Having an eye cream as a “must have product” in your routine is not too dissimilar to the chicken or egg dilemma.
There are sooo many false claims on the shop shelves that I will talk about this topic in two separate posts – this one being about hydration and in the next, I’ll be “covering” the dreaded dark circle issue.
Quite literally covering :).
Let’s skip all the cheesy crap about eyes being the windows and soul, and get straight to the point. Firstly, some facts. Of your whole body, the skin around your eyes is where it’s at it’s thinnest. That makes this area the first to show signs of ageing, closely followed by the neck and hands.
The eyes are a very dynamic part of our face – we blink on average 28’000 times a day. When we smile, they smile. They tend to get all salty when watching a video about adopting a dog and squint every time the sun shows up. The under eye area is in an abundance of oil glands, so the skin is normally dryer and almost always dehydrated – this causes the formation of fine lines, crows feet and wrinkles.
This is why it’s really important to understand how to treat it. Rich moisturisers and heavy formulations can cause puffiness, whilst light lotions might not do the job.
Drugstore brands normally launch eye creams which complement every new “innovative ultra-super-anti-age-10-years-younger-after-a-week” moisturiser that they put on a shelf. But if you turn the bottle, read it carefully and compare ingredients with a matching moisturiser, you will quickly realise it’s the same product in a smaller package attached to a higher price tag.
Do you need an eye cream in your life?
For people without any major skin concerns or sensitivity, I don’t believe it’s an essential product in your routine. (slightly hypocritical as I use it occasionally) #strugglesofaskincareblogger
In a nutshell: it won’t do anything your moisturiser cannot do.
There are some situations, though, where a good quality eye cream SHOULD really be a part of your mornings AND evenings.
(1) The area around your eyes is very sensitive – it stings or causes an uncomfortable feeling or even waters when you apply moisturiser close to your orbital bone. In a basic three-step skincare routine – cleanse, tone, moisturise – there shouldn’t ever be any discomforts. If skin starts to sting or turns red – change the product immediately. When you jump on the bandwagon of using some additional treatments – vitamin C, retinol, acids – at the start, tingling is a normal reaction. If using any of these, an eye cream should also be involved to protect the area. If applied immediately after toner, eye cream will protect the area and prevent the absorption of products that may cause irritation.
(2) You have oily skin and use oil-free moisturiser or (god forbid!!) no moisturiser at all. As mentioned above, the under eye area is usually both – dry and dehydrated. It needs a little of both – water and oil. If your skin is on the oily side and you’ve decided not to use any oil on your face (you really could, but that’s another topic) you need an eye cream.
If you find yourself in one of the two groups above, or you’ve simply decided to start using an eye cream, here are some tips on how to make the best of it!
The general rule for applying eye cream is by gently tapping in on the edge of the orbital bone using the ring finger. We use the ring finger as it has a much lighter touch. This is important as touching the under eye area with a tiny bit of cream is understood as one of the biggest skincare crimes.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in a “very gentle handling” of the area. I also believe that as an adult, you should be able to control the pressure of any other finger as well!
What I don’t really get is the application area. We are very careful regarding where we apply the eye cream that is (referring to claims brands make) specially formulated for a sensitive under eye area, but just a few minutes later we are dabbing and patting a full coverage foundation and concealer DIRECTLY onto the same sensitive area.
With the index finger.
Or come to think of it, even with a makeup sponge! Am I missing something here?
And…. all the chemicals in eye make-up removers or wipes we swipe over our eyes at the end of the day to remove it!
My conclusion is that you should treat the area around your eyes with care: use gentle make-up removers (oil power!!), don’t pull it too much and be careful with the products that you use – especially leave-on ones. Those involve make-up products. Don’t apply any moisturiser all the way to your waterline or directly onto eye lids. Don’t pile it up either, hoping it will fix dryness quicker. It won’t! A small amount goes a looong way. Or say hello to puffiness!!
2 Choosing the right product
Good light emollient is the one you’re looking for. Finding the perfect product is once again trial and error. Try to get samples from the counter before you purchase. What usually happens when you start using an eye cream for the first time or when you find a good one, is that it shows results really quickly. If you haven’t paid attention to the area before, fine lines are most likely the result of dehydration. Using a good hydrating product will plump up your skin and fill some of the annoying lines. Don’t get carried away, with time the difference will become less and less dramatic. This is completely normal and certainly doesn’t mean the product isn’t good for you. It’s also, unfortunately, the reason for the myth about skin getting used to products, so you have to switch when the product “stops working”.
It doesn’t stop working.
You’ve simply given your skin what it needs, and now you can continue to maintain it.
The good eye cream is full of antioxidants and is packed into an air-tight pump to prevent the escape of all it’s goodness. Avoid using rich formulations such as heavy butters and oils. (mineral oil and all other petrol derivates are a big no-no – even if they are the last on INCI list). These will cause puffiness.
3 All other “Skinity-on-repeat” tips
Don’t forget to gently exfoliate the under eye area. I said gently, so no mechanical scrubs. Start with some lower AHA concentrated products and increase it with time if you want.
When talking about SPF I know I sound like a broken record, but it really is the biggest game changer in skincare as a preventative measure. And, an abundance of it can cause irreversible damage. Top it off with a stylish pair of sunglasses. I want these, these and these. Everything in the name of my skin health! 🙂
I don’t think an eye cream is an essential part of your routine because I believe a good moisturiser does just as good a job. I am not saying that all eye creams are bad. I just think a lot of them are not worth the money. Moisturising around the eye area is not the only thing you can do to make its appearance smoother and plumper. There is no product that will make a dramatic difference, but you know what, don’t stress too much about those tiny lines. They are a strong indication that you laugh and smile a lot – which means you are a happy person! And I believe that that is more important than the smooth wrinkle-less skin around your eyes!