The skin around your eyes is delicate and usually the first facial area to age. But sunscreens can be heavy or contain irritating chemicals. Should you or shouldn't you apply sun protection around the eyes?
Eyes are surrounded by some of the most delicate skin on your body. You see your eyes only when looking in the mirror, but everyone else focuses on your eyes most. It's no wonder there's a whole category of creams dedicated to taking care of this important area of your face!
The skin surrounding your eye area is especially delicate for two reasons:
- Eye skin is extremely thin—up to 1/10 thinner than that found elsewhere.
- Skin around the eyes is especially sensitive.
Although skin around the eyes has differences in thickness and sensitivity, it still has the same basic biology as skin elsewhere.
Skin develops wrinkles for two primary reasons:
You may have noticed the skin around the eyes is the first to tell your tales.
- Had a late night? Your telltale sign is dark under-eye circles.
- Been eating too much salt? Your telltale sign is under-eye puffiness.
- Felt the sun on your skin frequently? Your telltale sign is lines.
Just like the skin found elsewhere on your body, the skin in your eye area is prematurely aged by UV light.
Two kinds of UV light reach Earth: UVA and UVB. The UVB rays are responsible for the lobster-red colour of sunburn. But UVA rays give no such early warning of excessive exposure. The longer UVA rays penetrate deeply into skin, causing damage to collagen and elastin.
Collagen and elastin are very important skin proteins. Together, they're responsible for keeping skin plump, youthful, and bouncy. Collagen provides the scaffolding, and elastin provides the brickwork.
The natural ageing process sees collagen manufacture diminish and elastin 'bricks' become more disordered. Imagine a brick wall with fewer scaffolding struts and wonky bricks.
The eye skin shows the signs of ageing first, as it's the thinnest and least resilient skin.
This is why you need to apply sunscreen around your eyes. Daily application helps to reduce photo damage, which in turn reduces your development of premature fine lines and wrinkles.
Due to the sensitivity of the eye area, we recommend using sun protection with physical filters—often called 'sunblock'.
Some of our Adore Beauty favourites include:
- Invisible Zinc Facial Moisturiser SPF 30+
- Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield SPF 30
- Jurlique SPF 40 PA+++ High Protection Cream
Each one of these mineral-based sun creams uses physical filters to bounce UV light away from skin. Unlike sunscreens that can degrade over time and cause sensitivity, physical filters predominantly remain unchanged.
The light-reflecting nature of physical blocks makes them doubly perfect for under-eye areas. The reflecting properties not only defend against sun damage but also help disguise dark circles.
Remember: it's never too late to begin daily application of sun protection. Even if you've already developed fine lines and wrinkles, photo damage occurs 365 days a year.
Browse the complete range of sun protection products in our sunscreen shop category, where you'll find our team favourites among several other Adore-Beauty-approved products.