It’s a debate as old as time: do you really need an eye cream? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Despite being packaged in the tiniest of pots, the best eye cream works like a soft-focus lens for crow’s feet and minimises the appearance of dark circles.
Yes, it’s another step in your skincare routine, but that’s because your regular serum and face cream aren’t necessarily formulated for the fragile skin below your lower lash line. Even the best face serum may have actives that could sensitise this delicate area while creams are often too rich and clog pores, causing small white bumps to appear under the skin.
‘The skin here is thin. It’s made up of less collagen and elastin compared to the rest of the face,’ she says. ‘When you consider the average person blinks 23,000 times, it’s not surprising that the eye area is susceptible to wrinkling.’
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What to look for in the best eye cream
Sadly there is no one-size-fits-all product to tackle puffiness, lines and shadows, so consider applying two different eye creams daily.
‘In the morning, your main issue is puffiness caused by water retention from lying flat all night,’ explains Etheridge. Look for a gel with a slight nip to it as the cooling sensation will instantly de-puff. Combine it with a tool like a jade roller and you’ll only help matters. ‘It should also be high in antioxidants. You want to fight free radical damage from pollution and blue light from computer screens and mobiles.’
At night your skin is in recovery mode, so switch to a richer cream to ramp up hydration. ‘One with a high concentration of peptides and skin-smoothing eyebright extract will help to soften the appearance of expression lines,’ she adds.
If you’ve spent your day sitting under air-conditioning or central heating, tackle crêpeyness around the eyes with a humectant like hyaluronic acid, which draws water into the skin.
Just avoid overly oily formulas at all costs, especially those based on mineral oils and petroleum. These can swamp the skin and easily travel up into the eye.
How to apply eye cream
The eye area being so delicate also means you want to avoid any vigorous rubbing. ‘Put a small amount of product on your ring finger (your weakest finger in terms of exerting pressure) and smooth below the eye, over the crow’s feet area and pat onto the brow bone just below your eyebrows,’ says consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk.
Whatever issue you are trying to tackle, we’ve got you covered with our roundup of the best eye creams.