Beauty

The ultimate guide to the best eye cream

By: Andrea Karr

Geneviève Caron Author: Andrea Karr

Beauty

The ultimate guide to the best eye cream

By: Andrea Karr

Everything you need to know about eye cream to keep the skin around your peepers in tip-top shape.

Year after year, the technological advances in the beauty world, and new additions to the market can seem overwhelming. But that doesn't mean you should just throw up your hands and give up. Instead, canadianliving.com is committed to giving you the best new information so you can make informed decisions about your skin-care routine. Here, writer Sarah Feldman delves into everything you need to know about eye creams. – Andrea Karr, Style Web Editor

One glance in the mirror is all it takes to understand that the skin around your eyes is far more delicate than anywhere else on your face and body. Thinner and often slightly translucent, the area near the eyes tends to show signs of aging the quickest. For some women, crow’s feet, fine lines and wrinkles can leave undereye skin looking like crêpe.

Since there are so many serums, creams and lotions on the market, and each one promises incredible results, we consulted two of the best skin doctors in the business to learn what women of all ages should look for in an eye cream—and what they should avoid at all costs.

How can an eye cream help?


The thin skin under the eyes requires extra care, says Dr. Nowell Solish, a Toronto cosmetic dermatologist. “Like folding paper over and over again, skin around the eyes tends to wrinkle easily. And because, hopefully, we smile all day, lines will continue to form.”

While many creams work to counteract specific issues, such as dryness and skin translucency, eye creams in particular should be moisture-rich. “Because the area around the eyes needs extra hydration,” says Dr. Kevin Sliwowicz of the Toronto Centre for Advanced Skin Repair, “eye creams work as great moisturizers that combat dryness, which otherwise could lead to dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles.”

Still, even the most effective eye cream has its limitations. “Eye creams plump up cells with moisturizing ingredients to create an immediate, but not long-lasting, effect,” says Dr. Sliwowicz. The bottom line? An eye cream can make all the difference, but don’t expect to find a time machine when you open the jar.

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8 eye creams for every age and skin type

Indeed Labs Eysilix

This “total eye rescuer” contains 10 active peptides and a variety of botanical extracts to nourish and regenerate tired thin skin around the eyes. Dr. Nowell Solish, a Toronto cosmetic dermatologist, recommends Eysilix to patients who want an effective undereye fix without a prescription. $30, shoppersdrugmart.ca.

By: Sarah Feldman Source: Indeed Labs Credits: Canadian Living

8 eye creams for every age and skin type

First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy

Consider this eye cream the ultimate undereye beauty fix. Use the stainless-steel applicator to massage the luminescent formula into the orbital bone. The cream’s host of anti-aging ingredients—including caffeine, licorice-root extract and retinol palmitate, a form of vitamin A—work together to reduce the look of wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles and puffiness. $45, sephora.ca.

By: Sarah Feldman Source: First Aid Beauty Credits: Canadian Living

8 eye creams for every age and skin type

Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream Eye Cream

North American women are more concerned than ever about the look of fatigue, likely because sleeplessness spurs cellular oxidation, a phenomenon that slows cellular turnover and prompts skin to age prematurely. Maximize your beauty sleep with Garnier’s newest eye cream, which is formulated with lavender and caffeine to reduce the look of wrinkles, dark circles and fatigue. Everything you need to know about anti-aging ingredients. $25, shoppersdrugmart.ca.

By: Sarah Feldman Source: Garnier Credits: Canadian Living

8 eye creams for every age and skin type

Philosphy Miracle Worker Retinoid Eye Repair Cream

This retinol-laced cream is a miracle worker for tired undernourished eyes. Peptides, jojoba-seed oil and vitamin A kick cell regeneration into high gear. With nightly use, you’re bound to find fewer fine lines and a brighter, more youthful appearance. $79, sephora.ca.

By: Sarah Feldman Source: Philosophy Credits: Canadian Living

8 eye creams for every age and skin type

Kosmea Australia Apple of My Eye Cream

This all-natural eye cream reduces visible signs of aging and protects against environmental aggressors with botanical active ingredients, including PhytoCellTec, an extract derived from the stem cells of a rare Swiss apple. This eye cream is a must for women who prefer all-natural makeup and skin care. $50, well.ca.

By: Sarah Feldman Source: Kosmea Australia Credits: Canadian Living

8 eye creams for every age and skin type

Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair

Free of artificial fragrances and colours, this emollient balm infuses the eye area with moisture, which leaves skin silky-smooth. Vitamin B5 gives skin elasticity a boost, while vitamins C and E, plus grapefruit extract, work in tandem to ward off future signs of aging. Learn how to cover your dark circles with makeup. $68, dermalogica.ca.

By: Sarah Feldman Source: Dermalogica Credits: Canadian Living

8 eye creams for every age and skin type

SkinCeuticals AOX+ Eye Gel

With this product, texture is everything. The innovative serum-in-a-gel formula contains a clever concoction of antioxidant components to replenish undereye skin, reduce the appearance of puffiness and correct signs of photodamage. Our tip? Keep it in the fridge for a cool morning jolt to puffy eyes. $80, skinceuticals.com/canada.

By: Sarah Feldman Source: SkinCeuticals Credits: Canadian Living

8 eye creams for every age and skin type

Guerlain Super Aqua-Eye Serum

This ultra-luxe serum contains purified cellular water, which hydrates skin deeply upon first application. Guerlain’s newest formula also contains desert rose flower, which spurs cellular regeneration and protects skin against environmental aggressors such as pollution and UV rays. $118, guerlain.ca.

By: Sarah Feldman Source: Guerlain Credits: Canadian Living

8 eye creams for every age and skin type

Timeless Tip: How to curb wrinkles around your eyes

This tip originally appeared in the January 1981 issue of Canadian Living magazine. Click here for more timeless tips!

By: Canadian Living Source: Canadian Living Credits: Canadian Living


When should I start using eye cream?


Eye cream, much like moisturizer and face wash, is a universal product that benefits women (and men) of all ages. For young women attempting to cover up dark circles with concealer, a hydrating eye cream will help create a smooth canvas. As women age, eye cream becomes increasingly important, since the decrease in fat and collagen around the eyes that accompanies aging shows up as sagging and wrinkling of the skin, says Dr. Sliwowicz. Once you start to see lines forming, it’s time to switch to an eye cream with anti-aging ingredients.

How do I choose the right eye cream for my needs?


Before you head to the skin-care aisle and shell out big bucks for any old eye cream, identify your specific skin needs by looking in the mirror—sans makeup—and smiling. Whatever your list of orbital grievances, rest assured that there’s an eye cream to help.

To treat dark circles, says Dr. Sliwowicz, creams often contain vitamin K or niacinamide, a potent form of vitamin B3 found in nutrient-rich foods such as meat, milk, fish and eggs. To decrease puffiness, caffeine is often present, he says. To reduce the appearance of fine lines, creams use moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and shea butter to pump up skin cells. And to combat collagen loss, which manifests under the eyes as dark circles, seek out an eye cream packed with peptides or vitamin C; over time, these ingredients work to thicken tired inelastic skin.

For a more long-lasting effect on fine lines, Dr. Sliwowicz prefers eye creams with retinol, an over-the-counter vitamin A derivative known to increase the rate of skin turnover and stimulate collagen. Be warned: Prescription-grade retinoids (such as tretinoin, found in brands such as Retin-A, Renova and ReFissa) might be overly harsh for sensitive undereye skin, so stick to over-the-counter products if you do have sensitive skin. Also, apply them only at night to avoid skin irritation from overuse and remember to layer on sunscreen in the morning, because retinoids can increase your skin’s sensitivity to light.

What ingredients should I avoid in an eye cream?

Whenever possible, women should avoid potentially irritating ingredients, such as synthetic fragrances and artificial dyes, says Dr. Sliwowicz. With so many all-natural eye creams on the market, there’s no need to settle for a product that leaves eyes red and runny.

For women with milia—tiny white bumps filled with keratin that form around the eyes—ultra-rich eye creams can be too much of a good thing. Greasy formulas can clog pores, so if you’re prone to acne or milia, reach for a serum or a lightweight lotion instead, says Dr. Solish.

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The ultimate guide to the best eye cream

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