be helped. The net effect is to brighten your eyes and make you look better and younger.
There are two main categories of at home chemical exfoliants that are relevant to eye area rejuvenation: retinoids and glycolics.
For facial exfoliation, I usually prefer glycolics to retinoids, but for the delicate eye area skin, I always suggest glycolics. While the first studies from the late 1980’s used the retinoid called tretinoin… which most people know as Retin-A… those effects resulted from a physician-directed clinical study involving close physician oversight and only treated the crow’s feet area… not the even more delicate skin below the eye. Tretinoin is available in the United States only by prescription, and like all retinoids, can easily irritate any facial skin and especially eye area skin.
Glycolics, on the other hand, can be formulated with a much greater range of chemical parameters, so they can be formulated for any type of skin including the delicate eye area. When pH balanced and chemically buffered, gycolic can be made gentle yet amazingly effective. When specifically in an eye cream, the pH must be raised even more to insure that it doesn’t irritate the thin and sensitive eye area skin. Products formulated that way can be used daily for gentle, effective exfoliation. Inclusion of other ingredients like moisturizers and humectants synergize in improving the appearance of eye area skin by helping dryness and dull skin as well as fine lines. Reflectors can help further brighten. Additional ingredients that can be used in eye creams to further improve the appearance are peptides and non hydroquinone based bleaches. And there are even more add-ins.
So when it comes to applying the technique of exfoliation to the sensitive eye area skin, appropriately formulated products are available and should be used regularly for the best results and beautiful eyes.