Not all eye creams are made the same. Here’s how to choose the best one for everything you’re looking to fix.

Picture this: You’ve been staying up late from all the Netflix bingeing and it shows with the heavy eye bags you’re carrying under your peepers. You slap on some eye cream that’s gotten rave reviews online, only to find that it doesn’t help reduce those bags at all. What gives?

The key here is to read the fine print: Specifically, the ingredients list. No, we’re not asking you to check out which ingredients you might be sensitive to. In fact, the key ingredients in your eye cream actually play a big factor in determining which eye care woes you’d like to solve.

Allow us to elucidate.

If you want to get rid of fine lines…

Fine lines and crow’s feet around the eye area are, unfortunately, where the first signs of ageing appear. Chalk it up to the skin around the eye area being the thinnest. It also doesn’t help that you’re probably tugging and pulling at your eyes more than you should — putting on contact lenses, drawing your eyeliner, and even the act of removing your eye makeup contributes to this.

If you want to alleviate or diminish fine lines around the eye area, you’ll want to pick an eye cream that has retinol or peptides, as well as hyaluronic acid in it.

Retinol, as you may already know, is a super ingredient perfect for anti-ageing. The Vitamin A derivative helps increase collagen production and cell turnover rate, though have a bad rap of sensitising skin and making it susceptible to irritation (especially if you’ve just started using it). Peptides are arguably less invasive, and also do the job of helping your skin create collagen, though some researchers say its effects are much milder. As for hyaluronic acid, it helps plump skin with hydration, which will help fill out those wrinkles.

If you want to banish dark eye circles…

There are many reasons why you have dark eye circles. It could be hereditary or an underlying health condition — both of which you should probably consult a doctor about. But if your dark eye circles stem from a bad lifestyle and lack of sleep, we might be able to help you out. The best eye cream you need to look out for should contain Vitamin C, niacinamide, liquorice, kojic acid, or retinol.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and having it in your skincare will help protect skin cells from free radicals caused by UV exposure. In eye creams, Vitamin C will hinder melanin production while lightening pigmentation and brown spots. Your dark eye circles will eventually be evened out with a more radiant outlook. Niacinamide is typically great for blemishes as it controls sebum production in the skin. It also works to reduce hyper-pigmentation and bolsters your skin’s ceramide production, meaning it helps even out and protect the skin’s barrier function. In eye creams, this hero ingredient will help improve uneven skin tone.

For those who want a plant-derivative option, liquorice or liquorice root is a popular all-natural option to lighten skin that has gone through sun damage. Thanks to the Glabridin compound in liquorice, any eye cream with this ingredient will also have UV-blocking enzymes to protect against future damages. Similarly, kojic acid also helps to lighten sun-damaged skin, as well as age spots and scars.

If you want to reduce puffiness and eye bags…

Are puffy eyes the bane of your existence? Do people always give you a concerned look and ask if you’ve been crying? We’ve got the solution for you. The best eye cream you can get to remedy this problem is one that contains caffeine.

Caffeine, as you already know, is a diuretic, which increases the excretion of water from bodies. Most eye creams that have caffeine in it claims to help ‘awaken’ your eyes, but what it actually does is to relieve water retention from your eyes, a common cause of puffiness. It also helps with certain types of dark eye circles by reducing the build-up of blood — which causes the dark discolouration — under your eyes. For that all-important de-puffing function, you’ll want to look for ingredients that target skin elasticity and water retention.

(Header image credit: Hadi Safari/Unsplash)

This article was first published on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.

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