Your eyes can tell a lot about you: just how little sleep you’re clocking and even your age. Since the thin skin around your eyes is one of the first places to age, applying eye cream is important. But they're not all created equal. Using one that’s targeted to solving your problem—puffiness, dark circles, dryness—is key. New York City dermatologist Whitney Bowe explains how to find your dream cream.
“If the area under your eyes is swollen, that means it’s retaining fluids,” explains Bowe. “This can be caused by lack of sleep, excess salt, or alcohol intake.” To combat it, Bowe recommends looking for formulas with anti-inflammatory ingredients, like caffeine, to help constrict the blood vessels and improve circulation. Try Milk Makeup Cooling Water ($24, sephora.com)—a caffeine-packed gel you can easily swipe on to help de-puff.
“Peptides increase collagen and elastin production to help plump up loose skin,” says Bowe. First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller ($26, ulta.com) contains peptides and glides on with a metal rollerball. Gently roll it from the inner to outer corners of your under eyes to help deflate puffiness, too.
If crow’s feet are your worry, look for a formula with retinol like Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair ($19, drugstore.com). “It speeds up cell turnover thus helping to lessen the look of lines, while also tightening skin and increasing its density, making it more resistant to external stressors like pollution and stress,” advises Bowe.
For those mornings when you look, well, tired (really, really tired), Bowe suggests using a heavy-hitting, multi-purpose eye cream, like Dr. Brandt Do Not Age Peptide Eye Cream ($82, sephora.com). “Look for something with peptides, hydrating ingredients, like ceramides or shea butter, and caffeine to help tighten, moisturize, and deflate bags for a more well-rested look,” says Bowe.
Dry skin tends to get irritated so Bowe recommends avoiding stronger ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and glycolic acid. Instead, she suggests opting for a cream with soothing and hydrating ingredients, like ceramides or hyaluronic acid. Try AvÃ¨ne Soothing Eye Contour Cream ($27, drugstore.com).
“As you age, the skin under your eyes becomes thinner and allows your purple and blue veins to shine through, which then creates a shadow,” states Bowe. “Look for a cream with vitamin C to brighten and also boost collagen production, so your skin, in turn, becomes thicker; lessening the appearance of veins.” Try La Roche-Posay Active C Eyes ($28, jet.com).