I like to think I have a fairly moist face, as far as faces go. I moisturize after every shower, which feels like a considerable amount. But compared to my silky cheeks and chin, the area between my eyes — smack-dab in the middle of my otherwise syrupy face — is a barren wasteland. It flakes. It peels. What’s the deal? Why is the bridge of my nose dry as a desert?
As dermatologist Anthony Rossi explains, “The skin around and under the eyes is some of the thinnest skin we have on our bodies and can be quite prone to sensitivity, either from products or weather.”
Therefore, if you experience dryness around your eyes like I do, Rossi suggests opting for moisturizers made for sensitive skin — and making good use of them, especially in dry weather. “Using a good moisturizer on all of these areas — one that’s non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) and not sensitizing (devoid of fragrances) — is helpful to keep the areas moisturized and hydrated without irritating them,” he says.
This may be especially useful if your dryness turns out to be seborrheic dermatitis, the same skin irritation behind dandruff. “The area between the eyes that overlies the nose, and the skin around the eyebrows, have sebaceous glands that are prone to seborrheic dermatitis, or flaky dandruff of the facial skin,” Rossi explains.
Mild seborrheic dermatitis can be managed by using moisturizing cleansers (as opposed to ones with strong fragrances, which can be irritating) and moisturizers that contain ingredients like niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that has anti-inflammatory properties. And if you suspect that you have seborrheic dermatitis, avoid exfoliating, as too much scrubbing can make the scaling and redness even worse. But if you see no results even after changing up your routine, it may be time to pay your dermatologist a visit.
But first, can you help a friend and dab some moisturizer between my eyes?