We already know that the skin around our eyes is delicate with a capital D; crow's feet, day-after-drinking puffiness, and that telltale purple-bluish tint serve as not-so-helpful visual confirmation, too. So we splurge on an eye cream that's super-moisturizing, packed with ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, and caffeine to brighten, lift, and de-puff — but are we really making the most of it?
Well, if you're precious in application and dab your eye cream only on the skin one-half inch below your bottom lash line, or where you'd wing an eyeliner pencil, you might be doing it wrong.
In this case, it's helpful to revise any hardwired location-restrictive mentality when it comes to product placement and remember that skin is skin. In other words, the peptide-packed cream designed to soften the crinkles around your eyes can work the same magic on the resting lines on your forehead or around your mouth.
In fact, dermatologist Hadley King, MD, tells us that anyone with particularly dry or sensitive skin may benefit from using their eye cream on other areas of the face as well. "Because eye cream is specifically formulated to treat delicate skin, it's likely to be gentler, less irritating, and more moisturizing than your average facial moisturizer," Dr. King explains. Essentially, by sharing the love with the rest of your skin, you're benefiting every part of your face, not just your under-eyes.
Now, even if you have dry, sensitive skin all over, there's the issue of cost: If you slather your eye cream all over your face, you'll have to start buying those teeny-tiny jars in bulk — and that's unrealistic from both a price and conscious-consumer perspective. To get around this, you might consider buying an eye cream or serum marketed for broader application. For example, K-Beauty brand AHC makes an eye cream meant for the entire face, and Sicilian-based skin-care brand Furtuna has a hybrid face and eye serum that topped the skin-care category of the 2020 Beauty Innovator Awards.
Alternatively, you could take the eye cream you have and continue to use it sparingly, but pay special attention to similarly delicate areas of skin. Indie Lee, the founder and creator of her eponymous clean skin-care, recently launched a plumping eye cream that she uses around the entire eye area, from eyebrow to under-eyes, and then in between the brows to target the frown lines. "I always take a little eye cream to my forehead," Lee explains of her personal philosophy, "simply because I know it's going to benefit my 'elevens.'"
Celebrity facialist Taylor Wordon prefers to make her eye cream work double-duty on the nasolabial folds around her mouth. "The skin around the eyes and lips are similarly thin," Wordon says. "Both areas lose elasticity as we age, so the antioxidants in an eye cream may help prevent against both resting smile lines and discoloration around the mouth." By that logic, the fringe benefits of your eye cream could extend to healing cracked cuticles or adding a boost of glow to your high cheekbones — it's all about thinking beyond the label.
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