Updated 3/11/17. One time I was flipping through a magazine when I read a top beauty editor saying, “I never use eye cream because I haven’t found one that actually worked.” So it got me thinking. If a top editor at a major publication, who is given a lot of skin care products on a daily basis from beauty brands from around the globe and has surely tried many of them is saying this, then certainly consumers must be feeling this, too.
Do I really need to use an eye cream? What do they really do?
Let me start by saying that eye creams and other skin care products are not absolute miracles like some cosmetic companies and their sales people make them sound to be. We are under the impression that eye creams will remove all the lines and wrinkles and make the skin under the eyes smooth and youthful again. If you use an eye cream thinking it’s a quick fix, this is just not possible. More invasive treatments such as Botox will make the biggest difference for dramatically smoothing the eye wrinkles away, but an eye cream simply cannot do this. Can they help to prevent wrinkles and keep this area moist and younger-looking? Absolutely yes…
The skin around the eyes is ten times thinner than that of the face and has very few oil glands. Combined with blinking 10,000 times a day, squinting and smiling, this area is the first to show the signs of aging and so it’s important to treat this tender area by using an eye cream every single night. Skin cells are like fish and they need water to live so you need to keep the hydration levels up to prevent it from moisture evaporation which leads to premature skin cell death.
For an example on the powerful effects of topical moisturization, I always refer back to a study done on stretch marks in pregnant women. It showed that women who applied lotion to their stomachs several times a day (with any kind of lotion, no specific magic ingredient) had fewer stretch marks than those who rarely moisturized. When the skin is hydrated topically, it keeps the skin’s structure intact to keep it supple so the wear and tear is less. This means moisturizing definitely works. So in the case of the eye area, since it is constantly moving from smiling, squinting and rubbing, an eye cream will definitely prevent collagen and elasticity breakdown, resulting in fewer premature lines and wrinkles.
There have been many breakthroughs in the science of moisture retention and when choosing an eye cream, it’s important to use one that is well-formulated and doesn’t use petrolatum or mineral oil. Instead, choose eye creams that use good emollients and barrier-repairing oils like sunflower or jojoba oils. These natural oils are much better for repairing the skin and preventing trans-epidermal water loss so the skin is kept moist and supple—the way it needs to be to prevent visible aging. I recommend for my clients to use Total Eye Repair Cream and/or Vitamin C Eye Brightener. They offer different benefits in addition to hydration, but are very powerful formulas.
Trust me, eye creams do work. I swear by them and I personally use them every single day and night. Do I still have wrinkles around my eyes? Yes. I’m in my late 40s and this is normal, but when looking at my siblings and parents to see how they age under the eyes, I feel as I’m doing much better in this area simply because I’ve taken such good care of it. (Here’s a recent picture of me and my oldest sister. I often get mistaken for her daughter.) I do also use a retinol serum called Advanced Resurfacing Serum which when used long term can really help build up collagen and smooth the skin both on the face and under the eyes. Using a performance ingredient like this in your routine makes for a great complement to eye cream. If you’re not using a retinol product and you want your skin to look smoother, you really should be using it.
Note: Eye creams do not have to be heavy and greasy to give perform at their best. In fact, if an eye cream is too greasy, it can migrate into the eyes and cause under eye puffiness which then unnecessarily stretches out the skin causing a weakening in elasticity. Not good at all!
Also, it’s so important to keep the eye area protected from the sun by using sunglasses when outdoors and making sure sunscreen is used near the eye area during all daylight hours.
Bottom line, invest in a good eye cream and commit to wearing it faithfully.
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