Wrinkles are unavoidable for everyone. No matter your race, ethnicity, skin color or gender, fine lines and wrinkles will start to appear as you age. But how visible and how early they appear is something closely linked to specific factors.
In this article, we dive deep into the causes of wrinkles under your eyes and how they magnify the aging process. Further, we’ll provide some information about how to make wrinkles under your eyes go away with effective and non-surgical methods.
What Are Wrinkles Under Eyes?
Wrinkles under your eyes are very common and happen due to the natural process of aging. They are harmless and don’t present a threat to our body, but they can physically change the way you look and inhibit confidence.
There are three generally accepted types of under-eye wrinkles, let’s discuss each of them below.
Dynamic wrinkles appear in the areas that crinkle when you laugh or smile. When you’re younger, your skin is super elastic so it quickly bounces back. As you age, your skin’s ability to produce nutrients (such as collagen) and skin oil slow down.
When your skin doesn’t have enough nutrients and oils, this leads to less elasticity and more dryness - hello wrinkles. After many years of repeated laughing, smiling, and squinting, small grooves form under your skin leading to permanent wrinkles.
Common areas where dynamic wrinkles form are on your forehead between your eyebrows, or around your mouth. The wrinkles that appear outside the corners of your eyes (crow’s feet) are also dynamic wrinkles.
Static wrinkles can be seen even when your facial muscles are resting. Unlike dynamic wrinkles, they can appear anywhere on your face and are caused by pure loss of elasticity.
The middle layer of your skin (dermis) contains two types of proteins: collagen and elastin. If you're a woman, you'll start losing collagen in your 20s, and about 30% total will be lost during the first 5 years of menopause. What's more, elastin decreases by 0.55% every year after menopause.
Hyaluronic acid is another important wrinkle-fighting nutrient for its role in increasing the amount of collagen your skin produces. It also helps your skin retain moisture keeping your skin plump and dewy. This nutrient sharply declines during menopause, with total levels declining by 45% when you turn 50 years old.
The consequence of your skin dramatically lowering the production of the above nutrients leads to static fine lines and wrinkles. External factors that contribute to static wrinkles under your eyes include smoking, exposure to the sun, and Poor nutrition.
Finally, the last type of wrinkle is called wrinkle folds. As your skin ages, the fat deposits in your face become reduced. At age 35, 10% of the fat deposits in your face are lost, and by 55 this will increase to a whopping 40%.
The excess skin left behind from this loss in facial volume causes your skin to sag. Due to the sagging of your skin, wrinkle folds appear, typically underneath the eyes, between the mouth and nose.
Common Causes of Under-Eye Wrinkles
We've covered what directly causes wrinkles under your eyes, but there are also external causes that indirectly speed up the aging process. Sun exposure, smoking, dehydrated skin, skin care routine, and even the way you sleep can all contribute to under-eye wrinkles.
It is nothing new that exposing yourself to the sun, for a prolonged period and without protection, can damage our skin. But why does this happen?
To begin, we must first talk about the two types of aging, which are photoaging and chronological aging. Chronological aging is the natural way that your body ages, including your skin.
The passing of time will make our skin lose its elasticity and become flaccid, dry, and wrinkly. This process takes many years to happen, but depending on genetics and other factors you may experience signs og aging as early as 25.
As for photoaging, it's directly related to chronic sun exposure and UV radiation, and causes the areas of your skin that have been exposed to the sun (face, arms, legs, neck, etc) to age faster than other areas. Over time, these areas will have more wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and sagging.
Not only can sun exposure cause wrinkles, but also pigment irregularity and brown spots on your skin. Further, red blotched and broken capillaries (fine red lines on your skin) are other consequences of sun exposure.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation contributes to making your skin look older, even if you’re young, and can lead to skin cancer if no proper action is taken (wearing sunscreen, covering areas of your body with clothing or hats, staying in the shadows, etc).
Smoking is the second most common cause of wrinkles under your eyes and other skin-related conditions. Smoking is known to cause lines between your eyebrows, the development of crow’s feet in the corners of the eye, wrinkles around the mouth, thinner lips, as well as puffiness below the eyes, and a grey-like skin tone.
Chemicals in cigarettes, like Nicotine and Acetaldehyde, speed up the aging process of your skin, causing it to look older faster. These chemicals narrow blood vessels and, consequently, limit the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your skin. Furthermore, Acetaldehyde attacks your connective tissue which holds your skin together.
In essence, smoking alters the structure of your skin, messing with its health and elasticity. All the “steps” of smoking have a negative effect on your skin and body, for example, the act of lip pursing and constantly squinting results in lines forming around the eyes and mouth.
Apart from this, the un-inhaled smoke and the heat contribute to drying out your skin and damaging its surface. Smoking also causes the skin’s ability to recover from wounds (scrapes, cuts, etc.) to significantly decrease, leading to a more fragile texture.
The consequences of smoking cannot be reversed, but quitting smoking can help prevent further damage to your skin. Not to mention, smoking is the principal cause of lung cancer and, besides hurting your skin, it can cause severe health issues.
A study published in 2012 about the influence of skin visco-elasticity, hydration level and aging on the formation of wrinkles concluded that “various skin parameters including skin visco-elasticity and hydration level affect the formation of wrinkles”. In the study, “drier skin showed more wrinkles and deeper furrows, with wider intervals”.
Dehydrated skin makes aging worse and increases the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. Since your body, and therefore your skin is mostly made of water, when it doesn’t have its necessary amount of moisture, it doesn’t perform its functions well. On the contrary, when the skin is hydrated, water acts as a lubricant between your skin fibres, creating less friction, and essentially filling in wrinkles.
Needless to say, drink enough water during the day and apply a moisturizing cream at least once per day to help your skin stay lubricated inside and out.
As for wrinkles under the eyes, look for a specialized cream to avoid irritating your eyes. Avoid applying face and body cream to your eye area because the ingredients might be too strong for this sensitive area.
Sleeping On Your Side
It may sound like a myth, but the way you sleep can cause wrinkles in some cases, depending on a few factors.
To begin, sleeping is extremely important for your body, thus you need rest to renew your skin. But how you sleep and the amount of time you sleep can cause wrinkles.
It's no secret that lack of sleep affects several aspects of our body, including motricity, fast response, mood, and more specifically, the amount of moisture in your skin (leading to dehydrated skin).
The position you choose to fall asleep in can be another cause of wrinkles under your eyes, paired with other underlying factors. Experts claim that sleeping on your side can cause your skin to be more prone to wrinkles as well as volume loss on that side.
On average, people sleep 6-8 hours a day, now imagine your face tightly pressed to your pillow for that amount of time. It's not hard to believe this could cause wrinkles.
The best position to sleep is on your back, although many people find this very hard and uncomfortable. This ensures gravity is pulling your skin back rather than forward.
Alternatively, you can invest in a silk pillowcase that forms a moisture barrier between your skin and your pillow. This prevents moisture loss while you sleep, and stops your skin from crinkling, preventing wrinkle formation. You can also try a memory foam pillow to make sleeping on your back more comfortable.
As with other conditions, genetics play a key role in the appearance of wrinkles. The amount of elastin and collagen you produce is determined by your genetics, meaning that if your parents have a lot of wrinkles or fine lines at an early age, you’re very likely to suffer from premature aging too.
There’s not much to explain here as this has to do with something out of your control. Genetics determine whether you’ll have a tendency to become obese or develop certain conditions linked to smoking, alcohol, and so on.
All these factors can cause wrinkles under the eyes as well, and you can prevent them by having a healthy and nutrient-rich diet, not smoking or drinking alcohol excessively, and doing some form of physical activity at least twice a week (walking, running, going to the gym).
If your parents suffered from premature aging and you are already doing everything you can to prevent them, we suggest implementing supplements.
Consider a collagen supplement that contains hydrolyzed collagen, vitamin C, and Hyaluronic Acid. This will ensure your body has ample amounts of the most required nutrients to prevent aging.
How To Make Wrinkles Under Your Eyes Go Away
Making wrinkles under your eyes go away is possible, and in this part, we’ll briefly discuss some treatment options. As with other skin-related issues, wrinkles won’t disappear in one day, but that doesn’t mean that the following recommendations won’t be effective.
To prevent and reduce under-eye wrinkles, it's essential that you take care of your skin inside and out. Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, getting enough sleep, and doing exercise are the top ways to look after your skin from the inside.
As for your skin on the outside, wearing sunscreen every time you go out will prevent your skin from being damaged by UV rays. In addition, investing in a good moisturizing cream is advised to lubricate your face and allow your skin to absorb all the moisture it needs to keep its elasticity and firmness.
Look for eye creams that contain retinoids such as retinol, retinal, and isotretinoin. Other ingredients that work well for under-eye wrinkles are vitamin C, placenta extract, stem cells, hyaluronic acid (micronized), and Argireline.
You can also try facial exercises to keep your skin moving and promote its renewal. It’s like going to the gym but for your face. Facial rollers, massagers, and guashas, for example, are great tools to have in your bathroom to perform morning and nighttime exercises.
When it comes to eliminating wrinkles under the eyes, many people tend to search for home remedies. These DIY recipes have been popular for many years, but there is little scientific evidence to back them up. Many dermatologists insist that food should not be applied to the skin, especially for those who have sensitive skin.
If you want to learn more about how to remove wrinkles under your eyes, take a look at this article.
Eye wrinkles are a natural part of aging, and the role genetics play can't be denied. But there are plenty of things that you can control to give yourself the best chance of aging beautifully.
As with all skin problems, the more you know, the better chance you have of getting great results.
If you have any questions, or you need skincare/beauty advice please get in touch with one of our Beauty Ninjas in the chat!