Under-eye wrinkles are a special beast. They’re some of the first wrinkles to crop up as we age—but as tempted as we may be to go to war on them immediately, we have to be careful because they happen to be situated in one of the most sensitive areas of the body. But as any military mind or crocodile hunter will tell you, the most important thing is to know thine enemy before you charge in. So, let’s get to it.
Main Causes of Under-Eye Wrinkles & Lines
There are multiple factors that may lead to under-eye wrinkles and fine lines. Here are the most common causes:
As we get older, our skin loses moisture and elasticity, which unfortunately makes for a wrinkles’ paradise. To top it off, we tend to lose fat and volume in our faces, resulting in a hollowing effect that makes wrinkles below the eyes all the more noticeable.
Frowning, smiling, squinting, and furrowing your brow, to name a few, can all cause the area below the eyes to contract, forming creases. Over time, these creases can take hold, even when you’re no longer moving.
The sun’s UV rays weaken the connective tissues that provide flexibility and strength, resulting in loose, wrinkle-prone skin.
When the body lacks water, the skin doesn’t have the same bounce or fluidity and can take on a crepey appearance.
Lack of Sleep
Getting your beauty rest is so important for whole-body rejuvenation, and sleep deprivation over time is associated with wrinkle formation. This may be due to heightened levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Tobacco constricts blood vessels and eats away at the skin’s collagen and elastin reserves, all of which result in the perfect environment for fine lines to develop beneath the eye.
Effective Treatments for Getting Rid of Wrinkles & Lines Under Your Eyes
If you’re wondering how to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles below the eyes, look no further. Here are some of the most effective solutions out there:
Peptides have made a name for themselves in the skincare world, so you might know that they have some clout, but chances are you don’t exactly know what they are. Peptides occur naturally in every cell of the body. They’re strings of amino acids that bind together to form proteins—one of which is collagen. Applying eye creams or serums that contain peptides actually stimulate the skin’s healing process, which plumps up and smooths the surface. Considering that we lose an average of 1% of our body’s collagen every year after the age of 30 if not earlier, it’s important to do anything we can to boost volume in the skin—especially in areas prone to hollowness and wrinkles, like the under-eye.
Who has time for every mask, spa treatments, and resurfacing procedure on the market? If you’re like most of us (read: BUSY), you’re looking for the best treatment for under-eye wrinkles that won’t waste your precious time. How about supercharging your skincare all while you’re fast asleep in the comfort of your own cushy bed? Here’s the deal: sleeping on your back is the best way to prevent wrinkles from a smushed face—but it’s not for everybody. At the very least, try using an extra pillow (silk pillowcase for bonus points!) to give your head a little lift against the force of gravity. And then, step it up with overnight eye patches like SiO Super Eye Lift, which deeply hydrate and press out wrinkles—all before your alarm goes off. They’re comfortable and highly effective, targeting not only the under-eye but also the entire area extending through the crow’s feet to the brow bone. Talk about an overnight sensation.
When it comes to wrinkles, there are two standard modes of attack: slough it off or plump it up. Exfoliation is great, but when we’re talking about the delicate and naturally dry area around the eyes, hydration just might be the real winner. Different from rich, moisturizing ingredients that can weigh too heavy on thin skin, water-binding ingredients known as humectants act like sponges, absorbing water and gently filling out crinkles. This has a pretty immediate impact on fine lines under the eyes. Humectants to look for in your next eye gel or cream include hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, glycerin, sorbitol, and propylene or butylene glycol.
This one might be new to you, but it’s actually been around for thousands of years. A standard procedure of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture has shown promising scientific results on skin elasticity in recent years. Here’s how it works: Tiny, hair-like needles are placed strategically at pressure points on the face, which signals minor trauma to the brain. The brain then responds by prompting the healing mechanisms that repair cells and stimulate regrowth. The results? Firmer, more resilient skin around the eyes—no chemicals, no pain, no downtime. But know that you’re in it for a bit of a long haul. Most acupuncturists recommend upwards of 20 sessions, although you’ll begin to see a noticeable improvement in texture and fine lines around session number ten.
Another option for the non-needle-averse is microneedling, also known as derma rolling, which just might be the most buzzworthy procedure among minimally-invasive wrinkle treatments available today. It involves rolling a small device covered in tiny needles over the skin surface, inflicting micro-injuries to the skin that trigger the skin to repair itself, turn over new cells, and boost elasticity. As a bonus, it can also enhance the absorption of skincare products. It’s gentle enough to use on the under-eye region, and studies report really positive improvement on fine lines and loose skin. You can make an appointment for a professional session, or you can buy your own at-home device (experts recommend starting with 0.3mm needles or smaller if it’s your first time).
For those who feel like they have tried everything to no avail—or those who just want that really impressive before and after—it might be time to give in to injectables. When it comes to under-eye wrinkles, fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, and Belotero are the injectables of choice. Botox is an excellent solution for wrinkles that occur in muscle contraction areas, like crow’s feet and forehead creases, but it’s not usually recommended for under-eye wrinkles. These lines are better addressed with a little hyaluronic acid to fill in the cracks. Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally by the body, so the procedure is low-risk and high-yield—but you’ll want to make sure you find a reputable specialist who knows where to place fillers for natural-looking results. Expect to pay a pretty penny, and know that the glow will last about six months before the fillers are absorbed by the body and it’s time to get a top-up.
Natural Home Remedies for Under-Eye Wrinkles
There are nearly endless options for cracking down on under-eye wrinkles, but sometimes the best of all is the low-cost, low-effort, DIY treatments that don’t even require you to leave the house. Here are just a few of our faves:
It seems too good to be true, but this is one miracle ingredient found in nature that you do not want to miss out on. You’ve probably heard of turmeric being used in just about every health context: cholesterol, arthritis, liver issues, depression, and even cancer. But turmeric is also a serious anti-aging skincare ingredient, thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric is proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, particularly when it comes to sun damage. And turmeric’s real superpower just might be its ability to block the enzyme elastase, which is responsible for depleting elastin as we age. Elastin is the substance in the skin that gives it its bouncy, firm structure—so it’s not something you want to part with earlier than necessary. Like the gift that keeps on giving, turmeric is also an effective remedy for dark circles, so using it under the eyes is just a no-brainer.
To treat yourself to a turmeric eye mask, mix half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a tablespoon of aloe vera gel or coconut oil. Brush under the eyes, and allow it to absorb for about 15 minutes before washing it off with a washcloth and cool water.
Honey is a natural humectant, which is highly beneficial for the often parched eye area; a little extra moisture goes a long way in producing a smooth, even look. Honey is also chock full of skin-saving antioxidants that fight free radical damage and protect the skin barrier, which is why it’s long been praised by science and beyond as an anti-aging treatment.
To reap the benefits of this hero ingredient, apply a thin layer of raw or Manuka honey to the under-eye, allowing it to work its magic for about 30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Say hello to the glow!
It’s not just for a healthy breakfast; it’s a skin-nourishing treat, too! Research suggests that plain yogurt is an excellent topical treatment for brightening, locking in moisture, and maintaining elasticity in the skin. And below the surface, studies show that the probiotics in yogurt go to work reversing signs of aging. But for the icing on the cake, plain yogurt is also rich with lactic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which exfoliate dead skin cells and fade fine lines and wrinkles. Yogurt makes for a gentle and soothing under-eye mask that can deliver real results.
To get the full experience, spread a thin layer of yogurt around the eye area, and allow it to work its magic for about 20 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
Under-eye wrinkles, like most signs of aging, are pretty unavoidable. Even if you choose a life without sunshine or smiles (please don’t!), the odds are that gravity and time itself will eventually do the unfinished work. But that’s okay! Whether you’re hitting up the professionals or you’re looking for simple, natural solutions you can handle from home, there is no shortage of under-eye wrinkle treatments. So, what are you waiting for? Get glowing.