With age, skin undergoes a decrease in collagen and elastin production, leading to a loss in thickness and elasticity, which all cause crepey skin. This is especially true for the already thin areas of skin, including some of the thinnest skin on the body underneath the eyes. In order to treat crepey skin under the eye, it’s important to understand its main causes. This blog will explain seven common causes for crepey skin under the eyes.
01 What causes crepey skin under the eyes?
Crepey skin is the result of skin thinning and a loss in structural proteins, such as collagen and elastin. Sun damage is the biggest cause of crepey skin. If skin is left unprotected, the sun’s UV rays can degrade its strength and structure-building collagen and elastin, making skin irreparably thinner and less resilient over time.
Though UV damage is the primary cause for crepey skin, the development of crepey skin can be triggered or enhanced by additional factors, including:
Alcohol consumption: Since alcohol causes dehydration and exacerbates inflammation in the skin, it can accelerate the aging process and the development of crepey skin1.
Smoking: Much like UV rays, smoking damages collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, leading to the accelerated development of fine lines, wrinkles, and crepey skin2.
Stress: An increase of cortisol in the body has been linked to a decrease in collagen production. With less collagen to provide structure to the skin, the development of crepiness can become enhanced3.
Unbalanced diet: When a diet is lacking in essential nutrients, in particular vitamin C and antioxidants, the skin is unable to properly maintain its strength, leading to an enhanced crepey skin texture
Poor sleeping habits: The body produces collagen and repairs tissue during sleep, so inadequate sleep can result in a weakened skin barrier4.
Age: As the body naturally ages, collagen synthesis becomes less efficient, resulting in crepey skin texture5. For women, this is especially true. Since estrogen stimulates collagen biosynthesis, the decrease in estrogen production that accompanies menopause causes a marked decrease in collagen production6.
02 What are effective methods for managing crepey skin under the eyes?
The best way to protect yourself from the development of crepey skin around the eye area is to moisturize and protect the skin from sun damage. Compounds like allantoin possess hydrating and elasticizing properties, while moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid maintain water levels within the skin7
. Besides moisturizing your skin, you can also use a skin care product that can help boost collagen production, such as OneSkin’s Topical Supplements to help tighten skin under eyes
. In particular, OS-01 EYE has been shown to increase a key marker associated with collagen production, COL1A1, and decrease a key marker associated with collagen degradation, MMP1, in ex vivo human eyelid skin models.
03 How can you prevent crepey skin from forming under and around your eyes?
Though protecting against sun damage is by and far the best way to prevent crepey skin, reducing alcohol consumption and smoking, ensuring a balanced diet, and getting adequate sleep are all habits that can help prevent and alleviate crepey skin. In general, it is recommended that individuals apply sunscreen at least every 2 hours to remain effective against UV rays8
04 What are the most common treatments for healing crepey skin under the eyes?
While there is no magical "cure" for crepey or dry skin around the eyes
, there are some treatments that can help bolster skin elasticity
, thickness, and strength. Common skin care treatments for crepey skin include moisturizers, peptide eye creams
, and retinoids. Retinoids help alleviate the appearance of crepey skin by stimulating collagen production. However, it is not recommended to use retinoids around the eyes, as they are often irritating to skin, especially to thinner areas9
. Moisturizers are a better alternative, as they tend to be more gentle to the delicate skin around the eyes. Search for moisturizers that contain ingredients that boost collagen production, such as OneSkin’s OS-01 peptide moisturizer
, which has been shown to boost key markers associated with collagen production in lab studies. Other invasive treatments, such as injectable fillers, can be used to help alleviate the appearance of crepey skin. These dermal fillers help add volume underneath the skin to reduce the appearance of sagging, however, they do not target the root of the issue, which is the loss in skin elasticity and thickness1
05 How can you tell early on if you are developing crepey skin under your eyes?
A common early sign of crepey skin is the development of fine lines and wrinkles surrounding the eyes due to a decrease in elasticity. As the skin continues to dry out, you may also notice a dull or lackluster appearance to the skin accompanied by irritation or inflammation. Finally, dark circles under the eyes may become more pronounced as the skin becomes thinner and more delicate. With this increased fragility, the blood vessels under the skin can become more visible, potentially leading to darker circles beneath the eyes.
06 Can topical supplements help heal crepey skin?
As crepey skin is predominantly caused by a loss of collagen and elastin
in skin, a topical supplement that helps bolster the synthesis of these key compounds and enhances barrier function can help to address the root cause of crepey skin. OS-01 EYE has been shown to increase a key marker associated with collagen production, COL1A1, and decrease a key marker associated with collagen degradation, MMP1, in ex vivo human eyelid skin models. Combined with sunscreen, OS-01 EYE can help target the root cause of crepey skin and reduce its appearance.
- Crepey skin is primarily caused by sun damage, and can be further enhanced by alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, a poor diet, poor sleeping habits, and age.
- Wrinkles, dull skin, and dark circles are the first signs of crepey skin developing beneath the eyes.
Topical skin care products that help enhance collagen synthesis may reduce crepey skin at the source.
By Felix Tajanko: Felix is studying Bioengineering at the University of California - San Diego and is passionate about scientific writing as well as the research of hormones and microhemodynamics.