The daily habits that are ageing you around the eyes revealed

From sleeping on your side to wearing waterproof mascara: The daily habits that are ageing you around the eyes – and how you can fight the effects

  • Countless daily habits cause ageing around the eye area, which is delicate 
  • Dermatologist Dr Natasha Cook explained how these can make you look older
  • Things like sleeping on your side and wearing waterproof mascara are not good
  • Rubbing at your eyes and squinting without sunglasses also damage eye skin

It’s a truth universally acknowledged by dermatologists that the skin around the eyes is the most delicate, and therefore one of the first areas on our face to betray signs of ageing. 

But there are daily habits that many of us are making that are speeding up the process, and contributing to premature crow’s feet and fine lines around the eyes.

Here, speaking to FEMAIL, dermatologist Dr Natasha Cook revealed the things we often do on a daily basis that are ageing our eyes.

While there is obviously a genetic component, if you fix some of these you can expect to have brighter and more youthful peepers.

Here, FEMAIL takes a look at the daily habits that are ageing you around the eyes (stock image) – which includes using waterproof mascara

Squinting into the sun and not wearing sunglasses (stock image) can also contribute to ageing in the eye area

Squinting and not wearing sunglasses

For many women, sunglasses are a godsend – as not only do they hide tired or hungover eyes, but they also look stylish.

What to do to look after your eyes

1. Cleanse your skin and cleanse it gently. Pat don’t drag. This applies to both cleansing and moisturising.

2. Use serums that are anti-ageing with ingredients in them including vitamin b3 and vitamin C.

3. Keep well hydrated throughout the day and don’t just glug down all of your water at one point.

4. Wear sunglasses for sun protection and to prevent squinting.

5. Avoid waterproof mascara in favour of regular options.

6. Avoid rubbing and touching your eyes at all costs.

7. Try to sleep on your back rather than your sides where possible. 

But wearing your sunnies on a near-daily basis doesn’t only have major style benefits.

In fact, not wearing them and squinting whenever you go outside can cause the muscles in those areas to contract, which in turn makes the skin wrinkle and contributes to old-looking eyes.

‘Squinting repetitively creases the skin,’ Dr Cook added. ‘The skin around the eyes is thinner than the rest of the face – like tissue paper.

‘Repetitive movements build wrinkles over time.’  

Try to avoid squinting or contracting your face whenever you can, and wear sunglasses when heading out into the sun – even for a short period.

‘You might not think it, but they’re hugely anti-ageing,’ Dr Cook explained.  

Rubbing your eyes

For Dr Cook, rubbing your eyes is the worst daily habit for ageing your eyes.

‘This is the number one ageing habit,’ she explained. ‘It creases the skin repeatedly, causing wrinkles. Rubbing creates inflammation, discolouration and an ageing texture.’

Refrain from rubbing your eyes as much as possible, even when you’ve taken your makeup off and are at home in the evening.

For Dr Cook, rubbing your eyes in the single worst thing you can do, as it creases the skin around the eyes (stock image)

Using waterproof mascara

You might not think that there’s much difference between regular mascara and the waterproof option.

Dr Cook (pictured) said that other things like eating sugar can also contribute to premature ageing around the eyes

But according to dermatologists, for the sake of your eyes you’re far better off going for the normal option.

‘Waterproof mascara is harder to remove, which often leads to over-cleansing and excessively rubbing at the skin,’ Dr Cook said.  

Sleeping on your side

It’s not just to prevent back and neck pain and reduce acid reflux that doctors recommend sleeping on your back where possible.

Sleeping on our backs also helps to minimise facial wrinkles.

‘Sleeping due to pressure can cause creases around the eyes and facial skin in general, especially if you’re lying on your side,’ Dr Cook said.

It can also change the pattern of blood flow in that area, meaning your circulation might not be as good on the side that’s being pressed into the pillow.

Sleeping on your back can help to minimise facial wrinkles, while sleeping on your side (stock image) can often contribute to premature ageing

Eating too much sugar

It’s the dietary demon that not only widens our waistline, but can also make us look much much older.

Doctors and dermatologists agree that sugar causes hormonal changes in the body, which damages your collagen and elastin fibres.

Limit your sugar consumption, cut back on fizzy drinks and biscuits and replace with healthier choices – your skin will thank you.  

Using a harsh face scrub

Last but not least, while you might think that using a face scrub or grainy cleanser is good for getting all of the dirt and grime off your face, in fact such cleansers are far too harsh for our skin in general.

‘Harsh foaming cleansers and beaded scrubs irritate the skin,’ Dr Cook said.

‘Breaking down the barrier increases inflammation and leads to flaky, red sensitive skin. Over time, this can cause change in texture and discolouration.’  

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