Ultra-conditioning balms, butters, and moisturisers aren't suitable for the delicate skin in the eye area. Instead, you should use three other products to treat and prevent dry skin around the eyes.
The skin around your eyes is the same as skin elsewhere on your body, with one exception: eye skin is extremely thin. A good illustration of the difference is to compare cardboard with tissue paper. It's hoped that you would handle these materials quite differently.
Similarly, specialised eye care treats this delicate skin more tenderly than regular facial products would. Gentle care is easily achievable most of the time, as the skin surrounding your eyes is often unaffected by problems such as spots or dryness. But what happens when you develop patches of dry skin around your eyes?
Balms, butters, and emollient-rich moisturisers are go-tos for dry skin elsewhere, but those heavy formulas are poor choices for under-eye application. Instead, we recommend a three-step treatment and prevention plan for dry eye skin:
- A mild, skin-compatible chemical exfoliant
- A cream or serum with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerine, or panthenol
- Sun protection to improve skin's resilience
Let's take a look at the benefits of each step and the products that are perfect for each task.
1. Chemical exfoliants to treat and prevent dry skin around the eyes
It's tempting to rub away dry skin with a scrub or even just your hands. This is the worst thing you could do to the fragile skin surrounding your eyes. Instead, you should use a chemical exfoliant to de-flake.
Chemical exfoliants contain mild skincare acids, such as salicylic or glycolic acid. After application, these acids gently soften the top layers of skin and increase the rate of natural exfoliation. This helps to treat existing dry skin and prevent future patches from forming.
Incorporate one of the following chemical exfoliants into your regimen for dry skin prevention:
- Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant
- Thalgo Exfoliating Lotion
- Bioderma Hydrabio Gommage Exfoliating Cream
2. Hydrating eye creams to treat and prevent dry skin around the eyes
Hydrating eye creams are especially helpful for temporarily dehydrated skin. Anyone can suffer from dehydrated skin, regardless of skin type. While dry patches around the eyes may provoke you to reach for any product formulated for dry skin, you should instead use lightweight products that add moisture.
Hydrating eye creams are high in ingredients that attract and hold water. Such ingredients include hyaluronic acid, the skin-identical polymer that can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water.
Some of our favourite hydrating eye creams include:
- Nuxe Nirvanesque First Expression Lines Eye Contour Cream, with hyaluronic acid and glycerine
- Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair, with hyaluronic acid and panthenol, also known as pro-vitamin B5
3. Sun protection to prevent dry skin around the eyes
Dry skin is often triggered by UV light, which causes both short-term and long-term damage. Sunlight dehydrates skin while also impairing its barrier function.
Counteract the effects of UV radiation with daily use of a sensitive-skin-friendly mineral sunscreen:
- Invisible Zinc Facial Moisturiser SPF 30+
- Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield SPF 30
- Jurlique SPF 40 PA+++ High Protection Cream
To learn more about the ins and outs of sunscreen use around your eyes, head over to our Ultimate Guide article, 'Why do I need to put sunscreen around my eyes?'