"'Do we really need eye cream?' has been an age-old question among dermatologists. If you surveyed 100 dermatologists, you'd get a 50/50 split between people who say you need it and people who say you don't," says board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD. But for her (and in effect, her patients), it's a non-negotiable. Why is she so staunchly on team eye cream? "Because eyelid skin is thinner, which means it has less collagen and elastin [than the skin elsewhere on your face], and is definitely more prone to sun damage," says Dr. Gohara.
Because the skin is so thin under your eyes, there are a lot of different issues that can come up—namely puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines and wrinkles. And while you can certainly cover them up with a concealer, eye cream is specifically formulated to nix these things, by incorporating specific ingredients. For example, if you want to ditch dark circles, look for caffeine; if you're trying to banish lines, grab something with retinol in it to stimulate collagen.
But no matter what ingredients you're opting for, you'll want to be sure that the formulation isn't too intense. "Eyelid skin is thin, so you'll want to use lower percentage [active products]—things that are a little more gentle," says Dr. Gohara. "If you use 20 percent vitamin C on your face, use 10 percent on your eyes. If you use a stronger retinoid on your face, bring it down a notch for your eyes so the irritation is less but the effect is definitely still there."
To find out which eye cream is the right one for you and your individual under-eye skin concerns to wear 365 (including some drugstore options!), press play on the video above and allow Dr. Gohara to break it down for you.
- Mona Gohara, MD, board-certified dermatologist and associate clinical professor at Yale University
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