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The Importance of Eye Creams

If you’re keen to address specific eye contour issues – or prevent them from developing in the future – a specialist eye cream is an excellent addition to your skincare routine.

The eyes might be the windows to the soul, according to the famous saying, but the skin around them also tells us plenty about our physical state of affairs. That’s because pretty much everything can affect the eye area, from mild illness to medication, from poor diet to dehydration. Some people are simply genetically prone to certain eye issues, such as dark circles or puffiness – although lifestyle factors also play their part. If you’ve been partying hard, for example, or are a heavy smoker, your eyes will give you away.

Even if you eat well and usually get plenty of sleep, the skin around your eyes is particularly vulnerable to premature ageing. That’s because it’s thinner, more sensitive, and has fewer oil glands than the rest of your face. This means that wrinkles, dryness, dullness and pigmentation are very common concerns. While no one product can permanently address every single issue – especially if the problem is genetic or down to internal ill health – your eye area really does merit some specialist TLC. The key is to choose an eye cream formulation that suits your skin’s specific needs, and to apply it correctly.

How do I choose the right Eye Cream?

There are a few elements to take into consideration before buying an eye cream. These should include your skin type and condition, any particular concerns, and also when you plan to use it. Daily sun protection is vital, even in the winter. So for your morning routine, do look out for an eye cream that includes a sunscreen (ideally SPF30 or above). Because the skin around the eyes is so thin, it’s even more likely to be damaged by UV rays. Around 5-10% of all skin cancers occur in the eyelid, despite its comparatively small surface area. 

SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defense provides broad-spectrum SPF30 sun protection that’s safe to use on the entire eye area, including the lid, as its non-migrating formula won’t run into your eyes. Formulated specifically to meet the needs of thinner, sensitive skin, this formula includes Jojoba Oil to moisturise and strengthen the skin barrier. It also incorporates a sheer, flattering tint that creates the perfect canvas for make-up application. Mineral sunscreens (as opposed to chemical formulations) create a physical protective barrier, and act like a shield to deflect the sun’s rays. They tend to be a better choice for sensitive, irritated or reactive skin, so this multitasker really is an all-round excellent eye cream option.

Night-time Eye Creams

If you’re keen to make an eye cream part of your evening skincare routine, it’s well worth considering a formulation that features some form of Vitamin A, such as Retinol or Bakuchiol (a vegan alternative that tends to be less irritating). Retinol is regarded as one of the most effective anti-ageing ingredients available. Importantly, it helps to stimulate the production of collagen, increases elasticity, and improves the appearance of lines and wrinkles. 

However, Retinol is not without its drawbacks. It can cause a range of side effects, including redness, dryness and increased sun sensitivity (which is why it’s traditionally used at night). As the skin around the eye area is often extra sensitive to start with, it’s vitally important to get the dosage right.

Medik8’s r-Retinoate Youth Activating Cream Day & Night Eye Serum is an absolute game-changer. It features Retinyl Retinoate, a non-irritating version of Vitamin A that is eight times more powerful than Retinol. This wonder ingredient visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles, smooths the skin’s texture and evens skin tone. Best of all, because it’s photostable, unlike traditional forms of Vitamin A, it doesn’t break down in sunlight. This means it’s suitable for use both night and day, and is gentle enough for all skin types – even sensitive. 

Eye creams for different skin concerns

The texture of your eye cream is another important element to consider. If you’re prone to puffiness and/or dark circles, it’s best to avoid heavy formulations. Instead look out for gels or serums, such as Emma Hardie’s Midas Touch Revitalising Eye Serum. Suitable for all skin types, this is a lightweight but powerful product that addresses multiple signs of ageing and signs of fatigue, without clogging pores.

Conversely, if your skin is very dry/dehydrated – or you suffer from eczema or psoriasis – look out for richer, more nourishing eye creams. Mature skin will love Swissline’s Cell Shock Luxe-Lift Eye Cream, which offers all the anti-ageing advantages of the brand’s renowned Luxe-Lift face creams, in addition to ingredients that specifically target dark under-eye circles. This ophthalmologically tested eye cream hydrates and nourishes the delicate skin around the eyes, countering sagging and dryness. Its key ingredients include marine collagen, colloidal gold, silk protein and Bio-Mimetic Growth Factors, to boost collagen synthesis and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier.

Eye creams for sensitive skin

Fragrance-free formulations tend to be best for red or reactive skin. If you find the skin around your eye area is especially sensitive, Avène’s product portfolio is definitely worth exploring. Each product contains Avène’s famous Thermal Spring Water, which is clinically proven to soothe skin irritation.

Avène’s Physiolift Smoothing Eye Cream is a great anti-ageing all-rounder. This versatile formulation targets fine lines and wrinkles around the eye contour area, brightens dark circles, and decreases puffiness. In addition, antioxidant Pre-Tocopheryl helps to counter free radical damage and boost luminosity, while Hyaluronic Acid hydrates and plumps skin.

Whichever eye cream best suits your needs, always use as directed. A little eye cream usually goes a long way, so don’t ever be tempted to use too much. Applying more than is recommended is likely to hinder, not improve results; could well cause irritation; and will almost certainly waste your money!

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