Age may be only a number. But your eyes give it up like rings in trees. The skin around your peepers is first to crack under pressure and – unless you take steps early – even donning a Supreme ski-mask won’t disguise the fact you actually share a birthday with the guys chaperoning the queue.
But the booming men’s grooming industry means a plethora of eye cream options, promising everything from wrinkle reforming to tidying up those bags you’ve worn since university. To know what works, you’d need the chemistry degree you never studied for.
To avoid adding yet more sleepless nights to those already imprinted around your eyes, we parsed the science, to bring you the lowdown on how to keep ageing on the down low. Consider this your cheat sheet.
I’ve Got A Moisturiser Already. Do I Really Need An Eye Cream Too?
The skin around your eyes isn’t like that leather covering the rest of your face. “It’s thinner, and as a consequence it can easily become dry and dehydrated,” says Carol Zedda, head therapist at Natura Bissé. Like your lawn, when skin dries out, it cracks. Unlike your lawn, you can’t just reseed to get rid of them.
“Eye products are designed to provide long-lasting hydration and lipid supplements, to keep this delicate area supple,” says Zedda. Which means you need a cream formulated to act like an all-day sprinkler, not a quick pass with a watering can.
So What Kind Of Eye Cream Should I Be Looking For?
That depends on what you’re trying to outflank. Your eyes’ super-thin skin suffers issues the more robust stuff doesn’t, like puffiness and bags. Your eye cream should be tailored to suit.
Take those dark circles, which come courtesy of pooling blood. To help it on its way, you should apply a cream with caffeine or liquorice, to kick your capillaries into gear. Adding a pillow to your bed (to elevate your head) and more omega-3 to your diet (salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds) will also help stop the red stuff lingering.
Under My Eyes Is Fine, Thank You Very Much. It’s These Lines Next To Them I’m Worried About
If you’re starting to see more candles than cake then it’s no surprise you’re stressing about crow’s feet. Your skin thins as you age, which makes lines more likely. Especially since computers and smartphones make you squint like a Caribbean fisherman.
“They speed up the appearance of expression lines and can cause sluggish blood circulation,” says Zedda. Which is why you need to double down on moisture. Look for creams with hyaluronic acid – it attracts water to help plump up your skin. Ursolic acid should also be on your ingredients hit list since it ups your skin’s collagen production, to counter sagging.
So, I’ve Got My Cream. How Do I Use It?
The more, the merrier. Well, within reason. Dosing day and night gives best results, ideally with a retinol serum added in before bed to help tighten skin and reduce the ageing and discolouration all those hours in the sun have imprinted (we did warn you about not wearing SPF). Again, technique depends on what you’re tackling, says Zedda.
“To diminish the appearance of under eye circles, we recommend applying the eye serum and cream on the lower lid and gently massaging from the inner to the outer corner of the eye and back. Repeat at least three times.
“To smooth frown lines and crow’s feet, we recommend applying the eye serum and cream directly on the wrinkle by holding the skin between two fingers and performing gentle circular movements.
“To prevent dryness and dehydration, apply a generous layer of the eye serum and cream on the upper and lower lids and perform circular massages until completely absorbed.
“To diminish signs of tiredness and puffy eyes, apply the eye serum and cream through gentle, slow pumping movements from the inner to the outer corner of the eye. Repeat this movement at least three times.
“To increase firmness and elasticity, apply the eye serum and cream by performing circular movements on the eye contour area from the inner corner of the eyebrows outwards and back toward the inner corner of the eye.”
But remember – this is thin skin and it damages easily. So use your fourth or fifth fingers, which apply less pressure and lowers the risk you’ll burst the blood vessels around your eyes. Because no eye cream can fix heavy hands.