Aging is relative — a sliding scale that affects us each individually and personally. Gravity may coax parts of us toward Argentina, but some of us still feel as perky and vigorous as we did in our youth.

With so many ways to improve our appearance or cheat the system, it’s getting harder to guess the age of a stranger. But if you really want to know, look into the stranger¿¿¿s eyes. Not just “into,” but all around, above and underneath. The eyes are the most telling feature of our age. They speak volumes about how well we¿¿¿ve lived, how good we feel and how old we really are. They¿¿¿re called ¿¿¿windows to the soul¿¿¿ for a reason.

The fatty pads on the upper eyelids are prone to the aforementioned southward movement and when they start to drop, the face is altered noticeably. The natural sparkle, or gleam, of the eyes fades as the body tries to keep up with the daily demands of renewal. The whites of the eye, or sclera, are mostly connective tissue and dependant on healthy neurological and cardiovascular systems to keep them clear and bright-white like those of a child.

The skin around your eyes is only about 20 micrometers thick and is more sensitive than the thicker skin in other areas of your body like the feet and hands. Thinner skin is less resistant to irritants that penetrate the epidermis and affect the underlying skin, causing redness or puffiness. Blood vessels showing through or slow blood flow can cause the appearance of dark, under-eye circles. The buildup of lymph translates into puffy eyes. This is why getting a night of too much sleep allows you to awaken looking like you¿¿¿ve had a wild night of partying.

Lines and wrinkles also appear more readily in thin, delicate skin, and can be caused from the emotion you feel on the inside. The upper eyelids lower with extended periods of anger and sadness. Crows¿¿¿ feet, furrows in the brow, droopiness and lifeless eyes are enhanced by various types of excess emotion. Add it all up and yes, there can be a lifetime of stories in your eyes.

The good news is that your face has a muscular structure under the skin. Lift your eyebrows, wiggle your ears, blow a kiss and you will feel it. The more toned these muscles are, the less prone to sagging your face and eye area will be and the more likely it is that you will remain your distinctive, recognizable self.

The thin muscles around the eyes run in a circle. They are delicate and should be treated gently. Never rub your eyes or pull the skin around them. When touching the under-eye area, always work from the outside corner toward the nose. This supports the direction of the muscle and won¿¿¿t cause unnecessary sagging. Use your ring finger, as it is your weakest finger and therefore will be more gentle when applying or removing make up. To apply under-eye cream, put a small drop on the pad of your ring finger. Touch your ring fingers together and apply under eyes, working toward the nose from the temple, patting as you go. Then smooth it into the skin gently in the same direction. During this application, lift your eyelids without furrowing the forehead to add a toning exercise to the treatment.

Avoid tired, lifeless eyes by fueling your body with foods high in nutrients and water content. Eat a variety of produce that is as fresh from the harvest as possible. Bring the life force, or energy, from a fresh-picked peach, tomato or grape into your body and not only will you feel it in your energy level, but you will see it in your eyes. And remember to get in bed on time and get your beauty rest. Good health means eyes that sparkle.

I¿¿¿ll see you in two weeks.

Love and health,

Loa