January 10, 2013 9:38 AM   Subscribe

Is there anything I can do to minimize, hide, or slow down the lines developing under my eyes?

I'm in my early 30s, but I've always had a couple fine lines under my eyes, even as a teenager. But it feels like they're quickly getting cemented, bigger, and more numerous. My eyes are inset, and something about the structure of my face creates lines completely under my eyes, and not the sides (no crows feet).

The lines are MUCH more prominent and wider spread when I smile/laugh, so I appreciate that there are good times built into the nooks of those lines... but they still bother me.

I have an early family history of skin cancer, so I've always been conscientious of sun exposure, usually get enough sleep, and drink plenty of water. I'm pale, but with dark hair/eyes/eyebrows. So far the rest of my face seems to be spared from these lines and wrinkles - my forehead, mouth, sides of eyes are of no concern. But the lines under my eyes…. eek!

Is there anything I can do to be proactive about how those lines develop? Can I do anything to further prevent them, or reduce their appearance?
posted by raztaj to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I like Frownie's Eye Gels for reducing the appearance of re lines under my eyes. They say to use them once a week, but I use them 2-3 times a week for 20 minutes. Feels good and looks better temporarily.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 9:42 AM on January 10, 2013

sunblock, wear hats outside, botox.
posted by elizardbits at 9:48 AM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Moisturize. You should put some kind of eye gel on every night before bed to keep that area soft and pliant.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:58 AM on January 10, 2013

Sunglasses on all the time you're outside during daylight hours. Any bit of squinting is bad for your eyes.

And a nightly eye cream. I use Lancome Génifique Eye but that's only because I managed to pick up a few samples a while back at the department store. But I'll switch to something less expensive when I run out. But something every night will make a huge difference.
posted by GilvearSt at 10:05 AM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Nthing sun protection.

I like this Neutrogena eye cream. It works well and, isn't too pricey, and is easy to find in shops.
posted by pantarei70 at 10:14 AM on January 10, 2013

Another vote for always wearing sunglasses outside during daytime hours, even when it's overcast, unless it's actually raining or something.
posted by scody at 10:16 AM on January 10, 2013

I put Vaseline under my eyes nightly - the whole area, actually: under eyes, sides, and eye lids. Because the good news is that this is only the beginning: you will also get crows feet and crepe-y eyelids as your skin ages. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.

Do you have a Sephora near you? Because there are a zillion products to "reduce the appearance of fine lines" and we can all recommend our favourites, but it's going to be down to what looks best on you. I like this product and the caffeine really works for me; it smooths lines and the concealer helps to brighten but tons of people hate that product. I think it's really a case of YMMV.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:18 AM on January 10, 2013

I have been using this eye serum for about 6 months now, and it has made a significant difference. I honestly didn't believe it was going to work, but it has.

I have no idea what the active ingredient in it is that makes it work, but it's got something that tightens the skin up, and I think that's what's different from other things I've tried. And it's not cheap, but I'm on my first container still.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 10:21 AM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

NB if you wear contact lenses, some of these suggestions (vaseline, heavy sunscreen) are prolly not a good idea.
posted by elizardbits at 10:26 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

To minimize further wrinkling or reduce the appearance of existing wrinkles:

Sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection, 15 SPF, more if you'll be outside more than a couple of hours per day. Most sunscreens have UVA/UVB protection these days. UVA blockers include: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, and Mexoryl SX. The first two are "physical" blockers while the last two are "chemical" blockers.

Good sunglasses, preferably ones with UV-blocking lenses.

Retinol or AHA product at night. Avoid daytime products that contain both retinol and sunscreen; one effectively cancels out the other. It's amazing how many products contain this combination, however.

Smoking, excessive drinking, poor diet (undereating, binge eating, poor protein content), no exercise will add to wrinkles or enhance their appearance, but there is nothing like unfiltered sun to put them there in the first place.

No eyeshadow with shiny stuff like mica in it - go for a matte finish.

Avoid a lot of makeup base or concealer around the eyes.
posted by Currer Belfry at 10:39 AM on January 10, 2013

My wife comes from a culture where getting a suntan in summer is not standard practice for women. In summer (or any other time of year) women generally keep their arms covered, and wear hats and shades in sunny weather - from May to September, my wife wears a large sunhat whenever she leaves the house.

Here in Canada (which is farther north, so UV rays are more intense) she's astounded by the number of post-30 women (and younger women) who walk around exposed to the sun, notably women who try to achieve the perfect tan.

Because all that tanning leads to wrinkles and other skin "problems". She also takes great care to moisturize every single night. She also puts on sunscreen in the winter-time.

And she looks great.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:02 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats will do more for you in the long run than any fancy creams. An inexpensive thing you can do at home is to make a topical vitamin C serum. It's just as good as expensive potions like this for 1/1000 of the price.
posted by the jam at 12:37 PM on January 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

Sunscreen, sunglasses, and avoiding the sun will make the biggest difference for preventing damage to your skin. Talk to a dermatologist about prescription retinoids; I think that they both prevent damage and and can undo some sun damage.

(By damage, I mean that the cells get damaged/changed at a molecular level by the sun. I personally don't think of wrinkles as a bad thing, they are a natural part of aging)
posted by insectosaurus at 12:58 PM on January 10, 2013

You might find something useful in the thread from this question i asked last year:
posted by Kololo at 1:05 PM on January 10, 2013

The heat in your home might be drying out the air, and therefore your skin. You might consider running a humidifier while you sleep.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:38 PM on January 10, 2013

Try an eye cream with hyaluronic acid. I've been using Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream for two years now and love it. The active ingredient helps to plump the skin, minimizing the appearance of the fine lines - when my skin gets really dry for whatever reason, I apply an extra thick layer of it before bed and am always pleased with the results.
posted by AthenaPolias at 7:12 PM on January 10, 2013

This Vogue article on Retinol popped up on some blog a few days ago (BB I think) as being something that worked but had problems like irritation, sun sensitivity, etc. But that in recent years those problems had been worked around a bit with thinks like micro-bead encapsulation and time release and all that Makeup-y Technology.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:54 PM on January 10, 2013

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