When Shakira crooned that her hips don’t lie my only thought was, “I wish I could say the same about my eyes”. Yes, my peepers like those of many others are often a blatant proclamation of my age. In fact, they often lie and add a few years to how old I actually am.
But, when I look around and see the majority of folks walking around with panda eyes, I can’t help but see our role in this ungainly affair. After all, we are living in a day and age when being glued to computers screens and smart phones, perpetual stress, late nights and unhealthy eating have all become hallmarks of our time.
And without a doubt, our peepers do bear the brunt of our excesses. Unfortunately, concealers can only do so much to hide those ugly eye bags, under eye circles, fine lines and crow’s feet. Come to think of it, it is this very realization that has spawned an entire sub-sector in the skincare industry.
Say Hello To Eye Creams!
Go to any online or offline store that stocks skincare goods and the ubiquitous presence of eye creams is hard to miss. Aside from the famed serums, these are the most expensive offerings out there. Actually, what stuns most buyers is how much they are expected to shell out for how little!
Now, I agree that my peepers, and I am sure yours too, are in dire need of some TLC, but is that tiny tube or jar of extremely expensive cream really going to help as its maker’s promise? I mean, don’t we all have moisturizers and skin serums that promise the very results that eye creams are purported to deliver?
Your Moisturizer And Even Your Precious Skin Serum Cannot Hold A Candle To Your Eye Cream!
Bet that statement shocked you as it did me. No, the problem is not with your trusted moisturizer or your favorite serum but with the physiology and chemistry of the skin around the eyes.
- The first problem is that the skin under and even above your peepers is several times thinner than that on the rest of your face.
- To add to the problem, this truly delicate and thin patch of skin gets worked to death. Remember except for the time when we are sleeping, your eyes are constantly moving. In fact, if you consider REM sleep, your peepers don’t get a break even when you are snoozing.
- To make matters worse, this area of the face does not have as many oil/sebum producing glands as the rest of the face.
- And if all of that was not enough, we do put our eyes through a lot of torture with our lifestyle choices.
Now, although your serums and moisturizers give you rave results when used on the face. The skin around the eyes is simply different. So, don’t expect the same effects. As a matter of fact, usually a serum is too harsh for this delicate skin while a moisturizer is too heavy and oily for this part of the face.
So, What Exactly Is An Eye Cream?
The best way to describe eye creams would be specialized products, formulated to exclusively deal with the issues of the skin around the eyes. In comparison to regular moisturizers and facial serums, eye creams are gentler on the skin, less oily and are prepared for faster and more complete absorption.
They also don’t contain ingredients that are known to cause allergies such as fragrances, preservatives, dyes, etc. Most of these formulations are in the form of a gel that goes on easy and simply gets absorbed into the skin, leaving behind hydrated skin and a refreshed feel.
But, you can also find products which resemble light moisturizers. While other skincare offerings may cause burning and stinging when applied around the eyes, eye creams offer a cooling and soothing feel.
What Can An Eye Cream Realistically Do For You?
Contrary to what manufacturers would have you believe, not even the best and most expensive eye cream can make wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles and under eye puffiness simply vanish. Realistically, these formulations help to improve the lymphatic movement around the eyes, which aids in removing the fluid accumulation in the under eye area that appears as puffiness and the infamous eye bags.
Many eye creams also help to boost the production of collagen, which helps to remove the sunken look that often causes the dark shadows. These preparations also stimulate cellular regeneration; this deals with the dreaded fine lines and crow’s feet.
A lot of these formulations contain skin brightening ingredients that offer marginal help against dark circles. I say marginal because if your dark circles tend to persist even after a good night’s rest and have been your companions since you were a youngster, think the look of Benicio Del Torro (yepp he does look like he is high on something even when he is not), an eye cream won’t be able to help.
The darkness in this case is simply attributed to the blood vessels showing from under the fine skin around the eyes. So, you can do very little to remedy this except go for some coverage.
I Am In The Market For Instant Results, Is That Even Possible With An Eye Cream?
All those results mentioned sure are encouraging, but you are going to be utterly bummed if you are looking for instant gratification. Yes, you can find products with ingredients that offer a luminous or light deflecting effect. Now, you need to understand that this is just a camouflage technique and not a cure.
Simply put, your dark circles will be hidden but not cured. Realistically, even the most effective eye cream will take about 4-8 weeks to offer conspicuous benefits. However, hydration is something that you will feel almost immediately.
Because of fewer oil producing glands, the under eye area tends to get very dry, regardless of your skin type. Most gel and lipid based eye creams will offer almost immediate results against this dryness and that alone will help to ease out some of the fine lines and creases.
Too Bad, I Am Too Young Or Old To Use An Eye Cream!
For a twenty-something year old, eye creams may seem like overkill. But, remember that precaution beats cure every time when it comes to skincare. In fact, the older you get the fewer your options will be in terms of cure. So, start early and you may be able to delay if not completely prevent issues with the skin around your peepers.
If you are at the fag end of your forties or even fifties and feel it is too late for you to make amends, think again. Never say how bad it can get because things can always get worse. If you believe that the unsightly wrinkles around your eyes are bad now, wait for a few years and you will see them getting progressively worse. With an eye cream, the least you can do is delay and possibly prevent further damage. So, it isn’t too late to include an eye cream in your skincare routine.
Different Types Of Eye Creams!
As mentioned earlier, broadly these products can be segregated into two categories – preparations that are gel based and formulations that are lipid based hence look like lotions/light creams. Also, many manufacturers will offer products for certain age groups.
Finally, eye creams can be divided into various categories based on the results they are meant to offer. Generally, these formulations are made to either tackle wrinkles and dryness in the area around the eyes or under eye puffiness or dark circles.
The Best Eye Cream That Money Can Buy!
Instead of picking a product meant for a specific age group, which is prepared to target a bunch of generic problems, it is best to choose a formulation that is suited to your skin type and specific problems. For instance, if you are in your forties but your primary issue is under eye puffiness and not wrinkles around your peepers, choosing a product that offers anti-wrinkle effect won’t help.
In a nutshell, instead of looking for specific age tags, go through the ingredients list when buying an eye cream. Some of the best products in the category contain ingredients such as:
- Peptides and polysaccharides that stimulate the production of collagen and hydrate.
- Hyaluronic acid, which offers reprieve from fine lines by plumping up the dermal cells.
- Glycerin, urea and other humectants that offer fluids to the parched and dried cells in the area.
- Retinol, which improves cellular growth and deals with fine lines and crow’s feet.
- Vitamin E that provides much needed moisturization and protection.
- Aloe gel, green tea, cucumber that soothe and heal.
- Vitamin C, which helps to build collagen.
- Kojic acid, arbutin, arnica to handle dark circles.
- Vitamin K to improve the health of the blood vessels and prevent broken capillaries.
- Caffeine to boost the function of the lymphatic system.
How To Choose An Eye Cream?
I have already mentioned the bit about picking fragrance-free eye creams. In fact, try a few samplers before actually investing in a product because intolerance builds after a while. That said, here are a few more considerations:
For summer months and if you live in an area where winters are not exceptionally harsh, using a gel based product is the best. In contrast, using a lipid based eye cream that is rich and moisturizing is more appropriate for frigid weather.
If you have oily skin, rest assured that a rich, emollient eye cream will cause trouble as some of it will find its way into the oily T-zone. On the other hand, a gel based eye cream will soothe dry skin but will not offer the protection and moisturization required.
Go for a product that is sold in a tube or pump as opposed to a jar. Dipping your finger into the container every time you want to use the cream will create contamination and bacterial buildup. Plus, in a jar the product gets exposed to air, humidity and light, which can lead to the degradation of some active ingredients.
Specific skin issues
If you are concerned about under eye bags, choose a product that contains caffeine, vitamin B3 and/or green tea that can prevent and treat fluid buildup. For fine lines, it is best to go with a product that contains peptides and for dark circles buy a cream that has Vitamin C and/or Kojic acid.
Time of use
For day time use, you may want to buy a product that contains SPF-30 or greater. For night use, go for a lipid based product that contains vitamin E and vitamin K that will heal and protect.
Using Your Eye Cream!
When treating the skin around the eyes, “gentle” should be the keyword. Whether it is simple application or a pampering massage, exert minimum pressure. Under no circumstances should you tug your skin or rub too much or too hard. That said, this is how you should go about the process:
Take a pea sized amount of the cream on your ring finger and apply in small dots all around the eyes; that is under the eyebrows, the upper lids about a centimeter away from the lash line and under the eyes also about a centimeter away from the water line.
Next, tap/pat the cream onto your skin, simply pressing the active ingredients into the dermal layers as opposed to actually massaging the formulation into your skin. A gel based product can also be spread on cotton pads and placed on the under eye area for a few minutes, giving it enough time to get soaked up.
Once obvious signs of application are no longer visible, with the ring finger, massage the area ever so gently. This is done more to remove the fluid buildup than to aid in product penetration. So, start at the outer corner of your eye, both above and below the eyes and move inward.
If the under eye area is very dry or exceptionally sensitive stick to taps. So, pat the cream/gel in place, lift your finger and then move forward, moving from the outer corner of your eye inward.
Give the cream about 10-15 minutes of alone time on your skin before applying another product or makeup on top.
If using a cream based product at night, apply it an hour before bed time if possible. Right before you hit the sack, dab the area gently with some soft tissue paper. Do not press too hard and only dab on the area within one centimeter of the upper and lower lash line. The idea is to remove the excess cream from the skin that is very close to the lash line from where it may get into your eyes.
For best results, use your eye cream twice a day. Of course, you can use two different products if you so choose. You can also make do with the same product by using your sunscreen moisturizer on top of a gel based eye cream during the day and by applying a rich night cream or moisturizer on top of the eye cream before bedtime.
Also, remember that less is more when it comes to eye creams. Using dollops of the formulation is not going to offer better or faster results, but it may cause stinging as you try to rub it all in or leave you with puffy peepers as it seeps into your eyes.
Getting More From Your Eye Cream
- For a soothing effect, store the eye cream in the refrigerator.
- For puffiness, use ice cubes made from green tea or chilled green tea on the under eye area first before applying the eye cream.
- Use a light lipid-based eye cream as the primer for your concealer. This will help to prevent the notorious cakey look and powdery fine lines.
- If your eye cream comes with luminous effect, go easy on usage as you may overdo it.
Recommended Natural Eye Cream
The 2 all-natural L’orpur Eye Creams “Enriching Botanical Eye Serum” and “Deluxe Indulging Eye Cream” contain organic essential oils (vanilla oil, etc.), carrier oils and herbal extracts specifically developed for All Skin Types and All Skin Types/Sensitive skin respectively. Click here to read more information about the natural eye cream/serum.