First things first: Here at Who What Wear UK, we are firm believers in the joys of ageing. After all, what a privilege it is to have lived a life full of fun and to have the laughter lines to prove it? However, despite being downright dubious about a lot of the promises that certain anti-ageing products make, we're also well aware that there's no shame in wanting to keep your skin looking its best for as long as possible. And, for me personally, that means investing in a decent eye cream. Yes, despite my scepticism about the efficacy of eye creams while I was in my 20s, now that I'm in my early 30s and starting to see the first flurry of fine lines and long-lasting dark circles, I'm starting to notice a marked difference between the days that I use eye cream and those that I skip it.
But when it comes to choosing an eye cream that will target those classic signs of ageing, what should we actually be looking out for? To help, I called on Ewoma Ukeleghe, a medical and cosmetic doctor and clinical expert in skincare and non-surgical enhancement, for some expert advice.
Ahead, Dr. Ewoma fills me in on the best anti-ageing eye creams on the market and spills the beans on the ingredients that we should be looking out for and when exactly we should start using an anti-ageing eye cream. Keep scrolling for the full low-down.
When should we start using an anti-ageing eye cream?
"I'm in my late 20s, but I've taken a head start on my anti-ageing routine—that's the best and most effective approach," explains Dr. Ewoma. "Although there's no set age to start using eye creams, and it does depend on the current quality of your skin and other factors, I would recommend considering using one from the age of 25, as this coincides with decreasing collagen levels within the skin."
What skin changes should we look out for as we age?
"There are a few skin changes that take place with age," says Dr. Ewoma. "Fine lines and wrinkles, dryness and dehydration, thinning of the skin around the eye and puffiness, because as we age, fat pads around the eye begin to protrude out of their original position. Hyperpigmentation can also occur, but increased sun exposure and changing hormones can also affect this."
It sounds like a long list, right? But by choosing the right ingredients in your eye cream, you can genuinely help to target any of these skin concerns that might be bothering you right now. And if you're not worried in the slightest? We totally salute you.
Which ingredients are key to choosing an effective anti-ageing eye cream?
"There are a few holy-grail anti-ageing ingredients, but for some of them, you need to be really careful when applying them to the delicate eye area," explains Dr. Ewoma. "Retinoids are a really powerful anti-ageing ingredient and are clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines. Peptides are brilliant too, as they support the building blocks of the skin—elastin and collagen—which deplete with age."
Shop the best anti-ageing eye creams:
1. B. Smoothing Eye Cream
This affordable eye cream is Dr. Ewoma's personal pick of the bunch. "I swear by the B. Smoothing Eye Cream as I have quite a sensitive eye area, and this doesn't cause any irritation whatsoever," Dr. Ewoma explains. "It contains a nourishing blend of niacinamide and peptides, and it sits beautifully under concealer."
2. Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Line Erasing Eye Cream
Containing a potent microencapsulated retinol (one of Dr. Ewoma's hero anti-ageing ingredients), this is the very product that switched me on to the efficacy of retinol eye creams for those early signs of fine lines. Trust me—it really works.
3. Elemis Peptide4 Eye Recovery Cream
4. Revolution Skincare Toning Retinol Eye Cream
Scientific ingredients like retinol often come with a hefty price tag, but this purse-friendly eye cream is a great option if you're venturing into the world of anti-ageing eye creams. I think that the lightweight, gel-like texture would work well if you're in your mid-20s.
5. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream
6. Biossance Squalane and Peptide Eye Gel
This cooling gel formulation feels heaven-sent when applied to tired, puffy eyes in the morning. Again, the lightweight texture means I'd recommend this to those in their 20s and 30s, but it's impressively hydrating thanks to a healthy dose of squalane.
7. Susanne Kaufmann Eye Cream Line A
8. The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream
You won't find better for the price point than this moisturising retinol eye cream from The Inkey List. It contains a slow-release retinol that is gentle enough to use around the eye and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, along with shea butter to hydrate the skin.
9. Kate Somerville KateCeuticals Lifting Eye Cream
Basically every beauty editor I know swears by this hardworking eye cream. Yes, it's pricey, but its triple-peptide complex and blend of red and brown algae, hyaluronic acid and vitamin c make it a real powerhouse in the anti-ageing skincare game.
10. Medik8 Retinol Eye TR
11. It Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream With Collagen, Ceramides, and Peptides
This rich eye cream not only delivers on hydration but also brims with collagen, ceramides and peptides to plump and strengthen your under-eyes. Plus, the apricot tint helps to instantly brighten.
12. Allies of Skin Peptides and Omegas Firming Eye Cream
Allies of Skin is one of my go-to brands for efficacious formulations, and this high-performance eye cream is basically a good night's sleep in a bottle. It's powered by peptides, bakuchiol and vitamin C to target lines, puffiness and dark circles.