Eyes and lips display the most wear and tear, followed by the skin of the neck and jowl areas. Sun damage leaves its marks in pigmented lesions most visibly, but, as clients age, they will also see strong signs of degradation in the deeper wrinkles and thinner skin of the facial quadrant. When treating eye and lip concerns, it can be helpful to create a plan for the spa where such indications are addressed in a three-step manner. The first step takes the age of the client into consideration and, whether preventative or restorative, the treatments and modalities used should be specific to the delicate nature of the skin. The second step requires acknowledgement that botanical stem cells, water magnets, exfoliants, and detoxifying agents are all relevant for caring for the eye and lip area. The third step encompasses the homecare regimen, which must be specific to each client. Eye and lip treatments should be part of the three-, five-, or seven-step routine and must be re-evaluated on a regular basis.
During a skin care treatment, the skin is at rest. It is the most malleable time for the skin as a significant amount of the musculature is relaxing; it is also an ideal time for skin care professionals to use a modality or series of modalities to help with the treatment. The skin of the eye and lip area is most closely related to that of the neck, so it is recommended to move in a consistent and predictable direction in these areas, including upward against gravity and with a lighter touch. Fourth finger application of eye and lip serums, followed by detoxifying and hydrating eye and lip creams will provide a smoothness to the ocular and oral regions of the face and encourage blood flow in healthy directions. A light, yet confident, touch used by the fingertips is also relevant when using modalities to treat these unique facial concerns.
A modality is a method of treatment typically using physical techniques for improving skin health and appearance, which enhances the efficacy of topical facial treatments. Modalities help with the penetration of ingredients, the smoothing of skin, and the stimulation of blood flow within the skin. CO2 fractional laser, for example, is used to tighten the upper eyelid area in a way pharmaceutical grade topicals are not able to do because of the depth of penetration of the laser and the chemicals. Other examples of top surgical procedures include eyelid surgery and partial face lifts, both of which affect the area in question. Some of the top nonsurgical procedures include injectable methods, such as hyaluronic acid fillers; manual exfoliations, such as microdermabrasion and dermaplaning; and mild-to-medium depth chemical peels. The degree of intensity is important for the efficacy of the treatment, as well as the preparation of the skin that goes into the homecare and professional treatment regimens prior to the procedures of choice. Since some of the medically prescribed treatments that go deeper than those used for superficial dark circles, wrinkles, puffiness, and dullness of the skin, the results are often more dramatic, despite the fact that they require a longer down time. Nevertheless, there are many inflammatory concerns and side effects of the rougher methods as a mindset across the board and many professionals prefer the tried and true methods of less invasive skilled skin care and continue to attract followers and keep clients for the long-term, which also beautifully partners with the more aggressive treatments to help restore, regenerate, and rejuvenate the skin after it has been aggressed.
Microcurrent performed around the ocular ridge, in the upper cheek area, and around the jowls and lips re-educates the facial musculature. Iontophoresis as a modality increases product penetration and encourages lymphatic and blood circulation and production of collagen and elastic. The microcurrent increases the activity of all cellular processes. When cellular metabolism is increased and works more efficiently, the fatigue (or what appears as sludge from a cell’s viewpoint) is dissipated. The activity of the mitochondria is enhanced and enhances the ATP cycle that is responsible for the overall health and responsiveness of each skin cell. When skin care professionals use microcurrent at 350 nanometers, the result is light-activated rejuvenation, specifically blue and red light treatments, that can be helpful when there is a need for anti-aging treatments or congestion reduction. With proper eye protection, light treatments are safe and highly effective. The efficacy of such treatment includes a range in nanometers between 600 to 660 for red light – deep into the dermis – and 410 to 470 for the blue light – affecting the epidermis as far down as the dermal-epidermal junction. Light treatments encourage circulation. The red light treatment also stimulates the release of ATP and, therefore, acts as an energy source for DNA replication. When there is an enhanced energy source in the skin cells, there is an increase in the metabolism of the cell and an acceleration in the oxygenation and respiration process – all of which are excellent benefits for anti-aging skin therapy. While the entire face is most often treated with light, the eyes and lips are not exempt from benefiting beautifully from such modality work.
Microdermabrasion, when done with a light touch and a small tip, will be a reliable anti-aging technique for these delicate areas. It is preferable to use the diamond-tip microdermabrasion machine around the eye and lip areas, and even on the lips directly for dryness and circulatory stimulation, rather than aluminum oxide powder machines, which can create irritation in the eyes. When using microdermabrasion techniques around the eye and lip, hold the skin taut and prepare it beforehand with proper cleansing and degreasing. Afterwards, treat the skin with proper serums and masking topicals.
The largest organ of the human body, the skin, is constantly being assaulted by environmental and internal factors that compromise its powerful, protective barrier. When compromised, the skin is more susceptible to water loss, free radical invasion, a reduction in protection from the sun’s rays, toxic buildup, and other microorganisms. Compromised skin in delicate areas takes longer to heal and can leave drastic scaring. As mentioned earlier, the proper homecare and treatment room protocol makes a significantly positive difference when inducing a reaction within the skin towards cellular change. Knowing the features, which are the key or active ingredients, and the benefits of those ingredients will give professionals confidence and credibility while navigating the claims of the hundreds of skin care products specifically manufactured for the eye and lip areas.
When treating the skin of the eye in a treatment room, the product intensity will vary, depending on the scope of the practice; the propensity of the immediate result will vary, as well. Thanks to potent botanical ingredients, such as fruit stem cells, and powerful peptide combinations, the results-oriented scope of treatment is available to aestheticians and registered nurses. Using galvanic current for eye treatments successfully refreshes and renews the look and feel of dehydrated, aging, and congested skin, when used with high-potency serums. Best performed after cleansing, exfoliation, and facial massage, galvanic current helps to bring back the appearance of vitality and youthfulness from tired-, sad-, old-, and drab-looking skin.
Flushing stagnant fluid embedded beneath the lower eyelash line with ball rollers, topical detoxifiers, and lymphatic drainage massage motions can contour the eye area and eliminate dark circles and discomfort, as well as the client’s self-consciousness. Fennel and vitamin K as active ingredients in routinely applied topicals are credited with increasing lymphangion contraction. Lymphangion is the actual, functional unit of a lymph capillary or a lymph vessel. The lymph vessel lymphangion is muscular in structure, contrary to the capillary, and is capable of contracting on its own. As a result, pressure in the lymph vessel moves in one direction when all is normal.
The results of non-invasive eye treatments are shorter than more advanced surgical procedures, which are sometimes necessary for cosmetic and functional reasons. Dermal fillers add fullness to the face, diminishing facial lines and restoring volume. The areas of the facial quadrant that are more affected by age-related volume loss include the lips, cheeks, under eyes, and chest. Besides extrinsic factors – such as sun exposure, lifestyle, and genetics that contribute to deep lines and volume loss – intrinsic aging contributes to a loss in subcutaneous fat. With the thinning of this subcutaneous fat layer, the facial quadrant muscles work more closely to the skin, creating deeper smile lines and crow’s feet. The end result is always improved when there is an emphasis on a regular homecare regimen for the eyes. Powerful peptides for wrinkle-filling and enhancing the surface of the skin, in conjunction with fruit stem cells for rejuvenation and regeneration, are beautifully effective in plumping and lifting trouble areas. They also fill areas of trauma, like acne scars, lifestyle wounds, and uneven pigmentation due to their restorative and reversal effects.
Gel and cream eye and lip treatments that are most effective in nourishing the skin, as well as creating a protection for the delicate areas, are most helpful. It is personal preference as to whether a gel or a cream will be more beneficial for the indication for which each client is being treated. The product must be used at least every 24 hours. If it is cumbersome, does not sit right under sunscreen, or seeps into the eye, the client will not use it or repurchase the product. Professionals want adherence and cooperation in the program, so the product should be user-friendly. Creamy, textured products for the eye and lip areas will be most helpful when used at night as an occlusive barrier, as less sensitivity or reaction will arise from the area, and the product will create an additional barrier for the skin. Lip treatments during the day that use nourishing lipids and botanicals, such as evening primrose oil and cactus extract, will be favorites for some clients because the product hydrates dry skin around the lips. For clients who are prone to milia around the eyes or congestion, such as blackheads, around the lip area, gel-based products will be preferable. Lipstick lines, water bottle lip lines, or smoker’s lines are irritating signs of aging due to repeated actions.
Pursing of the lips and squinting of the eyes are repeated actions that create wrinkles. These habitual, repetitive motions have a tendency to leave a long-term legacy on the face. Fillers and laser treatments will bridge the gap between the products applied to the surface of the skin. These products are sometimes not enough to undo the damage, but are always necessary components required to improve the appearance of the skin to prevent further degradation. They also give the professional a fighting chance to successfully resurface, hydrate, and renew the skin. Professionals should give their skin the chance it deserves by getting enough rest and hydration, feeding it at home consistently, and taking it to a skin care professional on a routine basis.
A native San Diegan and UCLA alumna, Tami Rumbaugh gained experience from the medical laser industry and is currently an aesthetician for clinics in La Jolla, Calif. and Palm Desert, Calif. She also consults for a variety of projects within the aesthetic industry. As an educator for CA Botana, Rumbaugh shares her love for skin care techniques and the science behind getting great results with fellow skin care professionals, as well as students in the industry.