Preventing Under Eye Circles

These are my under eye circles, untreated but  after four months of Retin A on the rest of my face.  Dr. Marmur of Mount Sinai says they are caused by both melanin deposits and loss of  fat pads under the eye. In the first photo you can see that there is a depression in  facial contours under the eye.  That dip is  part of aging.  Look at a baby or a child under age 10.  No depression in that area.  The  darkness in the skin due to melanin which  may, and the operative word here is “may”  respond to skin lighteners like kojic acid or hydroquinone. But to  make a bigger difference  I will need injectable fillers to erase the shadows.  The idea of  injecting stuff under my eye  makes me cringe, so I’ll see how far I can get with under eye creams and gels.

Continue Reading…

Stress and Under Eye Circles

It happens to all of us.  When we don’t get enough sleep, catch a cold, work 24/7 or deal with personal problems, the face in the mirror includes dark under eye circles.  It turns out that the body reads all these problems as “stress” and reacts by producing large amounts  of  a hormone  called costisol.  This creates a cascade of changes in the body  that includes  higher blood pressure, a slowdown in cell growth and an increase in heart rate.  Under the eyes, dark circles become  more pronounced.  This is because cortisol increases leaking from tiny blood vessels and slows removal of  body fluids.  The result?  Fluids and hemoglobin build up in the eye area creating dark shadows,

Its really easy to tell people to relax and take it easy.  But while we are waiting  for the world to become an easier place to live, we all need a few quick tools … Continue Reading…

Me and My Under Eye Shadows, Part 2

Eliminating or at least reducing dark circles depends on what is causing them in the first place.  For shadows caused by melanin ( from sun exposure) ingredients is focused on techniques that ” bleach”  out the darkened skin tone.  There are  shelves of products which contain ingredients such as hydroquione, kojic acid, azaleic acid and niacinamide.  Other products contain caffeine which are known to shrink blood vessels.  The theory here is that  swollen capillaries  in the eye area make make the skin look puffy and leak  minute amounts of blood into the skin.  Sounds reasonable, but we’ll have to see.  Another category of ingredients  such as Haloxyl claim that they can break down the hemoglobin ( from the leaked blood) that are causing the shadows.  I am trying to get  my hands on the clinical trials that support these claims, but I know Haloxyl are used in  a  number of expensive brands.

I found two interesting candidates– Skin Renew Anti–Puff … Continue Reading…

Layers of Beauty Care

This week, as I was  prowling thru the aisles of a department store looking for the perfect eye cream, I found myself  in the middle of a total beauty pitch.  Pushing side my request for a single product, the sales consultant launched into a demonstration of  a series of creams and serums, all to be used at the same time.  First she recommended a cleanser, then a treatment serum, then a skin lightner, followed by a moisturizer and topped off with a sunscreen.  Total price for this –almost $1000.   Individually  a number of these products looked interesting, but piling them  one on top of another made no sense.  Remember the major role of the skin, its raison d’etre so to say, is to keep  stuff out.  Stuff  like dirt, insects, bacteria, viruses, and just plain poisons.  In fact, when  the integrity of the skin is damaged, such as   in a scrape or cut,  the … Continue Reading…

Me and My Under Eye Shadows

I think the most prominent signs of aging on my face  are the dark shadows under my eyes.  Most women over age 40 share my problem, but not all shadows come from the same source.  In fact there are three  major causes:

1.  Excess Pigmentation– the darkened areas are actually deposits of melanin, produced from too much sun exposure.  The melanin can accumulate both above and below the eyes and is often an inheritied trait.  That is to say, some people tend to make more melanin in that area.  This  is a major cause of my dark circles.  According to Dr Ellen Marmur, my dermatologist,  the dark pigmentation under my eyes are actually  groups of  10-12 tiny freckles.  My take-away from that is that I really need a turbo powered sunscreen for my eyes.  Its the #1 item on my beauty  shopping list.

2.  Pigmentation from blood hemoglobin—  the second … Continue Reading…

Do I Really Need to Buy an Eye Cream?

Since I have seven, count ’em seven signs of aging, I don’t want to buy beauty care products I don’t need.  So as I was assembling  my beauty tool kit I hesitated before buying  eye creams.  Do we really need separate products for the eyes?  The simple answer is YES– but  for reasons that may surprise you. The skin around the eyes is thinner and more vulnerable to just about everything– sunlight, irritation, allergies, infection, aging and discoloration. Problems arise here earlier and tend to be more obvious.

To both prevent and relieve  these issues, the eye area needs extra protection but milder formulations.  Ingredients such as alcohol, Vitamin C, fruit acids, even Retin A need to be in lower concentration.  

The eye area is also more vulnerable to infection from bacteria and mold that can  build up in skin care products.  This is why  eye area products tend to come in very  … Continue Reading…

Winning at Anti-Aging

A picture is worth a thousand words.  I  took  a few  photos  to show the “before” of  my dark circles.  That is the area  which I am going to work on next and I want to see  what works and what doesn’t.  You can certainly see the dark circles, but  you can also see the amazing improvement  from treatments about six weeks into the  project.  I don’t know if I look  younger, but I certainly know my skin looks better.   I just followed the standard advice of  Retin A  and had my age spots fried with a laser.  The  first photo was taken  at the start of this project.  Just me and my age spots and deep smile lines.                                                                                                                                                                                                       

The second photo was taken after about six weeks  on Retin A  and following laser removal of age spots. You can see … Continue Reading…

There’s A Reason They Call them Age Spots

Its now been  five days since Dr Marmur aimed a laser at my  brown spots.   I called them freckles, but in truth  they were age spots.  Less than a week  after the procedure, the small scabs have fallen off and the skin is slightly pink where once it was brown.   I am really surprised how much difference the absence of dark spots makes on the appearance of  my complexion.  The new skin clarity allows  the improvements from Retin A and home peels ( better texture, color and tone) to shine right  through.

The difference   was instantly apparent to my friend Maria.  Tall and beautiful, she is a women who certainly  knows her way around beauty options.   As soon as she walked  though the door she peered at me ” you look great” she exclaimed ”  What have you had done?

Laser treatment of my age spots cost $325 and I think it was  money very well spent.  … Continue Reading…