You’re tired of the fine lines and wrinkles under your eyes making you look older and, well, tired.
If you could, you’d turn back time and return your skin to its former glory — firm, taut, smooth and youthful.
Well, we’ve got some good news for you: you don’t need a time machine to rid yourself of those pesky under eye wrinkles.
Just follow this guide to learn all the easy, effective tricks you’ll need to ditch those wrinkles once and for all.
Causes of Aging Skin Around Eyes
Often, the skin around our eyes is the first to show signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
That’s because the skin under your eyes is some of the thinnest anywhere on your body. It lacks natural elasticity and is much more prone to damage.
Additionally, your under eye skin is packed with blood vessels, which can become congested and discolor your skin.
Your fragile under eye areas are often the target of rough treatment such as makeup application and rubbing during allergy season. Over time, these behaviors thin and weaken the skin, resulting in wrinkles.
Signs of Aging Eyes
So how can you tell if your eyes are aging?
You may notice dark circles that won’t go away no matter how much sleep you get. Your under eye area may also appear more hollow, creating shadows that contribute to the dark appearance.
Bags may also form under your eyes, drooping down towards your cheeks. These are natural fat deposits that used to support your eyes but have become puffy and sagging.
Your under eye skin may become wrinkly or creased when you make different facial expressions, particularly when you smile or laugh.
And over time, those wrinkles may become permanent, visible even when your face is at rest.
All of these symptoms are normal signs of aging, but they can deliver a real blow to your self-confidence, especially if they appear earlier on in your life.
Thankfully, there are many ways to keep those bags and wrinkles at bay.
How to Remove Wrinkles Under Eyes
Tighten Your Skin with Facial Exercises
Wrinkles form because your skin becomes stretched out and loose over time.
When there isn’t enough padding under your skin to fill out the extra room, the skin simply folds over itself, resulting in fine lines that eventually become wrinkles.
But facial exercises can strengthen your muscles to fill out your under eye areas. These exercises can also tighten your skin so there’s less empty space to fill out in the first place.
Try raising your lower eyelids while keeping your upper eyelids open to target fine lines. Then try gently pulling down on your under eye area with three fingers while trying to close your eyes.
These exercises will tone your eye muscles and tighten your skin.
Keep Your Under Eye Areas Moisturized
Dry skin wrinkles more quickly than moisturized skin, and your under eye skin tends to be drier than the rest of your face.
Because it’s so thin, it’s more prone to moisture loss throughout the day. If you don’t provide it with supplemental hydration, it’ll dry out and become more susceptible to environmental damage, which accelerates aging.
That’s why it’s so important to apply a hydrating eye cream to your under eye areas.
Typical moisturizer may not be enough. You need to look for a cream that contains humectants like hyaluronic acid or glycerin to directly supply your skin cells with water.
Quit Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Cigarette smoke isn’t good for any part of your body, but it’s surprisingly bad for your under eye skin.
In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, cigarette smoking is the number one predictor of wrinkles.
Smoking constricts your blood vessels, reducing circulation and impairing the functioning of your skin cells. It also damages your collagen and elastin, so your skin can’t spring back as easily from damage.
If you’re committed to getting rid of your under eye wrinkles, you’ll need to quit smoking. And even if you don’t smoke, avoid exposure to secondhand smoke — it has similar detrimental effects on your skin.
Wear Sunscreen Every Day
UV damage is serious business. It alters the DNA in your skin cells, leading to reduced functioning and cancer.
But in the shorter term, the sun harms your skin by breaking down collagen. Without collagen, your skin can’t stay taut and firm, resulting in wrinkles and fine lines, especially on the thin skin under your eyes.
UV rays from the sun can penetrate through clouds and windows, so you’re susceptible to it even if you’re not out in the sun. That’s why it’s so important to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every single day.
Incorporate Retinol into Your Skincare Routine
Retinol is one of the most valued compounds in the skincare world. It’s unique in that it not only increases collagen production, it also stops existing collagen from breaking down.
Essentially, it kicks your skin cells into overdrive, giving them plenty of energy to regenerate themselves and keep your skin firm.
Retinol is derived from vitamin A and can be found in many different skincare products. Eye creams that contain retinol are particularly popular, as the under eye area is so sensitive to collagen loss.
Used on a regular basis, retinol can transform your eyes from saggy and wrinkly to smooth and taut.
Eat a Balanced, Healthy Diet
It’s not just a cliche — you really are what you eat. For proof, look no further than your eyes.
A poor diet doesn’t supply your skin with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. It interferes with blood flow and messes with protein production, causing weak, discolored, wrinkly skin.
The most important nutrients for your skin are vitamins, particularly vitamins A, C, E and K. Eating more foods that are high in these vitamins will make your skin brighter, smoother and more youthful.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best source of these vitamins. Pumpkins, carrots, grapefruit, leafy greens and beets are effective, tasty ways to get more vitamins in your diet and in your skin.
How to Reverse Aging Eyes
Renew Your Skin with a Chemical Peel
If the fine lines under your eyes are getting you down, try a chemical peel to give yourself a clean slate.
A chemical peel is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a chemical solution that causes the outer layer of your skin to peel off, revealing the smooth, undamaged layer underneath.
Chemical peels work well on new, shallow wrinkles and fine lines that haven’t yet set into your lower skin layers. However, they’re less effective on deep wrinkles and, depending on the strength of your peel, may require long recovery times.
If you are interested in a chemical peel, consult an esthetician or dermatologist. Chemical peels can be painful and risky, so they need to be performed by a professional.
Plump Up Loose Skin with Fillers
Wrinkles form under your eyes because there isn’t enough fat or muscle under your skin to fill it out.
But you can plump up your under eye areas and fill out that hollowness with injectable dermal fillers.
Restylane and Juvederm are common filler brands offered by cosmetic surgeons. They provide immediate results that last for up to two years, so they’re excellent for those who want effective, low-maintenance wrinkle removal.
Get a Fresh Start with Microdermabrasion
At-home exfoliation can only do so much. For a deep, thorough removal of dead skin cells that contribute to wrinkling, consider microdermabrasion.
This procedure is typically performed in-office and involves the use of a diamond-tipped tool with a microscopic rough surface. The device removes dead skin and boosts circulation to your under eye areas, improving cell regeneration.
Microdermabrasion is less invasive and lower-risk than fillers and chemical peels, so it’s a popular choice for removal of shallow wrinkles. However, it’s less effective on deep wrinkles.
Light Up Your Face with Laser and LED Light Therapy
Light is a surprisingly powerful weapon in the fight against wrinkles.
Laser wrinkle removal involves using a laser to poke microscopic holes in your skin, which causes a rapid increase of collagen and elastin production. It’s extremely effective, but it’s also painful and leaves your skin highly sensitive for several weeks post-treatment.
A less-invasive option is LED light therapy, which utilizes different wavelengths of LED light to penetrate your skin, stimulate protein production and smooth out wrinkles. Unlike laser therapy, LED light therapy is painless and can be performed at home with a special device.
Boost Collagen with Microneedling
Like laser therapy, microneedling involves poking tiny holes in your under eye skin to encourage the production of collagen and elastin.
Unlike laser therapy, microneedling uses a roller covered in microscopic needles to produce these holes.
Many people find microneedling less painful than laser therapy, and you can do it yourself at home if you’re feeling intrepid (though it’s highly recommended to have it done in-clinic to be safe). However, it’s not suitable for damaged, inflamed or sensitive skin.
Treatment is typically performed once a week for at least six weeks, but several months may be needed to see a difference in your wrinkles.