Did you know that 80% of the impressions you receive from the world come from your eyes? They are by far the sense we rely on the most and yet how much time do we really spend looking after them?
Probably not enough.
Eyes are complicated little systems of information transfer that get used more than any other of our senses. We cover them in makeup, force them to stare at a scrolling Instagram feed for hours, choose "cute" sunnies over protective ones -and yet we expect them to work perfectly and be the windows to our souls. Don’t they deserve a little extra thought?
Of course they do!
Here are five things you can do for your eyes right now to keep them healthy and gorgeous:
1. Start taking a supplement specifically for your eyes
We take them for our bones, our joints, our guts, our skin - but most people forget to top up their intake of vitamins that specifically support eye health.
Start with Lutein, which is an anti-inflammatory phytonutrient found in green leafy veggies, egg yolks (put them back in that omelette!), citrus fruits and anything orange.
Research out of Harvard University shows that just six milligrams a day of lutein lowers the risk of macular degeneration by about 43%, so it isn’t just hype. You can also get Lutein in a supplement form if you feel you aren’t getting enough.
2. Keep them clean
How much of your eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow gets into your eye? Quite a bit, actually.
Ophthalmologist Dan Reinstein suggests that many dry eye and red problems are caused by mascara particles blocking the tiny pores along your eyelid. To limit the amount of contaminants that actually enter your eye, make sure your makeup brushes are very clean – like immaculate. Clean them with your natural shampoo or foaming cleanser at least once a week and don’t let other people use them.
Also, make sure your makeup isn't out of date. Most products have a shelf life of three months and organic products might be slightly less and you definitely don’t want mould, bacteria or yeast growth near your eyes. Use it up within a few months or recycle it and get a new one.
3. Use natural or organic makeup
Cheap makeup- and even some very expensive makeup- can be a toxic jumble of ingredients. How do these sound: petroleum by-products, coal tar, parabens and formaldehyde?
Yeah – we thought not.
Even natural ingredients aren’t always something you want going straight into your eyes, though, so read your ingredients carefully and get your products from companies that source very clean ingredients and natural pigments.
We love Ere Perez as an Australian company committed to healthy natural eye makeup and we especially love their natural mascaras made with almond and sunflower oils.
4. Give them a break
How much time do your eyes spend staring at a screen? In Australia it is about 400 minutes a day. Yep – over six hours a day. Staring at a screen exhausts your eyes far more than any other activity. There is glare, radiation, flicker and contrast to deal with. Not to mention the constant refocusing you have to do if you are scrolling or changing websites.
Excessive use actually causes something called Computer Vision Syndrome which is the optical version of carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive strain. How do you avoid this?
Take regular breaks. Get your eyes tested annually and if you get glasses, ask for ones that filter screen radiation.
5. Take care of the skin around your eyes
This is delicate skin doing constant work. You blink around 15-20 times a minute – that’s over 28 thousand times a day. There is no other external body part doing that much work.
The eye skin is in near constant motion while you are awake, so you want to protect it and keep it healthy. Part of this is making sure it gets plenty of rest at night.
As with your makeup, you don’t want foreign or toxic ingredients anywhere near the skin around your eyes. But you do want powerful active ingredients that will strengthen the dermal layers, promote healing and boost collagen production.
We developed our Pineapple Enzyme + HA Brightening Eyelift Serum with exactly this in mind. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) keeps the skin hydrated & supple due to its high water retention ability while Pineapple is helpful in reducing dark circles & correcting the visible signs of aging. Pat your eye serum on before moisturiser both morning and night and occasionally give your eyes a firm but gentle massage to boost blood flow to the skin and to reduce puff.
So there you have it – eye health made easy! Start right now by finishing up this article and taking a screen break. Wander outside, stare as far into the distance as possible and take a few deep breaths.
Your eyes with thank you for it.
Feature image: Dolla Gill