Bye, Bye Eye Cream: Three Reasons You Don’t Need It
by Allison Ford
Pricey little tubes and ampoules of eye cream promise eternal youth for those who are “smart” enough to use them … or maybe just rich enough to fork over hundreds of dollars for them. (Seriously—some are crazy expensive.) Advertisers have cleverly convinced consumers that eye creams are special, but actually, most of the claims about them are mere myths. Why buy two products when one can do the job?
They Aren’t That Different From Moisturizers
Part of the allure of eye creams is the claim that they contain special anti-aging ingredients or specialized support for the eye area. Not so. Take a look at the ingredients list of just about any eye product—the active ingredients are virtually identical to those in regular moisturizers, and they are found in the same concentrations. There is nothing special about eye creams, certainly nothing that makes them a can’t-live-without beauty booster.
It’s often implied that eye creams are safer to use around your eyes; but actually, the opposite is true. The vast majority of eye creams don’t contain sunscreen, leaving eyes vulnerable to the biggest cause of skin aging.
They Can’t Reduce Under-Eye Circles
Puffy, dark circles under the eyes are caused by hyperpigmentation and dilated blood vessels, both of which are caused by heredity. There’s no evidence that the anti-inflammatory agents, caffeine, or botanicals in specialized topical eye creams can do anything to lessen under-eye circles. If you have puffy or dark circles under your eyes, a better course of action is to drink lots of water, use cucumber slices or tea bags to ease puffiness, and invest in a good concealer.
The Eye Area Isn’t as Delicate as You Think
It’s true that the skin under the eyes is thinner than in other places, but it’s no more sensitive than anywhere else on the face (assuming you aren’t applying products directly to your eyeball).
The only precaution you should take is to always apply moisturizers and cosmetics carefully and gently to avoid tearing the delicate connective tissue underneath the skin. Don’t ever rub or tug at the eyes; just lightly sweep on creams or softly tap with your finger.
From Consumer Reports to Paula “The Cosmetics Cop” Begoun, experts agree that using a separate product for the eye area just isn’t necessary. The only reason a separate product might be warranted is if the skin around your eyes is significantly different from the rest of your face—for example, if your face is very oily but your eye area is very dry. And even then, a regular moisturizer will probably be just fine. The best way to keep your eye area young and healthy is the boring way—through wearing sunscreen, donning sunglasses, and not smoking. Don’t buy an eye cream thinking that you’ll get something miraculous, because all you’ll get is half the product for twice the price.