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Do you really need to use an eye cream?

Updated on December 28, 2013
Do you need to use an eye cream?
Do you need to use an eye cream? | Source

Do you really need to use an eye cream when those first lines and wrinkles start to appear around your eyes? What does an eye cream do that your regular moisturiser doesn't? Are eye creams just gimmicks to get us to spend more money on skin care products?

The camp on eye creams has been divided for a long time, and every time you speak to someone they give you a different answer so it's hard to work out if you should be using a specific eye cream or not! Some say yes, that they help to prevent, reduce and clear fine line ans wrinkles, others say no, it's not about the cream itself but about the application. Do we really need to use an eye cream?

Do you use an eye cream?

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Did you know - smoking and sun exposure will encourage premature wrinkles and sagging around the eyes!

Cosmetic companies have filled skin care aisles with creams, gels and serums that claim to work all kinds of magic on every inch of skin – where do the companies stand on eye creams? They say eye creams are there because the skin around the eyes differs from that of the rest of your face. There is some truth in this! The skin around your eyes is thinner, making it more delicate, vulnerable and very sensitive. Try to consciously count how often your moving the skin around your eyes every day – every time you blink, squint, smile, frown, the skin around your eyes is being pulled and stretched like a muscle, and overtime, as we age and collagen in the skin breaks down, the skin struggles to pull itself taught, causing fine lines, wrinkles and sagging around the eye – it's all a part of the ageing process! And the eye area is the first area to start showing signs of ageing!

The skin around the eyes does not have any oil producing glands (when was the last time you complained of 'greasy' eyes?) As no oils are produced around the eye area, the skin here is prone to dryness, and dry skin ages quickly!

Calendula oil is extracted from marigolds and is a brilliant oil for treating dry, damaged, dehydrated eyes!
Calendula oil is extracted from marigolds and is a brilliant oil for treating dry, damaged, dehydrated eyes! | Source

What can an eye cream do?

Eye creams are essentially a moisturiser, much like what you already use on your face! Cosmetic companies claim they add 'extras' to eye creams that are designed to look after the delicate eye area. The goal here is to essentially up the moisture levels around the eyes, keeping them hydrated. Most creams will set out to do just that, hydrate, but there has been a surge in the market of creams setting out to combat the signs of ageing around the eyes too!

Retinol, a compound found in vitamin A, is the staple ingredient and plastered all over the packaging of the anti-ageing eye creams! Retinol is supposed to increase collagen production.

Collagen – the major protein in connective tissue that keeps your skin strong, smooth and youthful. When this starts to break down due to damage and ageing, your skin looses its fullness and starts to sag.

Vitamins C and E are also big names on the eye cream market. Both help to retain healthy collagen and repair damaged skin.

For puffy eyes, look for a eye cream that contains calendula. Calendula is a plant extract that has been used for skin care for hundreds of years, if not longer! It's great for dry, damaged skin, promoting fast healing and skin regeneration. It's also an anti inflammatory, so it's great for reducing puffy eyes. Calendula oil is used to protect the skin from premature ageing and thinning, it's super safe to use on sensitive skin too so it's the perfect for the delicate eye area!

Many beauty experts believe you should use an eye cream as they are created with higher hydrating and repair properties compared with facial moisturisers. Eye creams are generally thicker in consistency compared with regular moisturiser. Thicker creams tend to stay on the skin much longer, especially skin that is on the move constantly! Just make sure you give it enough time to dry before applying make-up!

Experts also believe that regular facial moisturisers can be too harsh on the delicate eye area as they contain things like sunscreen which result in burning, stinging and irritation of the eyes!

Expensive vs Cheap eye creams

Studies have shown that only around 20% of participants when testing eye creams of varying price brackets actually show only subtle changes to the skin around the eyes, especially with regards to fine lines and wrinkles. Eye creams are not a cure-all overnight and they do take some perseverance if you want to see any benefits – but should you go for the more expensive option or the cheaper alternative?

Personally, I have tried both and the only difference I've ever noted was how light my purse got after purchasing a more expensive cream. The expensive brands throw about all kinds of unpronounceable words, and lure us in with their shiner packaging but does that really make them the best choice? I've had both good and bad experiences with both ends of the market, generally I find the mid to expensive range products seem to be absorbed better and quicker into the skin, ideal when you're getting ready in a rush, but I also find they can be a little greasier too. The cheaper eye creams seemed to take a little longer to absorb and I find they don't work as well under make up – nobody wants clunky concealer under their eyes!

I think eye creams are more about prevention, so the sooner you start using one the better. As your income rises with age, you can branch out and try the more expensive products on the market. As someone who is still in her twenties, I avoid those Retinol based products as they are designed for some serious collagen repair, and my collagen is doing just fine! Retinol creams are better for more mature or damaged skin as they're pretty hard core!

I've been using an eye cream for around 3 years now and my eyes are still looking pretty youthful and healthy!

Eye creams and diet

I'm a firm believer in that you can only truly take care of your skin with a combination of treatments, products and a healthy lifestyle. What goes on inside your body shows on the out, and your eyes are no exception.

  • Make sure you're getting your 8 glasses of water a day. Dry, dehydrated skin ages prematurely and give you a dull complexion. If you skin is dehydrated it will try to store up fluids, which can result in puffy, dried out eyes.

  • Watch your alcohol intake. Know your units and then drink less than that. Alcohol dehydrates your body and skin, and is also believed to deprive your skin of vital vitamins and nutrients.

  • Avoid highly processed foods as they deplete vitamin stores and cause inflammation around the eyes.

  • Watch your caffeine intake too! Too much caffeine reduces the vitamins in your body, especially the ones needed for healthy happy eyes!

Applying an eye cream

I say it's all in the application too, you can't just apply your eye cream in any old way like you might do to the rest of your face. You are dealing with the most sensitive area of the face, some care is needed when working on this area, if you don't apply eye creams properly you could inadvertently damage and age your eyes whilst trying to do the right thing!

Do we really need an eye cream?

I say yes, we do need an eye cream as part of our skin care regime. Youngsters should be using it as a wrinkle/fine line prevention. The more mature members of our audience should be using it as a treatment for those pesky fine lines. If you're suffering with dry, dehydrated, puffy eyes, don't just think the eye cream will be enough to solve the problems. Look at your lifestyle, drink more water and get more sleep!


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    • Saloca profile image

      Saloca 4 years ago from Liverpool, UK

      @Kathryn you're right. it's no overnight miracle cream but over time I really do think it helps to moisturise the eye area properly. it will pay off in later life for sure! Thanks for your kind words and the comment :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Eye creams may not be the miracle cream some of them claim to be, but I like using them because they are moisturizers, and I like to care for my skin. This is a well-thought out, good hub. I am going to share this one.