Eye Creams: What I Wish I Knew 20 Years Ago
If you’re a child of any decade prior to mass info dissemination via the internet, the way you discovered and educated yourself about skincare was to get dressed, go to a mall, sit down at a cosmetic counter and have an in-person (shocking, right?) consultation about your skin. It was like taking a Cosmo quiz in person, “What’s your skin type?” “How many steps are you willing to do?” and “Oh yes, everyone needs a toner.” You took what they gave you telling yourself you were set on skincare for 20 years and then hit up the food court, that was life. The focus was on cleansing, hydrating and yes, toning (hello, Clinique) and less about preventative care. But, as you notice your eyeliner smudging more than it used to thanks to a drooping eyelid, you wonder why that cosmetic specialist didn’t saddle you up with an eye cream, not to mention a few other targeted treatments like serums, oils and retinol. Here’s what I’ve learned about the eyes and why they rightfully have their own skincare category:
Why the eye?
The eye area arguably endures more than skin anywhere else on the body; it’s the first to betray signs of age, stress and fatigue.
Is it really that different from the rest of my facial/body skin?
Smiling, squinting and blinking add up to 10K eye movements per day, and the under-eye skin is 10x thinner than the rest of our facial skin. The eye area is also lacking in soft tissue, like fat and muscle, so the skin is more likely to have a saggy, hollowed appearance. The cherry on top? We don’t have oil glands surrounding the eye area, so it’s especially difficult to produce and retain moisture in that region. To say our eyes are constantly fighting an uphill battle to recover from thousands of daily repetitive movements (not to mention sun, pollution and debris exposure) is an understatement.
Why do eyelids sag?
Eyelids naturally sag over time with age, stress and the natural pull of gravity. The medical term for drooping, saggy eyelids is “ptosis” – the term covers anything from a little droopage to a lot of extra baggage. In some severe cases of ptosis, the person’s eyesight is hindered, and surgery may be required to regain unencumbered sight. Most cases of ptosis occur from a weakening of the muscles responsible for lifting the eyelid, these are called levators. And those sleepless nights don’t help; we put strain on the muscles keeping our peepers open after a night, or several, of inadequate sleep.
Eyelids can also get puffier over time
Aside from the gravitational sag, eyelids can adopt permanent puffiness once the tissues in the lids weaken causing fat deposits to slide down and rest on the lower part of the eyelid. These fatty deposits show up as puffy looking eyes and can be exacerbated by edema (fluid retention).
What ingredients should I look for to tighten and firm the eyelids?
Anything that checks the boxes on hydration, brightening, de-puffing (aka firming), lifting and antioxidant protection. Your hard hitters in these categories are going to be Vitamins C (brightening), E (protecting) and A (tone, texture and wrinkles) and sodium hyaluronate/hyaluronic acid (hydration).
And tap into the preventative power of plants
Persian Silk Tree Bark is a popular but often unmentioned ingredient for lifting and protection because it works to prevent glycation, which is the aging and subsequent inelasticity of collagen. Persian Silk Tree Bark strengthens and protects existing skin proteins to elongate the lifecycle of your collagen and elastin, keeping eyes looking lifted and firm.
Yes, we make a pretty fab eye cream
, specifically targeted for the lids. You can find it here.