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The skin around the eye area is thinner and has less elasticity than elsewhere on the face, meaning it doesn’t snap back into shape as easily.
Considering the average person blinks on average 28,800 times a day, it’s hardly surprising that the eye area is susceptible to wrinkling. But finding solutions to iron out those lines can be tricky.
That’s why we’ve turned to Alison Young for her advice. With 35 years’ experience in the industry as a beauty therapist, spa treatment designer, makeup artist and product obsessive, what she doesn’t know about beauty isn’t worth knowing. As QVC’s beauty guru, she's one of the most influential women in the business, helping to turn brands like Liz Earle and Elemis into household names.
She’s now poured all her expertise into her first ever book, The Beauty Insider, which combines her industry know-how with the skin, hair and makeup questions she most frequently gets asked.
Here’s what Alison has to say about smoothing out laughter lines, and why you shouldn’t give up when you think an eye cream isn’t working for you..
Rethink where you put your eye cream
Most people tap it onto the eye area of a relaxed face. Instead, smile: you’ll see that lines actually extend much further when you do that, in some cases as far as the hairline, and you need to apply your eye product to that entire area.
If you have crêpiness or sagging (or want to avoid that), you should also apply it to your forehead. Eye sagging begins above the brow, so make sure you treat that area, too.
Don’t apply eye creams too close to bedtime
Allow a good hour or two for them to start to work their magic, otherwise your pillow will get all those anti-ageing goodies, not your face. If you apply early in the evening, you can double-dose with a second application and still leave time before bedtime for the product to get to work.
Change your pillow, not your eye cream
If one side of your face is more lined, it may be linked with how you sleep. Most of us tend to favour one side when our head hits the pillow. It’s incredibly hard to break that habit, so if you can’t manage it, invest in a silk pillowcase or silicone wrinkle patches to reduce the fold. They’re a revelation.
Try the current trend
Micro-current treatments can help to firm the eye zone. You can get eye-specific machines for at-home use (and prices have come right down), as well as salon lifting and firming treatments that target the eye zone. These can be expensive; do ask to see before and after pictures of previous clients, and really quiz the salon on whether those clients had the treatment at that particular salon; sometimes, these can be promo shots issued by the company that makes the machine.
If you use a machine at home, you have to be really consistent to get results. You wouldn’t expect to go to the gym once or twice a month and see results; it’s the same with a facial workout of any kind.
For a special occasion, try “face tape”
There are tapes to lift the eyes, or to apply into the hairline or behind the ears to lift the face and jaw-line. This is the secret weapon of many a Hollywood silver screen goddess, and if you’re having a photo taken or you’ve a big event or birthday coming up, the results can be impressive.
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But this isn’t something you want to experiment with at the last minute — practice makes perfect.
Change your brows to fight hooding
Having your brows reshaped with a millimetre or two removed under the brow line can lift the appearance of the eye and minimise the appearance of a hooded lid. If the lids droop, lashes can also start to point downwards, so consider lash perming, lash inserts (applied in salons), or simply switch to a curling mascara that will lift the lashes.
You can find more tips from Alison at her website here and in her book, The Beauty Insider, £16.99.
Three anti-ageing eye creams OK! loves
You’ve got the application technique now, but what to put on? These are three of OK!’s favourites
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, buy it here for £10.20
Loaded with hyaluronic acid, which is a magnet for hydration, and ceramides to lock it in, the affordable formula gets to work plumping up fine lines almost immediately.
Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream, buy it here for £24.99
This rich eye area cream scores a hat trick for fine lines, dark circles and puffiness thanks to a powerful blend of peptides and vitamins.
Mudmasky Vitamin Infused Eye Serum
If dark circles are a major concern, this is your product as it’s brimming with antioxidant-rich goji berry and vitamin K to protect blood vessels. Vitamins C and E target wrinkles while the addition of soybean oil is a nice touch as it also combats dryness from central heating in winter and air con in summer.
A full-size tube normally costs £44, but you can get it for just £7.50* if you sign up, using the code 50FIRSTBOX, to the OK! Beauty Edit box put together by Katie Piper. Her box also includes five other products, worth over £90, here, including brow gel, SPF50 and priming moisturiser.
*Discount on the usual monthly box price of £15 is for new subscribers only.
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