Using the most potent anti-aging eye cream on the market when you're under 40 is akin to using a saw for the need of a butter knife. But many times, beauty experts from magazine columns and beauty counters tell us the only way to see fine lines disappear and prevent them from coming altogether is to use the strongest formula from the get-go. I have found this to be untrue for two reasons. One, an eye cream is meant to hydrate and therefore protect elasticity in the delicate skin around the eyes, so a super-charged formula meant for mature skin provokes regeneration where it is not yet needed. Two, active eye cream on younger skin can clog the skin barrier, not allowing it to breathe and causing the bags under our eyes to puff up even more.
So how do we know when to start using an eye cream regularly? Here are a few guidelines I recommend:
Generally, if you're a newbie in your 20s to mid 30s, a simple balm or gel used 3-7 days a week can retain light moisture. Look for gentle eye creams made to moisturize, rather than active treatments. Mario Badescu's Ceramide Eye Gel is cooling and gentle; La Roche Posay's Hydraphase Gel de-puffs and can be worn under makeup; and Acure Organics Eye Cream is gently firming.
Around early to mid 30s, most women benefit from a nightly routine for maintaining elasticity and preventing dryness from creating fine lines. Try something with hyaluronic acid that will plump the top layers of the skin and blur existing fine lines. Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Eye Cream is whipped and smooths beautifully; Honest Beauty The Younger Eye draws moisture deep into the skin; and Burts Bees Renewal Smoothing Eye Cream is firming and hydrating.
Experienced ladies in their later 30s and beyond can protect their under eyes with formulas that boost regeneration, plump, and brighten the skin. The active ingredients promote cell turnover, exfoliate dead skin buildup, and increase elasticity for a smoother appearance. L'Oreal Age Perfect Eye Renewal Eye Cream is a budget-friendly option for heavy-duty hydration; Chantecaille Bio-Lifting Cream contains active botanicals that reconstruct elasticity and luxuriously pamper; La Prairie Cellular Revitalizing Gel is instantly firming and tightening (I almost can't wait to need this every day after testing it).