Life Extension Magazine®

Portrait of woman using cucumber peptides for skin around eyes

Revitalize Skin Around the Eyes

Delicate skin around the eyes sets the stage for crow’s feet, dark circles, and puffiness. A topical blend of cucumber extract and collagen-stimulating peptides can repair these tissues for a more youthful appearance.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. April Parks, MD, MS, in August 2023. Written 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.

Cucumber Extract

Cucumber Extract  

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

Collagen-Stimulating Peptides

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%.

Vitamin E

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

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.


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