Do Eye Creams Really Work? The Skincare Basics
In my opinion, the debate around eye creams necessity has been magnified in the past few years. Or maybe I am more aware of it? It all starts with the claim that the skin under our eyes is special and delicate, and precious and it needs more love and care. But under the microscope, it looks the same as the rest of our face.
So are eye creams just tiny expensive moisturizers and a waste of money?
Disclaimer: recommendations are based on my own experiences and one product might work for me but not for you. Please do your research to further decide if this is something you wish to try.
Undereye skin area and how is it different
The skin around our eyes is much thinner and delicate than the rest of our face. It shows fatigue and signs of ageing quicker than the rest of our face. We constantly blink, squint, and goodness gracious – RUB our eyes. This makes the skin prone to more wrinkling. Water retention in the tissues can also cause puffiness. It’s natural to think that you need a specific eye cream to tackle that type of problems.
Eye creams for dark circles problems
Some types of dark circles are caused by genetics. They cannot be fixed unless you get some type of intervention. So, unless you have puffy dark circles caused by the water retention in that area, nothing will help. The claims on that cream are bogus. Put it back on the shelf.
I don’t struggle with dark circles and bags unless I have had a particularly bad night sleep. Otherwise, I only have a light blue tint caused by my veins, which no eye creams can ever fix.
Eye creams for fine lines and wrinkles
Wrinckles all around the eye area are bound to happen. It is a very active part of our face that expresses emotions in all sorts of ways.
Unless you have some awesome genetical structure of the face that makes it less likely to. For example, when I smile I get little to no creasing where crows feet usually form. I am so thankful for that. Otherwise, I struggle with wrinkles in the inner corners of my eyes. But I have given up hope because just like with dark circles, the claims on eye creams are mostly bogus. One single cream will not erase the signs of ageing, but I do find that the right product can delay them.
The sun is the number one cause of premature ageing of the skin. I will repeat this as much as needed. The eye area is especially prone to sun damage because of the thin skin. This is one of the things that gets me the most. We never emphasize on the necessity to use sunscreens. As for our face and body, the eye area needs to be protected from the sun, yet rarely an eye cream has an SPF in it. So next time don’t shy away from dragging your sunscreen to your eyes. Equally, you may buy a separate dedicated eye area sunscreen that is eye-safe.
Milia and eye creams
Contrary to a popular spread myth, eye products don’t cause milia. There is no obstruction of pores happening. Milia bumps are keratin bumps, which result in an impaired process of skin turnover. It’s dead skin build-up and they usually resolve on their own. Try and have a professional remove them, or treat them at home.
I find that regular exfoliation with a gentle AHA on a cotton swab, and plenty of moisturizers do the trick.
What do professionals say?
For this post, I have looked up to some interviews with professionals. Here is what I have found in common:
- It is ok to apply your usual moisturizer around your eye, under the condition that it is suitable for it. This is because the eye area has few oil glands and needs emollient products. So if you, for example, use a moisturizer for your oily skin, it won’t be appropriate for the dry eye area.
- Also, some types of creams are simply not tested to be eye-safe, a thing to keep in mind.
Caffeine is an excellent ingredient to look for in an eye cream or eye mask if you suffer from puffiness. It will calm the are and also reduce the dark circles if it is possible (not genetical, etc.).
Retinol, peptides, vitamin c, are also good ingredients to look for in an eye cream. Serums as such cannot be applied around your eyes because it will cause sensitivity. Eye creams are formulated with percentages that are more suitable and tested for the eye area.
In my opinion…
Here are my two cents. In my research for the best eye cream, I have found 3 eye products that have worked for me. Now like I said I don’t have dark eye circles, I rarely get very puffy, and my primary struggle is fine lines in the inner corner.
- The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%: if you struggle with dynamic fine lines around the eyes, I find that this is the best product I have tried. Argireline is often compared to botox however it is no such thing. It will not dramatically stop you from having facial expressions. It will, in the same way as Botox, lightly relax your muscles and thus relax the dynamic lines. I have vertical lines formed from squinting and, from what I can see comparing photos, they have very slightly relaxed. I have also made a conscious effort to stop squinting and believe me, it is not easy.
- Pestle and Mortar Recover: sadly, I no longer have this in my collection. It is on the pricier side, but ingredients-wise I find that it is very much worth it. You get an emollient cream (avocado oil, squalene, shea butter) that depuffs your eyes (caffeine) and helps stimulate collagen production (peptides which are the building block of proteins such as collagen). At the time I was using my insomnia was in full mode. But my undereye area looked so pristine that I got compliments. I immediately had an AHA moment: this is a good product!
- Laneige Eye Sleeping mask: this product is fairly recent however I am convinced it is doing me good. You see, when I look for an eye product nowadays, I always got for the most hydrating one. It makes life easier. So the Laneige Eye sleeping mask ticked all the boxes. It has caffeine and is full of humectants (ingredients that draw water from the environment into the skin). I find that my eye skin looks so much plumper with continued use. And it is also such a treat. The applicator it comes with is a ceramic ball with which you can massage the under-eye area. It stays cool so it is such a pick me up at the end of the day.
Tip: apply your eye products on the occipital bone rather than the immediate und eye to avoid your product migrating into the eyeball.
Tip2: apply your eye products in the beginning of your routine, to ensure you don’t add them on other products that inadvertently can get in that area.
Bottom line is that: if you have a temporary condition (i.e. puffiness, dark circles), eye creams are worth a shot. Otherwise, your emollient-rich moisturizer can do the work for you (if your eyes are not sensible). You might have noticed that I kept the eye products out of my skincare routine basics because they are not exactly a product you cannot live without.
I am team eye creams because it became a habit. Also, I am genetically predisposed to milia, so using a hydrating dedicated product is better in my opinion.
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