The key to remember about eye creams is understanding the anatomy of this area and what can and can’t be helped with a cream! Many issues that people complain about around their eyes are ‘structural’- they are a result of the way our eyes sit in the eye socket, there can be a fat pocket that develops under the eyes, excess upper eyelid skin can droop,and the under eye area can appear darker because of how close the muscle sits next to the skin to give a bluish hue to the under eye area. A cream can’t fix these things!
Eye creams can help decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate the skin to minimize the dark circles under eyes, and reduce puffiness. Be really cautious about product claims that are simply too good to be true and be cautious of really pricey products.
ELF illuminating eye cream. $10 at ulta.com
Remember- when it comes to eye creams the focus should be hydration. Products with lots of alpha hydroxy acids can be a bit too harsh for the thin skin around the eyes. I like this affordable eye cream for its hydrating ingredients like glycerin and Shea butter in addition to its anti inflammatory ingredients such as green tea extracts that can reduce puffiness.
I know it sounds crazy but, believe it or not, many people swear by this. The reason is clear- you can effectively hydrate and protect your skin! I find that people using retinoids or retinols on the rest of their face will find the thin skin around their eyes gets way too irritated. By applying petroleum jelly or aquaphor around the eyes first, then applying your anti-aging products on the rest of your face, you can avoid excess irritation and the skin around your eyes will look great in the morning!
The ordinary caffeine solution 5% plus egcg. $12.89 on Amazon
I’m actually obsessed with this brand. I discovered them because they use ingredients that are legitimate with proven benefits that we just don’t find in most brands. I also get a kick out of how their labels don’t really tell you much about what the products do:) Caffeine has clinically been shown to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness under the eyes. EGCG is a green tea extract with clinically proven benefits as an antioxidant. This is a great product for this area.
Origins: Eye doctor moisture care for skin around the eyes. Ulta.com $41
This product is big on hydration. Filled with various oils and antioxidants such as green tea extracts- this product will improve the texture and appearance of the skin around the eyes.
Bare minerals brilliant future serum and eye cream duo. Qvc.com $59.12
This is a smart product. It addresses the eye area effectively by understanding the benefit of a serum and realizing the need for a cream to layer on top of the serum to make it more effective. I love that you get two products here and that they address a number of issues. Serums are meant to be lightweight products made up of small particles to get into the superficial layers of skin. Following this with a cream will seal the serum in and enhance hydration. When the skin is effectively hydrated around the eyes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and under eye circles will be minimized.
Think of serums as lightweight products with a very small particle size. They do not have the thickness or weight of a lotion or a cream and can penetrate the skin more effectively. Serums usually have concentrated active ingredients targeting specific concerns such as anti- aging or hydration of the skin. If you have excessively dry skin just heaping on more and more heavy moisturizers is just not going to get you much further! This is where serums can really help. They are meant to be applied to your skin first to allow those smaller particles to get into the upper layers of the skin. Following this up with a thicker moisturizer if needed will seal in this hydration much more effectively!
Seventh generation hydrating skin serum.
These mild products contains lightweight oils to hydrate the skin effectively. Remember these products come in smaller containers for a reason- a little bit goes a long way! Jojoba oil softens and hydrate the skin.
Cerave hydrating Hyaluronic Acid face serum.
Amazing product- ceramides, vitamin b5 (pantothenic acid protects the skin) and Hyaluronic Acid all in one product. Hyaluronic Acid in a serum form allows it to penetrate between the skin cells to draw moisture into the superficial layers of skin. With this concept I always go back to the analogy of give my patients- think of your skin as not smooth like a wall, it’s more like a cobblestone street. When your skin dries out it’s as though the mortar that holds the bricks (your skin cells) together is breaking down. This leaves it open to any insult from the environment which will inflame and irritate your skin. Hyaluronic Acid can find its way into these cracks and draw moisture into the skin to repair and hydrate!
The Ordinary : Hyaluronic acid 2% + B5. $12.90 on Amazon
Clear from the label that this serum is giving your skin the Hyaluronic acid directly that will bind moisture to it and increase the hydration of your skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. B5 is also a humectant to add to the ability of this product to bind moisture to your skin!
Bare Minerals skinlongevity vital power infusion serum $38 at ulta.com
This product is so lightweight but filled with lots of antioxidants and anti inflammatory ingredients for the skin. I find that serums are so concentrated that the key to remember in using these is to use very little. If you use too much your skin will just dry out and you won’t get a chance to really feel the hydrating benefits.
IT cosmetics bye bye lines advanced anti aging smoothing serum
Peptides in serums are thought to work by stimulating collagen production in the skin. These are small molecules that are believed to stimulate receptors in the skin to result in collagen synthesis. This effect along with the hydrating effects of the numerous oils and anti oxidants improve the overall appearance of fine lines and wrinkles quickly with this product. Remember to use a moisturizer on top to make it more effective.
Neutrogena body oil light sesame formula $9.99
Just a few ingredients in this lightweight body oil. It absorbs into the skin quickly and seals in moisture. It’s even more effective if used right after a bath or shower.
Sheamoisture 100 % extra virgin coconut oil $15.99 at ulta
Another wonderful one ingredient product! Can you imagine something you can use from head to toe to calm an itchy dry scalp and reduce irritation associated with eczema and dry skin? Coconut oil has a calming effect on the skin known to moisturize and work as an anti inflammatory when applied to the skin topically. It also has been proven to repair the skins natural barrier function.
Clarins tonic body oil treatment. $64
A calming blend of several plant extracts. This product soothes and improves the texture of the skin. A little bit of this product can spread quickly on damp skin and hydrate quickly!
Vanicream lite lotion $8 Amazon
I love recommending the Vanicream line of products. This little known brand is fragrance free, gluten free, paraben free, lanolin free, formaldehyde free. It just does what it says it does- it’s a lightweight lotion that won’t irritate your skin. It will just hydrate to allow your skin to take a break overnight from harsh environmental factors that aggravate the skin.
Cerave pm facial moisturizing lotion.
$15.99 at ulta.com
This lotion is also lightweight and won’t mess up your bed sheets with a greasy film. It has cerave’s signature ingredient- ceramides. Ceramides have been studied to effectively improve the hydration of the skin and improve the barrier function of the skin overall. Cerave also contains Hyaluronic acid to further improve the skin’s hydration.
Clinique turnaround overnight revitalizing moisturizer $42 at ulta.com
If your skin is looking for some extra overnight moisture, this Clinique product can really deliver. Although a little heavier when applying, it can absorb quickly. Improves the overall texture of the skin and can help repair against excess dryness.
Philosophy ultimate miracle worker night $80
There are a number of benefits this product boasts from repairing to hydrating to protecting the skin. The squalene and hyaluronate can hydrate while the retinol can work at rejuvenating the skin. Although this is a nice overnight product, if you have sensitive skin and you are not looking for anything but hydration then this product may irritate your skin.
Vanicream gentle facial cleanser $8
Most patients will say to me “I just want a simple face wash- nothing fancy”. This is it- you just can’t go wrong with it. The vanicream line stays true to its mission of providing safe products for people with sensitive skin. It’s best for what it doesn’t include- no formaldehyde, no paraben, no fragrances, etc. Can’t argue with a simple and effective clean!
IT cosmetics confidence in a cleanser skin transforming hydrating cleansing serum $28 at Sephora
Sometimes when I make recommendations to patients for cleansers they will say- ‘it never foamed so I don’t think it worked!’ Foaming in a cleanser will actually make it more drying and potentially irritating to the skin. I love this product because it’s gentle and has ceramides and Hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin while it cleans. It also has colloidal oatmeal to soothe the skin.
Kate somerville cold cream moisturizing cleanser and makeup remover $48 at ulta
Although I understand the need to make sure we fully remove makeup, I worry that excessive use of make up wipes has led to an increase in eyelid rashes I have been seeing lately. Trends in eye shadow palettes and contouring have led to a tendency to use more makeup wipes and removers. These can become pretty harsh and start to dry the skin out. I love this cleanser because it cleans and moisturizes while gently removing makeup.
La mer the cleansing oil $95 sephora.com
A gentle cleansing oil that used botanical oils to remove oil and makeup. Sesame seed oil hydrates the skin while cleansing. Eucalyptus oil can help treat and repair the skin. I love algae extract on ingredient labels as an anti oxidant for the skin and its conditioning effects.
Neutrogena triple age repair moisturizer $10 at Amazon
Hexylresorcinol is an antioxidant to works to prevent damage to our cells that results in aging of the skin. Ascorbyl glucoside is broken down into vitamin C in the skin fo improve the appearance of discoloration and improve skin tone. The addition of sunscreens to this product only further its ability to prevent premature aging of the skin.
Olay total effects anti aging moisturizer with spf 30 $24.99 at ulta
My favorite product to recommend- it’s affordable and effective. It contains niacinamide that has been shown to reduce the damaging effects of UV on the skin as well as enhancing DNA repair. I also prefer products that include a sun block. This minimizing the chances of forgetting to use it!
Philosophy when hope is not enough. $47 at sephora
Linoleic acid, omega 6 fatty acid, in this product works to thin out the thick sebum or oils in our skin. This helps prevent our pores from getting clogged. It’s also an effective antioxidant and anti inflammatory. With a number of botanical oils it gives the skin a radiant appearance.
Bobbi brown hydrating face cream $60 neimanmarcus.com
This cream is my splurge. I can honestly say that when I use it I’m routinely told my skin looks like it glows or it looks as if I just had a skin tightening treatment. It has algae extracts that condition the skin allowing makeup to spread evenly. The caffeine soothes the skin and Hyaluronic acid is essential for added hydration.
FACE MASK :
These have really jumped in popularity! I find it funny that the questions I get from patients are not ‘which ones are best?’ The actual question I hear is “can I please use them?” It’s almost as though patients don’t care what they do, they just want the experience of using them!
The issue I find with these is the sheer volume of options.. and they are so cheap most people toss them in their cart with a ‘why not give it a try’ state of mind. There have been issues with these because the concentration of ingredients can cause significant cases of irritation. Since most anti aging ingredients work by causing some irritation to lead to swelling to give the appearance of less fine lines and wrinkles, please be cautious with what you choose! Most important thing to remember- these are not supposed to hurt. If you experience stinging, burning or discomfort- wash it off immediately!
In this category are what I refer to as the ‘packet masks’. These are the tear-open, one time use, give-it-a-try, makes-a-great-stocking-stuffer masks.
Try to stick with known name brands. There have been issues where some lesser known brands added steroids to these to give the instant feel of softened skin. The problem is that use of steroids on the face can trigger steroid induced rosacea which requires antibiotics for an extended period of time to clear.
I like Neutrogena hydro boost hydrogel mask. $2.99 at ulta. This has Hyaluronic acid that will hydrate the skin and plump its appearance.
Origins original skin retexturizing mask with rose clay. $28 at Sephora
Rose clay absorbs extra oil and dirt out of the skin. It can lift out makeup as well. With added botanical oils and Hyaluronate, the polished effect of a mask is further enhanced with added moisture.