Eye creams…

Eyes are the first thing we notice about each other or, at least, focus on…okay, heaps of women are disagreeing from their experience with lusty boys but let’s just go with this for now alright? ‘My eyes are up here, love…’

‘It’s all in the eyes’, ‘The eyes have it…’, ‘The eyes are the window to the soul’ and so on…which is all very poetic but we notice ageing around our eyes straight away too. The skin around our eyes is thinner and therefore more delicate and it gets used a lot…well, unless you’re the king or queen of ‘deadpan’. Each blink, laugh, squint, facial reaction or crying session tweaks the skin around your eyes, then coupled with sun and weather exposure, rubbing, contact lens wrangle, make up application and removal, it’s propensity for puffiness, allergies and dark circles it takes a fair old beating.

It is no wonder the beauty industry targets it as a special case – but does it warrant a specific, invariably expensive, cream/serum? It’s an argument that has raged for ages and will continue to do so I’m certain. All manufacturers will insist an eye cream is vital (well, duh…) but I’ve never used one. Am I missing out?

Sure, there’s some crêpeing and a few ‘fine lines’ (ahem!) and the imprint of a crow’s foot! Laughter lines too…but as the saying goes ‘nothing was that funny…!’ But I am a hundred years old so that’s normal surely…or is the ironed flat waxy look sported by so many ‘celebrities’ the only way forward? I don’t want the ironed look (I’ll only burn my face…ho ho ho!)

Essentially, all skin needs the holy binity of exfoliation and hydration to remain vibrant, springy and clear. The area around your eyes is no different in this but the difference comes in the manner and products used. Due to the delicate and vulnerable nature of this skin the gentlest possible products and handling is needed.

Hydrating the area is key as it has no oil glands and there are very few around the area so it needs a little helping hand. Avoiding oil based products is a must as they can cause blockages. Basing your decision on the type of skin you have is also key. You may find that if you’re not usually in need of much moisturiser (and this may change with the, what we laughingly call, seasons) then you may well not need to go overboard with the eye cream…which could in turn mean you don’t even need a separate product!

Exfoliation via acids in the creams is hotly contested. These are usually AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) which break down the dead outer layer of skin and loosen it enough to be washed or wiped away (they take a minute or two to work so washing them straight off will just wash your product down the plughole! See the post about exfoliation). Some say that the inflammation they cause immediately after application can make the skin look less wrinkled as they are in essence plumping the skin and yet the danger is that over time this stresses the delicate skin more and will cause it to sag further (like old knicker elastic…) On the other hand some say that as long as the cream is formulated with the delicate eye area skin in mind then you’ve no need to be concerned (I suspect that’s the industry types speaking…)

Ultimately, if you play out till 4am or drink your body weight in Manhattans then you cannot expect anything, let alone an eye cream, to pick up those pieces! Sun damage is our greatest skin ageing enemy. There is a school of thought that claims botox and acids will not be a long term solution and the answer lies in boosting the collagen and elastin in the area…(some eye products claim to do just that).

SO, the benefits stated by various ‘types’ whether Dr’s of this or experts in that, seem to be that the creams with cooling, calming and antioxidant ingredients are actually useful..well, possibly. They may help reduce…blah blah…they recommend products with AHA’s, moisturiser (often mentioned are those with hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate – a natural substance that is actually already present in skin and is busy beavering away lubricating and storing moisture), herbal extracts that are added for their calming effects and antioxidants. The antioxidants usually take the form of a vitamin such as A or C and mop up and neutralise the free radicals that pollution, smoking or even your stress levels can create. Everyone agrees that wearing sunglasses, sleep and water help too!

Have had a good snoop around the information available, I’m thinking that a combo of all this is probably the way forward until a definitive answer-to-all-our-prayers, one-pot product is developed and proved beyond all doubt AND made inexpensively available to us all.

So, I’m off to research the best products (in bedecked in SPF and sunglasses)…but first I think I’ll drink some water and have a nap…


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