Essential or Excessive: Should you add an eye cream to your regimen?
When I hit puberty and first started getting into skincare, the two things I immediately started obsessing over were moisturizer and eye cream. It made sense to start early, since dark circles run on my paternal side of the family while puffiness and dry skin run on my mother’s side. While I know from experience that good moisturizers have taken my skin from nightmarish dry patches to chok chok bliss, I have often found myself questioning my faith in eye cream. I've tried many different brands and often have several products in circulation because I have no clear favorites. Mostly I wonder, do they actually work? I decided to finally find out!
Moisturizer and More
There is a longstanding argument from skeptics that eye cream is just glorified moisturizer. At the heart and soul of it, eye cream is a form of moisturizer but it isn’t quite the exact, same thing as what you slather on the rest of your mug. For one, it is specifically created to be compatible with the sensitive skin around the eyes in terms of ingredients, consistency, and comfort. Irritations such as milia, stinging, and morning “gunkiness” are less likely to occur - not impossible but less likely! Often a richer formulation is used because the comparatively fragile skin around the eyes require more intensive treatment.
An Active Discussion
Apart from the physical properties of eye cream, there’s also the matter of these formulations containing active ingredients that address common eye skin problems. Different eye cream formulas will have different effects, so if you have a particular concern that you want to address, it's best to check the ingredients list if it has the right actives you need. Some of the most popular eye cream ingredients include:
Caffeine, a proven dark circle brightener and overall de-puffer. The effect can be instantaneous and temporary, making eyes look bright and more awake.
Hyaluronic acid, which is well-loved in the beauty industry for helping retain moisture of the targeted areas.
Niacinamide, which lightens dark spots and dark circles. It's also famous for oil control properties, so shine-prone gals may want to get this.
Retinol, an anti-aging favorite for its ability to deal with wrinkles may also help prevent the development of crow's feet or the creases at the corner of the eye. It makes the skin more sensitive to the sun though, so using sunscreen is definitely a must!
Vitamin C, a staple in many an eye cream ingredient list for its brightening effect.
Expectation versus Reality
For someone who has been using eye creams since high school, you could say I've been around the block with my eye care products. So why am I having a crisis of faith with eye creams? Well, it’s because the results are hard to remark on unless you see something instant or drastic. And a lot of the time, you can’t expect either.
Lack of sleep, diet, level of stress, dryness of skin, and heredity all factor into the level of intensity of dark circles and under-eye puffiness, so it’s not so easy to point out if the faded dark circles are due to a miraculous eye cream or because you were able to get catch some much needed Zzzs. Over the course of regular usage, however, you will see plumper, more hydrated skin. And, of course, the long-term effect is early wrinkle prevention.
I’d love to know: How long have you been using eye creams, and can you share your own recos?