Awhile back, I wrote an article for xoJane advocating for eye creams and you lovely commenters told me that I was wrong. Suddenly, everything I had thought to be true was put into question. Are eye creams actually just beauty BS? Had I been reaping the placebo effects? Were my eyes actually not brighter and younger looking because that seems like complete bullshit and I want my money back.
After Googling “DO EYE CREAMS WORK????” and getting every answer from “Yes, absolutely” to “No, not at all” to “Well, maybe,” I decided to reach out to plastic surgeon Dr. Marck Malek
. Did you guys know that doctors are, like, waaay more helpful than a 3 a.m. Google search? It’s sort of insane how much they know. It’s almost like they went to years and years and years of schools to acquire such knowledge.
What can eye cream do and what can't it? Can it help dark circles? Fine lines? Evening out skin tone?
Bottom line: Eye creams aren’t magic.
“Eye creams need to be soothing to the skin by applying the proper moisturization. They should create a smoothing effect on fine lines and wrinkles as they firm the skin by stimulating collagen production and promoting cellular regeneration,” says Dr. Malek. “A proper eye cream should also decrease darkness and puffiness of the lower eyelids.”
Is there a need for eye cream or can you use your regular moisturizer?
This was one of the big questions I got from you guys in the comments, and it’s a good one. I mean, yeah, why should you have to spend more money on another moisturizer when you have a perfectly good one that you use on the rest of your person?
Dr. Malek explains, “The skin composing the lower eyelid is significantly thinner than the rest of the face and is much more sensitive to topical products. Moisturizers can be used around the eye area, but they may cause stinging or burning. The benefit of a cream specifically formulated for the eye area is that it will be less irritating than a typical moisturizer. A properly formulated eye cream will be milder and free of fragrances.”
OK, so eye creams should be free of fragrances. What else should you be looking for in your dream eye cream?
With so many different eye creams on the market (all of them promising basically the same thing), it can be overwhelming to find an eye cream. According to Dr. Malek, the below ingredients are what you should be looking for in an eye cream that, you know, actually does what it says it will.
“Hyaluronic acid (hydrates ), ceramides (retain moisture), retinol (promotes new cell growth or regeneration) and neuropeptides (increase the production of collagen and elastin production), vitamin C (collagen production), vitamin E ( nourishes and soothes skin).
Newer peptides and combinations of peptides and growth factors are continuously being formulated and introduced into the skinceutical market as we are up-regulating our skin's own abilities to repair and renew itself. Other beneficial ingredients for benefits under the eye are vitamin K (inhibits bruising and diminishes dark pigment or cast due to broken down blood cells). Kojic acid, arnica, and hydroquinine, as well as licorice can diminish dark circles and lighten pigment under the eyes. Chamomile, tea extracts, and cucumber can help with puffiness.”
What are some products that contain those ingredients?
Will you see results the morning after?
This answer is, admittedly, sorta disappointing. I’m all about instant gratification, so when Dr. Malek told me that “a properly formulated eye cream will show its benefits only if it contains the proper active ingredients and is used consistently. These products may take up to 4-6 weeks before showing optimal results” I was pretty bummed.
I’ve started to leave my eye cream right next to my lamp, so that I remember to put it on when I turn off the lights. Also, by “lamp” I mean “mouth guard” and by “turn off the lights” I mean “stick a piece of plastic that has been formed to match my teeth in my mouth.”
How much eye cream should you be using? Can you use too much?
I used to slather my eye cream on (these are my confessions), but according to Dr. Malek, “Generally the size of a pea will be adequate to cover the lower lids without over saturating. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Since the lower eyelid skin is thin it can easily become irritated if active ingredients are over applied. If you have extra product use it on your neck, décolleté or hands.”
Let me know: Do you guys have any more questions, re: eye creams? Have you found eye creams to work or have you found them to be sorta gimmicky?