Revitalize Skin Around the EyesJune 2018
By Robert Goldfaden and Gary Goldfaden, MD
The skin around the eyes is up to 10 times thinner and more delicate,1 making it vulnerable to the effects of sun exposure, air pollutants, and protein cross links (glycation).2-5
These destructive factors lead to crow’s feet, dark circles, and puffiness around the eyes.6,7
Application of a topical blend of cucumber extract and collagen-stimulating peptides can repair, soothe, and protect the skin around the eyes for a refreshed appearance.
What you need to know
- The skin around the eyes is much thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of the body, making it especially susceptible to daily attacks from sun exposure, air pollutants, and advanced glycation end products.
- These external and internal factors break down the dermal matrix—composed mostly of elastin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid—that provides strength, suppleness, and elasticity to skin.
- Research demonstrates that several topical compounds specifically target and rebuild the skin’s matrix.
- Cucumber extract offers soothing, healing, and cooling properties, as well as powerful hydrating and antioxidant effects.
- Two peptides—Palmitoyl Oligopeptide and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7—stimulate the synthesis of collagen while preventing its breakdown to prevent and reverse wrinkles around the eyes.
- Vitamin A and E induce beneficial changes to both superficial and deeper layers of the skin to inhibit and repair the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Hearing the words “spa treatment” evokes the image of a person with cucumber slices on her eyes.
This go-to treatment for rejuvenating aging skin is based on cucumber’s healing properties.8
Cucumbers have a soothing effect and reduce skin swelling.9 They also contain free-radical scavengers like caffeic acid, vitamin E, and vitamin C that reduce skin irritation and protect against UV-induced damage.10,11
In-vitro research shows that cucumber extract reduces activity of enzymes that break down hyaluronic acid, the skin’s natural moisturizer, along with elastin that gives skin suppleness and flexibility.12
Clinical studies indicate that cucumber extract decreases skin irritation, excess pigmentation and wrinkling, while improving overall moisture and elasticity.9
The formation of wrinkles (crow’s feet) and fine lines around the eyes are indicators of an aging dermal matrix—the structural framework responsible for skin renewal and vitality.13,14
The main component of the dermal matrix is collagen, in particular type I collagen, which forms mesh fibers responsible for skin’s strength and resiliency.14
When we are young, collagen synthesis and breakdown are balanced to ensure skin remains vibrant and youthful-looking.
But as we age, oxidative stress generated from sun exposure, air pollutants, and glycation produce destructive structural changes that favor collagen degradation.5,15,16 As the skin around the eyes becomes thinner, the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines takes shape.
Scientists have found that two peptides work synergistically to restore normal collagen metabolism:17
- Palmitoyl Oligopeptide signals skin fibroblasts to increase collagen production.
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 prevents collagen degradation by reducing inflammatory mediators including interlukin-6.
An in-vitro study found that these two peptides:
- Increase type I collagen synthesis by 258%.
- Increase hyaluronic acid by 164%.
- Increase fibronectin by 179%.18
These findings translate into anti-wrinkling effects in humans.
Human Study of Topical Peptides
In a two-month study involving 24 participants, twice-daily application to the crow’s feet of a topical cream containing these two peptides showed the following improvements compared to a placebo:18
- Area occupied by deep wrinkles decreased by 39.4%.
- Wrinkle density decreased by 32.6%.
- Roughness decreased by 16%.
- Complexity decreased by 15.7%.
- Main wrinkle depth decreased by 19.9%.
- Main wrinkle volume decreased by 23.3%.
Topical application of vitamin E has been shown to penetrate the skin where it protects against UV-induced DNA damage19 and reduces the inflammatory response after exposure to UV rays.20
Vitamin E also helps improve the ability of aging skin around the eyes to retain water, leaving it smooth and supple.21,22
Vitamin A (retinol) induces beneficial changes in the epidermis and dermis to reverse the clinical signs of sun-exposed skin, including wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and rough texture.23,24
Studies show that when applied topically, vitamin A inhibits the activation of signaling pathways responsible for increasing collagen-degrading enzymes.25
In a double-blind, randomized trial involving 62 participants, topical application of retinol for 52 weeks reduced crow’s feet by 44% and mottled pigmentation by 84%.
These visible improvements were accompanied by significant increases in type I procollagen—a precursor to collagen synthesis—and hyaluronic acid.26
Most people’s skin-care regimens fail to take into account that the skin around the eyes is far thinner and more delicate than the rest of the skin on their face.
This sets the stage for destructive attacks by external and internal factors.
Research shows that topical cucumber extract, collagen-stimulating peptides, and vitamins A and E nourish, hydrate, and rejuvenate the delicate eye area to diminish the appearance of crow’s feet, dark circles, and puffiness.
Gary Goldfaden, MD, is a clinical dermatologist and lifetime member of the American Academy of Dermatology. He is the founder of Academy Dermatology in Hollywood, FL, and Cosmesis Skin Care. Dr. Goldfaden is a member of Life Extension®’s Medical Advisory Board. All Cosmesis products are available online.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
- Available at: http://scalar.usc.edu/works/neil-niren-md-1/caring-for-the-skin-around-the-eyes. Accessed February 27, 2018.
- Salvi SM, Akhtar S, Currie Z. Ageing changes in the eye. Postgrad Med J. 2006;82(971):581-7.
- Farage MA, Miller KW, Elsner P, et al. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors in skin ageing: a review. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2008;30(2):87-95.
- Jenkins G. Molecular mechanisms of skin ageing. Mech Ageing Dev. 2002;123(7):801-10.
- Gkogkolou P, Bohm M. Advanced glycation end products: Key players in skin aging? Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):259-70.
- Quan T, Fisher GJ. Role of Age-Associated Alterations of the Dermal Extracellular Matrix Microenvironment in Human Skin Aging: A Mini-Review. Gerontology. 2015;61(5):427-34.
- Hwang KA, Yi BR, Choi KC. Molecular mechanisms and in vivo mouse models of skin aging associated with dermal matrix alterations. Lab Anim Res. 2011;27(1):1-8.
- Aburjai T, Natsheh FM. Plants used in cosmetics. Phytother Res. 2003;17(9):987-1000.
- Mukherjee PK, Nema NK, Maity N, et al. Phytochemical and therapeutic potential of cucumber. Fitoterapia. 2013;84:227-36.
- Kumar D, Kumar S, Singh J, et al. Free Radical Scavenging and Analgesic Activities of Cucumis sativus L. Fruit Extract. J Young Pharm. 2010;2(4):365-8.
- Ibrahim TA, El-Hefnawy HM, El-Hela AA. Antioxidant potential and phenolic acid content of certain cucurbitaceous plants cultivated in Egypt. Nat Prod Res. 2010;24(16):1537-45.
- Nema NK, Maity N, Sarkar B, et al. Cucumis sativus fruit-potential antioxidant, anti-hyaluronidase, and anti-elastase agent. Arch Dermatol Res. 2011;303(4):247-52.
- Rock K, Fischer JW. Role of the extracellular matrix in extrinsic skin aging. Hautarzt. 2011;62(8):591-7.
- Watt FM, Fujiwara H. Cell-extracellular matrix interactions in normal and diseased skin. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2011;3(4).
- Chung JH, Seo JY, Choi HR, et al. Modulation of skin collagen metabolism in aged and photoaged human skin in vivo. J Invest Dermatol. 2001;117(5):1218-24.
- Fisher GJ, Varani J, Voorhees JJ. Looking older: fibroblast collapse and therapeutic implications. Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(5):666-72.
- Available at: http://www.smartskincare.com/treatments/topical/palmitoyl-oligopeptide-palmitoyl-tetrapeptide-7-matrixyl-3000.html. Accessed February 27, 2018.
- Available at: http://www.smartskincare.com/treatments/topical/Matrixyl3000report.pdf. Accessed February 27, 2018.
- Record IR, Dreosti IE, Konstantinopoulos M, et al. The influence of topical and systemic vitamin E on ultraviolet light‐induced skin damage in Hairless Mice. Nutrition and Cancer. 1991;16(3-4):219-25.
- Shibata A, Nakagawa K, Kawakami Y, et al. Suppression of gamma-tocotrienol on UVB induced inflammation in HaCaT keratinocytes and HR-1 hairless mice via inflammatory mediators multiple signaling. J Agric Food Chem. 2010;58(11):7013-20.
- Gehring W, Fluhr J, Gloor M. Influence of vitamin E acetate on stratum corneum hydration. Arzneimittelforschung. 1998;48(7):772-5.
- Gonullu U, Sensoy D, Uner M, et al. Comparing the moisturizing effects of ascorbic acid and calcium ascorbate against that of tocopherol in emulsions. J Cosmet Sci. 2006;57(6):465-73.
- Darlenski R, Surber C, Fluhr JW. Topical retinoids in the management of photodamaged skin: from theory to evidence-based practical approach. Br J Dermatol. 2010;163(6):1157-65.
- Mukherjee S, Date A, Patravale V, et al. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clin Interv Aging. 2006;1(4):327-48.
- Fisher GJ, Wang ZQ, Datta SC, et al. Pathophysiology of premature skin aging induced by ultraviolet light. N Engl J Med. 1997;337(20):1419-28.
- Randhawa M, Rossetti D, Leyden JJ, et al. One-year topical stabilized retinol treatment improves photodamaged skin in a double-blind, vehicle-controlled trial. J Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14(3):271-80.