We will never deny our love of skincare, but with so many steps, ingredients and products around, it’s not uncommon to wonder if it’s all necessary.
Eye creams fall into that camp. We know the eye area is prone to unique concerns (dark circles, puffiness and fine lines) but do we really require a dedicated formula for that tiny patch of skin?
Well, yes and no. Let’s just say, eye creams can be either a game-changer or a waste of precious time and money – it comes down to your skin goals and the formula in question.
So, we’re sharing everything there is to know about eye creams and caring for the area in general. Keep scrolling for more.
The Skin Around The Eyes – Explained
The eye area is unique because it is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of the face, and has a lower concentration of sebaceous glands, which means it’s more prone to dryness.
These factors, coupled with the fact our eyes are expressive, can lead to early signs of ageing, often before other areas of the face.
The Intel On Dark Circles, Puffiness And Fine Lines
Most of us will be familiar with the beauty conundrums that are dark circles, puffiness and fine or crinkly lines around the eye area. What is it about the eye area that encourages this?
Let us explain…
Dark circles can be caused by either pigmentation or blood circulation showing through thinned skin. Sometimes it’s lifestyle-related (if you’re tired or dehydrated, you might notice them more so) but often dark circles are genetic. If you’ve unsuccessfully tried every topical under the sun, or notice it runs in the family, the latter is the most likely. Dark circles are tricky to eradicate completely, but what you can do is hydrate and illuminate the eye area, while ensuring you get enough sleep.
Puffiness on the other hand involves fluid collecting under the eyes and is almost always due to external factors like excessive salt consumption, tiredness or an allergic reaction. If you experience puffiness often, try elevating your head slightly while you sleep. A light massage of the area in the morning can also help to drain some of it away, improving the eye contour.
Then there are fine lines – some creasing around the eye is normal, but because the skin is thin, it is prone to more movement and thus, wrinkles. If your eyes are dehydrated, that can also lead to pronounced surface lines. Concealer always creasing? Dehydration lines are probably the culprit.
Do I Need An Eye Cream?
It’s the million-dollar question, right? While it isn’t necessary in the same way sunscreen is, an eye cream is a great inclusion if you want to target the eye area. If puffiness, dehydration, fine lines or general signs of tiredness bother you, expert advice is that you work a targeted formula into your routine.
So, What Makes A Good Eye Cream?
A good eye cream should do three things:
- Immediately hydrate and smooth
- Target your concerns long term
- Feel nice on the skin
To achieve this, it should contain a combination of ingredients that boost water content, nourish, brighten, firm and de-puff. But there's a fine line between an effective formula with active ingredients and something that might irritate or trigger redness.
These are some Skinstitut favourites:
- Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate
- Peptides to firm
- Shea Butter to smooth
- Kakadu Plum to brighten
- Caffeine to de-puff and constrict blood flow
But try to avoid the following:
- Retinol (as a general rule, you should avoid treating the eye area with Vitamin A)
- Alpha- and Beta-Hydroxy Acids (these exfoliating acids can be too harsh for the delicate eye area)
Formulas To Try:
Now for the fun part! These are our go-to formulations, how to use them, and their specific benefits:
Like nourishment in a tube, this formula is a saviour for anyone who wants to smooth the look of lines and replenish the eye contour. It’s packed with lipid-rich Shea Butter to smooth, and Peptides to firm, as well as Marine Collagen to improve cell integrity. Bonus: you can use it to treat lines around the neck, lips, and nasolabial folds around the mouth. Genius!
How to use: Press a tiny amount onto the eye contour – including underneath, above and between the brows – after any serums but before moisturiser (this is to ensure the formula is properly absorbed).
If lines and wrinkles are more your concern, reach for our Peptide-packed Expert Revive formula. The Peptides work to stimulate collagen production and skin repair, firming the look of the skin. It’s also supremely hydrating without feeling tacky or rich, so works a treat under makeup.
How to use: Like the above, apply all around the eye contour after you use serums but before moisturiser and sunscreen.
You might be thinking, ‘a peel, for the eyes?’ but hear us out! Our Enzymatic Micro Peel is a super gentle formula that contains Papaya to remove dull or expired surface cells. Because it only works superficially, it’s great around the eye area, especially if it feels dry, dull or flaky.
How to use: Simply press a little bit on, leave for a few minutes and remove with a damp flannel. Follow up with your favourite eye cream.You’ve heard all about eye cream, now learn everything there is to know about facial sunscreen.