Do I need a separate eye cream?

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A common question among my patients is “What product do you recommend for the eye area Dr Tareen?”  Cosmetic companies have perpetuated a myth through the years that all individuals need to invest in a separate product for the eyes.  Typically, these eye creams, serums, and gels are miniscule and have elaborate packaging. They also have exorbitant price tags.  Lets explore:  Do you really need a separate product for the skin around the eyes?

The skin around the eye is thinner than the rest of the skin on the face. This makes it more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Furthermore, the skin around the eyes has few sebaceous glands (oil producing glands) and thus is more dry than other facial skin.

Why you do not need a separate eye cream:
You should already be utilizing a good regimen, incorporating antioxidants/peptides/growth factors and retinoids. Gentle emolliant creams also help to seal in the properties of these active ingredients and give hydration. If you are already utilizing a great regimen, there is no need to purchase yet another expensive product for the eye area. For the eye area, I typically instruct my patients to use their products slightly less frequently until the eye skin gets acclimated. I use the analogy of a marathon: you do not decide to run a marathon and then accomplish the task all in one day, in fact, if you do, it is harmful to your bones and joints.  Instead, gradually building up tolerance is the safest and most effective way- both with a marathon, and with the delicate eye area.

You may need a separate eye cream if:

  • You have dark circles or hyperpigmentation confined to the eye area: Discoloration may develop due to allergies and chronic rubbing, genetic predisposition, or thin skin. In this case, a prescription strength lightening product may help.
  • You have puffy eyes or fluid accumulation: In this case, several eye creams contain caffeine, which helps to constrict dilated blood vessels.  Green tea can also lead to some constriction, while soothing this gentle area.

Overall, a good skin care regimen can be effectively used for the eye area as well. After all, don’t you want all of your skin to look great?

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