Expert Advice

Over the years, beautiful eyes have inspired poets to grab their pens and crooners to sing. They’ve also driven many a woman on a search for the fountain of youth.

You’ve probably noticed that the skin in this area seems to show signs of age, stress and lack of sleep more readily than the rest of our face. There are scientific reasons for this. Luckily, science gives us solutions as well. We sat down with an expert on both to learn all we could.

Mary D. interviews Art Pellegrino, Vice President of Research and Development at Elizabeth Arden to find out how science can make our eyes more beautiful.

Q: I have always loved my eyes, but they are definitely the first place I noticed signs of aging. Why is that?

The eyes are generally the first place people look and you do have lovely eyes. But you are absolutely right, they are also – unfortunately – the first place where aging starts to show. And yes, it is because the skin around our eyes is very different. It is thinner, dryer and more fragile to start with. It also has fewer pores. So as you start to age it is the most vulnerable to showing it. I believe it makes sense that taking care of skin around the eyes is a priority. Make sure to protect this area from sun and environmental exposure and a dry environment – all of those things accelerate the process.

Q: What exactly happens to skin in the eye area as we age?

Well, a visually significant change is that the thickness under your eyes really vanishes. This is because certain compounds in your skin decrease production. Two of these in particular, collagen and elastin, help the thinner skin around your eyes stay strong and hold their shape. As these compounds diminish, you lose that fullness. And then constant movements - such as frowning, smiling et cetera, create those small lines we so lovingly call 'crow's feet.'

Q: So, how do we keep our eye area looking beautiful?

I'm glad you asked. One of the things I'm proud to have helped develop is Ceramide Plumping Technology (CPT ). We developed it specifically to counter the loss of fullness and the appearance of fine lines we were just discussing. CPT technology is a blend of SNAP-8 and Hibiscus Seed Extract and it has powerful anti-aging effects. In fact, SNAP-8 is 30% more effective than Argireline® [a potent hexa-peptide] at plumping and relaxing the appearance of surface lines. This is especially effective on fine lines and crow's feet around the eye area. Hibiscus Seed Extract works deep within skin's surface layers to support the pathways leading to optimal collagen - elastin and protein levels - all those compounds I was talking about that we start to lose as we age – to help give skin in the eye area visibly, firmer, more lifted look.

Q: Earlier you mentioned that sun protection is so important for the eyes. But sunscreens sometimes irritate my eyes, so what's a girl to do?

Well, as I was just saying, the eye area is very sensitive to sun exposure. Unfortunately for you and many, many others, this area can also be sensitive to conventional sunscreens, which can cause irritation. CERAMIDE LIFT AND FIRM EYE CREAM SUNSCREEN SPF 15 contains broad-spectrum sunscreens that are encapsulated, to protect by staying on the surface of skin, avoiding irritation.

Q: I know you were instrumental in developing CPT technology. Can it help me with dark circles and puffiness?

Dark circles are caused by a leakage in the tiny capillaries within the skin, resulting in a darker look. Puffiness results from an accumulation of fluid in the fragile skin under the eyes. The CPT technology, as well as Eyeliss™, Equistat™ and Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C), targets the appearance of dark circles, puffiness and fine lines by strengthening the look of skin and working to promote a firmer, healthier appearance. Eyes will look brighter, as dark circles appear less noticeable, the skin under the eyes will appear smoother and younger as puffiness appears diminished and the look of firmness is addressed.

Q: I know ceramides are a lipid our skin has in abundance when we're younger. Tell me about the benefits of Ceramide for the eyes.

I think of ceramides as moisture-magnets (they are also exfoliants and soothe skin). And you are right, when we’re young we have plenty of them and that’s why our skin has that wonderful plump, full, moisturized look. Now, the eye area needs just the right amount of hydration to smooth skin and prevent moisture loss – too much is not right. Ceramide Triple Complex, a combination of Ceramides 1, 3 and 6 helps smooth, re-texturize and hydrate skin as it strengthens its natural moisture barrier.