When asked if eye creams really do work, the answer from our eye experts is a resounding, YES! Delicate eyelid skin allows for easier penetration of topical ingredients compared to other areas of the body. “They work for protection and repair, however, they won’t improve puffy lids or deeper wrinkles,” says Chatham, NJ oculoplastic surgeon Baljeet Purewal, MD. What key ingredients should you look for? According to the pros: moisturizing hyaluronic acid, growth factors, antioxidants, peptides, retinol, and kojic acid to lighten dark circles.
Formulation matters just as much the ingredients, adds Boston facial plastic surgeon Jaimie DeRosa, MD: “You want to treat the area specifically with an eye cream or serum because they are formulated in a way that can penetrate the epidermis and dermal layers of the skin. There are a lot of products with the right ingredients, but not the proper formulation. Those won’t do anything but sit on top of the skin and put a dent in your wallet.”
“Also very important for they eye area is a daily sunscreen,” adds Fresno, CA dermatologist Kathleen Behr, MD. Dr. Singer notes, “There is a limit to what skin care alone can do. It may help prevent some of the progression, but it can’t replace a surgical procedure for patients with a lot of skin laxity. There’s no topical agent proven to reverse aging skin, and that includes around the eyes.”
For DIY eye care, keep metal spoons in the freezer for a quick depuffing; slice strawberries for a five-minute self-care Sunday ritual; reduce swelling with by gently massaging an eye roller around the eyes; and apply under-eye masks or patches. “Keeping the eye area fresh and hydrated, and doing it weekly, is the trick,” says Torrance, CA plastic surgeon Linda Swanson, MD. “My aesthetician and I always include eye masks in our take-home kit between treatments.”
Counteract lines, wrinkles and premature aging with Dermalogica BioLumin-C Eye Serum (70). With peptides to improve skin texture and vitamin C to brighten, it’s the real deal.
Luxurious La Prairie White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire ($550) blends form and function with a ceramic pearl applicator that cools as it rolls a light-as-air formula into the skin with illuminating active Lumidose and line-smoothing golden caviar extract.
No matter your skin tone, the light tint in Supergoop! Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40 ($36) gives under-eyes an instant refresh while protecting against the sun’s harmful rays.
To firm and smooth, press Skyn ICELAND Dissolving Microneedle Patches ($14) under the eyes and leave on for one or two hours, or overnight, allowing the bioactive microneedles to melt into the skin’s surface layer.
Matin uses Susanne Kaufmann Eye Rescue Stick ($126)—it contains green coffee extracts to reduce swelling—as a mini- treatment on clients throughout the day over makeup.