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Image / Style / Beauty

Here’s exactly what to look for in your eye cream depending on your issue


by Melanie Morris
06th May 2021
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The face seems to be like a merry-go-round for trends, with every feature getting its time to shine. Right now, the eyes have it – no great surprise considering everything else is covered with a mask. Melanie Morris discovers how to make the most of our ocular assets.

If you’ve neglected the eye area for some time, the temptation may be to reach for every eye product under the sun, but this may not be the smartest approach. The idea of a product specifically for one area of the face (eg, neck, eyes) is a traditional one, but surely focusing on the ingredients necessary to tackle each of our specific concerns is a more intelligent way to go.

So, what do we need? When it comes to eyes – puffiness, dark circles, and dull appearance, caffeine is the hero ingredient to stimulate lymph flow and eliminate sluggish circulation around the orbital skin. We also need ceramides – those easy-to-absorb lipid molecules that mimic and thus regenerate our cell membrane structure. Peptides (proteins) will help with collagen production and tackle wrinkle depth, as will vitamin A (from which retinol is derived), while vitamin C attacks pigmentation and restores glow. Finally, the ubiquitous hyaluronic acid will pull hydration to the undereye area to soften fine lines and re-plump the skin. One absolute non-negotiable for the eye area is a good, broad-spectrum SPF to avoid savage ageing and discolouration, and compromising the condition of this notoriously fine, delicate skin.

Unsurprisingly, I like to consider a multitask approach, so an SPF that comes with a good-coverage tint is a handy ally for days like these, when a full face of make-up isn’t required.

Avène offers an excellent range of options that can be applied right up to under the eye, while SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen Protection, €31, brightens the undereye area, offers a hint of tint, and won’t budge or run, even when trialled during sweaty workouts.

Once aware of the ingredients to address an individual’s concerns, it’s time to get forensic with products – do you necessarily need a specific eye product (probably yes, if you’re looking for something with caffeine in it), or might you find these ingredients in an ocular-tested skin cream or serum already in your regime?

Eye creams are getting a bad rap at the moment, the suggestion being that these are products created more with marketing in mind than skin science. New generation serums and face creams can usually be applied around the eye area, so it’s a question of reading the inky list on the back of the box and getting familiar with what exactly you’re putting on your face.

Whichever you choose, apply delicately using the pads of the ring finger, tapping rather than dragging product. And be sparing on application to avoid milia, the small sub-dermal whiteheads that can appear from product build-up.

Finally, there are the treatments and tools that work in consort with products as part of an overall eyecare regime. Jade rollers, especially ones that are kept in the fridge, instantly soothe puffy eyes, while those comma-shaped undereye patches, packed with hyaluronic acid, are a super quick-fix to plump out crow’s feet and are great to wear for half an hour prior to applying make-up.

And my personal quick-fix eye treatment? A nude or white kohl pencil in the waterline, to open and brighten eyes beautifully.

Photography by Jason Lloyd Evans.

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This article originally appears in the Spring issue of IMAGE Magazine.

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