Ageing Around the Eyes


By Terri Wojak

Many people have caught on to how important playing up their eyes can be—after all, the eyes are known as the focal point of the face. Unfortunately, the eyes are often the first area to show signs of ageing due to the difference in skin structure. The skin surrounding the eyes is much thinner at approximately 0.5–1 mm compared to other areas of the face, such as the chin, which is, on average, 2.5–3 mm.1 The thinner skin around the eyes not only provides less support, but it also makes imperfections including dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable. There are several methods that can be used to aesthetically enhance the eye area, including medical procedures, skin care treatments and product use at home. 



To preserve a youthful appearance, protection is key, especially in the eye area. It is well known that diligent sun protection and a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to avoid prematurely ageing skin. However, when dealing with sun protection, the eyes are rarely discussed. There are several products available for the eyes to repair damage, reduce dark circles and refine lines, but they rarely contain sunscreen. This is likely due to the high incidence of sensitivities around the eyes, many chemical sunscreens can cause irritation in sensitive skin. If there is not a specialized eye-protection product in the line used in your skin care facility, a simple formula containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide tends to be the best option. The use of UVA and UVB protective sunglasses should be recommended for optimal protection. Those clients who experience visual sensitivity to sunlight tend to wear sunglasses on a regular basis, and typically have a more youthful appearance.
Preventing the signs of ageing around the eyes is also accomplished through the use of topical products. The difference in structure and function of this skin is the reason that there are products made specifically for the eyes. The eye area has minimal sebaceous glands compared to skin on other areas of the face, therefore more moisture should be applied topically to keep this skin soft and supple, helping prevent the appearance of ageing. When choosing products to protect the eye area, the use of antioxidants should also be incorporated, because these will protect against further damage. Ingredients, such as vitamins C and E are commonly used. Hyaluronic acid, ceramides and peptides should also be incorporated to support the health of the skin.

Topical Products

Once fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, commonly known as crow’s-feet, have set in, more advanced topical products can be added to a skin care regimen. Products containing peptides that protect and trigger the production of matrix proteins, collagen and elastin are often chosen, due to their remarkable results and reduced possibility of irritation associated with their use. Neuropep­tides, such as acetyl hexapeptide-8, are a great addition to eye products due to their ability to slow down muscle contraction over time. Retinoids may also be recommended to address fine lines on the outer perimeter of the eyes in order to stimulate cell turnover and increase collagen production. The lipid-soluble forms of vitamin A tend to be the best around the eyes due to their low irritation rate. One form of lipid-soluble vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, is actually photo-protective. Skin care professionals must be well-educated on ingredients and their functions, especially on the science behind the product line they are recommending to clients.



The use of cosmetic needling with needle depths ranging from .1mm- .3mm has become increasingly popular, especially for the eye area. Cosmetic needling allows products to penetrate up to 80% more effectively than putting products on alone. It also triggers a minor wound response releasing growth factors that help the skin work at optimal capacity, ultimately reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Clients can perform cosmetic needling on themselves with a roller or stamp on a nightly basis before product application.
Microneedling, also called Collagen Induction Therapy, is the use of small needles to create micro-channels in the skin to stimulate a wound-healing response. This response triggers collagen and elastin production resulting in thicker skin with fewer lines and wrinkles, as well as a more even skin tone. A series of microneedling treatments is commonly performed in a medical setting at three to four-week intervals. The provider will assess the skin and the condition before making recommendations as to how many treatments should be performed.


Equipment-based treatments

Equipment-based treatments, such as microcurrent and light-emitting diodes (LED), are helpful in reducing lines around the eye area. Microcurrent is known for its ability to retrain muscles using electrical current and specific movements. Clients often say they see the most improvement with lifting in the brow area when receiving microcurrent. LED works by simulating circulation and increasing the metabolism of cells, including fibroblasts, resulting in smoother skin. Multiple treatments should be expected with microcurrent and LED, these are not one-time solutions and maintenance with topical products is necessary to maintain results.

Clients with deeper set lines who want to speed up the process may be referred to a medical office for more aggressive treatments. Some of the more commonly used devices for treating the eye area are fractional lasers, radiofre­quency, and micro-focused ultrasound. Each of these modalities use varying types of energy to heat the skin resulting in tissue contraction and ultimately collagen stimulation. There are opposing theories about these treatments, as they can be destructive if not used properly.



Neurotoxins have the ability to reduce the appearance of crow’s-feet around the eyes by temporarily disrupting muscle contraction in the area. Neurotoxins can also open the eyes with specific injection points beneath the tail of the brow to provide a more open and inviting appearance, offering twice the benefit for its use in the eye area. Each client is different and will experience different results per treatment. Some realize great benefits from the use of products alone; others may need to seek medical treatment before results are seen.
There are several ways to improve the appearance of the skin around the eyes from home care to medical aesthetic treatments. Stay tuned for the next blog when we talk about how to reduce dark circles and puffiness around the eyes.



Terri Wojak is a highly sought-after professional with over 20 years of experience in the aesthetic industry. Terri is the Education Director of GlycoAla and runs her own education company, Aesthetics Exposed Education.  She is a respected authority on skin care in a medical setting, education, and business development on multiple levels. Wojak has built 50 individual courses based on skin care in a medical setting. More than 100 articles by Wojak have appeared in a multitude of industry magazines and she has published two books, “Aesthetics Exposed: Mastering Skin Care in a Medical Setting & Beyond” in May 2014 and “Mastering Medical Esthetics” debuted in 2009. Terri has trained over 5000 estheticians and medical professionals on the importance of incorporating skin care into cosmetic medicine, ultimately helping patients and medical providers alike.


Terri's book is available at

Please note that any opinions expressed in this blog are not necessarily the opinions of the Skin Science Authority.