“The skin around the eye, known as the periocular skin, is unique, fragile, and sensitive,” Robyn Gmyrek, a board-certified dermatologist at Park View Laser Dermatology, explains. “It is the thinnest skin on the face, and it has fewer oil glands, making it more prone to dryness. If we allow this delicate skin to get dried out, this will compromise the skin barrier, leading to an increased risk of inflammation or irritation and even infection. In addition, the periocular skin is usually the first area where we see signs of aging, starting in the third decade of life. If dryness, inflammation, and irritation occur, this will lead to even more extensive and premature skin aging.”
Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent dryness. Gmyrek says the best thing you can do is focus on strengthening the skin barrier since a damaged barrier won’t be able to hold onto moisture. You can do this by using gentle, non-irritating skincare products, including a hydrating eye cream. Products that irritate the skin are no-gos since irritation can cause microscopic breaks in the skin surface and compromise the skin barrier.