How Do I Choose An Eye Cream?

April 9, 2020

Featured Doctor: Shilesh Iyer, MD

Featured Blog: Desidermatology

Dr. Shilesh Iyer is a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in New York City. He has an interest in medical dermatology and cosmetic dermatology with an emphasis on lasers and injectable treatments. Dr. Iyer co-founded the blog Desidermatology which discusses skin issues both broadly and as it relates to South Asian and Indian skin. As co-founder of and the myDoqter blog, Dr. Iyer aspires to provide practical information to patients and facilitate connectivity that supports the patient-physician bond. In this post, we discuss practical approaches to choosing eye creams to take some of the confusion out of the process.

What Are Eye Creams Good For?

myDoqter: Everyone wants to know about eye creams and which ones to use, but are the really needed and what are they good for?

Dr. Iyer: That is a great question because there is a lot of confusion about eye creams and whether one needs to use anything at all. There is no one-sized-fits-all answer and it depends on your skin type and goals for treatment. Some individuals with oilier skin may not need an eye cream at all, but others may choose to use an eye product based on their treatment goals:

  • Repair dryness and moisturize?
  • Textural improvement and anti-aging?
  • Lighten pigmentation and dark circles?

How To Choose an Eye Cream?

myDoqter: With the plethora of products out there, where do we start in selecting which product to use?

Dr. Iyer: The most important first step is to decide what type of skin you have. For most people, eyelid skin is very thin and sensitive compared to other body parts.  Caution must be exercised in those with extra sensitive skin as they may not be able to tolerate certain ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids or retinols. Instead, more moisturizing and hydrating products with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides may be optimal. Otherwise, eyelid reactions ranging from small dry patches to full on allergic reactions with swelling, redness, and severe itching can develop. On the other hand, individuals with oilier skin may tolerate a range of products. However, they may have a propensity to develop blackheads, whiteheads, and small white bumps called milia with heavier moisturizers.

Eye Cream For Dark Circles

MyDoqter: What is the best treatment for dark circles under the eyes and are there ingredients that work or don’t work?

Dr. Iyer: It’s really important to determine the factors contributing to the appearance of dark circles. There are 3 typical causes: a. pigmentation of the skin, b. veins and vasculature under they eye, and c. loss of fat and recessing of the eye which creates shadows. If the main cause of dark circles is pigmentation, then there are certain active ingredients that can help lighten the skin. Kojic acid, hydroquinone, vitamin C and some peptides that are in eye creams are known to have skin lightening properties.

Eye Creams For Men

MyDoqter: Many people have the idea that eye creams are just for women but is that really true? Are there products for men?

Dr. Iyer: Traditionally, women have been more attentive to their skin care needs and most products were geared toward them. But men face the same issues with dryness, aging, and dark circles and voice the same concerns to dermatologists. Fortunately, there are many great skin care lines and products for men on the market today.

What Are Your Top Eye Cream Tips

MyDoqter: If you had to give us 3 take aways on how to choose an eye cream, what would they be?

Dr. Iyer: I would say the best adices is to: 1. determine your skin type, 2. determine your treatment goals, and 3. look for active ingredients that suit your needs. Whatever your choice, make sure you couple your cream with sun protection with sunscreen and sunglasses to maintaining youthful appearing eyes.

For more on skin care and South Asian skin, follow this link to go to Desidermatology.


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