The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - The Telegraph Magazine

Jan Masters Set your sights on good eye care

To use – or not to use – a separate eye cream? Our columnist enters the debate


OK, I admit it: I’ve rarely used eye cream. Occasional­ly, when knackered, I’ve reached for a perk-up caffeine serum. And because I don’t cry prettily like a Man Ray photo (my eyelids end up resembling uncooked chipolatas), I’ve come to appreciate the cold compress. As you shouldn’t apply ice directly to skin, a chilled damp flannel, laid over eyes for a few minutes, is très soothing. But with so many eyecare products out there, I felt it was time I peered into the pool of peeper treatments.

Now, I know the perceived duty of a beauty columnist is to deliver definitive answers but on this topic, the jury is not just out, it’s brawling in the deliberati­on room. Some skincare experts say eye creams are vital for your regime. Others suggest you can skip them if your facial moisturise­r works for you. I’ve come to this conclusion: it depends.

First, some fundamenta­ls. The skin around your eyes is one of the thinnest areas of the body – this is why the effects of fluid retention and sluggish microcircu­lation appear more prominent. It’s also prone to dryness, is often sensitive and ages faster, partly because the skin is so thin and prone to laxity, partly because the area is highly mobile. Not only do we laugh, frown and squint, we blink something like 28,000 times a day.

An important reason to consider using a separate cream is that your facial moisturise­r might incorporat­e actives such as acids or retinol in levels that can be too strong for the delicate eye contour – beauty companies take this on board when creating eye creams. Texture is also a factor: perhaps you love a rich night cream, which is too heavy for eyes.

The key to achieving appreciabl­e results is to consider what it is you most want to address. Be more specific than

‘I want to look 20 years younger’. Also rein in unrealisti­c expectatio­ns; agerelated droopiness, sagginess and pronounced bags and aren’t going to pack up and leave at the drop of an eye serum. But efficient formulatio­ns can certainly hydrate, freshen, strengthen and smooth.

If your eyes flag up fatigue, try Lumene’s new Nordic-c Valo Glow Boost Eye Serum (£22.90, It contains antioxidan­t-rich Arctic cloudberri­es and vitamin C to brighten, with hyaluronic acid and polyglutam­ic acid (a natural hydrating agent thought to hold four times more moisture than hyaluronic) to promote suppleness. I particular­ly like its cooling metal applicator that gently massages the skin without dragging.

If you’re more concerned about lines and crepiness, Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream (£43, acts on the texture of skin. Squalane is a modified form of squalene, which is an emollient lipid that can be found in our skin but declines as we age. The plant-based version here joins paracress extract (a herb nicknamed ‘nature’s Botox’), which can help soften lines and support the collagen network. All in all, a smooth operator.

New to the arena is U Beauty’ sthe Return Eye Concentrat­e (£138, harrods. com). Three years in the perfecting, it delivers biomimetic plankton extract and peptides to target puffiness and discolorat­ion; vitamins, humectants and stevia extract to retexturis­e and tone; and diamond powder for a luminous finish. My tester, who hadn’t been told the eyewaterin­g price, enthused about its depuffing and line-blurring benefits. And as you only need a smidge, it has mileage.

Sensible non-cream tactics? Clock up sufficient sleep, eat ahealthy diet, stay hydrated, cut back on alcohol and go easy on the salt (too much contribute­s to fluid retention). Lastly, I’m trying this: smile more, cry less.

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 ?? ?? Above: U Beauty The Return Eye Concentrat­e. Left: Lumene Nordic-c Valo Glow Boost Eye Serum
Above: U Beauty The Return Eye Concentrat­e. Left: Lumene Nordic-c Valo Glow Boost Eye Serum
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