Andrew Petrou - Skin Doctors

Eyes are quite often the first area to show the signs of ageing, but it’s also the most delicate. I recently had the opportunity to meet up with eye care specialist Andrew Petrou to dig a bit deeper into the world of eye care.

Andrew works for Skin Doctors, who currently sell the scientifically acclaimed Eye Tuck, which is great for giving brighter, smoother and less puffy eyes.

Darren at Mankind: Andrew, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. To start, perhaps you can tell us why the eye area is more delicate than the rest of the face?

Andrew at Skin Doctors:
You’re welcome, it’s a pleasure. The eye area is more delicate because it has virtually no sebaceous glands, which makes it highly prone to dryness. It is much thinner, and stressed by frequent eye movements and squinting, so it becomes prone to expression lines and wrinkles and may become sensitive.

Darren: I’ve sometimes found that the area can be quite prone to puffiness and dark circles too. Why?

There are a few reasons, but it’s mostly because the skin around the eyes overlies a particularly dense capillary network and has minimal fat padding, so the puffiness and dark circles you talk about become more visible.

You can trace early-morning puffiness to activities of the previous day – you drank too much fluids at bedtime, ate salty foods, spent all day with head bent over in the garden or stayed up half the night!

The worst of the ‘swelling’ subsides after been up for a while as the fluid is reabsorbed by your body. Persistent puffiness can be due to varying severity of poor lymphatic circulation and increased capillary permeability.

Caffeine has long been touted as the ingredient to help reduce puffiness, botanicals such as chamomile can also help as do tannins (from tea). Look for gel/serum like textures as these can deliver ingredients quickly and wont overload the area.

[Darren: Okay great and what about dark circles? What can some of our customers do to deal with it?

Most people associate this with tiredness, stress or sleepless nights. The key reason for these, however, is genetics. What you inherit is the predisposition of weakened capillaries in the skin around your eyes. Blood ‘leaks’ from these and the dicolouration is caused by the ineffective breakdown of the blood. A lack of circulation, resulting in less oxygenated blood in the area is also a major contributor. Of course, a hectic lifestyle does not help, so add pollution and smoking to the major causes and you simply looking at an exacerbated problem.

There are some ingredients that can assist by neutralising the appearance of dark pigmentation caused by bilirubin (biodegraded blood) and iron. Vitamin K1 has also been shown to help with blood coagulation and may have a positive effect on repairing the capillary wall thus strengthening weakened capillaries. Some botanicals can also assist in brightening the skin, hence minimising the look of dark circles. Many eye creams also include optical ‘diffusers’ that help to scatter light away from the problem thus making the skin appear brighter.

Darren: Just bouncing back to the start, you said earlier that the eye area is prone to dryness. What can our customers do to help fight this?

Well, if they do only one thing for the eye area, it would be to keep it moisturised. Seriously. Dryness can often be a precursor to sensitivity, so moisturisation is a basic essential. Of course, given our current technologies, you can combine basic moisture with ingredients geared towards specific concerns. Also, wear sunglasses where possible!

Darren: We talked about one of those concerns, puffiness a moment or so ago. Another problem our customers have is fine lines and wrinkles, but what would you say causes these?

Well, it’s hard to give a single cause for fine lines and wrinkles because there are just so many possible ones. We do know that the sun causes most damage by increasing free-radical activity, damaging collagen etc. Smoking also, increases free-radicals. Then there are expression lines and wrinkles, caused by repeated ‘wear and tear’ when we make a host of facial expressions.

Darren: Ah yes, l think they’re politely called laughter lines aren’t they! So, are there any specific ingredients that our customers should be looking out for to help diminish these lines?

Well, Vitamin A (retinol) helps to diminish this. Recent advances have allowed a multiple number of ingredients to be micronized and combined for specific eye are use. Glycolisation is the process whereby the collagen and fibres become rigid, so avoid sugar.

Skin Doctors Eye Tuck

There are some anti-ageing ones too. Look for ones with broad UVA/UVB filters and anti-oxidants, these should not be negotiable (common types are vitamin A, C, E, but there are several others that are effective, such as glutathione and co-enzyme).

Darren: Very interesting! So, we’ve talked quite a bit about the ingredients customers should look for when buying eye care products. Out of interest, what would you say have been the biggest breakthroughs in this market, not just in terms of ingredients but also formulas, application methods, etc?

As with the whole skincare market, advances have been staggering. The huge rise in cosmeceutical strength formulas on the market have made finding super products that much easier. Ingredients previously thought to be to harsh for this area have been incorporated into formulas, like encapsulated retinol (Tagravit R). Peptide technology is also making its way into eye care formulas, like Matrixyl 3000 for lines, and Tetrapeptide-5 has been shown to have a draining effect on the area under the eyes. Previously incompatible ingredients have been combined. You also have advances in plant stem cells that have made it into eye area formulas. The role of genetics and how damage to cellular DNA can be addressed is huge at the moment.

Darren: Wow, so it sounds like there’s plenty to keep us on our toes! Andrew, thanks for taking the time to talk to us – you’ve been great.

Do you have any questions or feedback for Andrew? Add a comment below or write on our forum and Andrew will personally respond to each.

>> Look out for information about our new competition (coming soon!), when we’ll be giving away several free Skin Doctors Eye Tucks, each worth over £30- to help get you on your away to looking great for Summer!

Darren | Mankind



Make Up Specialist

Major fan of scented candles, Make Up brushes and Highlighter. I’m always on the hunt for those Holy Grail products and my dressing table is covered in more beauty products than I like to admit. As an adopted Northerner originally from Brighton, I spend most my days wondering what all this rain is about. My hair isn’t grateful for the move. Currently loving: NIOD Photography Fluid