It’s fairly obvious that we get wrinkles as we age. What may not be so obvious is that there are areas of the body that are more prone to wrinkles, fine lines and crepey skin. Of these, the area that’s most affected is the area around the eyes. From puffy skin, to crow’s feet and listless looking skin, this area is the most susceptible, and also the most obvious. It’s an area that you can’t really hide. Wrinkles on the neck, chest, the butt or the arms can be hidden, but the area around the eyes are hard to keep covered. Even sunglasses won’t do it.
So why is the area round the eyes so prone to showing off those wrinkles and fine lines so early? All things being equal (in other words, not taking diet, sun exposure or genetics into the equation), the skin in this area is one of those places where it’s thinner than almost anywhere else on the body. As we age, that skin becomes thinner still. Now if we bring a bad diet into it, where eating too much sugar and processed carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, and baked goods can lead to damage in your skin’s collagen. Collagen keeps your skin springy and resists wrinkles, and as we age, the production of collagen in the body slows down. And then there’s the UV ray issue: if you like being out in the skin without protection, you can bet that you’re exacerbating the onset of premature wrinkles. UV rays prompt the formation of free radicals within the skin, which damage the skin’s elastin fibers, contributing to wrinkling. People with fair skin have less protection against UV-induced skin changes and tend to develop more wrinkles than people with dark skin. And last but not least – age. As we get older, our skin becomes less elastic and more fragile. Decreased production of natural oils dries the skin and it appears more wrinkled. As fat in the deeper layers of your skin decreases, loose, saggy skin and more-pronounced lines and crevices appear.
Enter silicone. Medical grade silicone has been used in the medical industry for years. It’s been used to treat keloid scarring, and quite effectively. Silicones are polymers (large molecules) that are made of repeating units of siloxane, a chain of alternating silicon atoms and oxygen atoms that are often combined with carbon and/or hydrogen. Medical grade silicones are used for silicone scar treatment products. These are silicones that undergo specific testing for bio-compatibility (safe to use in the body) and have been deemed appropriate to be used for medical applications.
When skin is wounded due to an injury, surgery, or other trauma scar, tissue develops as part of the body’s natural healing process. This stimulates cells called fibroblasts to grow into granulation tissue where they produce collagen to seal the wound. Collagen is a structural protein that gives the skin firmness and elasticity. Unfortunately, when the body produces too much collagen, the result is a raised, discolored scar, however silicone can help reduce the appearance of these scars. Silicone can be used to treat wrinkles in very much the same way as scars.
Silicone increases hydration of the stratum corneum (uppermost layer of the skin). As silicone starts to work, it regulates fibroblast production and reduces collagen production. This allows the skin to breathe, resulting in a softer and flatter scar. Silicone can also heal scars from bacterial invasion which induces excessive collagen production. One study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery examined 30 patients to determine the efficacy of silicone gel for the treatment of hyper-trophic scars and keloids. Hyper-trophic scars are raised and red whereas keloid scars continue growing past the original scar boundaries with a raised and often lumpy appearance. In this study, the patients applied a silicone gel as a thin film to the scar area twice a day. After 6 months, researchers found that the silicone gel produced an 86% reduction in texture, 84% in color, and 68% in height of scars. When wrinkles are treated in this similar manner, they are less noticeable, the skin appears plumper and hydrated and smoother.
So when silicone is used on the thin areas around your eyes, it’s a safe and non-invasive method of softening that area and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Instead of silicone gel, you can use silicone sheeting, or pads. The very best quality silicone pads have been manufactured using a platinum curing process, (as opposed to a peroxide process) which eliminates any residue — so it results in a 100% silicone pad. The pads are gently placed on clean skin and pressed down to adhere.
The silicone is naturally sticky. Some manufacturers may introduce adhesives into their products in order to exaggerate the adhesive quality, but stay away from these. The adhesive can cause your skin to break out, resulting in irritation and or itchiness. Your skin should be free of any lotions or oils. You must wash the treatment area with a mild soap and thoroughly dry that area before you use the silicone pads. While some people can see results after a couple of hours, the best results are obtained after a period of 6-8 hours, and continuous wear of about 2 weeks. So if you have puffy skin underneath your eyes, crow’s feet or fine lines around your eyes, consider a safe, non-invasive, inexpensive and proven method of reducing wrinkles.