"I apply the serum every morning — its powerful antioxidants brighten my complexion and help prevent UV and environmental damage. Then comes the gel, which contains hyaluronic acid, which gets ‘set’ over the smaller molecular nutrients and vitamins in the serum. The combination leaves my skin glowing, radiant and perfectly prepped for sunscreen, the final and most important step of my skin care routine,” says Dr. Jessica Weiser, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist.
This includes the obvious: Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. If you wear heavy eye makeup, invest in a dedicated eye makeup remover to avoid tugging at the delicate skin around your eyes more than necessary. You may also want to explore eye creams, which use many of the same ingredients found in wrinkle creams, but in gentle doses intended for the very thin skin under your eyes.
As you age, the tissue structures and muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. The skin may start to sag, and fat that is normally confined to the area around the eye (orbit) can move into the area below your eyes. Also, the space below your eyes can accumulate fluid, making the under-eye area appear puffy or swollen. Several factors cause or worsen this effect, including:
Retinoids remain one of the tried-and-true ingredients worth incorporating into your p.m. routine (they can be rendered inactive by the sun, making it important to reserve them for the overnight hours). This treatment marks the first time adapalene, a type of retinoid previously available by prescription only, has been available OTC. Its collagen-boosting benefits make it choice for smoothing wrinkles, while its skin-clearing benefits make it a good choice for clearing pimples. "It's highly effective in keeping pores open and minimizing breakouts, and is better tolerated than most retinoids," points out Dendy Engelman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Testers rated Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum best for minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Said one, "I had a very deep wrinkle between my eyes, and it's really starting to go away." Lab tests didn't show stellar wrinkle reduction with any of the serums, but the Estée Lauder proved itself a top-notch skin smoother. Echoed a panelist, "My face feels smoother, and my skin tone looks brighter. I have been wearing less blush!" If you want to spend smarter, go for the large size of our winners (the 3.3-oz. Lancôme, $150; the 3.4-oz. Estée Lauder, $160) and you'll slash the price per ounce by $44 and $18, respectively.
Limit blue light exposure at night. Recent studies reveal that blue light emitted by electronic devices damages your skin perhaps even more so than UV. It also disrupts your sleep cycle–all in all, I notice that staring into my laptop late at night spells disaster for my eye area the next morning. Activate warm-light display on your laptop and phone after sundown. Close your electronics as early as possible at night and read a book instead, if you need to wind down!
This anti-aging serum was the top performer in our test, because it reduced brown spots and pores, firmed and softened skin. Consumers rated it fastest to be absorbed, and all agreed that it had a nice texture, and it was the best at brightening and evening skin tone. "My jaw seems lifted and more defined," one raved. "I will definitely purchase," two said. In the lab, it increased skin's firmness by 24%, and digital imaging showed a 7% improvement in both visible brown spots and pores after four weeks of use.
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While you can’t necessarily remove dark circles, you can often hide them by lightening the area with a concealer. There are some mineral-based options available, but you can also make your own right at home. You can choose options that match your skin tone and then simply apply it by lightly patting it onto the skin around the eyes. Do not rub it into the skin as this may cause further irritation. Also, do not use too much. You want a natural appearance to the skin. Too much can make dark circles, wrinkles and crepey skin more prominent.
Here’s another way your fridge can come in handy: Store a few metal spoons inside. When you find yourself with a little free time, perhaps while you’re watching an episode of your favorite TV show, grab two chilled spoons from the fridge and place them on your under-eye bags. The spoons will work in a similar manner to your refrigerated eye cream, helping to de-puff.
Peptides are the star of the show here, namely an amino-peptide complex, that penetrates 10 layers deep to help skin cells. "Peptides act as signaling mechanisms that tell the body to produce more collagen," says Dhaval Bhanusali, M.D., a dermatologist based in New York City. (As a reminder, collagen is the protein responsible for strong, firm, youthful skin, so more collagen equals fewer wrinkles. But this cream doesn't stop there; it also gently exfoliates and hydrates.
After using a wrinkle cream, “patients sometimes break out and think that means they’re allergic to the product as a whole as opposed to just one ingredient,” says Dr. Ford. The most likely culprit in these anti-aging products, she says, is actually vitamin E, an irritant that also showed up a lot in our review on the best lip balm. So before you bag wrinkle creams altogether, look for products that don’t contain vitamin E, commonly listed as tocopherol. If you find that you’re still having a bad reaction, Dr. Ford advises that you try a product that has just one of the powerhouse anti-agers.
Skin care with botanically derived anti-aging ingredients are gaining popularity. Quercetin, found in tea, apple skin, red grapes, red onions and berries stimulates collagen production, thus diminishing the appearance of wrinkles. As the name suggests, Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiageing Antiwrinkle Eye Cream contains quercetin -- the first natural, clinically proven alternative to retinol. This eye cream also fights wrinkles with myrtle extract (improves skin elasticity), mourera fluviatilis extract (moisturizes), baobab polysaccharides (firms) and rhodiola rosea extract (reduces puffiness and brightens the under-eye area).
Amazon had some sort of sale so I signed for a few subscriptions to see if anything was worth it. After the first month, the only one I kept was Allure. I'm a serious skincare person and a terrible make-up person but the box had a nice blend of both -- enough make-up for me to play with and some good skincare stuff/brands I hadn't seen. The second month I got an envelope in the mail and it's a single Kat Von D lipliner -- I'm not a fan of her make-up line and thought 'yep, this is it, subscription boxes suck' and canceled. Tonight, I got home and there's a proper box with some great make-up and two different face oils to try (and seriously, no joke, I was googling face oils today). So I signed back up and am now writing this review.