I first started using eye cream in my twenties, and honestly it’s been a non-negotiable staple of my skincare regime ever since. Every restless night, coffee fuelled day or stressful week can be seen beneath my eyes, so my priority has always been to reduce the appearance of darkness and prevent those tell-tale fine lines from appearing for as long as possible. As the birthday candles on my cake have gotten greater in volume, so has my focus on finding the best solutions for my under-eye issues; I’ve usually got about twenty different solutions lurking on my dressing table at any one time, and I’ve liberally applied and massaged in all manner of creams, gels and serums to this delicate area of my face.
Up until very recently I would’ve sworn to you that eye creams made all the difference and they should be a fundamental part of any regime, but a moment of anguish caused by looking in the mirror one morning could have changed all that. For the first time in over a decade I’ve hung up my metaphorical eye cream boots, in favour of a simpler approach to skincare.
What caused this moment of horror, I hear you ask?
I saw little tiny white bumps around my under-eye area, and they scared the bejesus out of me.
Also known as milia, these little white bumps are mostly caused by a build up of keratin under the skin’s surface. However, they can also be exacerbated with product use (because the under-eye skin is so thin and delicate) and often the only way to fully rid yourself of them is to temporarily reduce the amount of skincare and makeup you’re applying on a daily basis. Mild exfoliation, gentle AHAs and Retinol can help (by encouraging skin regeneration and the shedding of dead skin cells,) but personally I became worried I was overdoing it and would be causing irreparable damage to an area of my face that I was already a bit paranoid about.
Years ago I remember vividly seeing pictures of older ladies with severely swollen and blocked under-eye areas, supposedly caused by using an excessive amount of product, and it’s stayed with me ever since. All I could think when spotting those small bumps was that it was self-inflicted and I needed to make a change, stat. So I did.
In recent weeks I’ve stripped back my skincare routine, removing eye cream altogether in favour of a targeted serum or oil alongside a moisturising SPF. Not only has this sped up my morning and reduced the amount of product I’m consuming, but it’s helped me understand what my skin really needs and realise that I don’t need five different skincare products when two will do. It’s also encouraged me to invest more time in facial massage and ensuring those products are well absorbed into my skin, lifting my complexion in the process and leaving me with a fresh faced end result that no product on its own can compare with.
Now I’m not saying that my eye cream single-handedly caused these little white bumps, nor that I’m giving it up for good, but for the time being I feel happier skipping over that step and using multi-functional products with all the goodness I need instead. It’s been a lesson in stripping it back, rather than continually adding more and more steps into my morning regime, and I think in a world of excess that’s something we can all benefit from now and again.
I do miss dabbing those little tiny blobs onto my skin, and I miss the products I relied on so heavily for so long, but often you’ve got to shake things up and take it back to basics – and that’s what I’m taking advantage of right now.
See ya later eye cream. For now at least…
Are you an eye cream addict, or do you skip over the step completely?