It’s an age-old question: the eye cream question. Kind of similar to the anti-aging question but a bit more relevant to our issues and faces—do we need it? When do we need it and what does it actually do for us? Unless you suffer from very dry skin around your eyes or the occasional under-eye bag and errant dark circle, you may have never considered eye cream. For that matter, you may not have considered aging. Who has time to worry about aging when you’re too busy having fun? Well, depending on how freaked out you are about it (don’t worry, it’s cool), it doesn’t hurt to pay special attention to your eye area to keep those windows to your soul extra bright and alert-looking.
What’s Your Skin Type? Things like blemishes, wrinkles, and skin dullness can be predisposed for people who err on the dry or sensitive side. If you’re already using a super emollient moisturizer and still feel tight, itchy, or dry around the eyes, perhaps a hydrating boost in eye cream is for you. Oily skin types may want to keep away from very rich eye creams, but still want the treatment benefits—try a gel formula.
What Are Your Eye Concerns? If you’re totally hydrated and have no flakes in sight, congratulations! However, if you’d like to squash the occasional bag or dark circles after the occasional all-nighter, you’re going to go for an eye cream that does that, not so much one that’s going to flood the area with moisture (well, that doesn’t hurt either). Know which active ingredients to look for. Caffeine is great for constricting blood vessels and thus, reduces puffs. Collagen-based eye creams with peptides are meant to plump up your eye area if it’s feeling thin or hollow. Antioxidants and brighteners protect against free-radical damage that leads to premature aging, and brightening does exactly what you think it does, though some over time and some immediately.
Maybe She’s Born With It… If you’re a sufferer of dark circles or perpetual bags under your eyes even when getting ample sleep, you may have genetics to curse. It’s likely that nothing short of some serious Rx eye treatments will make a dent into those bags or lighten those circles. To that end, a healthy lifestyle may very well diminish them, but it’s going to take some extra help. Stay well hydrated with plenty of water, get those 7-8 hours of Zzzs nightly, and keep your head slightly elevated as you sleep so gravity will aid in lymphatic draining (fluid in your lymphs can pool in the under eye area sometimes if you sleep totally horizontal, making them puffier). Use a cooling eye cream or keep spoons in the freezer to hold against your under eye area in the mornings to manually de-puff.
Keeping It Simple. Sometimes the most obvious answers are already in your medicine cabinet. Just like we’re always on the hunt for the perfect DIY lip balm, sometimes the simplest and purest ingredients are the best ones. You don’t have to splurge or a super fancy eye cream with lots of scientific allegations as to its efficacy. If you just want something to give your under eye area a boost in hydration, you can sometimes reach for the same thing you use on your lips. Lip balm, Vaseline, or even a extra layer of your nighttime moisturizer patted on. If you’re in your twenties, it’s not really necessary to bring out the big guns (i.e. peptides, retinols) yet, but it doesn’t hurt (well, it might hurt your wallet).
Once You Pop… Using eye cream, or any anti-aging treatment for that matter, isn’t like starting a ball rolling that you have to keep up with once you start. Can it help? Of course. But will it hurt to start and stop? Not necessarily. The best anti-aging treatments are taking preventative measures. That said, wearing SPF every day in your teens and twenties will greatly put off premature aging in your skin; however if you never wear sunscreen (and participate in skin-damaging activities like excess drinking and smoking and not getting enough sleep) and start to find that wrinkles are forming in your twenties, unfortunately no anti-aging miracle cream will reverse that. So if you want to incorporate an eye cream in your teens and twenties with the purpose of anti-aging, it’s a good practice that you may not see the benefits of now (because you’re still young) but decades later will be thankful that you did.