Do I Really Need to Buy an Eye Cream?

Since I have seven, count ’em seven signs of aging, I don’t want to buy beauty care products I don’t need.  So as I was assembling  my beauty tool kit I hesitated before buying  eye creams.  Do we really need separate products for the eyes?  The simple answer is YES– but  for reasons that may surprise you. The skin around the eyes is thinner and more vulnerable to just about everything– sunlight, irritation, allergies, infection, aging and discoloration. Problems arise here earlier and tend to be more obvious.

To both prevent and relieve  these issues, the eye area needs extra protection but milder formulations.  Ingredients such as alcohol, Vitamin C, fruit acids, even Retin A need to be in lower concentration.  

The eye area is also more vulnerable to infection from bacteria and mold that can  build up in skin care products.  This is why  eye area products tend to come in very  little jars or tubes.  The tiny openings  actually inhibit contamination.

Finally  eye care products for daytime use need to offer especially good  sunscreens.  Not only does sunlight  increase skin wrinkling, it causes the release of melanin that are a major cause of under eye circles.  I need an eye cream with of an SPF of t least 15– and 30 would be even better.

So what does all this mean when you are standing  in front of a wall of skin care products?   For daytime, I want an eye cream that is a gentle moisturizer with a strong sunscreen. Since anti-oxidents  like vitamin E or green tea can  reduce damage from sun exposure, they  could offer potential benefits.  At  bedtime, my eye cream could benefit from ingredients that encourage collagen growth such as retinols and peptides.  I’m going  on a field trip to find products that meet  my guidelines. I’ll pick up a few  good candidates and then blog the results over the next few weeks.  Under eye shadow are one of my biggest beauty complaints and I really want to  to get a handle on them.

Close-Up: Ceramides

Ceramides, a type of lipid, are the glue that hold cells together in the upper layers of the skin.  They help the skin look smooth,  soft and fresh.  As we get  wiser ( as well as older) we produce less and less ceramides.  By age 60, the level of ceramides have stopped by 30%.  The result?   The skin  tends to feel dry and look flaky as disconnected  skin cells fall apart.

Skin care products with ceramides are intended to replace  our missing natural ceramides.  Expert are devided ( again) as to whether or not the ceramides in a product can get deep enough in the skin and actually  glue cells together.  I really like the concept of ceramides and I hope that  research will soon prove its value.  They are just the type of ingredient  that would be gentle enough for the eye area.

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