Thursday, October 16, 2008

Guide to eye creams

If there’s a first line of defense to be drawn in the war against aging, it starts at the eyes. Because the skin around our eyes is so thin and lacks oil glands to provide natural moisture, it’s the first place on the face to show significant signs of aging. First of all, and most importantly: why can't we just use our face cream around the eye area, too? While it would be great if we had a multi-use cream that worked for everything, the reality is that the active ingredients in facial moisturizers are just too strong for the fragile eye area. There are tons of eye creams to treat everything from dark circles to fine lines--all it takes is knowledge about what ingredients to look for.

Dark circles: These can be tough to treat topically because the cause is usually beneath the skin, such as excess pigment or allergy/sinus symptoms. Look for products with peptides or retinol to build collagen and thicken skin. Vitamin K can also help, working to strengthen blood vessels.

Puffy eyes: These happen b/c of fluids that pool up as we sleep. Look for products with alpha hydroxy acids to regenerate surface cells, and ingredients that smooth skin and stimulate collagen production: vitamin C, copper and retinol. Caffeine is also helpful, working to constrict blood vessels and push fluid from the skin.

Fine lines/wrinkles: Look for formulas with retinoids or peptides to boost collagen and antioxidants to fight free radicals. These tried-and-true ingredients not only work to repair prior damage, but they also prevent future signs of aging. And of course, use sunscreen to prevent further aging.

Hydration: This is probably themost important element to any eye cream! Look for a product rich in humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. They draw water to the skin, giving it a softer, younger appearance.

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