While the area under our eyes has an entire product category dedicated to addressing dark circles and fine lines, the delicate skin our eyelids, generally, has not. But according to celebrity esthetician Shani Darden, ignoring the lids could be a mistake.
“It’s definitely an area that’s neglected: The majority of people aren’t even moisturizing their eyelids,” says Darden. She explains that a combination of age, environmental aggressors like pollution, and a lack of sun protection all contribute to lid dryness and sagging over time. And while we often turn to retinol to treat these same issues under our eyes, the vitamin A derivative is too intense to repurpose on on your lids.
“The area is just so sensitive that with a retinol, you’d probably end up getting really dry,” says Darden. “If your eye cream is too drying, you’ll end up looking older—it’s not necessarily that you’re aging the area, but it will make it look more aged because everything gets dry and it will look like you have more wrinkles there.” She adds that many under-eye products are formulated with some type of vitamin A (because it’s so effective for treating fine lines and wrinkles), so you run the risk of getting the same effect when you use the product up on the lids.
Because of this, she’s formulated an eye cream that’s specifically meant to be used on your eyelids. Her new Intensive Eye Renewal Cream with Firming Peptides ($68) is formulated with silk tree extract, which has the same sort of brightening and sagging reducing abilities as retinol but is much gentler on your skin. It’s also got hydrating and skin barrier-building ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, shea butter, squalane, and peptides, plus niacinamide, which further helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Unlike many of the eye creams on the market, which tend to act as “quick fixes” for some of these issues, Darden explains that this formula will truly help to treat them over time. And what’s more? In addition to working wonders on your lids, it’s just as effective under your eyes, too (though if you can tolerate it, Darden says retinol—like her beloved Retinol Reform Serum ($88)—it is also a great option for using down there. Simply tap the cream gently into your lids—taking care not to pull at the skin—and leave it on overnight. The product is so divine, you’ll never neglect your eyelids again.
For more on how to deal with that delicate eye skin, check out the video below.