When you’re not sleeping well, under a lot of stress or generally burning the candle at both ends, the first place it shows is your face - especially around the eyes.
This is because the skin surrounding your peepers is particularly sensitive - in fact, it’s 10% thinner than anywhere else on your face, meaning collagen levels are lower and fine lines, puffiness and dark circles are more noticeable.
While sleep, diet and stress reduction are all great preventative methods for better-looking skin around the eyes, a decent eye cream can also have a big impact - helping to keep it looking smoother, tighter and brighter.
Enter the best eye creams. However, it’s still a common misconception that such skincare products are only for women. According to some of the beauty industry’s finest experts, this is absolute codswallop.
“Eye cream is not just limited to women, men should use it too,” advises Miss Elizabeth Hawkes, consultant oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeon at London’s Cadogan Clinic (opens in new tab).
“Skin around the eyes is prone to dryness in both men and women due to reduced number of sebaceous glands and for this reason, it will quickly reveal signs of fatigue as well as ageing.”
In fact, some experts believe men might benefit more from an eye cream than women do.
Dr Ross Perry, Medical Director of Cosmedics skin clinics (opens in new tab), says this is because men’s skin is tougher and thicker than that of females due to the testosterone hormone giving it a very different structure.
“In men, some issues, like sagging, are actually more pronounced than in women, meaning an eye cream is the one product to help keep the eye area looking and appearing firm,” he explains.
Choosing an eye cream for men
So, what if you’re a guy looking to purchase your first ever eye cream and you’re not sure where to start?
Aesthetic artist and founder of Intrigue Cosmetic Clinic (opens in new tab), Amish Patel, recommends those concerned about the visible signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles to choose a product containing hyaluronic acid.
“With so much choice in skincare it can be difficult to choose, but I recommend going for an eye cream which includes hyaluronic acid as well as Vitamins A and C.
Hyaluronic Acid is found naturally in the body, but applied topically it can have significant benefits, Patel says, while Vitamin A helps to accelerate healing, prevent breakouts and support the skin's immune system to promote natural moisturising. Vitamin C is also great for evening out the skin tone, tackling pigmentation issues and for brightening your complex.
“The combination of all three can help soften fine lines and wrinkles help reduce the rate of collagen lost naturally,” he says.
However, Patel makes clear that no eye cream will provide instant results:
"Investing in your skin is a long term commitment,” he adds. “There is no quick fix or anything permanent, it requires maintenance. We create tailored skin regimen for lots of our male clients and eye creams are at the heart of their grooming regime.”
Our favourite eye creams
Based on the recommendations from experts in this field, and our own experience testing a plethora of products, we can recommend a number of eye creams that should help with dark circles, wrinkles and general signs of ageing.
One of our favourites is Kiehl's (deep breath) Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing & Dark Circle-Diminishing Vitamin C Eye Serum (opens in new tab). This long-named and potent serum has been formulated for the delicate eye area, and really does help get rid of dark circles over time while visibly correcting lines and crow’s feet for a fresher, brighter-looking eye area.
Then there’s Daimon Barber’s Revitalising Eye Formula (opens in new tab), which works to lift and firm the look of skin around the eyes. Louis Hayes-Davies, who heads the male grooming brand, tells us that the formula works by “consolidating the fragile microvascular network around the eye area and stimulating detoxifying systems”. It does this, he says, by reducing capillary leakages and the accumulation of pigments responsible for uneven colouration and a tired appearance.
We also really like Cosmydor’s eye contour serum (opens in new tab), which is made entirely from natural ingredients including shea butter and glycerin for hydration. However, the core ingredient is hamamelis (witch hazel), reinforced with caffeine, which not only helps soothe and moisturise the eye contour but helps tighten the face and reduce lines and dark circles.
Another favourite is the Lumen men’s skincare brand (opens in new tab) and its eye puff deflator - a really well-priced product that helps with eye puffiness, fine lines, and crows feet. And finally, we’re also big fans of the Vitruvian Man Supreme Eye Cream (opens in new tab). This highly concentrated yet lightweight anti-oxidant nourishes fatigued eyes by boosting the skin’s dermal architecture and in turn, reduces wrinkles and prevents sagging - the last thing you want under your mince pies!
Now, make sure you check out T3's guide to the best men's eye creams for even more recommendations and information.