Do you need an eye cream?
I’m constantly asked this question and the answer is absolutely yes! Our skin loses collagen from the age of 25 onwards, and there are no nourishing oil glands around the eye, so the skin here is extra-dry. It’s also 10 times thinner than that of the rest of the face and it’s being constantly worked because we’re so expressive – we blink about 15 times a minute. If you were to keep folding a piece of paper, think about how the creases would get weakened and damaged – that’s the effect of constant movement on delicate skin, and it’s why the first place we see fine lines on the face is around the eyes. So, for me, an eye cream is even more important than a face cream. Don’t think of an eye cream as an anti-aging product – it’s about treating your general skin quality and, ideally, we should use one from about 18 years old. If you care for your face, then the skin around the eyes should be a focus of your daily regimen. Find a texture of eye cream you like, and you can use the same product morning and evening. Look in the mirror and smile and squint to see how far the expression lines go out to the temples and down on the cheeks, and use your eye cream over the whole area.
If you have Botox, you still need an eye cream
Chilled spoons are your secret weapon for tackling puffy eyes
It’s an old Hollywood trick: Marilyn Monroe was said to use cold spoons or ice cubes on her eyes because coolness is excellent on the skin. Simply hold the chilled spoons over the eyes for five seconds, then use the back of the spoon to press and hold under the eyes. You can move them along, working from the outer eye to the inner eye, to drain fluid into the lymph duct in the inner corner; do this for a few minutes and it’s like, ‘Hello! I’m awake!’ Alternatively, I’ll plunge my face into a bowl of iced water to really wake up my skin and eyes in the morning.
I also like using compresses of cotton rounds soaked in micellar water – I use the La Mer Micellar Water – or just water with cucumber juice. They are great for hydrating the skin, which, in turn, helps your eye cream work even better, as you’re not applying it to a really dry complexion. Pre-soak them and keep them chilled in the fridge to use whenever you need. A mini fridge is a great beauty investment in which to keep eye creams and their applicators (I love those with the little metal tips), as well as any icing devices, spoons and masks so that they are chilled and ready to use. Causes of morning under-eye puffiness can range from too much salt (did you eat sushi the night before?), being too sedentary or a thyroid issue, but elevating your head in bed with an extra pillow can help.
The simple trick to help dark circles
Press your fingertip on the dark shadow and release – if the shadow goes away for a few seconds, then that’s a good sign you can improve it because it’s caused more by lifestyle and diet; if it stays dark, then it’s likely genetic and so more difficult to treat. Applying your eye cream properly can help clear congestion as well as puffiness. I always recommend using the applicators that come with an eye cream, especially those with the cool metal tips (I keep the La Mer The Eye Concentrate cooling applicators so I can use two at the same time). Starting above the eye, work from under the inner brow out to the temples; then, under the eye, only ever work inwards to drain fluid into the lymph nodes. You can use the applicator to massage in circles, or use an acupressure technique by pressing and holding for a few seconds as you work around the eyes.
The skin looks flat when it’s dry or dehydrated, but just plumping it up can help minimize dark circles. Try using your eye cream as a mask by liberally applying and leaving it for 10 minutes. Then either massage in the excess or remove and apply it on the ‘elevens’ (the two lines between the brows) and around the lip line (I always use my eye creams here anyway). Mixing a bit of eye product into your under-eye concealer is a great trick, as it not only keeps the skin plumped up but, as the cream is absorbed, it gives the concealer a beautifully seamless, second-skin finish.
The eye-sculpting technique
Use one hand to hold the skin up at the temples and the thumb and index finger of the other to lightly pinch the skin under the eyes, again working inwards – this gets the blood going and really plumps up the skin. Next, apply your eye cream to the whole area, including between the brows and out to the temples, using the applicators or fingertips to massage it in, working in a circle around the eyes. Finally, use your index fingers to press and hold as you work outwards just under the brow while pushing it up, or pinch along the brows, again working upwards and outwards – it’s great if you have a headache.
The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown