One of the most common skincare questions is whether or not you really need an eye cream. Yes, you’re already moisturising your face. Yes, you’re already putting serums on your face. But none of those products has been developed specifically for your eyes.
If you hadn’t figured it out, your eyes can be pretty sensitive. They’re also one of the places we notice the signs of ageing the most. And there’s a good reason we like to gaze into each other’s eyes… they’re kind of important!
The thing is, there are actually quite a few reasons you need to use particular products around the eyes, from the type of skin to the way we use them. But you don’t know if you don’t ask, so we’re breaking it down for you.
1. The skin around your eyes is different
And by different, we mean thinner.
The skin around the eyes is easy to overlook, particularly because it’s such a sensitive area. This is because the skin here is only one-tenth of the thickness of the skin on the rest of our face.
And that means it’s far more prone to fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles and the like. This is all the more true when we’re not taking care of it very well.
Eye cream is specifically designed to work with the delicate skin around the eyes to keep it moisturised and looking bright. Though, of course, it depends on the active ingredients in the formula.
Most eye creams contain ingredients that help to fight puffiness, calm the skin and brighten the undereye area. They can also be plumping, which can soften and blur the lines beneath our eyes and make them look more youthful.
2. There are no pores under your eyes
Our pores are how we secrete sebum (oil), which is one of our skin’s most clever anti-ageing tools. For many, overproduction of sebum can be a constant struggle, causing breakouts and blemishes. But it’s not untrue that those with oilier skin tend to show signs of ageing more slowly.
With no sebum secretion around our eyes, the skin there can grow dry and age more quickly. Without a little help from our friendly neighbourhood eye cream, there’s almost no moisture in this area. So think of your product as the hero your skincare regimen needs.
3. The skin around your eyes is incredibly fragile
Without the benefit of moisture, the skin around our eyes is dry, thin and incredibly delicate. Certainly in comparison to the rest of our face.
With age, our skin tends to weaken and lose elasticity. And where the skin is thinner and more fragile, is where we see this unfortunate truth first. Getting older means noticing fine lines appearing around our eyes (one of the first real signs you’re likely to notice), because the collagen there breaks down and this causes sagging.
This is both a naturally occurring issue, and one that can be aggravated by our environment and other factors. The weather and climate, poor diet, sun damage, air pollution and even our hormones are working against you. So trust us when we say, a preventative eye cream can make the world of difference.
4. Your eyes are working harder than you think
Throughout the day, our eyes are moving almost constantly, whether we think they are or not. On average, we blink around 10,000 times daily, which in itself is a phenomenal amount. Now think about how many times you smile, laugh, frown, squint, cry or even just rub your eyes.
That’s a lot of movement for one tiny, delicate area of skin.
Do you touch your face a lot? We’re willing to bet you don’t touch your forehead, chin, cheeks or nose as often as you touch your eyes. You may even be spending time applying make-up there, which is essentially a variety of small eye movements.
All of this combined contributes to signs of ageing like crows’ feet and undereye circles.
However, keeping this area in tip-top condition, hydrated and well cared for is one way to make sure you avoid these problems for as long as possible.
How To Make Your Eye Cream Work For You
The truth is, if you’re not careful about how you use your eye cream (and how you treat your eyes in general), then your eye cream isn’t going to help as much as you’d like. But there are things you can do to help it along.
Preventing problems in the eye area is far easier than fixing them afterwards. Which is why eye cream is the first thing you need to worry about once you hit your twenties. That’s not to say that you can’t start using eye cream at any time in your life, mind you. But the younger you start, the better.
We aggravate our eyes a lot. From rubbing them when we wake up and are tired, to applying make-up and removing it (especially waterproof mascara). Every time we tug and rub at the delicate skin there, we’re adding to the problem.
So it’s important to ensure you take the right amount of time to pay proper attention to your undereyes. Find the right products to remove make-up gently, without rubbing and scrubbing. And preferably without drying products that contain alcohol.
Cleanse your eyes gently and take care of them as best you can. It’ll prevent you from losing lashes, breaking the skin, and creating problems. When you’re done, then it’s time for your eye cream.
Yes, we know it’s another product in your skincare routine, but this one is arguably the most important. Which is why you need to know how to apply it:
- Use the fourth finger of each hand, (the finger you use the least pressure with).
- Gently pat the cream onto the area, and around the eye socket (which you should be able to feel).
- Keep at it until the cream is fully absorbed.
As we mentioned before, products that contain alcohol will dry out your skin. And the undereye area is far more prone to dryness due to a lack of pores and sebum. Similarly, products with strong fragrances are not only likely to make your eyes water, but can cause your allergies to flare up.
When it comes to eye cream, the simpler the better.
Try Tea Bags
As well as being gentle and applying your eye cream correctly, there are things you can do outside of your usual routine to take extra care of your eye area.
Both black and green tea bags contain flavonoids and tannins, which are antioxidants. Both of these can calm your undereye area thanks to their anti-inflammatory effects. And of course, being teabags, they also contain caffeine, which constricts the blood vessels in the area.
The result? You’ll see less swelling and discolouration in the area. Try this before bed, before you apply your eye cream.
Get Creative With Cucumbers
Or potatoes. But cucumbers are a classic.
Both veggies are great for the undereye area, because both have astringent properties that tighten skin and reduce puffiness. Cut thin slices of cucumber, and… well you probably know the rest.
Place the veggies over your eyes, sit back and relax. When you remove them, apply your eye cream.
Embrace Your Sunnies
Since many of us think of sunglasses as a fashion accessory, it’s easy to forget they’re actually designed to protect our eyes. Which means they’re protecting the skin around our eyes, too.
Rather than going for fashion, choose oversized shades that cover the eye area more thoroughly. Not only are your eyes protected from UV rays, but the delicate skin there is also protected from drying out and being sun-damaged, which can help prevent fine lines, crow’s feet and pigmentation.
Hey, if it worked for Audrey Hepburn, it can work for you too!