When dealing with acne, my personal protocol used to be to pile on the spot treatments, because it felt like if I just smothered the zit in salicylic acid, it’d drown and die. I’m the same with eye creams—in a Herculean effort to plump and prevent further fine lines beneath my eyes, I tend to lay on my creams nice and thick. Well, you guys—this is completely counterproductive.
At a recent facial, esthetician Charlotte King was applying Emma Hardie eye serum ($67), and told me that just a pea-sized dollop for both eyes is fine. Sure, sure. But then she went on to say that using too much eye cream actually has the opposite effect of what you’re looking for. “When we are tired or haven’t had enough sleep, the natural thing to do is say: ‘Oh my god—I need to put on extra eye serum or eye cream at night,'” she says. “But then you wake up in the morning and see that your eyes are puffy. Well, it’s because you put too much on.” In other words, while the under eyes need extra moisture and care, the thinnest skin on the body doesn’t need product to be globbed on or else it’ll react by packing those bags.
I looked to a dermatologist to confirm, and it’s true. “If you use too much eye cream at one time, initially the excess product will pill and the product will not stay in place or work properly,” explains Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare. “If you use a lot over a long period of time, you’ll be rubbing it in to get it to absorb. Constantly pulling on the skin of the eyelids can increase collagen breakdown over time which could lead to more fine lines and wrinkles.” So when they say to give that sensitive area around your eyes some TLC, be sure to not sleep on the tender part of the equation. And ya know: Less is more.
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