Pretty much everyone catches a dose of dry, flaky skin come wintertime. Not exactly news. But when it comes to dry, flaky skin around the eyes? Well, that can manifest year round. That’s because skin that’s tender to the touch (and scaling away) signals serious dehydration — something that can happen in the dusty bowels of festival season, on plane rides, and in arid climates. Even those with oily complexions aren’t spared: Since the skin around the eyes doesn't have much in the way of oil glands, sensitivity, redness, and extreme dryness can occur, no matter what your skin type. The solution? Keep delicate skin around the eye area hydrated AF.
But here’s the thing: Nursing this ultra-thin, compromised skin back to health isn’t just about slapping on any heavy moisturizer. That’s because some are made with active ingredients or essential oils that can irritate skin and further exacerbate the problem. Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York-based dermatologist and author of Skin Rules, points to two popular actives that can bolster skin under normal conditions — but prove disastrous for particularly parched skin around the eyes: “Retinol can definitely worsen peeling and can even cause redness around the eyes,” she says. “Copper peptides can be irritating as well.”