Under-eye masks are patches that are placed directly on the periorbital area, more specifically under-the-eye region. They are comma-shaped, self-adhering patches that give essential and beneficial serums to the skin around the eye. They contain potent ingredients that provide a boost of hydration and anti-inflammatory properties under the eye.
The skin around our eyes is the thinnest and most delicate when compared to the skin covering other parts of our bodies. It also contains fewer oil glands, leaving them susceptible to damage. Various factors that can cause damage to the under-eye region include:
- High levels of sun exposure
- Lifestyle habits such as lack of sleep or poor sleeping habits, stress, poor diet, dehydration, smoking, and overindulging in alcohol.
- Genetics and age
- Glaucoma eye drop treatment
Without proper care of this delicate under-eye skin, the following may result:
Hyperpigmentation (dark circles)
This is the discolouration of the under-eye skin. It may show in different colour shades, depending on the person’s skin colour. It can be caused by anything from genetics to lack of sleep. It is usually not a cause for alarm.
Puffiness (eye bags)
Puffiness is the swelling of the under-eye region. It can be caused by several factors such as consuming food with high amounts of sodium and lack of sleep. Apart from under-eye masks, at-home solutions such as cool compresses can be applied to help reduce the inflammation.
Fine lines and wrinkles (crow’s feet)
Since the under-eye skin is so delicate, the first signs of aging tend to show around this region. Squinting, grimacing or smiling also contribute to the appearance of crow’s feet.
The under-eye doesn’t have any oil glands. Therefore, without proper eye care, it is easy for the area to dry up. It is often caused by excess sun exposure, make-up, living in dry climates, and using hot water. Dry skin presents itself as irritation, soreness, cracked and flaky skin, and redness.
Also Known As
- Under-eye pads
Under-eye masks come in different materials and sizes, depending on the manufacturer.
The different types include:
- Clear films
Under-eye masks are made to cool the skin and reduce any inflammation present. They are not designed to treat completely, but rather to control the appearance of unwanted traits. It is recommended that under-eye masks be used regularly together with eye creams, sunscreen, and serums to help with any problem areas.
Under-eye masks play a role in controlling, reducing, and eliminating the appearance of dark circles, under-eye puffiness, fine lines, wrinkles, and dry skin. Under-eye masks can also help to:
- Tighten the skin under the eyes.
- Plump up the under-eye skin by providing hydration.
- Brighten the area around the eyes, giving them a more energized, fresh look.
- Lower the appearance of fatigue or lack of sleep.
There are hundreds of under-eye masks available in the market. Each has a combination of different serums and beneficial ingredients that seek to target and control a specific issue. Therefore, when selecting an eye mask, it is essential to know what element is more suitable for a particular problem. The most common ingredients in under-eye masks include:
Retinol (Vitamin A)
It helps with boosting collagen production, which is responsible for strengthening the skin. It helps to reduce, smooth out, or prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This component helps the under-eye region be brighter, tighter, and well hydrated due to its brightening and collagen-building properties.
Constricts blood vessels resulting in low redness of the skin.
Provides a moisturizing and calming effect, which helps with reducing puffiness.
It works by hydrating and plumping up the skin, giving users a ‘glow’. It can help to target dark circles, dry skin as well as hyperpigmentation.
This component has antioxidants that help soothe the skin, anti-inflammatory agents, which help reduce swelling. It aids in making the skin tighter and more resilient.
How TO Use
- Under-eye mask users are required to start with a freshly cleansed face, free of dirt or make-up.
- Some under-eye masks instructions recommend putting them in the fridge for a few minutes before use. This helps to increase their cooling, anti-inflammatory properties.
- The user will then apply the mask at the appropriate region, around the eye.
- Every under-eye mask has its own application time. It varies anywhere between 15-30 minutes, with some requiring that it be left on the area overnight. Check for these details on the packaging.
- Once the application time is over, take off the mask. If there is any residue left on the skin, gently tap it on the under-eye and eyelids to allow maximum absorption.
There is no defined frequency of use as it differs from one under-eye mask to another.
Potential Side Effects
Because the under-eye region is very sensitive, the user could feel some uncomfortable or irritating sensation. In case this happens, s/he is advised to take off the under-eye mask immediately and discontinue use.
It is also necessary to not leave the mask on for longer than the required time, as this can result in a skin reaction.
Most under-eye masks need to be stored at room temperature. However, some ask to be refrigerated to increase their soothing properties. Please refer to the under-eye packaging for its specific recommended storage details.