I used to be very skeptical of eye creams. They *can* be expensive yet they come in such a tiny little pot. There. Are. So. Many. While I was working at a Med Spa years ago, I specifically remember one of the estheticians gasping at the fact that I was 20 and didn’t use an eye cream. She said that anyone 18 and older should be using one. *Nervously giggles*
But WHY? I’m not one for succumbing to societal pressures. However, you can now catch me applying my eye cream religiously both morning and night. So let me break down some facts about eye cream.
WHY DO I NEED AN EYE CREAM?
Well, this isn’t the most exciting news you’ll hear today, but our skin around our eyes is the first area to show aging. This area actually ages 5-10 years faster than the skin on your face. This is due to only having a few oil glands in the skin around your eyes, in addition to the squinting and brow-furrowing that happens to us every minute of every day. Because the skin around the eye is so delicate the fibers around the eye area tend to break down faster due to constant eye movement, sun exposure, and facial tension. If you’re someone that regularly wears eye makeup, there’s also likely been years of tugging around that delicate area while removing eye makeup. Eeek. As we age there is also fluid that forms under the eyes that causes puffiness. Sooooo…
WHY NOT JUST USE FACE CREAM?
Great question. I thought this as well until I started developing milia around my eyes. Milia are small, white, cyst-like bumps that form due to flakes of skin getting trapped under the skin. They are not “pop-able” (you shouldn’t be popping anything anyway, ahem) and generally either disappear on their own or need to be removed by a dermatologist. Milia can form due to thick creams clogging that area and trapping skin under the surface of the skin. Eye creams are specifically formulated to treat that paper-thin area around the eye. Some (I dare say most) oils and thick creams are just too rich for the delicate eye area.
WHEN SHOULD I START USING ONE?
Ironically, that esthetician via the Med Spa I worked at wasn’t wrong. “Prevention is key”. I’d start using an eye cream at 20 or so. We (especially women) start to lose collagen (a major protein in our body, especially in connective tissues) in our skin around age 25. 20 is a great age to start preventing some “signs of aging”. If you’re 30 something and haven’t used an eye cream, don’t freak out. Just start today and love that skin around your eyes. We are not a filter, pal.
WHAT EYE CREAM DO I USE?
Well, first ask yourself what you’re wishing to target. There are many different issues that can occur in terms of the skin health around our eyes. Let me name the big ones.
Dehydration: Oftentimes this will be the first “issue” that we’ll start targeting. Under-eye areas can look dry under makeup. This is likely due to lower levels of oils glands, which result in dry skin. Combat dryness with a super hydrating eye cream. Look for an eye cream with hyaluronic acid, which holds 1000x it’s weight in water. Vitamin E is also very effective in nourishing the skin.
Puffiness: Oh, the puff. Tissues and muscles weaken as we age, which means that fluid and fat can build up in our eyelids and under our eye. This happens naturally, not to mention the puffiness that comes due to lack of sleep, crying, hangovers, etc. My favorite hacks for this are putting eye cream in the fridge. You can also put a Gua Sha tool or Crystal Roller in the fridge. The coolness combined with the facial massage will help reduce the puffiness. I love to use an eye cream with caffeine to combat “the puff”. Caffeine constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling. I also love to use an eye gel mask when I’m experiencing puffiness.
Wrinkles & Lines: I don’t love using the term “anti-aging”. I’m fine with bumps, lines, and texture. It’s a part of being human. However, I am all for skin health and feeling your best - whatever that may mean to you. Like I mentioned above, as we age our collagen levels drop. Using eye creams with Peptides (which help increase collagen production) and Retinol (which helps with cell turnover) will help improve your eye skin health. I also love using my Gua Sha tool to help increase blood circulation and lift in the skin.
Dark Circles: Dark circles are mainly due to genetic factors. Dark circles can happen due to lack of circulation, blood vessels showing through the skin (a bluish color), and overproduction of melanin (brownish color). I love to use a brightening eye cream for dark circles, such as a product with Vitamin C. Retinol can also help with dark eye circles as it helps stimulate new blood vessels, helping improve the skin’s color. Facial massage helps to increase blood circulation, so I love incorporating Gua Sha around my eyes gently as a way to improve the circulation in that specific area.
Multiple Issues: If you’re looking to combat several of these issues, this is what I look for in an eye cream: I look for a Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants prevent collagen damage. Vitamin C also helps brighten the skin. Secondly, I would look for Hyaluronic Acid which holds 1000x it’s weight in water, really helping lock in moisture. I also would use a Gua Sha tool or Crystal Roller (cooled in the fridge!) to help increase circulation and lift. Lastly, have a few eye gel masks on hand to help reduce puffiness.
HOW, WHERE, AND WHEN DO I APPLY IT?
I love to use a cooling, brightening eye cream in the morning and an eye cream with retinol at night. Retinol is a powerful product, and putting it on at night will really do some work while you sleep. You don’t need to use two different eye creams but you certainly can if you’re looking to target different issues.
The best way to apply is with your ring finger or pinky finger, some of our “weaker” fingers. Gently tap onto the skin. I put my eye cream under my eye, in the corner, over my eyelid, and on my brow bone. A little bit goes a long way. And most importantly, apply sunscreen in the mornings after your skincare routine to make sure you’re protecting that area.
MY FAVORITE EYE CREAMS: