Choosing The Best Eye Cream

The skin around the eyes is very delicate, thin, and susceptible to damage. It’s also among the first places we see changes in our appearance, because of its thinness. Before you buy any eye cream, you need to take into consideration what problems you need addressed by an eye cream. Whether you have baggy eyes, puffy eyes, crow’s feet, fine lines, or dark circles, the many eye creams in stores serve different purposes to specifically combat the environmental conditions that cause our various eye problems. For instance, facial moisturizers are not intended nor recommended for use around the eyes, because of ingredients that are too strong for the delicate eye area. Don’t be overwhelmed; make a decision that’s based on your needs. One recommendation: Eye creams need to be applied to the lower lid, and along the outer corner (never rub or pull the delicate skin!).

Puffy eyes can be caused by fluid retention and/or allergies. Fluid retention is caused by fluid that builds up under your eyes as you sleep, and is a temporary condition. It tends to be most severe when you’re struggling with allergies, sinus problems, or pre-menstrual syndrome. In order to reduce the puffiness before applying any eye creams, try sleeping on your back, elevating your head a bit, or gently tapping across the area underneath your eyes, from the inner corners, working your way out. Cucumber slices, tea bags, cooling masks, and refrigerated cold compresses and gels can help to relieve the puffiness as well. In the case of puffy eyes, you may find that gels work better. Gels dry quicker, whereas creams are compounded with extra moisturizers that only add to the puffiness.

Baggy eyes are not the same as puffy eyes, and therefore have a different need to help reduce the bags. Baggy eyes result when fat builds up in the delicate eye area. Eventually the septum, which envelops the eyeball socket, becomes weak, resulting in the socket’s surface layer of fat drooping forward in a pouch-like state. In the case of baggy eyes, creams or gels that encourage and enhance elasticity are recommended. Though there are products that can minimize or reduce the appearance of baggy eyes, they are only eliminated with plastic surgery.

Dark circles may be a result of any number of things: a highly pigmented skin condition inherited from our family genetics, enlarged blood vessels under the delicate eye skin, dehydration, fatigue, overexposure to the sun, or the aging process can bring it on, as well as medical conditions pertaining to thyroid or renal issues. Even menopause can do its share in bringing on dark circles. The skin underneath our eyes becomes even more delicate as we get older, and the veins under the eyes grow more prominent as we age. If the blood vessels are enlarged, a cold compress can restrict the blood vessels, reducing the appearance of dark circles. If the problem is hereditary, a dermatologist may be able to supply you with a cream that can help lighten the skin. When choosing an eye cream to deal with dark circles, look for sun-protection to help fight the pigmentation problems. Many eye treatments contain optical diffusers that can reduce and conceal the dark circles, using light-diffusing pigments. Creams with vitamin K may also help reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Fine lines and crow’s feet may be making their appearance under your eyes, and in the corners. Why are wrinkles so common in this area? 1) The skin is thinner because there are a lesser amount of oil glands located around the eyes, and 2) our everyday facial expressions make use of our eye area, whether we are squinting, smiling, or laughing. Smoking can also be a culprit in causing crow’s feet. Wrinkles and fine lines are made more obvious when skin is dry, so keeping the area moisturized will keep it looking supple, and fine lines will be less obvious. Because many of the products available to combat fine lines and wrinkles contain more emollients, they are recommended for aging, normal to dry skin. Many of these products that treat wrinkles and fine lines contain vitamins A, C, and E, as well as antioxidants. Vitamin A, in the form of retinoids, softens lines and wrinkles, shields and strengthens the skin, by increasing the creation of collagen. Retinol is becoming more and more common in many skin care products, as well as eye creams.

When searching for the right eye cream, don’t forget how important it is to keep those eyelids safe from the elements. With all of the protection they provide for our eyes, it isn’t uncommon to experience irritation or infection on the eyelid. Be careful when applying products near the eyelid; be sure to use sensitive makeup removers — don’t rub the makeup off. If you’re using a cream on the eyelid, try to choose something that’s recommended for sensitive eyes, or those who wear contact lenses, as the eyelid is a particularly sensitive area, and even the most common eye creams should not be used up there. Try using a cold moist tea bag wrapped in napkins or paper towels; the tannic acid provides a gentle relief.

There are also multi-tasking creams out there for those who are unsure whether they need multiple creams for various eye issues.

Whatever your eye needs and concerns may be, it is important that you use some sort of eye cream or gel, as this area needs moisture and care as much as the rest of your body.

By: Julia Temlyn

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