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chica con sombrero en la playa aplicándose crema en el contorno de los ojos

Continued and unprotected exposure of the skin to solar radiation can lead to wide-ranging damage. However, the risk is much greater for the skin located around the eyes, due to the fact that it is extremely thin and especially delicate in comparison with that of other parts of the body. It is therefore important to protect it properly to avoid premature ageing, the formation of wrinkles and fine lines, photoageing and even certain eye diseases.

What is the eye contour?

The eye contour is a term that refers to the skin located around the eyes and also includes the skin on the upper and lower eyelids. As indicated above, it is particularly sensitive skin due to its thinness: It is approximately ten times thinner than the skin on the rest of the face because of a lighter dermal structure, a lower quantity of subcutaneous fat and a lower amount of elastin and collagen, two molecules that affect the elasticity and resistance of the skin.

Why is protecting the eye contour especially important?

The thinness of the skin around the eyes, and its reduced availability of protective molecules, makes it more likely to suffer the damaging effects of sun exposure. This includes sunburn, damage to the DNA, hyperpigmentation, flaccidity and serious eye problems, such as cataracts or macular degeneration. As a result, the skin around the eyes requires specific care to protect it from the signs of early ageing and from eye conditions. Comprehensive care that does not neglect any solution.

Items to correctly protect the eye contour from the sun

Science has been aware of the fineness of the skin around the eyes for a long time, which has led to companies that deal in the production of cosmetics aimed at offsetting this. However, beyond sun creams and protection, there is a series of physical items that may be of great help in safeguarding this part of the face. It is important to consider the two as additional solutions and not necessarily alternatives.

Moisturising creams

Moisturising creams, especially those containing hyaluronic acid, improve the skin’s structure and ensure it preserves some of its key molecules better. They can help strengthen the skin around the eyes, which will make it more resistant to the damage caused by UV rays. However, for in-depth protection, the use of moisturising creams with wide-spectrum sun filters is recommended. Not as replacements for sun creams, but in addition to them.

Sun creams with UV protection factor

Sun creams are designed to protect the skin from solar radiation. They are usually based on two different mechanisms: the use of chemical solar filters that absorb the sun’s rays, such as avobenzone or octinoxate, and the use of mineral solar filters, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which disperse the sun’s rays before they penetrate the skin. In the case of the skin around the eyes, the use of sun creams with a minimum SPF of 30 is advised, with an SPF of 50 being recommended for people with sensitive skin.

Special make-up for the eye contour with UV protection

Make-up for the eye contour with UV protection contains ingredients that enable it to meet two different needs: to highlight the positive features of the face and to defend the skin from the action of the sun. Chemical and mineral filters can be used for the latter. However, it is important to select make-up with a sufficient protection factor and that is water-resistant, along with wide-spectrum formulas, so that it protects from the entire range of sunlight and is not washed off when in the sea or the pool.

Wearing suitable sunglasses

Applying cosmetic products with sun protection makes the difference when exposed to the sun, but they are not enough to avoid damage, when this exposure is extremely intense and prolonged. This is why exposure must be limited. Where this is impossible, it is worth taking precautions and use other protective resources, such as sunglasses. You must make sure they provide wide-spectrum protection, sufficient cover by being of a sufficient size and a quality lens that looks after your visual health.

Wearing a hat or cap

Wearing something on your head that provides shade for the eye contour is also a good alternative to limit sun exposure. In this case, apart from ensuring it is large enough to cover this delicate area, it is essential to wear something that meets the needs of the time of year: caps or hats must be made of light materials that allow the pores on the head to breathe in the summer. This will protect the eye contour and the head itself.


Both cosmetic protection and physical protection can considerably reduce the impact of solar radiation on the skin around the eyes, but there is a preventive measure that must be applied on an everyday basis and not necessarily at the specific time of exposure. Getting enough antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as vitamins A and D. This should be ingested through food, although the use of supplements might be recommendable in certain cases.