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Why is the eye area a specific zone ?

It goes without saying that the eye contour area is a specific skin zone for everyone. In fact, the application of an eye contour care product is an essential step in a complete beauty routine. The skin is mostly considered thinner, more sensitive, dehydrated and dry. In this article, we will detail each characteristic associated with the eye contour area so that you can understand the importance of having specific care for this skin area.

specificities of the eye contour black skinThe skin is thinner

 "The skin around the eyes is thinner. This is the most well-known specificity of the general public. This is, in fact, scientifically proven. It is considered to be 3 to 5 times thinner because it measures an average of 0.40 mm as opposed to 1 or 1.6 mm on other skin areas of the face. This thinning is caused by a loss of density in all of its different skin sub-layers: the epidermis (the most superficial), the dermis and the hypodermis (the deepest). In fact, each of these sub-layers is depleted in its main skin components:

  • The epidermis: Slowing down of cell renewal and loss of adhesion (cohesion) of cells. This is caused by a decrease in lipid synthesis which alters the proper functioning of skin cells.
  • Dermis: Decrease in collagen and elastin fibers (fibers responsible for skin elasticity and tone) but also in glycosaminoglycans (macromolecules responsible for skin hydration)
  • The hypodermis: Reduction of adipose tissue due to the low presence of adipocytes.

The skin is more dehydrated 

The low presence of glycosaminoglycans in the skin around the eyes leads to high dehydration. Indeed, let's take the example of hyaluronic acid, which is the main molecule of this molecular group. Thanks to its structure, it initially has the capacity to capture water molecules and ions, thus enabling it to retain up to 1000 times its weight in water. Considered as the skin's water reserve, its reduction causes skin dehydration, visible clinically by the appearance of fine lines of dehydration.

 

The skin is drier

Naturally, black, brown and mixed-race skins lack ceramides in the skin of their face and consequently around the eyes as well. This low quantity of lipidic cells alters the skin's protective barrier function and accentuates its dehydration by increasing insensible water loss.

In addition, the skin around the eyes contains very few sebaceous glands. This limits the presence of sebum (lipidic body for the skin) which accentuates its dryness and the consequences previously mentioned. This is why we do not recommend applying a mattifying treatment to the skin around your eyes, but rather opting for a moisturizing and nourishing treatment.

The skin is more sensitive

The eye contour area is highly exposed to external aggressions, particularly the sun.

In addition, all of its natural protective barriers are altered. Indeed:

  • Its mechanical barrier, constituted by the cohesion of its cutaneous cells, is weakened.
  • Its hydrolipidic film is less abundant there. The sebaceous and sweat glands are less numerous and the skin has a strong tendency to dehydration. Thus, its constituents such as water, sebum and sweat are reduced, which diminishes its effectiveness.
  • Its skin flora is also slightly different from other areas of the face because its environment, influenced by water, sweat and sebum, is negatively impacted. 

All this accentuates its strong sensitivity towards the other cutaneous zones of the face or the body.

Skin is more reactive

The skin around the eyes is one of the most reactive areas because it contains a high quantity of mast cells. These inflammatory cells generate an immune reaction as soon as the skin is attacked. This is manifested by redness, swelling, pain, etc. They are thus responsible for the frequent appearance of intolerances or allergies around the eyes.

The causes can be various:

  • Use of make-up that is too irritating
  • Use of unsuitable cosmetic products
  • Contact allergy
  • Eczema of the eyelids

The skin is very solicited

Did you know that we blink an average of 10,000 times a day?

The eye contour area contains a total of 22 muscles, 14 of which are constantly in motion. They are responsible for this natural reflex, which aims to maintain a permanent hydration of the cornea.

However, with these 10,000 blinks per day, the skin fibers are more rapidly deteriorated. The skin then becomes less firm and the first expression or age lines appear over time. 

The skin is highly vascularized

The skin around the eyes is richly vascularized to ensure the proper functioning of the eye.  There is a double microcirculation, blood (which drains the blood) and lymph (which drains the lymph). Unfortunately, these are very often slowed down. This phenomenon can be explained in part by the thinness of the skin around the eyes.

Indeed, the wall of the blood and lymphatic vessels is made up of :


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