When you think about exfoliation, you think about physical and chemical exfoliation. And both of those things sound too harsh for that delicate skin around the eyes. We’ve been advised to be extremely careful with under-eye care and to avoid pulling or tugging. So if you’re wondering why on earth people would want to exfoliate the under eyes, I’ve got one irregular noun for you; milia! That’s a pretty legit reason why you might want to learn how to exfoliate the under-eyes.
But there are additional benefits to it. Exfoliation around the eyes is a great way to increase cell turnover and to get rid of flaky skin around the eyes. It helps with collagen stimulation, which helps with reducing the look of crow’s feet, and wrinkles.
It also plumps up the skin, increases its elasticity, and gives you a more youthful appearance around the eyes. Plus, exfoliating the skin around the eyes makes your eye products penetrate better. That way, you make the most of your eye masks and products as the skin’s better able to absorb them.
Having said that, under-eye exfoliation isn’t something you’d want to do regularly if you’re not experiencing any issues around the eyes. It’s not a preventative thing or a maintenance thing like a facial exfoliation.
Rather, it’s beneficial for people who’re dealing with wrinkles around the eyes, hyperpigmentation, and milia. Going out of your way to regularly exfoliate around the eyes for no good reason can cause sensitivity, and inflammation around the eyes.
If you think it’s time for an eye makeover, there are things you need to keep in mind and things you need to avoid. Below are the best ways to exfoliate your under-eyes.
1. Use a cloth
If you want to exfoliate your under-eyes by using a physical exfoliant, it’s best to use a cloth. Instead of exfoliating when your skin’s dry and vulnerable, try steaming first.
When the skin around the eyes is softened, use a damp and warm cloth to sweep off skin flakes under the eyes and below the brow bone. It’s important to be very gentle about it. Avoid applying too much pressure and excessive stretching of the skin.
2. Stay away from scrubs
Using a facial scrub is risky for your face let alone your under-eye area. Scrubs with granules, depending on the product, have the potential to irritate your skin.
Plus, even if the granules are too soft to damage the skin, the additives in the scrub can very well irritate the eye area.
3. Don’t DIY
Similarly, making your DIY scrub like a sugar scrub is pretty risky on so many levels. You don’t have enough control when you’re rubbing particles around the eye area.
Even if you don’t see it, you’re very likely to scratch your skin and cause micro-tears. Those tears end up causing inflammation and redness around the eyes.
4. Use chemical exfoliants
Chemical exfoliants like alpha, beta, and polyhydroxy acids, contrary to how they sound, are much safer than physical ones. It’s the same for exfoliating your eyes.
But you can’t use your facial exfoliants like toners or lotions or peels around the eyes. Even though most of us are guilty of breaking this rule, you don’t want to bring those high concentration exfoliating toners near your eyes.
To safely use exfoliants around the eyes, use products that are made for the eye area. Instead of taking a risk by using your peel pads under the eyes, use exfoliating eye creams and masks.
5. Switch to retinol
Retinoids exfoliate the skin by increasing cell turnover. By stimulating collagen production, retinoids get rid of the top layer of the skin revealing a smoother layer.
Using a retinol eye cream or a serum will reduce your need to manually get rid of dead skin cells. Not to mention, retinol is incredibly anti-aging and the perfect ingredient to get rid of wrinkles.
So this is how you can exfoliate the skin around the eyes. Under-eye exfoliation is helpful when you’re dealing with milia, and flaky skin, which tends to make your concealer look patchy too. But again, if you don’t have any issues there, it’s best to leave it alone.
Read Next: How To Exfoliate Sensitive Skin