You might think that using a moisturiser makes the call for a separate eye cream redundant, but in fact the delicate skin around the eye area needs a little extra TLC of its own. ‘The eye area doesn’t have oil glands unlike the rest of the face, hence it being an area to wrinkle easier’ says facialist Teresa Tarmey, who advises using light creams and gels to prevent overloading the area with product. Because the skin here is thinner, it’s more fragile and sensitive and therefore more prone to showing the signs of our sins – late nights, sun damage, dehydration, squinting etc.
The hard part is in choosing the right concoction – what works for dark circles may not help with puffiness or fine lines, but the good news is that brands are well aware that when it comes to eye cream, there’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all’. Whether you want to plump fine lines, eliminate puffiness, or fade dark circles, there’s little that the latest crop of super innovative eye treatments can’t do. Consider below the best solutions to set your sights on.
Best for Young Skin
Dark circles and under-eye bags may not feature in your current list of skincare concerns just yet, but it’s important to remember that universal skincare edict – prevention is key. Preserving your delicate eye area in your youth will give you good skincare habits that will set you in good stead for the future. As starting early is the best defence against crow’s feet, fine lines, and lose skin, look for antioxidant-rich formulas that will protect against the free radicals that kickstart those (inevitable) first signs of ageing.
Our pick: STARSKIN Pink Cactus Velvets Eye Cream
Ideal for when you’re not in need of serious treatment, but seek to adopt a more virtuous approach to eye care, this light, smoothing formula covers all bases. Harnessing the hydrating, regenerative, and anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3 and Gamma Linolenic Acid (the latest ‘miracle-worker’ in anti-ageing skincare) fine lines are kept at bay and sensitive skin is soothed, protected, and brightened.
Best for Older Skin
Once the damage has been done it’s impossible to completely reverse the ageing process, however it is still possible to relieve and reduce the appearance of these signs. Look for ingredients like collagen (which plumps skin to smooth the appearance of wrinkles) and peptides (which stimulate collagen production and improve its absorption). Like the rest of the face, the skin in the eye area responds well to antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients, which can even go as far tightening and firming skin to a certain degree.
This is a serious product for anyone with mature skin that is already showing very obvious signs of ageing. Formulated with a cocktail of peptides to help strengthen stressed skin and nourishing hyaluronic acid to plump and smooth lines; it also contains caffeine, Vitamin E, and marine collagen to brighten, hydrate, and protect skin. There’s a reason why this is a consistent award winner – expect signs of fatigue and ageing to be visibly reduced.
Best for Puffiness
Caused by anything from allergies, diet, and sleep deprivation to alcohol and ageing, undereye puffiness comes from fluid buildup that swells the tissues and blood vessels around your eyes. Opt for anti-inflammatory ingredients like caffeine and cucumber, and choose products with rollerball applicators which smooth away excess fluid and promote blood vessel constriction. What’s more, if you keep your cream refrigerated the refreshingly cool temperature will also serve to reduce swelling.
Our pick: Rodial Dragons Blood Eye Gel
A morning solution to yesterday’s late night, this tinted treatment instantly brightens the eyes whilst packing on a powerful blend of skincare benefits to quell swelling. Simply smooth along your under-eye area and massage in the potent blend of caffeine and liquorice root extract to stimulate blood flow and soothe puffiness whilst draining fluid. As it glides around the eyes, the cream delivers just enough product (too much can worsen puffy eyes) to bring tired eyes back to life – expect to be left wide-eyed for the rest of the day.
Best For Fine Lines
The thin delicate skin around your eyes, paired with constant muscle action means that the eye area is the first to show signs of ageing. Squinting, smiling, and blinking are just a few of the factors which over time contribute to the onset of fine lines – the most common complaint in the eye area. When it comes to efficient treatment, collagen-boosting ingredients like retinol and peptides are arguably the best ingredients for fighting and preventing wrinkles – they’ll plump thinning skin and smooth out creases and wrinkles.
Our pick: Mario Badescu Special Eye Cream V
Mario’s products have developed a huge following for a reason and this bestselling eye cream is amongst the best of the bunch. Fortified with a unique blend of sensitive-skin-suitable retinols, this eye-tightening concentrate is designed to mimic the behaviour of young skin cells by increasing collagen production. Intense enough to lift, firm, and erase stubborn fine lines but without irritating fragile skin – expect to wave goodbye to crow’s feet in no time at all.
Best For Dark Circles
Discolouration around the eyes can be caused by any combination of triggers, including hereditary factors, stress, smoking, sun exposure, and diet. When applied topically, caffeine will work wonders on dark circles – it stimulates blood flow and constricts blood vessels to reduce the appearance of shadows. Alternatively, look for vitamin-rich formulas – Vitamins C and K are particularly beneficial in combatting discolouration and refreshing tired-looking eyes.
Our pick: Embryolisse Eclat du Regard Radiant Eye Refreshing Eye Care
Formulated with vitamins and a brightening botanical complex, this radiance boosting treatment is the best in class for giving dark, shadowy under-eyes a much-needed reboot – plus, the serum-like texture is a refreshing alternative to heavy balms and thick creams. Lightly swipe a small amount of this makeup artists favourite under your eyes to even out skintone and make under-eye darkness look noticeably less obvious.
Best For Dry Skin
As well as being thin and delicate (and therefore less able to retain moisture and prone to drying out easily), the skin around your eyes has the least oil glands, so can always benefit from an extra hit of moisture. Aside from being uncomfortable, painful, and unsightly under makeup, dry skin under the eyes can worsen and trigger signs of ageing. Experts recommend taking a break from retinols and opting for really rich textures that may feel thick and heavy upon application but ensure optimum absorption.
Our pick: Mario Badescu Olive Eye Cream
Rich and creamy, this eye cream is all about getting moisture to your eyes, thick and fast. Plus, it absorbs quickly so you can wear it day and night for a lasting moisture boost without your under-eye concealer sliding around. Packed with olive oil and cocoa butter, it’s got everything you need for smoother, softer skin – simply pat it on for an instant moisture hit or apply a thick layer overnight as a weekly hydration boosting mask.
Tips & Tricks
• Use your ring finger or little finger to apply eye cream as they exert the least pressure.
• Pat rather than swipe product on in order to prevent lines from occuring.
• Store gel- and serum-textured eye creams in the refrigerator – the extra coolness will soothe eyes.
• Don’t be afraid of wearing eye cream beneath your make – it will create a smooth priming base for concealer and prevent makeup from building up in fine lines.
• Avoid overly harsh ingredients (such as alcohol and salicylic acid) and perfumed products which can cause reactions in the sensitive eye area.