We must confess that over the years the combination of late nights (okay some were for work, so no judging) and poor sleep habits have given us our fair share of puffy, tired-looking eyes, with matching dark under eye circles. So we’ve tried our fair share of eye creams in the past.
Most have promised a lot and delivered little results – and no we’re not naive enough to think that a tube of cream alone can fix fatigue. We’ve learnt that it’s about picking the right product for you, applying it correctly, consistently and having a bit of patience. Granted it’s eye cream, not a magic potion, so you can’t apply it for a week and expect instant results. That said, eye creams are not cheap and you deserve the pay-off if you’re going to commit. So here are six of our favourites, which are a bit like a shot of espresso for your delicate under-eye area.
1. The pay-day buy
Fancy turning back time? Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex, R990 will help do just that. This tried-and-true eye cream has been reformulated to include microencapsulated retinol and niacinamide, which helps to penetrate deeply to brighten, smooth, and plump. If you’re using this for the first time and you’re a retinol newbie, apply on alternate nights for the first two weeks as your skin builds up a tolerance to the retinol. As your skin acclimates, you can begin applying it nightly. Also, make sure to only use it at night to avoid irritation from sun exposure.
2. The spoil-yourself buy
Who doesn’t love treating themselves once in a while to a bit of Filorga? Filorga Eyes-Absolute, R1 150, is filled with active ingredients and plant extracts. A combination of [restructuring + botox-like] active ingredients act to reduce eye wrinkles. In addition, a duo of plant extracts lift the upper eyelids to help open up the eyes again. After a month’s use, we were convinced our eyelashes were getting thicker. So we had a quick reread of the ingredients list and realised we weren’t crazy. It contains an isoflavone called Biochanin-1 extracted from red clover, and a Tetrapeptide mix that inhibits the creation of DHT. DHT shortens the growth cycle of the eyelashes. So, with regular use, your lashes basically get the message to stick around longer than they normally would. With this sleek little black tube, you can’t go wrong and it includes a ‘cyro-applicator’, that’s posh for the metal tip you apply the cream with and that basically does all of the work for you.
3. The in-betweener buy
A trusted and effective brand, Elizabeth Arden, has done some serious research into the eye area and launched Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum, R655, to fight the signs of ageing. Thanks to powerful plant extracts, Tsubuki Oil and their famous ceramide lipid complex, crows feet, lower eyelid wrinkles and under eye puffiness are targeted and minimised. This concentrate targets the entire eye area from temple to temple.
4. The because-you-can buy
You already have a shelf full of eye products but you’re keen to try another one. Placecol Revitalising Eye Therapy, R225, is a great one to add to your collection. It has a smooth consistency and smells really lovely.
5. Caffeine for the eyes
L’Oréal comes to the rescue with this great tube of soothing eye cream. L’Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Precision Eye Pen, R249,95 isn’t a laser treatment but it will give you intense action, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and bags around the eye area. With caffeine and Hyaluronic Acid, it brightens tired eyes, while the metal applicator helps smooth out puffiness.
6. The end-of-the-month buy
When you urgently need a cream to reduce puffiness, but you’re waiting for your next paycheck. We’re super impressed with African Extracts AdvantAGE Rejuvenating Eye Cream, R160,99. This silky eye cream with Bio-Active Rooibos, sea fennel and buckwheat seed extract has a three-in-one action to diminish the appearance of fine lines around the eyes, and reduce the appearance of visible dark circles and under-eye puffiness. It’s also proudly South African and endorsed by Beauty Against Cruelty to boot!
Now, don’t forget the correct way to apply your product. Read our top tips here.