Cheat Sheet – Eye Cream

There are two camps when it come to eye cream:

  • Those that definitely do
  • Those that think its unnecessary and a waste of money

Unsurprisingly I am very much the former. An eye cream has been part of my routine since my 20’s. I didn’t start earlier because I was pretty healthy – never smoked, didn’t really drink per se and was a teenager who didn’t particularly think about eye cream one way or another. Once I was pregnant with my first child (at 22) I changed my mind.

The saying ‘the eyes are the window to the soul’ is derived from similar medical terms meaning the eyes are literally the window to what is going on inside the body – at all times. If you are blessed with youth and spectacular health your eyes are, I’m sure, clear and bright and the skin around the orbicularis oculi (think panda eye) evenly toned and and coloured.

However, for most of us – the above is no longer the case.

Everything affects your eye area.

All of your internal organs are reflected in them…
Liver problems – yellow eyes

Lymph drainage system – puffy, dark circles

General mild illness – dull

Medication (especially antibiotics) – discoloured, puffy, dull, dehydrated
Smoking – grey, dehydrated

Lack of sleep/too much sleep – puffy, dark circles, grey ‘tired eyes’

Diet – including too much salt, caffeine and alcohol – puffy, dark circles, dehydrated

Sun damage/ageing – wrinkles, dehydrated

It’s a minefield. The bad news is that any cream would be hard pushed to fix the above. If you are unhealthy internally, a topical cream will not magically fix you. What they will do however, especially when used in conjunction with a concealer, is temporarily mask some of the above. While we’re on the subject – any ethical retailer will advise you that the effect of a cream will wear off if you discontinue use.

No cream is a permanent ‘fix’.

I like a separate eye cream for a number of reasons but mainly because I am extremely prone to puffy eyelids and really dark circles. Both genetic, both nothing I can do anything about (excluding surgery for the lids) – BUT – some things make them much worse and heavier formulations found in most moisturisers are one of them. I like thin serums and dedicated formulations for eyes for that reason.

A few do’s and don’ts:

  • Do NOT use mineral oil around your eye area – don’t use it anywhere – but especially the eye area – you’ll be puffy like never before
  • Don’t be tempted to use more than the advised amount – its unnecessary, could cause irritation and waste your money
  • If you have eczema or psoriasis in the eye area – which is very common – you can use thicker creams on the lids as you’ll need them – depending on the severity of your condition they should probably be prescribed by your doctor – although you may find a nice organic balm somewhere – no beauty house should claim to treat those problems
  • Do use only the lightest of serums on the eyelids for the same reason as the mineral oil – puffiness
  • Keep it simple – too much fragrance in a product can really irritate the eye area – your eye cream does not need to smell – of anything
  • Most allergies to eye products and eyeshadows/mineral makeup are caused by an ingredient called Bismuth Oxychloride. It is used to give the shimmer/light reflective ‘glow’ and is one of the biggest allergens I have witnessed in the industry. If you’ve previously never been able to use a particular eye cream or eyeshadow and had it blamed on ‘your eyes’ by a brand – check their inci list. You’ll probably see it on there. If you can’t use mineral makeup because it itches – you need to use a brand that openly says ‘no bismuth oxychloride’ when they are talking to you.