Men’s Eye Care 101: Wrinkles, Bags, Puffy eyes, oh my!

Men’s Eye Care 101: Wrinkles, Bags, Puffy eyes, oh my!

Answers to men’s most popular eye skin care concerns

At Bodé, we’ve done hundreds of facials! During most of our consultations, guys frequently ask questions about their eyes. The skin around your eyes is amongst the thinnest on your body. It is comparable to 1-ply tissue. So naturally, they are the first to show signs of concerns.

The top 4 eye concerns for men are: 1) wrinkles, 2) bags, 3) puffiness and 4) dark circles.
In this article, we will cover the first three concerns. 


1. Wrinkles

close up on man's wrinkles in corner of eye. Also known as Crows' Feet.

Wrinkles around the eyes. Also known as crows’ feet.

What causes them?

We covered wrinkles and aging in this stand-alone article, Wrinkles: Why men get them and How to fix them. It contains a lot of useful information, such as what happens to your skin as you grow older, and ways that you can stay looking younger than your ID.

Wrinkling around the eyes (aka crows’ feet) is oftentimes one of the earlier signs of aging. Our eyes are constantly moving and making expressions (smiling, squinting, etc) all day long. Add natural aging and UV damage to this extremely thin-skinned area and it’s clear why.


What can you do?

If you want an eye cream to help minimize wrinkles, look for ingredients like hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate. Both of these ingredients are hydrators that can plump up the skin. Hyaluronic acid works at the surface-level to smooth and hydrate, and sodium hyaluronate does the same on a deeper level. If you can find a formula that contains both ingredients, that’s great! You will be treating hydration on both levels.

Chemical exfoliants and retinol are also great ingredients that will gradually minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Check the directions on the box to be sure it’s safe to use around the eyes before you apply a chemical exfoliant in the area. If you’re not sure, ask the therapist who recommended the product or contact the product company directly.


2. Bags

bags under man's eye

This is what actual bags under the eyes look like.

What causes them?

Guys often complain about having “bags under their eyes”, but many of them don’t have any. Having “puffy eyes” is not the same as having bags. This structural pouch underneath the eye is often caused by a combination of fat herniation and skin laxity. They are genetic and a normal sign of aging.


What can you do?

Not much can be done for the bags directly. This condition can also include some puffing and dark circles to be present, so you can perform the recommendations to treat these secondary symptoms.

A surgical procedure exists called blepharoplasty. This procedure entails making tiny incisions to remove the excess fat. Here is a link to MayoClinic’s page on bags for more detail.



3. Puffy Eyes

mild puffiness under the eyes is usually temporary


What causes them?

Puffy eyes are the result of temporary swelling and pooling of fluid in the eye area. There are many possible reasons for this swelling:

  • allergies
  • lack of sleep
  • dehydration (low water consumption, alcohol)
  • high salt diet
What can you do?

Applying cold compresses on the inflamed area can help temporarily bring some relief. For instance, you can put 2 teaspoons in the refrigerator or freezer, then hold them against our under-eyes. You may have come across an eye cream that was packaged with a metal roller ball applicator. The metal ball is believed to temporarily reduce the swelling by distributing the lymphatic build-up and cooling the area.

Lots of eye creams that are marketed to reduce puffiness employ caffeine in their formulation. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it constricts blood vessels. The idea is that the caffeine reduces blood flow to the area, thereby reducing the appearance of inflammation.

Dr. John G. Zampella, M.D., assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman department of dermatology at NYU Langone Health, says that “the studies that have been done on caffeine have been relatively mixed, with some showing an effect and some do not”. According to Dr. Zampella, caffeine is only going to help if your issue is puffiness. And, even that data isn’t particularly convincing. You can read more about his thoughts on caffeine and puffy eyes in this SELF article.

All of the tips above are temporary solutions to treat the immediate symptom. Being well rested and drinking enough water are common lifestyle recommendations. Puffiness is often worse in the morning, and will diminish throughout the day as the accumulated fluid drains. If you suffer from allergies, managing your allergies and using anti-histamines will likely reduce the inflammation under your eyes.