While skin care essentials like moisturizers and cleansers are vital to our skin care routine for optimal skin health and aesthetic purposes, eye cream is one of those skin care products that sparks quite a bit of controversy. So let's dive into the world of eye cream! We will answer all your eye cream questions starting at the very basics.
Have you ever wondered about the purpose of eye cream and what it's really for? Sure, we know that eye cream is quite obviously cream for the eye area, but let's dig deeper and understand why eye cream is so vital to our skincare regimen. More specifically, we will help shed light on knowing when it's time to invest in a good eye cream.
What is Eye Cream?
Are eye creams really just more concentrated versions of our favorite face moisturizers? Eye cream seems pretty straightforward but let's break it down.
Eye cream is designed to be applied to the area surrounding the eyelid and address under-eye issues. We know that eye cream provides moisture and hydration to the area around the eyes, but why is there such controversy about eye cream? There are tons of people out there that use general moisturizers all over the face, so what exactly differentiates a general face moisturizer from an eye cream?
Let's first focus on the skin area around the eyes. The skin around the eyes is much thinner, more delicate, and fragile compared to other areas of the face. Because of this, the skin around your eyes is more prone to dryness. Among other reasons, since it's more prone to dryness, the eye area is where the first signs of aging typically occur, like crow’s feet and fine lines. (Sources 1 & 2)
Our skin's natural oil production declines as we mature, causing our skin to become dry, but the skin around the eye has fewer oil glands so it is inherently dryer to begin with. Because the skin surrounding our eyes is naturally much thinner than the rest of our body, it is more susceptible to sun damage & visible signs of aging such as dryness, dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. So, that's why the delicate, thirsty skin around our eyes is desperate for hydration. (Source 3)
It's also important to note that the delicate skin around your eyes can be dry for other reasons. Dry skin around the eyes can also be caused by skin dehydration, improper eye makeup removal, weather conditions, allergies, excessively cleansing with hot water, and lastly, your genetics. (Source 3).
At CLEARSTEM, we always educate our customers not to use harsh eye makeup removing chemicals (like those with drying alcohols such as specially denatured (SD) alcohol or isopropyl alcohol). We also highly recommend using only lukewarm water when cleansing the face to avoid further dehydration & irritation that can be caused by hot water.
Why Use Eye Cream? What Does It Do?
Not only is the skin around your eyes more prone to dryness, but since the skin is so thin, the delicate area around the eye is also more prone to environmental aggressors (like harsh winds and UV rays). (Source 4)
Eye creams are specifically designed with this in mind. As a result, eye creams tend to be richer and contain more oil. If you're acne-prone, you might think that oil is your enemy. And some oils are, but the right kinds of oil are your friend. (Source 1)
In addition to the fragile skin around the eye area being more vulnerable to the elements mentioned above, it's also important to recognize that the area around your eye is very active.
Consider how many times your eyes move throughout the day. Every day, our eye area feels the effects of us blinking, smiling, crying, frowning, rubbing our eyes, or putting on eye makeup; the fragile skin around the eye is put through the wringer!
In addition to physical irritants, the skin under the eyes is greatly impacted by our lymphatic fluid, so if we drink alcohol, over consume salt, or have resting inflammation the skin can actually become irritated from the inside out. All of these factors also contribute to the appearance of aging, such as crow's feet or even puffiness and dark circles. (Sources 4 & 1)
What Can Eye Cream Do?
So what can eye cream do? What is its actual value? For starters, eye cream can help soothe and rejuvenate the under-eye area. It can reduce common signs of aging that occur as a result of dehydration or environmental stressors. (Source 5)
Eye cream also minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by offering hydration and revitalization. In addition, eye creams help to reduce the appearance of puffiness and the look of dark circles. (Source 5). Eye creams that contain peptides and caffeine are particularly effective for overall revitalization of this area.
Puffiness is often a result of fluid buildup because of sleep deprivation, allergies, or aging. Eye creams that contain botanicals can minimize discoloration and offer a brightening appearance. (Source 5)
What Many Eye Creams Claim to Do, but Actually Can't
While many eye creams market themselves as totally eliminating visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles, lines, puffiness, and dark circles, no one eye cream can be expected to truly erase all signs of aging for everyone. (Source 1)
Can eye cream reduce or soften the appearance of wrinkles, lines, puffiness, or dark circles? Yes. Can it completely get rid of all signs of aging? Highly unlikely. Especially if the signs of aging such as wrinkles, dark circles, or puffiness are more genetic or even caused by an unbalanced or unhealthy lifestyle.
For example, bags and dark circles are often caused by inflammation caused by UV exposure, free radical oxidation, stress, exhaustion, and allergies. Dark circles are also commonly linked to fatigue, age, eye strain, dehydration, too much sun exposure, and genetics. (Source 6)
So while eye cream can aid in rejuvenating, soothing, and even brightening the under-eye area, to say an eye cream can erase dark circles entirely may be a stretch. The same goes for fine lines and wrinkles.
While specific anti-aging eye treatments can enhance under-eye smoothness and lessen the depth or appearance of wrinkles, a great eye cream will help slow the aging process and reverse some of the unwanted signs. A decent eye cream can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles if it contains the necessary components and active ingredients. (Source 7)
What Eye Creams Can't Do:
1. Eliminate wrinkles and fine lines:
As stated above, although eye creams cannot wholly erase wrinkles and fine lines, a good eye cream can certainly help soften deep and fine lines and wrinkles if it contains the necessary active ingredients.
Vitamin C peptides are also recommended to strengthen the delicate area around the eye. Antioxidants can assist with the prevention of free radical damage. In addition, ceramides and hyaluronic acid are recommended for hydration which helps to reduce the look of wrinkles and lines, although it's more of a plumping fix. (Source 7)
2. Erase dark circles:
Although eye creams can't entirely erase dark circles, eye creams may help soften the appearance of more prominent dark circles, which can be caused by genetics or skin aging, but erasing them totally is not something even the best eye cream can do. (Source 8)
You want to look for active and effective ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, caffeine, peptides, vitamin C, ceramides, and most importantly, stem cells. It’s important to note that with dark circles, lifestyle changes should be implemented along with the usage of eye cream for maximum results. Think about making healthy lifestyle decisions such as getting more sleep and drinking plenty of water to also aid in lessening the appearance of dark circles. (Source 9)
3. Eradicate puffiness:
If under-eye bags or puffiness is your main concern, you will want to look for an eye cream that is hydrating and contains active ingredients such as peptides that aid in smoothing and moisturizing the under-eye area. You can also look for eye creams that have caffeine, as caffeine can temporarily minimize eye puffiness. (Sources 9 & 10)
An excellent option that addresses all the above issues and more is BRIGHTEYES Eye Gel. Designed with a renewing, nourishing, and cooling formula, this eye gel is specifically formulated to reduce the appearance of crow's feet, dark circles, and puffiness.
It's a powerful blend of stem cells, brightening botanicals, and three different peptides working together to noticeably brighten the under-eye area. BRIGHTEYES packs a powerful punch in reducing all your under-eye concerns, yet it's gentle and enough to be used around the entire eye and even doubles as a lip renewal treatment!
So, Should I Use Eye Cream?
We know that the skin care regimen for our face shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all approach. The same goes for the area around our eyes.
So who is a perfect candidate for eye cream? Although there isn't one specific age to add an eye cream to your existing regimen, it's important to note that prevention is critical. Some experts even believe that it's easier to prevent signs of aging versus having to correct them. (Source 11)
Even if you don't necessarily have fine lines or wrinkles yet, it's safe to say we've all had run-ins with swollen, puffy eyes or dark circles at some point! Of course, someone with new or existing dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles, and puffiness should use a specially formulated eye cream with the necessary ingredients to target their specific concerns. (Source 12)
Not only does eye cream target these concerns, but it is also powerful enough to reduce the appearance of premature signs of aging before they even begin. So being proactive in this case will only benefit you. (Source 13)
Although eye creams alone can not erase the natural signs of aging or genetic dark circles and puffiness, they play a massive role in reducing these concerns. With any skin concern, taking inventory of your lifestyle is essential to ensure you're doing everything in your power to ease the signs of aging around your eyes.
This includes making sure that you're eating healthy, consuming the proper nutrients, drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest and exercise, and protecting your skin daily with sunscreen.
Source 1: Do You Really Need Eye Cream?
Source 2: Do Eye Creams Really Work?
Source 3: How to Manage Dry Skin Around Your Eyes
Source 4: When Should I Start Using Eye Cream
Source 5: 10 Benefits of Eye Cream
Source 6: What Causes Dark Circles Under Your Eyes
Source 7: Do Eye Cream Work?
Source 8: 15 Best Eye Creams for Dark Circles According to Dermatologists
Source 9: Do Eye Creams Really Work? Do eye creams really work? Who should use eye cream and how often, according to a dermatologist
Source 10: The 3 most powerful ingredients to look for in eye creams
Source 11: Here's Why You Should Never Skip Eye Cream, According To Dermatologists
Source 12: Do You Actually Need Eye Cream? Derms Settle the Debate
Source 13: When Can You Start Using Eye Cream?