A dermatologist gives her recommendations for some under eye TLC.
When I entered my mid-twenties, I started to incorporate a bit more preventative care in my beauty routine. I like to think that I’m doing pretty well with my skin—using my SPF daily, switching my products according to the seasons, and using the “less is more” approach. Nonetheless, I’ve always had one complex: my unmistakably puffy dark circles. They were always so obvious that teachers asking me if I slept enough was the norm. I tried all of the home remedies there are, from green tea bags to cold spoons to drinking two hefty liters of water per day to simply getting enough sleep. Unfortunately for me, none worked. Accepting that they may be genetic, my quest to rid my under eye circles completely came to a halt. All was well until a set of fine lines appeared smack in the middle of my under eyes. I’ve accepted the dark puffiness, but fine lines are pushing it–especially when the women in my life got them much later.
The new existence of these fine lines lead me down a rabbit hole of eye care products to use. With so many different ingredients and formulas, it left me a little confused to find my best match. Enter: Dr. Dendy Engelman, board-certified dermatologist. Through her, I learned two things: the under eye is the first to show signs of aging and for your products to work at full capacity and order of application matters. “The skin of [the under eye] area is 40 percent thinner than the skin on other areas of the face," she says. "Many people start developing fine lines and creases around their eyes as early as their 20s, which is why eye cream is such an important part of any skincare regimen." Dr. Engelman continues, “Serums should be applied early in your skincare routine [before thicker products like moisturizer] because they have a relatively small molecule size, which allows them to penetrate bare skin easily and deeply. If you apply serum on top of molecularly 'heavier' products, like your face cream, the product won’t penetrate.”
Below, Dr. Engelman shares her recommended eye care products to start using in your 20s, plus we share a few of our own favorites.
“Witch hazel is an amazing ingredient that reduces inflammation, minimizes the appearance of pores, balances the skin barrier, and more. Humphreys always uses organic wild crop-certified witch hazel, plus a variety of botanical ingredients in its toners to address various skin types (including sensitive) and concerns. After cleansing skin, soak a cotton pad in Humphreys Witch Hazel Toner and swipe around the entire face.”
“[This serum] soothes and hydrates dry skin while repairing the skin barrier and minimizing signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Each single-use capsule is preservative and fragrance-free and suitable for all skin types to be used nightly before moisturizer.”
“Glo Skin Beauty Bio-Renew EGF Drops is another fantastic serum with a multitude of skincare benefits, including firming, hydrating, skin-perfecting and anti-aging. The formula is 100 percent vegan and works in synergy with the body’s natural processes to activate cell regeneration in the skin, making it very effective at addressing textural imperfections and acne scars. Epidermal growth factor is also known to provide amazing anti-aging benefits by mimicking a natural protein produced in the body that signals to cells to increase collagen and elastin production, which helps keep skin firm and bouncy, and reduces wrinkles.”
“SkinBetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream uses a combination of retinoid and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to improve aging in the eye area, such as wrinkles, as well as smooth uneven skin tones. This eye cream is especially beneficial for someone with extra sensitive skin because the ingredients work to calm irritation as well as moisturize. I love that this cream is gentle yet effective, which is a great combination for the eye area.”
“Not only is this eye cream extremely affordable, but it targets signs of aging around the eye while simultaneously brightening the area. Although powered by a delicate formula, this cream uses retinol to effectively help de-puff the eyes and reduce wrinkles.”
“I love to recommend [this cream] because it firms, hydrates, and tightens the skin under the eyes with a lightweight formula. The ceramides in this product work by locking in moisture and acting as a barrier against pollution, bacteria, and assailants. The antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals, moisturize, support healthy skin, and prevent dark circles.”
“This product's ingredients work to prevent signs of aging, fine lines, dark circles and puffiness all while protecting against environmental stressors and blue light damage. It contains bakuchiol—a gentler alternative to retinol—along with antioxidants to help make the delicate skin in this area appear smoother and brighter without causing irritation.”
“The Revision D-E-J Eye Cream specifically targets eyelid hooding and drooping. It does this through the skin’s Dermal-Epidermal Junction (DEJ), which consists of a junction of interacting proteins that are critical in the aging process of our skin. The ingredients in this eye cream target the DEJ to reduce signs of aging around the eyes while also promoting healthy skin in the under eye area.”
This eye cream features La Mer’s Concentrated Miracle Broth™ to provide a burst of hydration to support smoother, rejuvenated looking eyes. Use the cooling wand applicator to help support microcirculation.
The Anti-Wrinkle Miracle Worker eye cream works by targeting fine lines and wrinkles while de-puffing the area as well. Using ingredients such as coconut oil and alfalfa extract, this day and night eye cream is great for reducing signs of aging.
This cult favorite Vitamin C eye cream is used to brighten dark circles, diminish fine lines, and improve makeup application. It's on the thicker side and sinks into the skin well after a few taps. The goldish tint acts as a color corrector, which is great to use under makeup or alone!
Want more stories like this?