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Preventing Wrinkles Under Your Eyes

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

As you age, your skin loses some of its elasticity. Environmental factors, like sun exposure and genetics, play a role in how early wrinkles and fine lines start to appear on a person’s face. The skin around your eyes is an area that’s likely to show earlier signs of aging, because the area under your eyeball (the periorbital hollow) has thin skin with blood vessels.

The most common cause of fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes is simply aging. Other common contributing factors may be possible to avoid, like:

- UV radiation: Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays break down the collagen in your skin. Collagen is the main protein in your skin tissue, and it’s key to your facial structure holding up over time. Ultraviolet rays can come from unprotected sun exposure and sunless tanning beds. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), unprotected exposure to UV rays leads to an earlier appearance of leathery skin and wrinkles.

- Smoking: Smoking exposes your skin to extra oxidative stress, damaging its collagen and elastin. This leads to wrinkles.

Smoking also constricts the blood vessels in your face, obstructing circulation to your blood vessels and depriving your skin of vitamin A.

- Repetitive movements and expressions: Facial expressions, like smiling, frowning, and furrowing your brow, can cause fine lines to develop on your face. Even your sleeping habits can cause fine lines if the same facial muscles are being pushed up against a pillow during sleep each night. Your skin loses its ability to bounce back to its original place as you grow older. Research indicates that sleeping with your face buried in your pillow can contribute to lines under your eyes.

- Environmental factors: Environmental factors, such as dry weather, wind, and pollution can also contribute to lines and wrinkles under the eyes. Getting rid of under-eye lines and wrinkles at home. Certain home remedies, lifestyle choices, and skin care products may be able to help reduce the appearance of fine lines under your eyes.

Some lifestyle options include:

- Trying facial exercises

- Treating allergies

- Eating a balanced diet

- Avoiding sun exposure

- Reducing or quitting smoking

- Getting enough sleep

- Switching to silk, satin, or copper pillowcases

Skin care steps include:

- Exfoliating

- Moisturizing

- Avoiding harsh products

- Massaging and using face rollers

Helpful ingredients include:

- Topical vitamin C

- Retinoids

- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

- Peptides

- Topical probiotics

- Hyaluronic acid

- Try facial exercises to tighten skin

Certain facial exercises have been shown anecdotally to be effective at tightening the skin under your eyes. There’s no reason to believe that these exercises are harmful, but the research available about “face yoga,” as some call it, is still extremely limited. You can also add in facial massage and experiment with gua sha and face rollers.

Treat your allergies:

Allergies often cause inflammation around your eyes. They can also make your eyes watery. Rubbing or scratching your eyes due to allergy symptoms can contribute to red eyes and make your skin feel dry. Treating allergy symptoms can give your face a more relaxed appearance, and it can also protect the skin under your eyes in the long run.

Gently exfoliate:

You can gently exfoliate dry skin that forms under your eyes to promote new cell growth. Only use products that are specifically made to exfoliate and massage into the area underneath your eyes.

Moisturize with an eye cream:

Lack of moisture can increase the appearance of fine lines around your eyes. Look for moisturizers that are rich in ingredients shown to promote circulation and new cell growth.

Under-eye products in the form of cooling gels and serums might work best to fight fine lines.

Keep in mind that applying the same moisturizer that you use on your face under your eyes could irritate your eyes. Creams that you use on the rest of your body tend to be too thick to be absorbed by the skin under your eyes, which is prone to irritation.

Avoid Sun Exposure (Use sunscreen and a hat):

You can help prevent fine lines from forming by protecting your skin from UV rays. Always wear an SPF of at least 30 when you’re venturing outside, even if it’s not sunny. When you’re in direct sunlight for several hours at a time, consider shielding your eyes with a hat and sunglasses. Brimmed hats, visors, and sunglasses serve an added benefit for your eyes: They keep you from squinting, an expression which can create wrinkles when it’s repeated often enough.

Eat a Balanced Diet:

Vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E are all frequently used in skin care products. By incorporating foods rich in these vitamins into your diet, you’ll help your skin (and the rest of your body) form healthy new cells. Some researchers believe there’s a strong link between a balanced diet and firmer skin. Consider colorful citrus fruits, carrots, and pumpkin to beef up the amount of these vitamins in your diet.

Topical vitamin C: Topical vitamin C can help plump and hydrate the under-eye area, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is also known to stimulate collagen production. Vitamin C and squalane combination was found to increase epidermal thickness and production of collagen III, a type of collagen helpful for improving skin elasticity and hydration.


Retinoids, derived from vitamin A, help reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the surface of the skin. They work to neutralize free radicals that may damage collagen, reducing the skin’s oxidative stress levels. According to a 2019 study, retinoids reduce TEWL, strengthen the skin’s protective function, and slow collagen and skin cell degradation.

Coenzyme Q10:

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is another powerful ingredient that can help reduce wrinkles and fine lines. In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled 2020 study, 34 healthy women ages 40 to 65 received either a test product containing CoQ10 and collagen or a placebo for 12 weeks. The women who used the test product showed improved skin density, reduced overall eye and face wrinkles, and improved skin smoothness.


Peptides are amino acids that make up certain proteins needed by the skin. They’re another collagen-boosting ingredient. While collagen molecules aren’t easily absorbed into the skin, peptides are. Instead of sitting on the top layer, they penetrate the skin. Once they do so, they help with elasticity, improving the skin barrier, and reducing wrinkles. Peptides work well with vitamin C. According to a 2015 study, certain probiotics boost the skin’s production of ceramides, fats that retain moisture in the skin.

A 2016 study noted the anti-aging effects of topical probiotics, including:

- Restoring skin pH

- Reducing oxidative stress

- Reducing photoaging

- Improving skin barrier function

Hyaluronic acid:

Hyaluronic acid gives your skin structure and plumpness. It can bind up to 1,000 times its weight in water, which means it works as a humectant and holds water molecules onto the surface of your skin. This means your skin stays hydrated.

Cosmetic procedures and facial treatments that decrease lines under the eyes, includes:

- Chemical Peels

- Fillers

- Microdermabrasion

- Lasers

- Microneedling

- Botox

(These should be performed by a dermatologist or trained aesthetician).

Chemical peels:

Chemical peels can be applied to the face to remove dead skin cells and promote new cell growth. Chemical peels can’t treat deep wrinkles or tighten sagging skin, but they may be able to reduce the appearance of fine lines around your eyes.


Dermal fillers are injected into the skin underneath or around the eyes to “plump” the appearance of the face. Fillers are temporary, and most products give you results that last 6 months to 2 years. Two well-known treatments in this category are Restylane and Juvéderm.


Microdermabrasion is a popular and minimally invasive procedure used to exfoliate your skin. A diamond-tip handpiece is often used on sensitive areas of skin, like your eyes, for this treatment. Microdermabrasion gets rids of dull, dead skin cells and promotes circulation to the area of skin where pressure is being applied.


Lasers are becoming increasingly popular as a treatment of under-eye lines and wrinkles. Several types of laser treatments are available for this purpose. Fractional lasers are one option that works by poking microscopic holes into the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production.


Microneedling is an increasingly popular treatment that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. During this procedure, tiny needles are used to poke holes in the skin, which can be followed by the application of a skin cream or serum. As the skin heals, collagen is stimulated, improving fine lines, and the texture of the skin.


A small amount of Botox can be injected into targeted muscles under the eyes, decreasing the appearance of wrinkles by causing the area to relax. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), most people see results in just 3 to 7 days and experience a significant reduction in the appearance of wrinkles for 3 to 4 months.


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