Vitamin C eye creams are having a serious time. Six new ones hit shelves in the past few weeks, and each uses the antioxidant-rich active in their own way. This is definitely good news, according to Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York, because vitamin C is a wonderful ingredient to use in eye creams.
“While many eye creams traditionally focus on hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump, or retinoids to help with protein and fine lines and wrinkles, vitamin C is great because it will help brighten the skin. under the eyes,” says Dr. Garshick. “That’s an area where we often deal with hyperpigmentation, and so basically that means there’s the brown discoloration that sometimes contributes to dark circles.”
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, so it helps protect against free radical damage, which is one of the causes of premature signs of aging. Free radicals are molecules from the environment that enter our skin cells and deprive them of electrons. This makes previously healthy skin cells unstable and less functional. This leads to DNA, cell and protein damage which all lead to problems such as discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles. Since the eyes are surrounded by thin skin, they are often the first place we start to see these visible signs of aging, and the use of an eye cream that prevents free radical damage can help keep skin strong and firm longer.
Instead of using a vitamin C skin care product around your eyes, Dr. Garshick says it’s best to use a vitamin C eye cream.
“Because the skin on the eyelids is a little thinner and more delicate than the rest of the face, it may experience a little more irritation and sensitivity,” says Dr. Garshick. “Vitamin C, we know in many cases, can be irritating, and so having a formulation specifically for the eye area provides that benefit in that it can limit potential irritation.”
OAM Vitamin C Eye Conditioner — $35.00
From singer Ciara’s new skincare brand (just launched today!), this silky-smooth eye cream is made with the brand’s Tri-C Pro-Peptide. The ingredient is at the heart of the singer’s line and contains three active forms of vitamin C along with peptides to penetrate deep into the skin without irritation. It also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and soothing niacinamide.
Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream — $38.00
This Glow Recipe cream uses 10% vitamin C derived from guava and 3% niacinamide to fade hyperpigmentation. It also uses caffeine and peptides, which constrict blood vessels under the eyes to reduce puffiness, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump fine lines. Altogether, these ingredients reduce the appearance of dark circles.
OleHenriksen Banana Bright + Vitamin C Eye Cream — $42.00
Launched in early August, this vitamin C eye cream is a revamp of one of OleHenriksen’s best-selling products. The updated formula includes three forms of vitamin C plus gold for enhanced lift and tightening. It also includes citrus-based bioflavonoids that neutralize free radicals and hardy orange extract, an antioxidant-rich herb that boosts the brightening abilities of vitamin C.
ITK day + night eye contour cream duo — $15.00
One of these jars contains two vitamin C creams to help nourish your skin day and night. In the morning, use the serum gel, which contains caffeine to depuff your eyes and help you look more awake. Before bed, use the rich cream that contains collagen, ceramides and antioxidants for nighttime hydration.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Vitamin C Lactic Firm & Bright Eye Treatment — $68.00
Silky smooth and fast-absorbing, this treatment uses three forms of vitamin C to protect skin cells, prevent hyperpigmentation and firm the skin around the eyes. It also includes lactic acid, which provides gentle exfoliation as well as hydration, and tranexamic acid, which reduces the appearance of dark spots and limits the formation of new ones.
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