Having dry skin around the eyes can be a very uncomfortable and distressing predicament. Conversation is often carried out with eye contact, and all the flaking, wrinkles and expression lines can both be embarrassing for you and distracting for the person you’re conversing with. So unless you work as a call center agent or a telephone sales representative, you’ll want to take measures to avoid this.
The skin around the eyes has fewer oil glands than in other parts of the body, leaving it susceptible to dryness. The dry skin, if left untreated, will eventually lead to thinning, flaking, and wrinkles. This is often noticeable when the humidity drops, such as during winter, in an airline cabin, or in a building heated by furnaces or forced-air heaters. Other causes for dry skin around the eyes include excessive bathing, cosmetics and makeup, or an allergic reaction to certain chemicals.
Bathing or showering for longer than 15 minutes, or using hot water instead of lukewarm, generally dries the skin. This is aggravated by the use of harsh soaps and cleansers. Putting on too much makeup also causes dry skin around the eyes, especially if the face was not cleansed and toned properly. Other cosmetics, such as nail polish, have certain chemicals that harm the skin around the eyes when accidentally brought in contact by the fingers: be careful! Rubbing your eyes can also bring bacteria, making the problem worse.
If you’re a smoker, it’s very likely that smoking is causing your dry skin. Smoking tends to make your skin tough and dry, and causes itching by constricting the blood vessels. Quitting smoking can make the quality of your skin, and your health in general, improve within days after your last puff.
Check your diet. You might not be getting enough of Vitamins A and B, and this leads to dry skin. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains, and try to replace some of your red meat intake with protein-rich alternatives like tofu. Take vitamin supplements and drink enough water (8 glasses a day) to make sure your skin has everything it needs to avoid natural dryness.
The usual dry skin treatments can be taken to care for dry skin around the eyes. Bathing or showering only once a day, dampening and moisturizing your skin regularly, keeping the temperature down, placing a humidifier in the bedroom, using sunscreen and staying out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m will all help keep your skin healthy. Here are some more specific treatments that you might want to try:
In the morning, use mineral water to cleanse your extra-sensitive face in lieu of tap water. To ensure an even penetration, use a plant spray to mist the mineral water onto your face, neck and chest. (Of course, make sure that the plant spray has never been used before, especially for insecticide!) Women can do this after cleansing and toning, then applying moisturizer after patting the mineral water dry. For men, it’s been suggested to moisturize immediately after shaving, wait 10 to 15 minutes, then moisturize again. When moisturizing, try a light massaging action-it stimulates the skin and gives it a healthy glow.
You may also want to try these home treatments to treat dry skin around your eyes:
1. Aloe vera as a moisturizer
Simply mix two tablespoons of aloe vera gel with one tablespoon of sesame oil until they become a smooth, homogeneous consistence. Gently apply the mixture to the dry skin around your eyes. Aloe vera is a light, easily-absorbed moisturizer, and the sesame oil acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
2. Cucumber as an eye toner
Cut half a cucumber into chunks and place them in a blender or food processor. Blend the unpeeled, unseeded chunks until it becomes a smooth puree. Strain the puree and keep the juice. Mix the juice with three tablespoons of witch hazel. Apply the liquid to the dry skin around your eyes with cotton. You can keep this mixture refrigerated for a few days.
Make sure you only apply all skin care treatments on the skin only-avoid spilling anything into the eye itself. If this happens, or if irritation ensues after applying any treatment, immediately flush the eye with running water.
In any case, if dry skin suddenly appears around the eyes or if the condition does not improve with home treatment, consult a doctor or see a dermatologist for advice. It might be a sign of a more serious medical condition in its early stages, such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, or even diabetes or hypothyroidism.