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Monday, April 03, 2017

What Makes a Good Eye Cream?

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With hundreds of eye creams on the market making claims from outrageous (think: “age reversal”) to essential (like moisturizing properties), the difficulty lies in understanding what eye creams can actually deliver, and then determining which one is worth your money.

To find out, we delved into the science behind high-powered ingredients proven to make a visible difference, and tapped a celebrity esthetician, a dermatologist, and a skincare-formulation chemist. I also scoured user reviews on major beauty sites, magazines, and reputable blogs, paying attention to award winners with top nods from “best of” lists.

Cosmetic Eye Issues & Their Causes

Aging — Collagen, elastin, and fat decrease as you age, and the tissues and muscles around your eyes weaken, causing the skin to sag and wrinkle. You can't help some of this, but tugging at skin even as you remove makeup can expedite it.

Dark circles — Typically, dark circles under the eyes are the result of lack of sleep, allergies, or poor blood circulation. Unfortunately, they're also a part of aging and genetics. They occur when you can see the blood vessels under the skin's thin surface.

Puffiness — Puffiness simply occurs when fluid accumulates under the skin, causing what appears to be swelling. Any time you have a loss of water, say, from crying or eating too much ramen, your body will overcompensate by adding more water. This can also happen when you sleep on your stomach, as water inside your body is subject to gravity.

Under-eye bags — This is easy to confuse with puffiness because they are related. The Mayo Clinic states, “With aging, the tissues around your eyes, including some of the muscles supporting your eyelids, weaken. Normal fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, causing the lids to appear puffy. Fluid also may accumulate in the space below your eyes, adding to the swelling." Several factors, including changes in weather, hormone levels, eating salty foods, lack of sleep, allergies, and genetics, can all lead to under-eye bags.

How Eye Creams Work

Eye creams essentially work in three ways: by moisturizing, calming, and protecting the delicate skin surrounding the eyes. The best eye creams will also include ingredients that renew and regenerate cells, strengthening skin fibers such as collagen and elastin.

Eye creams deliver moisture a bit differently than their facial counterparts. Because the product is applied so close to the eyes, eye creams are usually much gentler and contain a higher concentration of emollients to infuse hydration. Proper, deep moisturization is arguably the most important way an eye cream works. Consistent moisturizing plumps up skin, warding off dryness and visible blood vessels. When the skin stays supple, it slows wrinkling and instantly creates a brighter, fresher look.

Certain ingredients also work to reduce inflammation and stimulate circulation to help decrease the swelling and fluid retention that causes puffiness, while antioxidants nourish and protect from free-radical damage caused by everyday environmental aggressors, like pollution and sun damage.

Setting Realistic Expectations

Ever read an eye cream label that claimed it could make dark circles “vanish” or “lift sagging skin”? If it were true, I’d be all over it, too. Unfortunately, eye creams can’t make your eyes look like they did when you were 15 as much as a black dress can’t make you look 50 pounds thinner. The good news is that eye creams still do a lot of good. Make sure you understand what you can and cannot anticipate after using eye cream so you’re actually pleased with the results.

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What You Can Expect From Eye Cream

Through major moisturizing action, you realistically can slow down the formation of wrinkles by keeping skin as plump as possible. For existing issues — like dark circles, wrinkles, and fine lines — eye creams help improve their appearance. For example, you can boost your skin’s elasticity by adding emollience to cells, but it’s impossible to directly increase elasticity. Eye creams can also help stimulate collagen production through ingredients like vitamin C and promote cell turnover with retinol.

What You Shouldn't Expect From Eye Cream

Eye creams comprise ingredients that offer cosmetic benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and brightening effects for puffiness and dark circles. Aside from the preventative benefits eye creams offer through consistent moisturizing, they generally improve the appearance of issues. There are no eye creams that can directly suck the fluid out from your eye skin to eliminate puffiness, nor can they get rid of the blood vessels that cause dark circles.

Important Features of an Eye Cream
As I conducted my research, I gathered intel on what qualities of an eye cream are most important to users. These are the features all great eye creams must offer to be considered the best:

Boosts hydration and moisturizes: Moisturizing is key to the effectiveness of all eye creams.
Contains the best ingredients: Your eye cream should contain ingredients that target eye issues, including nourishing antioxidants, anti-aging retinol, and more.

Clinically proven: Products and ingredients that don't have scientific studies backing their efficacy should still be highly rated in clinical studies.

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Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of readers and not that of Funmy Kemmy.

I could be reached by e-mail: funmykemmy2009@gmail.com. Catch Ya!