Thinner and more delicate than any other part of the face, the skin around the eyes is often the first to show signs of sun damage, ageing and even poor lifestyle habits. But with a little maintenance and the right skincare products, it's possible to look young and vibrant, no matter what stage of life you're in.
'Your whole face lights up if you have youthful, beautiful eyes,' says Kyoko Deguchi, training manager at Cle de Peau Beaute.
Creme Contour des Yeux, the multifunctional eye cream created for Asian women from Cle de Peau Beaute, tackles these problems of the eye area: puffiness, eye bags, sagging, dark circles, pigmentation, dullness, lack of radiance, wrinkles and dryness. It moisturises the eye area to deliver radiance in three ways - texture, colour and dimension. 'Texture refers to virtual skin formulation, which contains the ingredients that protect the skin, reduce dryness and fight UV [ultraviolet] damage, provide deep hydration to help prevent wrinkle formation and reduce the damage that leads to lines and premature ageing,' Deguchi says.
'Colour refers to the triple brilliance effect containing the ingredients that help with the circulation, smoothening and brightening of the eye area.
'Dimension means the 3-D control that helps structural control, fat and fluid control, muscle control and metabolism.
'Comparatively speaking, Asian women's eye areas contain more fat than Caucasian women's, which is why many of them suffer from the problems of puffy eyes and eye bags.'
Creme Contour des Yeux comes with a platinum eye massager, which soothes and refreshes the eye area with a cooling sensation.
The eye area is more thin and fragile than any other area of the face and is the most prone to the accumulation of visible damage, according to Dr Nadine Pernodet, executive director of skin biology, research and development, at Estee Lauder. 'A good eye product will be one that is gentle enough for the delicate eye area and will effectively address women's targeted concerns, such as crow's feet and under-eye circles,' she says.
When asked what exercises women should factor into their daily routine to take care of their eye area, Pernodet says: 'Because the eye area is so delicate and fragile, we recommend not applying eye cream in one swipe where pulling or tugging can occur. Rather, a technique we have created is to apply three tiny dots of eye cream around the eye area first. Ideally, the dabs of cream should be equally spaced around the eye and then smoothed into the skin by gently patting, never rubbing. The ring finger naturally tends to apply less pressure and is ideal for applying the cream.'
Cellular Eye Cream Platinum Rare from La Prairie contains a dual peptide complex that helps reduce dark circles, support the natural waste removal system and stabilise the under-eye area. It also features buckwheat wax, which helps prevent under-eye puffiness.
According to Paul Fox, Asia-Pacific vice-president of La Prairie, the eyes are the first facial area to show signs of ageing because the area has no sweat glands. He thinks there is no specific age for starting to use anti-ageing products - it is when you start to notice the signs of ageing that you start using them.
'Your skin ages at a different rate from somebody else's. Our target customer is 40 years old and over for our anti-ageing range, but the art of skincare is as much prevention as it is a cure of symptoms of ageing. So everyone should start taking care of their skin as young as possible. This is something that Asian women are very smart about because they start taking care of their skin at a much younger age than women in other cultures,' Fox says.
Sally Sim, senior trainer at MTM, recommends using your fingertips to pinch your eye bags gently to improve blood circulation. 'The skin around the eye area is a third as thick as the skin of the other facial areas, while the structure of its collagen fibre is weak. So it ages easily. Wrinkles around the eye area develop because the skin loses elasticity due to lack of skincare, dryness of the skin, age or rubbing your eyes often.' For women who have to wear make-up to work every day, getting the right eye make-up remover can be a challenge. 'The pigmentations and chemicals in cosmetic products can harm the skin around the eye area, resulting in dullness and wrinkles. A good eye make-up remover removes make-up thoroughly, but it is mild and won't cause dryness of the skin around the eye area,' Sim says.
MTM's Custom-blended Eye Make-up Remover comprises jojoba oil and yucca extract to remove make-up completely and features chamomile extract to soothe the skin around the eye area.
Crystal Lo, assistant training manager at Helena Rubinstein, advises eye cosmetic users to only use a gentle motion in removing make-up. 'Place a cotton pad soaked with eye make-up remover over closed eyes and wait for a few seconds so that the make-up dissolves and can be removed more easily,' says Lo, who thinks that a good eye mask has a shape that fits the contour of your eyes and provides your skin with a sense of hydration.