IN the BLINK of an EYE || Eye creams, are they worth it ?



Never trust the eyes with a secret! In the blink of an eye they’ll reveal all.Our emotions, our health and age, all without even batting an eyelid. Whilst dark circles and puffiness expose our lifestyle choices, fine or permanent lines become the barometer of our chronological age – all visible signs of ageing.

A 41 second Google search tells me 1,990,000 people are talking about, purchasing or searching for a miracle in the form of an eye cream, which will reduce these visible signs of aging. … quite a demand, with high expectations not always met.

 Hedging my bets…

 My Keeping Skin Care Simple and Sensible approach doesn’t always include an eye cream in my personal skin care arsenal. I do love the luxurious formulations of eye creams but I vacillate between essential and superfluous. As a Dermal Clinician, my philosophy is – if your skincare already contains cell communicating, active ingredients in an hydrating formulation, then eye creams may not always  be necessary. However, if the skin around your eyes differs significantly from the rest of your face and you have specific concerns for your skin around the eye area, then an eye cream may be of benefit!

 …..but first some Anatomy

 The skin around the peri-orbital (eye) area varies slightly from the rest of the skin on the face and body. It is the thinnest skin on our bodies, measuring a mere 0.04mm – 0.2mm thick, containing less appendageal glands (sweat and oil glands), resulting in a drier and potentially less supple skin.

 The Obicularis Oculi, the muscle surrounding the eye, sits directly below this thin skin and is responsible for the ‘crows feet’ that form at the sides of the eyes. We blink approximately 28,000 times a day. This repetitive movement, together with environmental exposure, drier and  thinner skin, makes this area more vulnerable to the visible signs of aging.

So why might I need an eyecream?

 Generally speaking most eye creams are made from heavier formulations designed to hydrate the area where there are less sweat and oil glands.

Being more fragile than the rest of the skin on the face means that this area is also quite vulnerable to textual/pigmentary changes.

Introducing scientifically proven cosmeceutical ingredients into an eye cream, together with careful and gentle application, is able to assist in addressing some of the most common peri- orbital concerns.


 Eyeing off ingredients in eye creams….

Unless those bags are Louis Vuitton,’check in’ that puffiness!

Puffiness can be due to a number of factors including a collection of fluid, a high salt dietary intake, allergies, not enough sleep, alcohol, eye irritation and poor elasticity of this fragile skin.

Establishing the cause goes a long way in addressing the concerns when choosing the correct eye cream.

  • Caffeine is an alkaloid extracted from the leaves and beans of the coffee tree, functioning as a diuretic helping to remove excess fluid build up around the eyes.
  • Neotensil is a contracting polymer product and when applied to the skin contracts, forming a ‘spanx’ type of effect, smoothing the skin underneath the eye. This effect can last up to 16 hours.
  • Manage allergens causing the puffiness.
  • Make lifestyle changes in either diet or sleep patterns.

Tip; refrigerate your eyecream to help reduce puffiness


 Dark circles …. ‘My, what beautiful dark bags you have ‘said no one ever unless you’re Nick cave!

 Dark circles or per-iorbital pigmentation occurs when there is a thinning of the skin, a loss of fat, venous stasis, medications, allergies, asthma, eczema, fatigue, genes and photo-aging.

 Skin lightening ingredients to include in eye creams
  • Licorice root is an anti-inflammatory with pigment lightening properties and may be helpful after establishing the cause of the pigmentation.
  • Vitamin C assists in skin tone texture and laxity and is an essential for the synthesis of collagen; increasing skin thickness.
  • Retinols are the cornerstone of anti-aging products with their abilities to reduce the appearance of fine lines, hype-rpigmentation and skin texture but in some individuals they can cause eye irritation and as a result are often avoided around the sensitive eye area. Include retinoid derivatives such as retinaldehyde rather than retinoic acid.
  • Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 is effective in skin lightening by interrupting the melanosome transfer to keratinocytes and has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Makeup concealer/highlighter are products containing mica or other tiny particulate light reflective particles to increase under-eye light reflection and optically decrease eye puffiness. 

Nothing to crow about!

‘Crows feet’ or laugh lines form due to accumulative UV exposure and repetitive muscle movement.

  • Niacinamide  Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin E functions as a protective agent for the cell membrane. Studies show improvements in wrinkling when applied topically and has shown to decrease UV induced photo damage
  • Peptides are short chain amino acids and the building blocks of proteins, instrumental in cell communication. Skin penetration is questionable due to the large molecular size but evolving technology in formulations means change is emerging.
  • Alphahydroxy acids such as glycolic, mandelic and lactic acid (AHA’s) all exfoliate the skin, increasing skin thickness. Improving synthesis of glycosaminoglycans (GAGS- help maintain hydration in the skin), collagen, and possibly elastic fibres.
  • Hyaluronic acid acts as an humectant able to bind to water 1000 times its own volume increasing hydration.
  • Ceramides help to maintain barrier function and reduce trans epidermal water loss (TEWL), improving skin hydration.
  • Vitamin C
  • Green tea exhibits anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. The anti-aging benefits of green tea are postulated as a result of its anti oxidant properties mopping up the nasty free radicals which contribute to skin cell aging.
  • Resveratrol derived from the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries is an antioxidant with photo-protective properties.
  • Dimethicone is a silicone based product which temporarily minimises fine lines by filling and hydrating the peri-orbital area prior to makeup application and is washed off with cleansing.
  • Retinols

 A common bond

An essential ingredient common to all treatment options is the number one anti-aging weapon…


Include sunscreen wherever possible in any skin care opportunity to help reduce the visible signs of aging and why not ‘Rock Star’ it and reduce squinting, with large framed protective eye wear.

Remember if irritation develops with any eye cream discontinue use immediately.

Susan X

Have you found your perfect eye cream….tell me about it?



YOU ASKED FOR IT…The good, the bad and the VERY bad! blog systemic skin lightening

YOU ASKED FOR IT…the good the bad and the very bad!

I love Instagram and those closest to me would even go as far to say that I’m addicted. It plays a valuable role in the branding of my business and one I really enjoy!

Mostly it’s the interaction with fellow Insta- users. I love helping them make informed choices when choosing skin care, steering them towards a product benefitting their skin type, helping find solutions for worrying skin conditions or providing tips related to skin-health, assisting them on their skin care journey.

Regularly popping up are questions for treatment options when treating pigmentation. Recently a question that piqued my interest was an enquiry about the efficacy of the Intravenous use of Vitamin C and Glutathione for skin lightening…. What I found was disturbing!

Thankyou for the question @muchkingrace, here are my findings….

Skin lightening is very popular amongst Asian cultures in which lighter skins are often considered desirable and are associated with with social and economic status and it appears systemic skin lightening is becoming dangerously more popular – sometimes to the detriment of their own health.

Background…. identifying the role of Glutathione (GSH) and Vitamin C in skin lightening.

Melanin is a pigment produced by melanocytes ( pigment producing skin cells) when the enzyme tyrosinase is oxidised. Melanin determines our skin colour and some skins produce more melanin than others giving the appearance of a more ‘olive’ complexion and darker skin shades.

Both Vitamin C and Glutathione function as antioxidants and work synergistically within the body to help neutralise the formation of free radicals. Glutathione is commonly combined with other agents like Vitamin C, which help to aid in its absorption.

Glutathione is synthesised endogenously which means the body produces it’s own supply in the liver when needed – one of many feedback systems in our bodies. Eating foods rich in lean meats, eggs, fruits ,vegetables and whole grains will stimulate the liver to produce Glutathione, raising the levels in our blood.

Read more about the super antioxidant Glutathione.

Glutathione has recently been used as an inhibitor of melanin in the cosmetics industry. In countries such as Japan and the Philippines, this product is the active ingredient in products such skin-whitening soaps. It’s ability to inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme needed in the formation of melanin, is what makes it useful in skin lightening.

The role of Glutathione as a skin whitening agent was an accidental discovery when skin whitening was noticed as a side effect of large doses of Gluatathione being used in the management of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alcoholic Hepatitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. These are the only indications where Glutathione can be used legally and in fact the FDA has banned its intravenous use due to reports of serious side effects such as skin rashes, Stevens Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, derangement in thyroid, renal function and severe abdominal pain.

Enough side effects to put you off?


Intravenous Glutathione delivers very high doses directly into the systemic blood circulation, overloading the renal circulation and interrupting the body’s feedback system regulating its production.

The effects may be permanent and may increase the risk of skin cancer or permanent skin depigmentation resulting in Vitiligo

Vitamin C is a potent exogenous antioxidant used in Dermatology and skin care preparations. This means it needs to be acquired from our through foods rich in Vitamin C such as green leafy vegetables and fruits. It is a co-factor in collagen synthesis but it also has the ability to inhibit the action of tyrosinase, thereby similarly decreasing the formation of melanin. Vitamin C, when combined with Vitamin E has been found to have photo protective qualities and can protect against UV damage.

Toxic doses of Vitamin C are rare and the levels needed are 100-200 times the daily recommended dose. This gives Vitamin C a very high safety profile although diarrhea, headaches and kidney stones have been a reported side effect of prolonged high doses of Vit C.

Something else to consider….the intravenous administration and use of Glutathione for skin whitening is unauthorised and carries additional risks. As it is an illegal product it is unregulated and of unknown quality and sterility and may be administered by untrained people increasing the risk of serious infections, air embolism and transmission of blood borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis B.

Systemic skin whitening agents lack scientific evidence regarding their safety and efficacy and the FDA continues to ban their use until this can be established.

As a Dermal Clinician I am concerned with the adverse health implications of systemic skin lightening and would strongly recommend against this treatment option to anyone considering systemic skin lightening, favouring instead alternative treatment options, which are both safe and legal.

Approved and safer treatment options for skin lightening can be found in these links!!LET-THERE-BE-LIGHT/cmbz/9EF014F1-7078-458B-8447-C3ADE83E6D10!PEELING-GREAT/cmbz/4C854E86-1F26-49DA-B63A-96DDA6D48838!melasma/cmj4

‘You asked for it……’ is going to be featured regularly so If you have a skin related question you’d like to see featured contact me via my website Instagram or Facebook