How to achieve the bright eyes we all so desperately want, particularly in the Zoom era? By tracking down the best eye cream to help lift dark circles, de-puff, firm the skin and soften fine lines – preferably one that does all four. Below, exactly how to find the ultimate eye cream for you and your specific skin concerns.
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What to look for in an eye cream
First, decide on your priorities and the results you want to achieve from using an eye cream – it might be the aforementioned firming or de-puffing, but it could also be simply hydrating, or colour correcting. Either way, a good formula is a must: “The delicate eye area is invariably one of the first to show visible signs of ageing,” says Dr Stefanie Williams, specialist dermatologist and medical director at Eudelo. It is delicate skin, which means it needs to be looked after properly. “Thin and lacking the support of underlying fat, the skin around the eyes has virtually no sebaceous glands and is highly vulnerable to dryness and sagging. Add to that the frequent muscle movements that pleat and stress the skin here, and inevitably we see more lines and wrinkles – plus redness and dark circles from the dense capillary network.” Finding the best eye cream for you is actually even more important than you think.
Do eye creams work?
While there is seemingly an eye cream for every last skin concern – from those packed with hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate, to formulas with antioxidants that help protect the skin – an eye cream alone can’t do it all. All eye creams will deliver much-needed hydration and moisture to a delicate area, but it does depend on your skin concern just how effective each formula can be.
A 360 approach can be helpful in most cases. For example, dark circles are often genetic and can be lifted slightly, but not to the extent one might hope. Combined with regular, gentle massage, an eye cream and a healthy diet, you might just see a difference. Equally, a loss of fat under the eyes cannot be rectified with just a cream alone, although their appearance can be lifted if a good, active-infused formula is applied regularly. For eye creams that work hard in the area, look to formulas that contain ingredients like retinol, peptides, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
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When should I start using eye cream?
With many of us so much more knowledgable in the language of skincare these days, there’s a sense of almost urgency around getting our skincare right – or at least making up for where we’ve been missing the mark. But the good news, at least where eye cream is concerned, is there is no right or wrong time to start using it. “There is no perfect age to start using an eye cream,” says Dr Anjali Mahto. “But if there’s a certain eye concern that‘s bothering you, for example dryness around the eyes, then there is no reason not to start to hydrate and moisturise in your teens. Otherwise, for most people incorporating one might be useful once they have a good routine in place, so twenties onwards for most.”
How to apply eye cream
It’s important not to drag or pull the skin around the eye; instead, use tapping and pressing movements, or gently sweep the formula around them. You don’t need much, either – a pea-sized amount should suffice for the whole area, and while you should avoid the upper eyelid, be sure to apply over the brow bone to fully reap an eye cream’s benefits. And finally, it should be the last step in your skincare routine, rather than the first. Williams also recommends using an antioxidant product in the morning to defend against the day’s aggressors, like sun and pollution, and a product that stimulates collagen production in the evening.
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So, without further ado, save yourself the trouble of trawling through myriad lotions and potions, by using British Vogue’s guide to the best eye creams on the market – and the benefits they offer – below.