Are Eye Creams A Sham?

Are Eye Creams A Sham?

There are so many creams out there. Like… So. Many. Then within the broad cream category, you have facial creams, neck creams, color-correcting moisturizers, retinol creams, body butters and lotions for specific parts of the body, and the list goes on and on.

We can’t help but ask: Are all of these really necessary?! Is simplicity better or should you be wary of catchall formulations meant for use anywhere and everywhere? Eye creams garner a lot of attention because they tend to be expensive and bottled in tiny containers marked with many “anti-aging” properties.

When we asked our Chief Dermatologist, Dr. Robin Schaffran, what the deal was, she offered her opinion as well as some helpful advice for anyone looking to incorporate an eye cream into their skincare routine.

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“Most eye creams are just moisturizers formulated specifically for the delicate skin around the eyes,” she explains. Skincare companies focus on this area since the skin is thinner and more delicate than elsewhere on the face. And since we smile (and, let’s face it, cry) so much, the eye area is often is where the signs of aging first become apparent. Hydration is queen in maintaining youthful-looking skin, so eye creams containing humectants (like hyaluronic acid and glycerin) and emollients (such as ceramides and fatty acids) are particularly effective.

Quick refresher: Humectants pull water into your epidermis and bind water to the skin. In other words, they are incredibly resourceful. Emollients soften texture by filling in the gaps on the skin’s surface and help your skin hold onto your fancy humectants. We call that teamwork.

For those pesky fine lines that form around the eyes, Dr. Schaffran suggests looking for products that use ingredients such as peptides or growth factors that help to build collagen. If you experience puffiness in the mornings, a cream with caffeine can be temporarily effective but for a longer-term solution, her recommendation is to apply something cold to the eye area, since it constricts blood vessels. “Think cold tea bag compresses or cold cucumbers.”

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a remedy for dark circles, most eye creams don’t offer much benefit. We instead recommend a tinted moisturizer or under eye concealer.

To sum up, eye creams can be of benefit depending on the issue. You won’t be harming your eye area by applying a general facial cream (avoid exfoliants and retinols near the eyes!), but if you want to give it some extra TLC, we say: go nuts!