Few things in life divide people the way eye creams do. While some swear by them, others think of them as a glorified moisturiser and the rest of us are left wondering which of the two are correct. The truth is that all eye creams are not the same and it is largely a matter of finding the one that works best for you.
You may also find that you can do without an eye cream as well. It really depends on what your skin type is and what your skin concerns are. But how should you go about deciding what needs to be done? Well, we are here to help you with that. So let us talk about eye cream and uncover what all the fuss is about!
What is an eye cream?
An eye cream is a lightweight formula that is meant specifically for your under-eye area. The skin around the eyes is more delicate and is more prone to dryness. It is also more prone to showing signs of ageing, such as fine lines, and fatigue sooner than the rest of your face. Squinting and constant movement of the eyes also speed up the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and fluids collect under the eyes and cause puffiness and dark circles. Eye creams help deal with these issues.
How are eye creams different from regular moisturisers?
But wait, moisturisers are supposed to help with all the things we just mentioned, right? So why do we need eye creams? Well, there are a few differences between moisturisers and eye creams. Firstly, eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate skin around the eye, so they tend to be thicker. Secondly, eye creams tend to contain more oil than a regular moisturiser and contain a lot of active ingredients aimed at concerns such as fine lines, puffiness, darkness, and dryness.
Which are the popular ingredients found in eye creams?
Depending on which concerns the eye cream in question is targeting, you may find the following actives and other ingredients in it:
Antioxidants: They are a large group of compounds that help protect the skin from oxidative damage by free radicals and environmental aggressors such as UV rays and pollution.
Vitamin C: It is a powerful and very popular antioxidant that really helps brighten the skin and stimulate collagen production. Collagen is a naturally occurring compound found in our skin that gives our skin that plumpness and youthful look. As we age, collagen production starts reducing and results in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Retinol: Retinol is another very popular active ingredient that is very effective against the signs of ageing. It is a derivative of Vitamin A. Like Vitamin C, Retinol boosts collagen production and delays the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. When used regularly, it also helps make the skin under your eyes more firm and smooth.
Niacinamide: Niacinamide is another potent antioxidant that is a form of Vitamin B3 and helps improve redness, soothes irritated skin, and reduces hyperpigmentation.
- Peptides: Peptides are the building blocks of protein and are short chains of amino acids. Using eye creams - or any other product - that contains peptides means you are essentially replenishing the vital proteins in your body. Different types of peptides have different effects, from smoothing wrinkles to increasing firmness and hydration.
How to pick an eye cream?
Okay, so we now know that eye creams are pretty important and definitely serve a purpose. But how do you know which eye cream to pick and how to use it? Read on to find out!
How to Use an eye Cream
Before you start figuring out which eye cream is the one for you, it is important to understand the order in which you should be applying your eye cream. In skincare, the rule is that you should start from thinnest to thickest. Follow this rule:
Cleanser > Toner/Mist > Ampoule > Serum > Eye Cream > Moisturiser > Face Oil
Picking an eye cream based on the time of the day
Morning eye creams
If you are a makeup enthusiast, when prepping your skin be sure to use an eye cream too. Eye creams containing hydrating ingredients help plump up the under-eye area. This makes the makeup sit better. You will also find that your under-eye concealer will not crease as much!
The eye cream you use in the morning should work to protect the skin under your eyes from the environmental aggressors you face throughout the day. It should help with hydration and contain antioxidants that will help neutralise the damage from the likes of UV rays and pollution. If your eye cream has sun protection then that is an added bonus (you still need to apply sunscreen as the last step of your skincare routine though).
Sukin’s Antioxidant Eye Serum is a great option for morning eye creams.
Evening eye creams
Your evening eye cream should work to restore and repair your under-eye area, allowing it to heal overnight. Look for more nourishing and richer eye creams that contain Peptides and Retinol to boost Collagen production.
Zyna’s Under-eye Cream PM: Firming and Brightening is a great choice for the evenings.
Eye creams for specific concerns
Fine lines and wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles are something we all deal with at some point in our lives. Given the paper-thin nature of the under-eye area and the constant movement of our eyes, it is quite natural that there will be some wrinkles and creasing. Lifestyle choices such as smoking, staying up late, not getting enough sleep, and eating unhealthy food all contribute to fine lines.
Opt for an eye cream that hydrates and contains Retinol or some antioxidant.
Swisse’s Argan Revitalising Eye Cream is a great option for a nourishing and toning eye cream.
First, let us understand what puffiness is and what causes it. Eye puffiness is actually just fluid retention that is a result of lack of sleep, allergies, or excess salt. The body naturally breaks up and drains the fluid on its own, thus de-puffing your eyes and under-eye area. Eye creams with ingredients such as caffeine ( tightens the skin) and antioxidants (like aloe and green tea) help reduce swelling.
Ilana Organic’s Lush Eyes Eye Cream & Mask is de-puffing and soothing.
Dark circles are a result of lack of sleep, smoking, unhealthy eating habits, and can even be genetic. They are also a result of the natural ageing process. As the skin around your eyes thins, the dark-bluish blood vessels underneath tend to become more visible. That is why you may find that dark circles get even darker as you get older.
Caffeine is a great ingredient for brightening up dark circles. It promotes blood flow and constricts the vessels to reduce that shadowy look in a big way. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C help too!
Neemli Naturals’ Cucumber and Caffeine Eye Cream is a great option to try. It is soothing, de-puffing and brightening.
If you are looking to maintain the health of your under-eye area, pick an eye cream that contains a good mix of hydrating ingredients and antioxidants.
Oceglow’s Luminous Bright Eyes Eye Cream is a great all-rounder eye cream.
Here are a few things you might not want to do when it comes to using eye creams:
Do not use too much: You know what they say - ‘excess of everything is bad’. A pea-sized amount should do. Don’t go overboard!
Do not rub too much: Do not get too caught up in applying your eye cream. Use your ring finger and dab gently. Do not pull or tug.
Do not apply it out of order: If your eye-cream is thicker than your moisturiser, apply it after moisturising. If it is thinner then apply it before.
Do not apply the eye cream on dry skin: When your skin is slightly damp, moisturisers and creams tend to absorb better. The same holds true for eye creams.
Do not apply the product too close to your eyes: If you are applying your eye cream on your lids or near your lashes, that is too close! The last thing you want is for the eye cream to get into your eyes.
Just dot the product along the orbital bone, right under your eyebrow, and under your eyes in a semi-circle shape about half an inch below your lash line.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Under-Eye Area
Besides using an eye cream, there are a lot of things you can do to take care of the skin around your eyes:
Use sunscreen: Either use the sunscreen you use for your face or opt for one made specifically for the under-eye area. UV rays can cause serious damage to your skin so protection is important! Wearing sunglasses can help too.
Take adequate rest: If you are not getting enough sleep, it is not good for your body or your skin, especially your under-eyes. Try to get six to eight hours of sleep every night.
Avoid smoking: Smoking damages your heart, lungs and cuts down on the collagen and elastin in your skin. Over time you will find that your skin starts to shrivel and wrinkle.
Be active and out and about: Pollutants such as exhaust fumes can also damage your skin. Be sure to stretch your legs and go out for strolls in green spaces when you can.
Eat healthy: You are what you eat so maintain a healthy diet. Nourish your body with some essential fatty acids. Foods such as Olive Oil, Avocado, and nuts really help. Eat a lot of berries. They are a great source of antioxidants! Also, be sure to hydrate. A lot of times our skin may be dry because we are not drinking enough water!
Do not rub your eyes: The skin around your eyes is really delicate and pulling and tugging away at your skin can cause it to become inflamed. Avoid rubbing your eyes at all costs!
Many do not realise it but eye creams are an integral part of your skincare routine. The area around your eyes is really thin and delicate and requires special attention. Ingredients such as Peptides, Ceramides, and Caffeine and actives such as Retinol and Vitamin C do wonders for your under-eye area. Be it puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, or simple prevention, there is an eye cream for every concern!
- Gauri Sindhu