By Julie-Ann Sherlock

I have been genetically blessed with young-looking skin, and since I drink lots of water daily, I don’t smoke, and I slap on lots factor 50 when I am in the sun (I’m Irish, anything below factor 30 is a license to burn!) my skin has remained relatively youthful. It is only now, as I approach the dreaded big 5-0, that I am starting to wish I could hold back the signs of ageing a little longer. 

Now, I am considering panic-buying every eye cream invented to try to find one to fill the ever-deepening wrinkles around my baby blues. But, this dilemma of trying to turn back the clock, or at least still its hands for a while, has me wondering if all these so-called miracle potions and lotions actually do their job. 

Let’s investigate. 

Do We REALLY Need Another Cream?

The bathroom shelf is already groaning under the weight of bottles, jars and tubes that promise to keep me looking as fresh as a daisy. So, what are eye creams, and are they different from the moisturiser we use for the rest of our face? Pretty much every dermatologist or skincare expert will tell you that the skin around your eyes is more delicate and thinner than on the rest of your face. This means that we should certainly treat it more gently and consider what we are putting on it. 

But do our peepers need their own cream? Unfortunately, experts are yet to agree on this conclusively, with many taking an any-cream-is-fine approach. Others swear that the skin around our windows to the soul requires a particular type of lotion to maintain its elasticity and smoothness. Yet, even those who feel the need for special eye creams haven’t really agreed on one “magic formula” that works for everyone. 

The Sciency Bit

This lack of scientific consensus has me wondering if it is all a scam. Still, there is no denying that this skin area requires some vitamins and minerals to maintain itself and reduce the chances of developing issues. Vitamin A, C, and E are all essential to give yourself a chance at having healthy skin, with minerals Zinc and Selenium also boosting the skin’s wellbeing. 

This brings forth the question of whether we need to rub products with these enhancing nutrients into our skin, or should we be ok with just getting them in our food or in supplements? 

Personally, and from my reading up on the subject shortly after my last birthday, it’s a bit of both. It is vital to eat healthily and ensure your nutrient intake is sufficient if you want to have healthy, glowing and less wrinkled skin. 

Perhaps, there is no harm in giving the skin around your optical organs a little extra boost, and many of the eye creams on the market contain a more concentrated formula of the goodies this gossamer-like skin craves. 

Ingredients such as retinol, hyaluronic acid and glycerine seem to help firm and hydrate the skin, giving it a more youthful appearance, while pre-orbital brighteners claim to temporarily lighten the skin diminishing the dreaded dark circles. 

Unfortunately, nothing seems to truly remedy puffy under eyes and the “a five year old used eyeliner on me” look that some of us (me!) can suffer as a result of late nights, partying, and too much salt. But some sun damage and dryness can be alleviated with the help of some moisturiser tailored for this purpose. 

Budget or Bank-Buster?

If you do decide that an eye cream is worth the room in your make-up bag (I am still undecided), don’t be fooled into thinking you must buy the most expensive one on the market. While some of the top-dollar creams may have spent more money on research, quality of ingredients and packaging that protects the cream’s integrity, some cheaper options are probably as effective. 

Like most things in life, trial and error are the true ways to learn what is right for you. So pick up a few samples of the cheaper creams and try them out for a few weeks and see if you notice any difference. Does your skin feel smoother? Are those wrinkles less pronounced? Did the dark circles disappear?

If you are not happy with the results, try a pricier option and see if that makes a difference. But if you do find a magical potion that will remove some of the wrinkles that show that I have lived a life full of laughter or that diminishes the dark circles my borderline insomnia and high intakes of salt create, let me know.

Then, I will set aside my everyday moisturiser (and my cynicism) and level up to indulging my eyes with their own special cream. Until then, keep lying to me and telling me I only look in my thirties and we will all be happy.