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There’s a lot of debate when it comes to the “most effective,” skincare routine. For some, like many proponents of more intense Korean skincare routines, the proper routine involves upwards of 20 steps morning and evening. For others, a few key products used daily will do the trick.
One of the most hotly debated products in this conversation? Eye cream. While some find it to be a completely unnecessary mark-up sold by skincare companies just to make more money, many see is as an essential step to any good anti-aging routine.
Here are the benefits of high-quality eye cream.
Before we delve into what eye creams do, it’s important to note that the skin around the eye area is different from the skin on the rest of your face and body. Specifically:
These reasons make the eye area more vulnerable to issues like dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines and wrinkles. The right eye cream can effectively address these unique concerns.
That said, getting this right is all about finding a product with the right ingredients to address your specific eye area concerns. No one ingredient or cream can effectively treat all of these concerns - and, indeed, many ingredients that dowork can be found in all kinds of skincare products, not just eye creams.
That’s where many skincare companies try to trick you into purchasing their creams and claim that it's the only product that will do the trick. That's just not so. Here's what will actually do the trick.
Though most people attribute dark circles to fatigue or lack of sleep, there are actually various factors that can contribute to this condition, including fatigue, age, eye strain, allergies, and dehydration.
When it comes to effectively treating dark circles, you want ingredients that can minimize their appearance by hydrating, plumping, and brightening the under-eyes. These include:
Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan (that’s a mouthful!) - a powerful substance found naturally in your skin. It is a humectant, meaning that it draws moisture from its surrounding environment. And it’s extremely effective: just one gram (0.03oz) of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water, and it’s capable of binding 1,800 times its own weight in water - whoa!For your delicate eye area, that means effective, non-comedogenic hydration in the deepest layers of the skin. Exactly what you need.
Squalaneplays a huge role in your natural ability to moisturize your skin and is particularly effective at preventing transdermal moisture loss. Applying it topically as your natural production decreases can help you prevent dry skin and signs of aging, which is vital for this delicate area.
This MVP is a potent antioxidant that reduces signs of aging, repairs damaged skin, accelerates collagen synthesis, and corrects hyperpigmentation.Specifically, by fighting free radicals and photo-damage, vitamin C effectively brightens dark circles by reducing any hyperpigmentation.
MSM is a natural compound found in all living things that is known for inhibiting the breakdown of collagen, reducing inflammation, and making the cell wall more permeable so vital nutrients can through. When it comes to eye cream, specifically, these properties give MSM the ability to help brighten the dull skin around the eyes while correcting hyperpigmentation.
All In eye cream, too!
Vitamin E (or tocopherol) is a natural component of healthy skin. While it’s often overshadowed by trendy newcomer ingredients, this powerful (yet gentle!) antioxidant is great for all-around skincare. It can effectively defend the skin by neutralizing free radicals caused by pollution and other environmental stressors. This strengthens, tightens, and firms skin over time - oh, and it adds moisture too!
Photodamage is the number one cause of physical aging on the skin - so dark spots and wrinkles around the eyes are going to continue to pop up if you don’t invest in some SPF.
You can find all of these ingredients - minus the SPF - in the All In eye cream here.
Eye puffiness or bags under the eyes can occur throughout your life - but it typically gets worse as you age. It’s caused by:
Overall, the key to treating puffiness and undereye bags is to incorporate ingredients that brighten, soothe, and constrict the area. These include:
Used topically, green tea has been shown to decrease inflammation, reduce the number of sunburn cells, and protect cells from UV damage. If that’s not enough, the catechins and polyphenols in green tea have also been known to fight free radical damage and protect against the five most common environmental toxins (pesticide, smoking, mycotoxin, polychlorinated biphenyls, and arsenic) thereby toning the skin and reducing signs of aging - win! What's more, the caffeine in green tea can reduce swelling and promote circulation, both of which can ease fluid retention concerns.
Again, vitamin C can help with puffiness by nourishing the skin and addressing any damage that could be causing the concerns. It’s also a vasoconstrictor and an anti-inflammatory, meaning that it can help constrict blood vessels and soothe any inflammation that can contribute to undereye puffiness.
In general, peptides can help stimulate collagen production and promote a softer, more even skin tone. When it comes specifically to undereye bags and inflammation, this restorative action can target and treat sagging or inflamed undereye skin.
Finally, there are expression lines, fine lines, and crow’s feet. These are a natural result of aging, although external factors like smoking, pollution, sun damage, or free radical damage can certainly make them appear more quickly and more dramatically.
You can start to diminish the appearance of wrinkles with:
These ingredients certainly have some overlap with the “hydrating” ingredients - a moisturized face is a more plump face, after all - but there are some differentiating points here as well.
The most overlap you’ll see, of course, is with the hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalane, and cocoa butter. These will help fill fine lines and decrease the visibility of dark circles as they hydrate the skin.
Antioxidants combat oxidative stress, which is huge. Stress and the free radicals it produces can break down collagen and get in the way of the skin’s natural repair process. That, in turn, triggers inflammation, fine lines, and loose skin. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants prevent this damage and allow your skin to heal, recuperate, and smooth over time.
Peptides are proteins found naturally in skin that communicate with cells to trigger collagen production. Our skin is primarily comprised of collagen, which breaks down as we age. When topical skincare peptides are applied, they signal your body to produce new collagen.
This minimizes wrinkles and plumps skin. All In and Night Shift gel moisturizer contains the anti-aging peptide Matrixyl 30000, composed of 2 proteins that trigger the formation of several important skin components, including elastin and collagen.
Raspberry seed oil can absorb UV rays, making it an unexpectedly effective sunscreen. It’s also rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids - all of which make it great for your body and your skin! (If you’re interested, you can find out about other superfruits in skincare here).
Remember, the rest of your routine is just as important, and your eye area will benefit from a comprehensive routine of gentle, beneficial products. So look for the above ingredients in all of your skincare products.
Don't know where to start? You can find trial-sized every product you might need - all with these powerful ingredients - in our Discovery Kit.
Sticking your eye cream in the refrigerator can help with puffiness by encouraging your blood vessels to constrict.
Many eye conditions, like dark circles and puffiness, can arise from allergies. Similarly, puffiness can be a sign of excess salt intake, poor lymphatic drainage, or other lifestyle and health concerns. It’s important, then, to look at your lifestyle and your health holistically, and to address any underlying habits or concerns that may be making your eye issues worse.