While all of our bodies deserve a little TLC, it’s also true that certain parts require a bit more thought and care. Case in point: the sensitive skin around our eyes that’s typically composed of thinner, dryer and more delicate skin tissue than the rest of our face. In fact, it can become one of the first areas on our bodies to reveal signs of aging.
Dark undereye circles and puffiness can say a lot about how we’re doing in our day-to-day (if you question that, just come greet me when I’ve had a rough night’s sleep). And while no amount of product can (or should) totally undo those fine lines that surface around the eyes (they can also be markers of a life well-lived!), there are creams you can apply that are specifically formulated for this part of your face.
How eye cream is different from face cream
While face cream will do in a pinch, eye cream is specifically formulated to target undereye and eyelid skin. At 0.5mm, the skin here is the thinnest on our whole body. It’s also dryer and more sensitive than other parts of the face that hold more subcutaneous fat (i.e. our cheeks).
While face creams generally aim to keep your skin hydrated, they can also help address pigmentation and other broader concerns, and typically contain heavier oils and acids. Eye creams, on the other hand, are typically formulated without irritants (such as fragrance), and can also tackle specific issues that only surface under and around our eyes. Some eye creams are light and fast-absorbing, while others are rich and dense.
Here are some ways to tell if you should start incorporating eye cream into your daily skincare regimen.
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Sign 1: The skin around your eyes feels especially dry
If it feels tight and itchy it likely means the skin surrounding your eyes is experiencing extra dryness. Moisturizing this area, especially with a richer eye cream, can provide it with some much-needed nourishment. As an FYI, one study found that parts of the skin with the fewest oil glands develop the deepest wrinkles. For this reason, keeping this area well-moisturized can keep your skin from unnecessarily crinkling and creating additional wrinkles, such as crow’s feet, too soon.
Sign 2: You’re seeing irritation
If the skin around your eyes is reacting to your face cream, it’s a good indication that you may need to switch to a product that minimizes irritants in its ingredients. Redness, bumps and rashes are all red flags your skin is sending your way that it’s time to switch to something aimed at this more-sensitive skin.
Sign 3: Your eyes are puffy, and it’s not allergies
While the rest of our body can certainly retain fluids (i.e. if you’ve had one too many the previous night, are sleep deprived, have a poor diet, etc.), the area under our eyes doesn’t hide that fluid retention well because it’s much thinner. As a result, our eyes can become puffy, leading to those dreaded bags beneath our eyes.
Sign 4: You get dark, undereye circles
OK, so they can be a fact of life for many. They can be the product of genes, smoking, sun exposure, stress, pigmentation or even the shadows that form as our face ages. But, as the beauty industry has evolved, so too have the products geared at this pesky beauty problem.
Sign 5: You get “milk spots” often
Also known as milia, these tiny skin-coloured bumps develop with the build-up and hardening of keratin (sometimes caused by heavy creams). For this particular issue, you’ll need to look for a lighter cream that won’t clog the skin under your eyes. While there additional ways to help resolve this issue, both retinol and a light-weight (think serum) eye cream are good products to include.