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How to protect your eye area

Because the fragile skin around your eyes is always in motion, it needs special protection.

Think about it… Every time you smile or laugh – and even if you frown – the skin around your eyes creases and folds.

This constant flexing and stretching dries out your delicate skin. Add in the cold air, low humidity, and drying indoor heat from this time of the year and it really starts to take a toll.

Before long, you’ll end up with tired-looking eyes. Wrinkles become more pronounced, and circles appear darker.

It’s no wonder your eye area is the first place you see the signs of aging. The skin around your eyes is 10 times thinner than the rest of your face and it ages nearly 40% faster!

The secret to reversing this aging is to restore moisture.

But, I’m not talking about the greasy creams you find in most moisturizers. You can apply these lotions day and night and never see results.

In fact, moisturizing this area can suffocate your skin – causing it to age faster!1

I tell my patients at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine that they need to stop moisturizing this delicate skin area and start restoring it with one of the most effective eye-rejuvenating ingredients I’ve discovered.

It called camellia sinensis. It’s a rare white tea made by gently steaming immature tea buds before they bloom into leaves.

White tea protects your skin and keeps it looking younger by slowing the breakdown of collagen. Collagen is the protein fibers that give your skin support and density.

When you’re young, collagen breaks down all the time. Certain enzymes called “matrix metalloproteinases” (MMPs) activate the breakdown. But, you also build up collagen to replace the damage done by MMPs. In other words, you constantly replenish your skin’s foundation.

As you get older, MMPs break down collagen faster than you can replace it. Eventually, you start to notice sagging skin and wrinkles.

But, white tea blocks MMPs.

Researchers at Kingston University in England tested 23 anti-aging properties from 21 various plant and herb extracts. They found that when it comes to increasing collagen, white tea considerably outperformed all of them.2 In fact, drinking white tea was 3-6 times more effective than drinking green tea at protecting collagen.

I recommend having two to three cups of white tea every day.

But you can also apply cooled white tea directly to your skin. Here’s a trick some of my patients use. Freeze freshly brewed white tea in ice cube trays. Rub a melting cube over your skin for a refreshing white tea toner.

Restore collagen to the skin around your eyes

White tea isn’t the only way to restore your skin’s support structure. Here are three more all-natural ways to increase collagen for more flawless skin.

  1. First, cleanse with rose hip oil Rose hip oil contains retinoic acid. It can help tighten skin and improve elasticity. It also helps reverse collagen damage. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, daily use of retinoic acid increased collagen production by 80%.3
  2. Then, perk up your skin with Coffea arabica seed oil. The oil from green, unroasted Coffea arabica beans can help shrink under-eye bags and melt puffiness away. When Brazilian scientists tested the oil on human skin samples, they found it almost doubled collagen production.4

    Coffea arabica seed oil also contains caffeine that boosts blood circulation. Skin studies show caffeine improves drainage to reduce bags and puffiness.5 The oil helps form new connective tissue to smooth wrinkles. It restores the young firmness and flexibility of your skin.

  3. Finally, restore moisture with konjac root. Konjac root (Amorphophallus konjac) contains about 40% glucomannan.6 When it comes in contact with water, glucomannan can expand up to 17 times in size.

    When you apply konjac root to your skin, it soaks up and holds onto moisture. In laboratory tests, konjac retained so much water it increased the thickness of the protective stratum corneum layer of the skin. That’s important to boost the strength of the delicate area under the eyes. Look for natural products with konjac root in the ingredients’ list.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

 Al Sears, MD, CNS


1. Mills o, et al. “Addressing free radical oxidation…” J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016 Jan; 9(1): 25–30.
2. Thring T, et al. “Anti-collagenase, anti-elastase and anti-oxidant activities of extracts from 21 plants.” BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009 Aug 4;9:27.
3. Griffiths C, et al. “Restoration of collagen formation in photodamaged human skin by tretinoin (retinoic Acid).”NEJM 1993; 329(8):530-535
4. Velazquez P, et al. “Effect of green Coffea arabica L. seed oil on extracellular matrix components and water-channel expression in in vitro and ex vivo human skin models.” J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009;8(1):56-62.
5. Herman A et al. “Caffeine’s mechanisms of action and its cosmetic use.” Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2013;26(1):8-14.
6. Glucomannan derived from the konjac tuber. Goerlich Pharma. Published April 1, 2019. Accessed December 20, 2021.