Eye cremes are often a hazy, gray area for anyone, let alone for men. Some individuals are of the opinion that eye creams are really just face creams or moisturizers marketed in smaller jars carrying higher prices. The skin surrounding the eye is thinner than on the rest of the face, so it is usually the first area to show signs of aging, and it’s also more prone to irritation. Consequently, eye creams are usually lighter than facial moisturizers and contain less concentrated active ingredients so that they are less likely to irritate the skin.
Why Eye Cream?
Since the skin around the eyes is thinner (i.e., more delicate) than on the rest of the face, there is less collagen and elastin present within it. Furthermore, the skin around the eyes produces less sebum (natural skin oils) than the rest of the face, which results in the skin in this area being prone to drying out and creasing.
With the repetitive contraction of the eye muscles (e.g., squinting, laughing, and smiling), creases form in the skin, resulting in increased breakage of the collagen and elastin fibers.
Another causal factor is the general decline in elasticity and firmness of the skin that occurs with aging and damage from the environment. The delicate nature of the skin, especially with accelerated aging, makes this area especially prone to the development of wrinkles.
Maintenance of skin thickness and elasticity is crucial in order to delay the onset of these signs of aging. “Crow’s feet” are linear wrinkles in the skin around the corner of the eye that generally appear in the mid-30s and are one of the most common types of wrinkles around the eye.
Truth be told, I have quite a few friends who indulge in tanning and cigarette smoking, and they have developed some fairly impressive crow’s feet. This caused me to have an irrational fear of developing them prematurely; thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet.
When to Use It
I have attempted to arrange my posts in a proper chronological fashion reflecting the order of application of skincare products. I began with the products that I feel should be applied first (cleanser), and I’m working my way to what should be applied last (sunscreen).
There are various, somewhat conflicting theories on the correct order of product application. Most people agree on placing the least viscous (thinnest) items on first, and then working toward the most viscous (thickest/heaviest). I apply eye moisturizer after the serum and before the facial moisturizer because the serum is more of a liquid consistency (thinner) than the eye cream.
How Do I…
Okay, I know that you’ve probably invested plenty of time, effort, and money at this point, but, at least speaking for myself, the end result is worth it.
There is really no exact right or wrong way to apply eye cream; the general rule is that, as with serum, a little goes a pretty long way, especially with the thin skin near the eyes. A “pea-sized” amount should be enough cream for both eyes, and can be applied gently with one finger; many suggest using the ring finger because it is weakest and allows for more gentle application of eye cream.
Some eye creams include a metallic-tipped applicator, which is able to gently redistribute lymphatic fluid buildup, allowing it to drain from underneath the eyes. The cooling effect of the metal applicator on the skin also reduces inflammation and improves blood flow, reducing congestion in small vessels under the eyes so that the excess fluid is absorbed more quickly.
Common Cosmetic Eye Problems
- Dark circles are caused by genetics and decreased skin tone associated with aging; the skin around the eyes is thin, and the underlying veins can easily be seen. Lack of sleep can increase venous congestion, and fluid build-up in the superficial veins can lead to a pooling of blood in the vessels, causing them to appear more prominent. Normal facial structures and fat loss in the skin beneath the eyes with aging can lead to shadows on the face, making the dark circles look even darker.
- Puffiness is caused by temporary swelling and water retention. Pooling of fluid underneath the eyes can result from poor sleep hygiene.
- Bags result from skin laxity and weak tissue that is a normal process of aging. Fat herniates and shifts into the lower eyelids.
- Wrinkles, like crow’s feet, are formed by the repetitive contraction of eye muscles underneath fragile skin. Over time, these repetitive movements cause creases in the skin around the eyes, eventually forming wrinkles.
Active Ingredients in Eye Cream
- Antioxidants, like vitamins A, C, and E, can help to lighten dark circles underneath the eyes.
- Caffeine assists with vasoconstriction of superficial blood vessels to reduce puffiness.
- Retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) are extremely useful antioxidants that have a number of benefits:
- Boost cell turnover.
- Decrease pigment production.
- Increase collagen growth.
- Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides hydrate the skin and stimulate collagen and elastin production.
Value in the (Miniature) Jar
The skin surrounding the eye is thinner than the skin on the rest of the face, and it produces less natural oil, so it is typically the first area to show its age.
Application of eye cream is best after serum and before moisturizer to stave off these signs of aging for as long as possible. A little eye cream goes pretty far, and it can be applied either with your finger or with an applicator.
The most common aesthetic skin problems around the eye are wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness, and “bags” under the eyes; these issues can be addressed by choosing an eye cream with specific ingredients targeting these concerns.
Best Eye Creams for Men
- SkinCeuticles Eye Balm
- La Mer The Eye Concentrate
- Tom Ford for Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Treatment
- HealGel Eye
- Keihl’s Age Defender Eye Repair
- Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Repair Cream with Retinol
- Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30
- Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream
- Clinique for Men Anti-Age Eye Cream
- Brickell Restoring Eye Balm
- Genaissance de la Mer The Eye and Expression Cream
- La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Cream
- Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Life Age-Correcting Eye Cream
- Chantecaille Nano Gold Energizing Eye Cream
- SkinCeuticles A.G.E. Eye Complex for Dark Circles
Value Eye Creams
- The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% EGCG
- RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream
- Pure Biology Total Eye
- CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
- No. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Eye Cream