If you love beauty products, chances are that your skincare cabinet is full of toners, serums, moisturizers, facial oils, and everything in-between. You might be wondering if it’s worth the time, effort, and dwindling counter space to add another product to your skincare routine. So the question arises: Do you need an eye cream? The skin around the eyes is more fragile, prone to dryness, and quicker to show age and fatigue. Eye creams are targeted treatments that address these issues, along with offering an array of other benefits.
What Does An Eye Cream Do?
Have you ever noticed how after a long night, your eyes give you away the next day thanks to bags, dark circles, and puffiness? Or that some of the first signs of aging appear as crow’s feet and fine lines beneath the eyes? Hadley King, MD, a dermatologist in New York City, touches on this phenomenon by explaining, “The skin around the eyes is thin and fragile, which is why puffiness and signs of and aging often first become apparent in this delicate tissue.”1
The skin under your eyes requires special maintenance to keep it looking fresh, which is where eye creams come in. They’re formulated to target the delicate skin around the eyes while delivering moisture and specific ingredients that can lessen the look of bags, puffiness, and uneven tone. They can also help protect against signs of premature aging.
Regular Moisturizers vs. Eye Creams
Because well-formulated eye creams are targeted treatments, it’s important to understand how they differ from other skincare products. Targeted treatments are designed to address a specific condition or area of concern. This focus guides the development of more effective, more highly concentrated products with appropriate levels of active ingredients to address those concerns. Active ingredients can penetrate to support and engage the skin’s natural processes, helping it to function more optimally.
In contrast, ordinary moisturizers serve to temporarily soothe and lubricate skin on the surface. They are often formulated with ingredients that feel good on the skin, such as water, emollients, humectants, silicones, waxes, oils, and butters. However, unlike targeted treatments, regular moisturizers are typically designed to just address skin dryness. They are made to help prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by forming a film on the skin’s surface, and they can help condition skin to enhance softness and smoothness.
Another key difference is that well-formulated eye treatments are designed to work effectively while still being gentle enough to be used around the eyes. Because the eye region is fragile, and topicals can have a tendency to get into the eyes, active ingredients are carefully selected that are more suitable for use on this sensitive area of skin. Additionally, eye sensitivity and irritation testing helps to confirm product safety for use around the eyes.
5 Benefits of Eye Cream
Incorporating an eye cream into your daily skincare routine is an excellent preventative measure to help keep the skin firm, supple and healthy around your eyes. However, there are plenty of other reasons to use an eye cream, too. Here are a few of the benefits you can reap when you add an eye cream to your skincare regime:
Helps Prevent Signs of Premature Skin Aging
Two big culprits of premature skin aging are dehydration and environmental stressors. An effective eye cream packed with antioxidants and moisture-rich ingredients can help keep these aggressors at bay. Curated antioxidants, vitamins, and hydrators can help to smooth and revitalize skin, resulting in the diminished appearance of wrinkles and expression lines.
Pictured: A 44-year-old woman at baseline (A) and after 56 days of treatment (B) with a hydrating eye cream, wrinkles reduced by 74.23%. Source: US National Library of Medicine
Aids All Skin Types
As previously mentioned, the skin around the eyes can be highly sensitive, and it’s the location where signs of premature aging and damage first show up. For those who have dry skin, it’s especially tricky, because the dryness and flakiness around this region can be irritating. Those who have oily skin typically show fewer lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet on the surface versus their dry skin counterparts, however an eye cream can still be beneficial to address premature collagen loss, dark circles, and puffiness.
Delivers Excellent Hydration
According to Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, hydrating your under eye area is incredibly important, as there are fewer oil glands in the region, meaning the area dries out quickly.3 The thin skin around your eyes needs a specialized kind of hydration, which eye creams can provide. They do this with a concentration of ingredients that combine humectants that draw in water, sealants that hold the water in over time, and emollients that condition skin for added softness and smoothness.
Eye creams can also protect the skin around your eyes from further damage that your skin may have already been subjected to. Thin under-eye skin is more vulnerable and prone to irritants than the rest of the face. Eye creams may include ingredients that specifically add resilience to the area. Some makeup artists even apply eye cream before putting makeup on to add a layer of moisture and protection, keeping this region protected from harsh and damaging chemicals.
Soothes Tired Eyes
Eye creams may also include calming, nourishing ingredients to comfort the under-eye area. They are known to be rich and creamy or light and non-greasy, with a subtle coolness in temperature. Puffiness, a symptom of tired eyes, comes from fluid buildup that can be caused by things like sleep deprivation, allergies, and diet. “If the eye cream has a high concentration of caffeine, you can temporarily minimize eye puffiness and the look of tiredness,” says Jaliman. “This is because the caffeine constricts the blood vessels, which diminishes the flow of blood to the eye area and decreases puffiness.”4
Ingredients You Want In An Eye Cream
Eye creams can offer a wide array of benefits depending on the ingredients included to address your eye area needs. Here are some ingredients that are often used in high quality eye cream formulas:
- Caffeine: Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor that gives tired-looking skin a boost and decreases the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.
- Green Tea: With potent antioxidant power, green tea soothes and protects the vulnerable under-eye area and keeps it looking fresh.
- Peptides: These amino acids constitute proteins like collagen and elastin that our skin needs. A dose of peptides can lead to more youthful-looking skin.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Known as ‘the moisture magnet,’ HA can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. This lubricating substance occurs naturally in our bodies and provides bounce and resilience to the skin.
- Squalane: Squalane is a soother and hydrator that mimics our sebum for a visible plumping effect.
- Retinol: This vitamin A derivative helps to plump and firm the skin while helping to diminish fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration.
- Vitamin B3: Niacin or niacinamide, a crucial vitamin that supports moisture retention and an even skin tone.
- Medicinal Mushrooms: These powerhouses often contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that soothe, calm, hydrate, and brighten the skin.
- Aloe Vera: Tired, stressed eyes will appreciate aloe vera’s soothing, cooling, and hydrating properties.
How To Use An Eye Cream
Thankfully, working eye cream into your skincare routine is simple. Plus, it will only add a few seconds onto your existing regime. Your under eyes will immediately feel refreshed and invigorated. To get the most out of your eye cream, follow these dermatologist-approved steps:
Step 1: Prep Your Skin
Treat eye cream just like any other moisturizing product by priming your canvas for the hydration to come. Begin by using your go-to cleanser and toner to set the stage for maximum absorption. You may want to follow with a moisturizer, but this is an area of contention among experts—so go with whatever order of operation works best for you. Many prefer to apply eye cream before moisturizer, but if you forget, don’t worry. Just make sure you’re putting it on twice a day.
Step 2: Use A Very Small Amount
Since the eye area is so delicate, you don’t need to apply large amounts of product or use a heavy hand when it comes to eye cream. Before you measure out your amount, quickly rinse your hands to get any residue off of your fingertips, which could irritate sensitive skin. Then, apply a small amount to your ring finger to help you maintain a gentle touch during application.
Step 3: Apply the Eye Cream
Tap the eye cream that’s on your ring finger with the other ring finger, so it’s distributed evenly. Continue by tapping your fingers in a circle around both eyes. By tapping in a semi-circle shape from under the eye to the outer corners to the brow bone, you can help stimulate blood flow, allowing for better product absorption.
Eye Cream Tips and Tricks
Eye creams are a great way to pamper yourself, while also preventing signs of premature aging and giving eyes a brightening boost. When combined with healthy skincare products, a balanced diet, lots of water, sleep, and sunscreen, nothing can stop you from feeling and looking your best.
To reap the maximum benefits from your eye cream, try these tips and tricks:
- Be gentle. Use a delicate touch, so you don’t aggravate your skin.
- Follow the 90-second rule. Allow your eye cream to sink in and settle before you move on with your skincare or makeup routine.
- Keep it consistent. Apply your eye cream morning and night to get consistently glowing results.
- Cool it down. If the formulation allows, try storing your eye cream in the fridge. A chillier temperature can help refresh, de-puff, and soothe tired eyes.
- Moisture is your friend. By applying eye cream to skin that’s just a little bit damp, it will seal in added moisture.
- Pinch your brows to stimulate circulation and a lift. After ending your eye cream treatment, try brow pinching, which has roots in Ayurveda, and is meant to target certain pressure points to reduce puffiness and fine lines. Use small pinches with medium pressure.
- Use a massage tool. If you have an eye massage tool, you can give yourself a gentle massage. Just be extra careful with the fragile area, and only use the weight of the tool to slide across the skin after applying eye cream.
Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream
This exceptionally rich eye cream is formulated with key ingredients such as peptides, squalane, medicinal mushrooms, and aloe vera. Soothing, smoothing, and nourishing, this cream enlivens the look of the entire eye area. It immediately goes to work upon application, renewing the delicate skin present around your eyes. The concentrated formula has a dense consistency that sinks in and stays put. It won’t run into your eyes or string and can be used both day and night; alone or under makeup.
There is an abundance of skin-rejuvenating plant-based nutrients packed into this luscious eye cream formula. Full-spectrum whole hemp and adaptogens help to balance the skin’s stress response. Antioxidants defend against premature fine lines, wrinkles, laxity and collagen-loss. A skin-perceptive mushroom peptide blend revitalizes to increase luminosity and diminish noticeable eye bags, puffiness, and signs of fatigue. Nourishing moisture improves elasticity, firmness, and resilience.
We assure you that the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream is:
- 100% Vegan
- Sensitivity Tested
- Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free
- Packaged for Recyclability
You can shop the new Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream here.
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