Do Eye Creams Actually Work for Wrinkles?

Jul 19, 2022 · 688 comments
Aude (Cambridge)
Good to read practical, solid and scientific advice about eye creams!
DS (Arizona)
"Sun protection is key." Which sun screens are ok in that sensitive area? What to watch out for? I live in Arizona, very sunny and hot. I wear big hats. And sunscreen below my eyes and not right next to them or above the eyes, since sweat pours into my eyes when working or hiking or ... living in hot country. And it sure hurts more if the sweat is carrying sunscreen. Suggestions on better eye protection? Indoor living at all times, not an option.
Nora (Spokane)
Coco Chanel, who was very thin, said that after 40 you could privelege your body or your face, but not both. A little weight helps fill out those wrinkles!
Barbara Snider (California)
I’ve always worn a hat and sunglasses. My eyes are in good shape, skin OK, too. I do use .05 retinA at night and a moisturizer with sunscreen when I know I will be outside a lot. I also wash face with facial bar, probably does not contain soap per se. I have drier skin so need to pay more attention. My friends with oily skin may have lamented having it in their youth, but they’re aging much better with less care. Throughout history women have used creams and special products - even in ancient Egypt. I think it’s a mindset, but I like to indulge when I feel I can afford it. I know it’s a psychological armor as much as anything else.
bee (concord,ma)
To look more vibrant at any age, consider these: 1. good posture, no hunching 2. a vigorous step 3. smile 4. a good haircut 5. eat plants 6. exercise 7. good relationships 8. enough sleep 9. no smoking 10. limit alcohol
Lucy Tynes (NY)
@bee And lots of water!!
DawnCam (San Antonio)
1. Sunscreen
elleb (Seattle)
I enjoyed this thoughtful article, but I wonder? I literally never put anything on my face except sunscreen once it was available (in my 40’s!!). Never used soap—none ever. Never used lotions or potions or any other thing. In my 70’s I began using various products but saw no changes. Still no soap. A splash of water in the morning and a splash at night. There are some wrinkles but no one can guess my age and now I use a highly regulated CBD cream and that seems to be enough—once a day. Now approaching age 90 and more than happy to have not become a slave to expensive and useless products. I also never dyed my hair and it is still the same old mousey brown, and barely gray at all. Good genes???? Probably. I wish all were so lucky, but maybe “less is more."
Nora (Spokane)
@elleb No, but I think the one thing they didn't mention is that the best way to good skin is to have parents with good skin. Genes will out...
Home (San Francisco)
I used to think of such lotions as vanity. Now I see that eye wrinkles are the main giveaway of age, and age terrifies everyone, particularly employers. It's a good thing the effect is minimal at best. If they worked, I'd be hooked.
Emma (St. Louis, MO)
Quality skin care products do work to acquire and maintain a healthy complexion, and they DO NOT have to be expensive. Proper exfoliation, vitamin C, and good serums from companies like The Ordinary and Timeless cost about the same as a few lipsticks. (Retin A is, of course, the gold standard.) Some very good cleansers and moisturizers are available at Target under the e.l.f. brand, as someone mentioned below. And always always always - SUNSCREEN.
ALC (California)
@Emma I LOVE LOVE LOVE Timeless. I have bought it direct from the manufacturer for years. Vit C/ferulic acid, Matrixyl-6 & 3000 every day, Retin A 0.1% every night for 10 years. I'm 50 but look 35.
Laurie (San Diego, CA)
Another dermatologist-recommended aid for taking care of skin, especially in a sunny place, is a supplement called Heliocare which helps prevent sun damage with fern extracts. I do believe it helps (plus I slather on sunblock). I wish Heliocare would have been available when I was a youngster running around at the beach all the time!
Charlot (Toronto)
Before trying retinoids one should be aware that if applied close to the surface of the eye, they can cause dysfunction of the lubricating meibomian glands, resulting in 'dry eye.' If any of you have ever experienced dry eye you'll know what a distressing condition it can be. Retinoids such as this article recommends (as opposed to the milder 'retinols') are usually acquired through prescription by doctors, who warn patients of this side effect and advise not to apply them near the eye. Retinoid use should not be suggested - especially not for eye wrinkles - without caveat, and I'm surprised the NYT would overlook this. (A source: C. Samarawickrama, S. Chew, S. Watson. "Retinoic acid and the ocular surface." Survey of Ophthalmology, vol 60, n.3, 2015, pp. 183-195, ISSN 0039-6257.)
Donna (Hawaii)
@Charlot I wish this were true for me. I use retinol on my eyes at night but my eyes have been so lubricated my whole life I can't wear any make up - even "waterproof" because my eyes are so moist.
ALC (California)
@Donna I've never had a problem either.
DawnCam (San Antonio)
they said it would be better to use facial moisturizer in the eye area and those with Retinol bc eye creams had no difference in ingredients
joan (nj)
My secret? I tell people that I am TEN years older than my real age! They are amazed ! LOL
Anne (Pennsylvania)
@joan I do that too! I "lie" up, by about 10 years. never made sense to lie about your age by lowering it, people always think you look bad for whatever lower fake age you say.
Nora (Spokane)
@Anne Totally agree! We should all lie in the wrong direction.
Donna (Hawaii)
@joan I have told people I'm 20 to 25 years older than my real age, and they don't even blink. And yet when I am truthful and tell them my real age they feign surprise and tell me I look 10 years younger!
Jack (Chicago)
Being a male and having given little attention to wrinkles, especially on my face has never been a great concern of mine. I do recall in my youth, my local swimming pool was the de facto baby sitter for myself and my brothers since both parents worked full time and we were expected to be there when it opened at 11:00, daily in the summer. Yes, we all had tan's that would be the envy of everyone else in the neighborhood. Fortunately, as of this date, myself and my brothers have not contracted any forms of melanoma's from the exposure of all those ultraviolet rays in our youth. Sunscreen wasn't an option back in the 60's. There were very few if any real protective forms of sunscreen available. Now as an adult, my exposure to the sun is limited and when I do find myself being outdoors, sunscreen is something that is applied, liberally. When my dad was growing up, he also spent many hours at the local city pool. As a result, he also established such a dark tan that as the summer progressed, he needed to show at the entrance to the pool his tan line so they would admit him. Why, you may ask? Because back in the 30's and 40's this municipal pool was segregated and only whites used the facilities. So sad when I think about what occurred back then and still exists today but it might occur in a more subtle way but still is a fabric of our society.
IO (Jupiter)
Most of the eye cream, night cream and day cream products are marketed mostly to women, but I buy them all the time. They're great products on several levels in my opinion. I stock up during sales (or even no sales!) and mix various types of serums and moisturizers to see what works best. I recently purchased Lancome products which I really like the quality and consistency. I started using my mother's expensive eye cream when in college, and I discovered a sense of elevated self-care that has stuck with me - take care of your skin. Plus, I found that using quality skin-care products is a welcome routine at the end of a long day. I don't personally view eye cream and facial creams as beauty or anti-aging products - just skin care, which is helpful to maintain against the various elements - wind, sun, food, drink, sleep (or lack thereof), stress, wintertime dry air, smoke, shaving, etc. Seems like a good thing to have a set of skin care tools in the self-care toolkit to buffer and boost against other heavyweight elements - time and gravity.
Alejandra (Los Angeles)
Whether you are man or woman, black or white, the most important is to use sun screen to protect your skin from sun damage. If you don't protect it, it will be damaged. Use it whether it rains or not, the sun rays are still there! I recommend Kiehl's sunscreen. It is very fine, includes a bit of hydration and you can mix it with your foundation. Another option is to use Channel's CC foundation which already comes with it. I also recommend a good toner, a face scrub once a month (Kiehl's Epidermanl Re-Txturizing, avoid eye area) so that your skin can properly absorb whatever else you add to it. Another magical ingredient, is Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, put a few drops overnight (whether oily or not) and wake up with baby skin. Yes, I did work for Kiehl's in the past and I know what I'm talking about. Cheers and sunscreen!
Autumn Flower (Boston MA)
My mother never took care of her skin and complained constantly about her many facial wrinkles. I told her that the best thing she could do is remove all makeup at night and use moisturizer. She said she was too tired to do that. I have always thoroughly washed my face at night and use a cream with retinol. At 62, my face looks like my mother's did in her 30s. Clean skin and moisturizer do make a huge difference!
Emily (NYC)
I have developed a skin care routine and really see a difference overall when I stick to it. However, nothing I've used has made a difference on my wrinkles. Aging is just not reversible, nor should it be. The wrinkles around my eyes and mouth represent so many smiles and expressions made over years. I feel confident in my visibly getting-older face and body and the life experience I've gained.
Nora (Spokane)
@Emily They didn't mention this, but my skin care works best, not when I use the most expensive products, but when I'm vigilant about using products consistently. Much of what is sold in drugstores is every bit as good as the most expensive sold at cosmentic counters, but the key is consistency!
JN RN (Park City, Utah)
When I was a young nurse, I had two elderly patients who were sisters. One was over 100 and the other, late 90’s. They both smeared Vaseline under their eyes every night and every morning. And used Pond’s cold cream. The one sister said, treat your skin so it doesn’t end up looking like old leather. This was the best skin care advice ever.
Bobbi (Boston)
@JN RN My mother used Noxema every night - BUT Noxema back then had GOOD ingredients, used to have grapeseed oil which probably helped her skin stay so young looking. I think the older products had better ingrefients.
Metrojournalist (New York Area)
I have always had blepharitis and at one point my eyes were drooping enough to warrant blepharoplasty. Within three years, my eyes were drooping again, but not as badly. The left eye is worse. It's gravity and the swelling that is natural to the area around my eyes. As for expensive eye creams - been there, done that. They don't reduce wrinkles. They don't reduce puffiness. They don't tighten. Now I buy e.l.f. for $14.00 for the tiny jar and it keeps the skin there moisturized.
Maud Powell (Switzerland)
@Metrojournalist What is e.l.f., please? Thanks!
Trixie Belden (Alabama)
ELF is an inexpensive cosmetic brand that works really well. Available many places
Ess (Earth)
@Maud Powell that's the brand, it stands for 'eyes, lips, face'
Les (New York)
If you spend time driving too you have to account for UV rays through the windows. My left eye is more wrinkled than my right, likely because the sun in FL has piercing rays. I did use an spf 30 face lotion for decades and don't have as many deep wrinkles than some. Definitely wear sun protection.
arjay (Wisconsin)
@Les It seems to me that we were told for years that the bad sunrays did not penetrate glass. Bushwah! Now we know they do. I've been religious about sunscreen for probably the last 15 years (so basically not til about my mid-60s) - but I think that's about the time when the warnings to use sunscreen really started coming. And, I have definite patches and darkening along the 'driver's side' of my cheeks. I,ve read articles from credible sources that the damage that starts surfacing in your 60s is from exposure decades earlier. It's never too early to start using sunscreen. And…..DON'T SMOKE!
Leo (NYC)
I find using creams daily leads to one thing and one thing only, the likelihood you believe you look younger than your age. Sometimes confidence not the cream is the best thing that comes out of using these creams despite what the reality actually is.
kmgx25 (cambridge, ma)
@Leo ah yes! the power of self-delusion. At my age, I try navoid looking at myself in the mirror with my reading glasses on. The blurring effect of presbyopia takes years off!
James (San Francisco, CA)
What about sun glasses? Can they help protect your eyes and thereby help prevent wrinkles?
Shelley Keith (Los Angeles)
It was Estée Lauder’s husband who said they were selling “hope in a jar”. True today as it was then.
Emma (St. Louis, MO)
@Shelley Keith @Shelley Keith Actually, that's not true. Today's skin care products contain ingredients that DO improve the texture and appearance of skin. It's not hope in a's just common sense.
Mari Ondine (Planet Of New Orleans)
It’s not the wrinkles but gravity that will do you in.
Maisie (NY)
What your skin needs is pretty consistent with what your body needs: sleep, good nutrition, avoiding toxins, excess UVB, excess stress (a little bit of some kinds of stress can be good: see "hormesis"), hydration, and exercise, especially exercise. Seems we are always looking for the pill or the cream instead of doing the more challenging thing, the exercise. I think it was Cher who said "If a great body (substitute skin) came in a bottle, everyone would have one."
LY (Massachusetts)
With so many comments embracing an age gracefully, anti-intervention attitude it makes me wonder why any of you bothered to spend time reading an article in the NYT about eye creams, and then took the time to post a comment saying that none of this is for you. A long time ago someone gave me some good advice. If a topic does not concern you, it is not necessary to comment just to say this does not concern me. Many women enjoy the benefits of taking good care of their bodies, their health, and their skin. Good for you if you are on a different path or maybe a less interventionist path. I applaud you. However, after dropping a lot of my skin care routine during the pandemic, I definitely saw a difference. I currently enjoy using products and or small procedures that do make a difference for me. I feel as good about what I am doing as you feel about what you are doing. What is great about aging is that we can feel confident about the choices we make for ourselves and can support our sisters who may choose something different.
Jojo Mijala (Riyadh)
@LY I second the motion!!!!!
Emma (St. Louis, MO)
@LY Very well said! Thank you.
Greg (Boston)
It's an old wives tale (can I use that term any more) about retinol and pregnancy. You get the same retinol from eating a few carrots as absorbed by topical retina A. But out an abundance of caution....
Sarah (Arlington, VA)
Sorry to admit that I not only smoked for far too long a time, but never had a sunburn when much younger on a beach in the tropics, the far East, Africa and South America, my skin never turned reddish but into a kind of light olive colour. Approaching my 80th, I still have the same weight as in my twenties, and yes, I do have wrinkles but would never get under the knife of a dermatology surgeon. As for my so-called turtle neck, scarves are the best medicine. I am as well very happy that akin to my father and grandmother my hair is turning into salt and pepper. Hallelujah.....
John Virgone (Pennsylvania)
Age gracefully and let wrinkles shine because as much as one may think these creams work, another sees the same old face. And, that's a beautiful thing! Forget the creams, get a hobby and live less stressfully.
Nora (Spokane)
@John Virgone Why not both?
Get a Time Machine and go back to your childhood and slather on the sunscreen plus put on a hat.
Margarita (Washington DC)
I met a friend of my husband's who looked considerably younger at almost 60. His wife told me she cooks chicken wings for 4 hours and freezes the resulting broth. It is pure collagen. Another explanation I thought could be that she was 10-15 years younger . I was not allowed to be at the beach from 10am-2pm while living in Rio de Janeiro back in the 70s. I went to the beach at the same time as babies and the elderly. Even so, I've had 4-5 times skin cancer. I, too, look younger but could be my sunny disposition or excess weight.
MS (Washington DC)
Regular moisturizers irritate my eyes bigly!
I am blessed with good skin. That said, I love my eye cream (Khiels - two kinds-- Avocado eye cream, white jar and Super Multi Corrective Anti Aging) and use them daily without fail. I also use other skin care products daily without fail. The NY Times previously published an article that downplayed eye creams, said they were not necessary if you had a good face cream and told readers not to use them. When it comes to skin care, or any other personal care product, my mantra is-- do what works for you!
kmgx25 (cambridge, ma)
@E About the Kiehl's/ have you ever tried using real mashed avocado as a face cream? I mash an avocado and add some green tea. The recipe has zero shelf life but is very soothing.
Mary M. (Waltham MA)
In addition to creams etc, look after your skin via what you eat/don’t eat. Consumption of sugar is bad for your skin and that includes fruit. Drink sufficient water and eat more vegetables. I always use sunscreen when I go out for a walk. I will be 77 next April and at the beginning of Covid, when Costco allowed those over 60 to shop earlier (before 10 AM), the guy at the entrance said to me “are you over 60?”……… I don’t buy super expensive creams. There are lots of good options at yr local drug store.
DenThi (Georgia)
@Mary M. As a vegetarian working towards Whole Food Plant based diet.....there is absolutely nothing wrong with fruit! If you do not want a spike in blood sugar, just combine the fruit with a protein or fat.
Mary M. (Waltham MA)
I agree - nothing wrong with fruit - just need to be mindful of the sugar load which varies with most fruits.
Iren (Canadian Foothills)
To save your skin, stay out of the sun. My mother only used Ponds and stayed out of the sun. She had lovely skin as she became older.
Bobbi (Boston)
@Iren My mother had lovely skin at 90 and she used to ues Noxema. Noxema back in the day had grapeseed oil, and lots of oils that were good for you skin. I can't find the link but the ingredients were fabulous. Not so today, lots of chemicals and far from the old ingredients.
Dobre (West)
Don’t drink except for celebrations, get sleep, never smoke and always use sunscreen. Whenever I insist my teen boys wear sunscreen I always follow with “you’ll thank me when when you’re 30 and you look 20 instead of 40.”
Sarah (Arlington, VA)
@Dobre Oh dear, once your teen boys get older, nobody cares about them having a few wrinkles, while also having some grey hair at the temples which makes them look "distinguished". Yet when women turn gray and get wrinkles they are considered being old.
Karen (Louisville, KY)
I've been using retinoids and sun screen for decades and, a week away from 60, my skin looks great. Do I look like a 30 year old? No. But my skin is smooth and firm. Some fine lines yes, but I can see with my own eyes that I look younger than most people my age. Drinking a lot of water, getting enough sleep, and using a good moisture probably helps a lot too.
L (DC)
Any nice “moisturizing “ fancy expensive cream types cause breakouts or for under eyes millets. So, these products are big NO for me. My face is content with alcohol-free toner, after gel- type cleanser. I have been using Buffet from the Ordinary- very affordable brand, under $10- $20. It’s moisturizing enough. In the evening, I use grape seed oil just one to two drops on my face. And I am done with skincare.
Emma (St. Louis, MO)
@L The Ordinary DOES make terrific products! Never tried Buffet, though. Thanks!
Buddhabelle (Portland, OR)
I'll be 70 in a few months and all of my life, I have been told I don't look my age. My skin care "routine" has always been haphazard, at best, and though many years ago, I developed rosacea with menopausal hot flashes, with use of Jojoba oil on a wet face and a mineral disc , that has gone away. I smoked, but gave up drinking (I never drank a lot, but just lost my taste for it), spent my childhood and adulthood in the sun, encouraging a dark tan with cocoa butter. I still don't use sunscreen unless I know I'm going to be in the sun for many hours. I have a few shallow laugh lines. Seriously, I attribute it all largely to to genetics and living in the Northwest, where sun is an element in rare supply for most of the year and where humidity is so high in all seasons. I remember hearing people living in Devon, England have "Devon skin"...there's a climate similar to ours and there might be something in that.
Diogenespdx (Portland OR)
Smoke and snake oil. Yes, you can mask wrinkles by plumping up the skin in a variety of ways – hyaluronic acid (or salt), retinols, Vit C, or even salts themselves. Anything that increases the tissues’ water holding capacity or increases collagen content. But if you don’t address the actual cause, it will always be just a short-term solution. Very short term, sometimes only overnight. The ultimate key is to slow or prevent the natural, normal degradation of the skin’s collagen. And this is caused by proteases that increase in our skin as we age. More so in women than in men (no one said life was fair.) Retinols do not do this, in fact they can make it worse. HA does not do this. Vit. C does not do this. And any type of inflammation anywhere in the body increases inflammatory cytokines which in turn increases protease production, which is why smoking and sun promotes wrinkles (UV increases protease production too.) So what can you do ? Look up and find MMP inhibition or regulation. There are very few ways to do this, but they do exist. And the younger you start controlling MMPs, the better. It’s really relatively simple and it’s science, not smoke, not snake oil. But it’s not easy to find. Or just get fat – anything to stretch out those wrinkles. But that has its own set of issues.
elliemaybe1 (34949)
@Diogenespdx Vit C is a known MMP inhibitor.
cary (tinbucktoo)
@Diogenespdx So why don't you list some MMP inhibitors?
Emma (St. Louis, MO)
@Diogenespdx Sorry - you are wrong. I've been following a skin care regimen using topical products for about five years. Comparing photos from then and now - it's been worth it! (And I'm a runner, not fat,celebrating the big seven oh this year.)
TakeThis Waltz (Eurasia)
So we should all minimise sun exposure...except the sun actually protects us against heart disease. I make sure to get sun exposure every day and monitor my Vit D levels. Who cares about a few wrinkles.
Allen Craig (BOG-NYC-BKK-SF)
@TakeThis Waltz Sun protects from heart disease? Where'd you hear that yarn?
Sgt Schulz (Oz)
There was an exchange on the local radio station "They wouldn't sell these face creams for $30 if they didn't work!" "That's precisely what they sell them for when they don't work"
Nanita (Sarasota)
As Jimmy Buffett once sang "The wrinkles only come where the smiles have been." But I must say I am amazed at some products such as La Prairie that sell for $500.00 and up. The company boasts caviar as an ingredient in one of their lines, which of course is considered a luxury to most people. So why not infuse a luxury face cream for the uber wealthy consumer with caviar? But does it work? Most of the other ingredients are WATER and a potpourri of chemicals with unpronounceable names. I think I'll stay with my good old Oil of Oladies.
EW (🌍)
Oil of Olay Regenerist and Oil of Olay Retinol are very good products.
Genie (NC)
Buying guns is easier and cheaper in USA than expensive eye creams. Now thats a perspective! badly do we want to get rid of guns? Gun violence gives all kinds of wrinkles, red eyes, dark circles that no eye cream will ever cure.
Vicki (Nevada 🌎)
The story of the trucker with sun damage had a huge impact on me.. I wear sunscreen every day, even in winter. I also put it on my hands. They already look twenty years older than the rest of me.
Lisa Fletcher (SF Bay area)
Over the years I have tried different expensive face/eye creams purported to reduce wrinkles, plump, and what not. Finally come to the reaslilsation that my face is going to crinklle and wrinkle no matter what so I switched to an Oil of Ulay ($9 for a big tub from pharmacy). Moisturise and protect from sun is the best you can do.
Mary Bullock (Staten Island NY)
My mother's skin did not wrinkle. My skin does not wrinkle. Good genes. She also fed me well and provided a stress free childhood.
John Virgone (Pennsylvania)
Rule of thumb....if you believe it works than it works. While the user/believer sees an improvement, an observer sees the same face.
JD (Rochester, NY)
I have a question. At my age, wrinkling ABOVE the eyes is a problem. I usually use Aquaphor at night just above my eyes and also in the morning. It doesn't seem to irritate my eyes. But is there a similar product with vitamin C that might be better? Secondly, I do apply sunscreen every day to my face and usually my hands. But I wonder about the chemicals in it. Is application that often, rain or shine, safe?
Left Coast (CA)
@JD No similar product for above eyes that is better than retinoids. Focus on getting good sleep, no alcohol. "chemicals" are not synonymous with "bad". There are chemicals in water. The benefits of sunscreen far outweight any negatives. Researchers have not (yet?) found any deleterious effects of sunscreen.
J. (Here and There)
My dad died in his 40’s when I was a teenager. Whenever I start to lament my wrinkles now that I am 70, I refocus on how lucky I am to be healthy, to be alive to enjoy my kids as adults and play with my grandkids, and to experience daily life. Wrinkles and sags mean you have been lucky enough to have a long life.
EW (🌍)
I agree. Turned 72 today and am glad to still be here. But you can buy a good over-the-counter retinol cream from Walmart, like from Olay, Neutrogena or CeraVe if you want to improve wrinkles. You'll notice a difference in a few months of regular usage.
Brian (PA)
I am old.... 66. I got tired of the bags under my eyes so I tried one of the premium ones that are available only through the brand's website. This product has all of the magic ingredients I believe. I was patient. After about a month I noticed that the bags visibly diminished. There are still wrinkles but I look visibly better. I continue buying the product.
richard wells (new york)
@Brian What is the product?
CT Rev (CT)
@Brian Would you share the name of the product?
Frank (East)
@Brian I have read that movie stars and others use Preparation H Hemorrhoid Symptom Treatment Cream for under eye bags. A tube of this will last a long time as only a little dab will do yah, pretty inexpensive.
Lisa (VA)
I don't have many wrinkles yet, but I need to know what really works for the dark circles under my eyes? Nothing seems to help.
MamaDoc (NC)
@Lisa Concealer. Nothing else. Try one that is color correcting and has a 'glow' to it.
Left Coast (CA)
@Lisa Nothing. They can be genetic. Don't fall for products claiming to get rid of under eye dark circles. I've learned to embrace mine.
william wilson (dallas texas)
@Lisa . . . ROC over the counter . . . at night . . . it does burn a bit, it is the best. . . ROC with retinol . . . i have had bad sunburn from years of yard, bad acne, running . . . i hate caps (air force vowed never to wear one again . . . now i just do not go out . . . sun or not . . . ROC, it works . . . william still 75 in dallas
Ms. Pea (Seattle)
I think genetics definitely plays a role in how and when we develop wrinkles. My mother lived to be 98 and her face didn't show any but the lightest wrinkles until she was in her 80s. I'm now 70 and have much fewer lines in my face and around my eyes than most of my friends. And I've never done anything special to take care of my skin. Besides genetics, a lot of it has to do with lifestyle. My mother never drank, never smoked and stayed out of the sun. We vacationed at beach resorts, but she stayed under an umbrella. Lots of factors go into why some people wrinkle faster than others, but genetics and lifestyle are two major ones, IMO. Whether a cream can alter this is questionable but go for it if you think it helps.
Maya (LA)
@Ms. Pea Perfectly right. Same here. Next to zero alcohol, no cigarettes, stay out of the sun and you end up looking 50 on yr 70th birthday.
G F (Lawrenceville NJ)
@Maya I also stay out of the sun, but the no alcohol thing would be just too sad.
Ricardo (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Dry eye syndrome and blepharoconjunctivitis are the most common side effects, appearing in 20-50 % of patients treated with retinoids. They often contribute to the occurrence of other side-effects such as eye discomfort and contact lens intolerance. As an Eye MD, I have to deal with these adverse reactions every day. Cosmetics always reach the eye, whether you believe it or not. Sad, but true. Take care.
Dorothy (Evanston&NYC)
Oh please, do what you want and makes you feel good. Eye cream- for those who want to use it, go ahead. Retin A, use it. Cosmetic surgery, go ahead. I really wish people would stop sermonizing about how to grow old gracefully. Today, on the Next Door app, a woman ( new to the neighborhood) was looking for recommendations for a hair colorist. A man wrote in to tell her to let her hair ‘go natural.’ Who asked him?? Just do what makes you feel good.
Molly Bloom (Tri-State)
No amount of creams and lotions can undo the damage we all did when we spent a day at the beach with a bottle of baby oil spiked with iodine!
william wilson (dallas texas)
@Molly Bloom . . . yes, but the girls were all so . . . william still 75 in dallas
cary (tinbucktoo)
@Molly Bloom That is incorrect. Exfoliation gets rid of a lot of damage and helps moisturizers penetrate. Exfoliate your skin and you will see the difference.
SBC (Fredericksburg, VA)
I started using eye cream at age 15. 40 years later, I have no crow’s feet or wrinkles. My only problem is dark circles caused by medication. Eye cream works.
Suzanne (United Coastal States of America)
@SBC I have never used eye cream. I am 64 years old and have no crow's feet or wrinkles around the eyes. Chalk it up to genetics. Anecdotal evidence is not proof.
Excessive Moderation (Little Silver, NJ)
I am 79 and have been using Nivea on my face since I started shaving. I am virtually wrinkle free. That being said, my parents had few wrinkles an lived to be 101 and 97 so perhaps genetics plays a role.
Patricia (Tampa)
How the cosmetic industry gets away with their product claims is simply criminal. So much for truth in advertising. If their products did what they claim, everyone would look like they're 12 years old.
EW (🌍)
Modern creams are much more advanced nowadays than they were a couple of decades ago with peptides, retinol, BHA and AHA. They work. In fact, dermatologists recommend many of the over-the-counter products you find in Walmart. In fact, they work so well that a person needs to be careful using them. Especially retinol. I just turned 72 today and my skin looks better than it did 10 years ago thanks to the new creams out there.
Pat (NJ)
I had a neighbor in her mid-eighties, tall with perfect posture, always impeccably groomed and had what must have been a hundred wrinkles completely encasing her face. She was, quite simply, one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. Her poise, grace and demeaner certainly contributed but her face was simply astonishing! I hope I can be so fortunate. All of this worry about a wrinkle here or there in younger people can be vanity taken too far.
Yanina (Chicago)
Aging is a privilege. Living a long life is something not everyone gets to do.
Hat Trick (Seattle)
@Yanina Actually, too many of us are living too long and everyone else has to suffer the effects until we die. Living a (too) long life is not a privilege.
Left Coast (CA)
@Yanina This is trite and unhelpful. Living a long life can be painful for many who are NOT privileged.
Adessa (Hamilton)
@Yanina great perspective
Kitchen Witch (New York City)
A word to the wise: if you use retinol cream, DO NOT get your eyebrows waxed. It causes an allergic reaction in most people, me included, and your eyes will swell up, taking days to go back to normal. After this happened I called the salon and they said, yes, you shouldn't do it if you retinol--but there was no warning--
AMTL (Philly)
Threading is safer and gentler for sure!
Bob (PA)
Any cheap, readily available, and greasy product will temporarily help fine (not deep) wrinkles, whether it be Vaseline, Aquaphor, and so on. Even Crisco would work if you chose to apply it. They all work by helping to stop transepidermal water loss, thus making the skin look slightly less wrinkly due to its temporary increase in water content. All the other stuff is thrown in to make the product look, feel, and smell better - and thus cost lots more. But the work is done by the grease substances. Disclaimer: I have been a dermatologist for 50 years.
Jack (Chicago)
@Bob I needed to laugh with the word "Crisco" used as a panacea for wrinkles. Growing up, when we would go to my aunts pool, she would apply the Crisco to my cousins faces and bodies before entering the pool area. My mom would never question her sisters actions and both were R.N.'s.
Audrey (Dallas,TX)
I started moisturizer at 25 and eye cream at 30. Contact wearer, so I’m pulling on the skin under my eyes daily to put on/take out contacts. Eye cream has kept the lines to a minimum and an eye serum with ceramides from BeautyPie has firmed the skin under my eyes.
Lee (NH)
People always tell me they are surprised when I tell them my age (50), they think I am much younger. I think it's because I have always acted 10 years younger than I am, immaturity is the key (lol).
Kim from Cali (Orange, CA)
That’s so funny that you say that. I feel similarly! I’m 53 but people regularly guess I’m in my early 40s and occasionally even younger! I think it’s because I’m imbued with a natural “youthful” energy—I always engage with people (art shows, plays, gym, work, standing in line, etc.), I smile a lot, I laugh, I have friends of all ages, I work out to stay trim, I dress in figure-flattering clothes (in other words, I know which parts of my body to emphasize and which to downplay) and I try to keep a positive attitude with matching energy. But I have wrinkles (that pale Irish skin!!) People don’t seem to notice them, though. I believe your attitude towards life truly impacts how people perceive your age.
PES (Washington, DC)
Yes! Immaturity, or rather ‘playfulness,’ is the key to youth.
Emily (San Francisco)
The advice from the professional (who came from Eastern Europe—I’ll leave politics out of it) from whom I got facials in the before-Covid-times (I haven’t resumed yet) is that you only put eye cream on the crowsfeet area—that delicate skin which is supported by bone: cheekbones and outer brow bones.
Bulldawg (DC)
No. No they won't. All of the creams and serums and such are all snake oil. BILLION $$ snake oil.
Winston (Toronto)
@Bulldawg Amen, Agreed!!
ultimateliberal (New Orleans)
I have been using Eucerin Cream for 35 years, and I still look only 50 years old.....and I'm 80. It was originally prescribed for my toddler who had severe chapping of the lips during her first harsh winter. When I saw its effect on her compromised skin, I started using it. There is nothing better for old skin....I use it on my whole body after every shower!
Emily (Brooklyn)
@ultimateliberal It's also good for healing a fresh tattoo...
Emma (Minnesota)
I've been using generic retinol (tretinoin) for several years for acne. It specifically says not to use it around the eyes and lips. But this article seems to state that you can use it around your eyes. Am I missing something here? I've been avoiding my eyes for all these years and yes, that skin looks worse than the rest of my face. But those are the written instructions on the prescription.
KJo (Pennsylvania)
@Emma I use my tretinoin under and on the sides of my eyes without a problem, I just don't get it right up to the waterline. But I tried it on my lids a couple of times, and that was definitely irritating. I would try a very thin layer under your eyes to see how you tolerate though, everyone's skin is different.
Bob (PA)
@Emma The topical retinoid will help modestly if used for a long time. Do not get the medication IN the eyes themselves. Retinoids can be used safely, and as tolerated, around the eyes if you wish. You just have to be careful, and use only a little bit.
Linda Baldwin (Frenchtown)
@KJo I have been using prescription retinoids for 23 years. The older formulas were very irritating and made my skin peel for days, though it did leave fresh skin underneath. New formulas no longer have the irritating ingredients or formulas. I would not waste $$$ on weak OTC formulas, spend the extra $ for better results Note-prescription strength retinoids are sold OTC in the Middle East and Europe. In the US a doctors prescription is required. My derm charged $350 for an office visit to prescribe a $99 tube of .05% Tretinoin that lasted a year. Blame big Pharma for that. Search Nurx online, there is no prescription needed.
G F (Lawrenceville NJ)
We are all aging, much as we may be fighting the good fight. Wrinkles happen, but why not look your best along the way? I'm heading out today to get some retinol cream. I'll add this to my daily regime of gentle cleansing and sunscreen, all year long, rain or shine. My late golden retriever used to prance around proudly just after a bath, sure that he looked better. Vanity isn't limited to humans!
Ardyth SHAW (San Diego)
We are born to eventually wrinkle and die…just like any living thing….get over it!
Jack Ross (Chicago)
Being a male and having read the article as well as many of the reader comments, I've come to the conclusion that thank God I am a male and not female. The enormous pressure society places on women on how to look, what to wear and even how to act is an unfortunate result of the imprint cosmetic companies and the fashion industry place on women starting at an early age leading into adulthood and probably never ceases until death. I'm not sure if because I am a male or the fact that those products were not of importance growing up, I can only have a higher degree of respect for women and the obstacles they must endure to please either themselves or others. As many comments have alluded to, ones genetic component plays an important role in determining how one looks physically but always keep in mind, your psychological approach is just as important on how you look and feel about oneself. My late dad was an outdoorsman his entire life who didn't believe in any form of suntan lotion and when he died, his face was that of someone half his age whereas my mother worshiped the sun without the application of any SPF sunscreen and as she approached her mid 50's, the damage and look became evident. When I look back at my grandparents on both sides it became evident when seeing the parallels between grandparents and my parents. Ancestry does play an important role in every facet of life, from cradle to coffin.
Lisa (NYC)
@Jack Ross Much as many women will not want to admit, however, many of these pressures are self-imposed. By your saying you now have new-found 'respect' for women and all the pressures they must endure, you are letting some of them off the hook, when in fact much of people's obsessing over appearance stems from low self esteem and not so much their gender. Sure, the focus is being 'good looking' is greater on females vs males. But among females, there is a wide range of how we may freely Choose to respond to those pressures. Not all of us are obsessing over every hair, every wrinkle, or giving in to the current fashion trend. When it comes to physical appearance, especially in the face, there's nothing less attractive than a 'perfect' face that never feels satisfied with its own self.
Mary (NC)
@Jack Ross a lot of women don't succumb to these so called pressures. I don't. By the way, a lot of men are fixated with their looks too - women don't have a lock on that market. Aging doesn't bother me. A good sunscreen every day is my go to product.
Margot (upstate)
@Jack Ross Thank you, you are perceptive and correct. If women don't think they are being influenced by our culture's emphasis on youth and beauty then they are fooling themselves. When I watch sci fi and see scantily clad / heavily madeup women dancing around, I think - can no one imagine a world where a woman's looks aren't their capital? If you don't think that way when you see this kind of thing then you have no idea what Jack is talking about. BTW - I am 63 and don't wear makeup and my typical uniform is t-shirts and loose fit jeans so I agree that you don't have to adhere to cultural norms but I won't pretend that I'm not influenced by them.
Sasha (Boston)
Yes retinoids do work but they can come at a great cost which is myobian gland disfunction also known as dry eye syndrome. Look it up or Talk to any eye doctor.
Bob (PA)
@Sasha I suggest you read the actual medical literature. Oral retinoids do not materially alter the Meibomian glands in humans.
Sara (Fairbanks)
Why would oral retinols matter if being used topically??
Greg (Boston)
The amount of retinoids absorbed from Retin A is like less then if you ate a few carrots. So pregnant women fear not! But I guess we live in an age of "Out of an abundance of caution". Do nothing
Bettyishere (The Boundry Waters)
The sun will damage you before any other bad habits or addictions. Me to a 30 y.o.: you should get out of the sun, you’re skin is getting red. She: oh, it’ll be gone by tomorrow, it’ll be a tan. It’s not tomorrow where the damage will show, it’s 20-30 years down the road. And that’s if you’re lucky and it doesn’t become cancer.
D. DeMarco (Baltimore)
What's important is - are your wrinkles laugh lines or frown lines? Laugh lines are much, much better.
Karen (Louisville, KY)
I've been using Retinols/Retinoids since my eaarrly 30s. They work. Sunscreen is essential. My skin looks great at 59. I'm not trying to fool anyone. Nobody will mistake me for 35 nor is that my goal. But I have always understood that my appearance is essential to remaining employed - not only looking like a professional in my grooming and dress but also looking alert, fresh, and healthy. No, it's not fair but it is a reality that is, given human nature, unlikely to change. Men are no immune to this standard. It's not about looking like some hot young model but looking like a safe and reliable investment to a hiring manager.
william wilson (dallas texas)
@Karen . . . yes, it is all about appearance . . . always has etc. and money . . . william dallas
Ayecaramba (Arizona)
Just face it: we are all getting older and losing that glow of youth. Don't be fake.
Barbara Feinman (NYC)
Prescription Tretinoin (generic retin-a) absolutely works. I’ve used .025 for years, every night with a moisturizer over it. Vitamin C serum (Timeless is good and reasonably priced) every morning. Sunscreen every single day. Another good source of information on YouTube is “Hot and Flashy,” which is full of well-researched information by a woman who really does her homework.
Barbara (Stonington, CT)
@Barbara Feinman Angie’s (Hot and Flashy) the best!
@Barbara Feinman My exact regimen as well...
Lisa (NYC)
Our obsession (negativity) about the natural aging process is so perverted. People need to keep in mind that we are constantly being brainwashed to believe our faces, hair and bodies are full of things needing fixing or improvement. This is all done in order to sell us products and services. So long as we feel badly about our natural selves...about the very natural aging process... these companies stand to make a killing. But if we feel good about ourselves....if we can accept our grey/white hairs... our less than firm skin... a few wrinkles... underarm hair... a few chin hairs... then these companies would go out of business. There is nothing wrong with adornment in its purest form. There is nothing wrong with wanting to try out a new hair color, for temporary fun. Or to want to put a pop of color on your cheeks now and then. But this obsession with 'perfection', and as dictated to us by the 'beauty' industry? People need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid and work on their self-esteem instead. There's a huge difference between adorning oneself and trying to comply with extremely rigid, one-dimensional standards of 'beauty'.
Suzanne in ABQ NM (The Desert)
@Lisa There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look your best….however you choose to do it!
Lee (NH)
@Suzanne in ABQ NM It's a toxic culture that starts with young girls feeling bad about themselves and ends when you die. Think of all the things women could accomplish, if they were not spending their time and money and intelligence on how to "look your best."
william wilson (dallas texas)
@Lee . . . the world requires both . . . Wiliam dallas
Dimples Dorian (San Diego)
Looking younger does not help turn back the clock. Aging and the appearance of aging is a part of life.
K Henderson (NYC)
What this article does not say is the over the counter retinoid creams work, but it takes at least one month to see the improvements and you need to apply it 2X a day forever to get good results. It is worth it though and it is easy to apply. I also use a leave on all day salicylic acid which is great for oily skin (neutrogena) but do not use if you have dry skin (!). OTC benz peroxide is also great for oily skin and can be applied over the other creams. None of this is remotely expensive. 2% Salicylic acid exfoliates so it will brighten your skin after about a month of use. Again only for those with oily skin
Charles (Florida)
Not wanting to be subject to ageism, I am in the minority of men who use retinol in order to appear younger. Thank you for the informative article. FWIW, there are some very good best sellers online at Amazon that will not break the bank.
Iris (Boston)
I read years ago that Jackie Kennedy said she never put anything on her face but almond oil. I figured she probably had very good advice, and so I followed suit. I stopped using soap on my face years ago -- just wash with nice warm water and a velveteen wash cloth. I get as much sun as I want, which isn't much since teen years, never use sun screen because those who do are deficient in Vitamin D. For years people said I looked younger than my age, and at 81 I still have few fine wrinkles. The deeper smile and frown lines came years ago, no point in trying to avoid those.
Dookie (Miami)
@Iris Jackie Kennedy died at 64-barely old enough to even have skin issues
sooty (Vermont)
@Iris She also had work done. We lived in a place where we saw her occasionally. (And so what? After what that woman went through, carrying on to do years of good work, she had carte blanche in my book.) Just saying this so you don’t think it was just the almond oil.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Iris "never use sun screen because those who do are deficient in Vitamin D." Not true! You don't need very much sunlight to produce Vitamin D, and enough gets through the sunscreen to produce it. Because guess what ? Sunscreen isn't a 100% block. See this link: It's extremely risky not to wear sunscreen. Skin cancer is not fun!
L. (East coast)
So many people in the comments either say they look at least 10 years younger than they are or that they’re told they do. But I’m beginning to wonder if what we’re seeing is the actual look of of that real age.
anne (italy)
@L."what we’re seeing is the actual look of of that real age" Yes and there's a reason for it. At least in developed countries. People work indoors more than in the past in shops, offices, hospitals, schools, restaurants, bars etc, Even farmworkers sit in tractor cabins as they do their work. People travel by car, train, bus, plane rather than on foot, bicycle or on horseback. So today they are much less exposed to skin "weathering" and modern people look younger than their ancestors at the same age
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@anne Also not smoking and the use of sunscreen and moisturizers makes a big difference.
Juancho (Connecticut)
Let's not be misogynist, millennials, gen-z men now pluck their eyebrows, use moisturizers, and even makeup. So, let's not only talk about women being vain... just visit an aisle in pharmacy, sephora or any area of cosmetics... they found a new market... not only used by male actors.
Carmen (NM)
Any way to get a list of products containing the right amount of Retinols (or prescription Retinoids), and Vitamin C?
@Carmen The "right" amount is what you and your Doc think is the right amount for what you are trying to achieve. The percentage isn't the only thing to keep in mind but what are the active ingredients and will they actually "turn" on the retinol. I like watching Dr. Dray on Youtube; very informative and no nonsense.
240type (Canada)
@LG Totally agree with you about Dr. Dray. Plastic surgeon Dr. Youn also is very honest and straightforward.
Amanda (Rochester NY)
None of this is new information.
Michael K (Talahassee, FL)
I use Oil of Olay - the basic non-fragrance kind - two packs from Costco. Been using it for years. I also have every single light in my house on dimmers to reinforce the effectiveness. And I always drink a glass of water with my martini, because I hear that olives are also good for the skin.
September (Syracuse)
@Michael K love it!
Left Coast (CA)
@Michael K Alcohol wipes out any benefits of your skincare routine (and Oil of Olay is useless, btw).
Emma (Brompton)
The wealthy have a vested interested in keeping women vain and running for cosmetics, pharma and surgery. Billions to be had off of manufactured insecurities.
Kenneth (Portland, OR)
@Emma I agree that vanity and insecurity are the issues. But the consumers are not sheep. No one is forcing them to buy the products. Just don't buy the stuff.
Janet (Bergen County, NJ)
For all those willing to spend big $$ on eye creams. I say willing seller, willing buyer.
Serena Abrahams (Belgium)
When I went to a dermatologist he took one look at my skin and said your childhood spent in California ruined your skin. Yes, we did use baby oil in those days! So now it is sunscreen, hats and staying out of the mid day sun if possible. Mothers with small children beware!!!
Lisa (NYC)
@Serena Abrahams "Mothers with small children, beware!!!" Because apparently only mothers (vs fathers) care for and about the well-being of their children? (Seems rather sexist....)
Twov King (Chicago)
Oh for Pete’s sake! Was that necessary!
Justine (Montana)
@Twov King so are you a mother or a father??? I think it is a good point.
Mary C (Hopewell Two.)
If Dr. Perkins and Dr. Zakia Rahman say that retinol and retinoids shouldn't be used by pregnant women, why isn't this warning listed on the cosmetic products?
Michael N. Alexander (Lexington, Mass.)
My skin is “thinning”, especially on the back of my hands, so I’m increasingly prone to bruising. Will these products help? Others, more suited to my issues?
cary (tinbucktoo)
@Michael N. Alexander I have the same issue and I finally found something that actually works and isn't expensive. Snail mucin works and the reason it works is because they secrete this to protect themselves from injury by stimulating collagen production. I tried it not thinking it would work, but after a few weeks of using it on the back of my hands, i noticed a lot less bruising. You can buy it on Amazon. I know it sounds weird.
eve kramer (oakland, california)
you missed one point about eye creams. some of us suffer from puffiness under the eyes. this is where certain. eye creams can make a difference. rest of you article was spot on.
@eve kramer Can you recommend some?
Honda owner (US)
@eve kramer And dark circles. Can anything but more rest help with those?
Mickey McGovern (San Francisco)
I love reading comments to the NYT articles! I love them almost as much as I enjoy the columns. Some of them make me laugh out loud. So, thank you to everyone who writes comments! My daughter in law tells me I look as young as my son. I eat well, sleep 7 to 8 hours, moisturize twice a day and stay out of the sun. I use sunscreen if I am out. I don't smoke. I drink water all day. I look for things to laugh about.
Susan Landsman (Sherborn, Massachusetts)
@Mickey McGovern Liked your comment, but when you said that your daughter-in-law says you look as young as your son, you didn't say how old you are. If you look as young as your son, is he around 30 or 60?
LetsBeCivil (Seattle area)
@Mickey McGovern And you've got a very nice daughter-in-law.
Turnabout (Mississippi)
@Mickey McGovern Smart woman, that daughter-in-law.
Ana (NJ)
My only pet peeve about this article is talking about retinoids in the context of using it around the eye without mentioning the additional considerations. Not all retinoid/retinol formulas are meant for the eye area—you should use a product that is specially meant for the eye if that’s where you intend to apply it, while other formulas are generally fine for the rest of the face. The author seems to have missed the nuances here. Not sure if there are similar considerations for vitamin C.
Ana (NJ)
I would also add that whatever vanity drives you to do…preventing cancer and inflammation should be at the top of your list, and that can affect your entire body. Sunscreen or cover everything, not just your face.
SZ (San Francisco)
I never really understand why eye cream costs a lot more. The experts just confirmed that the ingredients do not actually differe that much. A regular facial cream with active ingredients may just work the same. Thanks!
Michael N. Alexander (Lexington, Mass.)
@SZ - Eye cream costs more because many people pay more.
Juancho (Connecticut)
@SZ It's like Apple products. People think they are getting something good. Why? It comes in a small package, it is marketed well, and some famous people signed off on them. Even those expensive body wash gels are useless. Throwing soap and cream down the drain... at least the fish will have moisturized gills.
Sophia (US/DE)
@Juancho I don't use eye creams but I sure as hell ascribe to Apple computers, iPads and phones. Wouldn't use anything else. With Apple people are getting something good.
Stephen (NYC)
A well known moisturizer that claims to be "dramatically different", is just grease.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Stephen I just looked up the one I think you mean, and yes, it's main ingredients are water, mineral oil, glycerin, and petrolatum (petroleum jelly, aka Vaseline. ) These are the basic ingredients of a lot of moisturizers, with possibly some silicones, shea butter, and/or various plant oils. And tons of fragrance. And many are sold at ridiculous markups.
D.T. in MD (MD)
@ I use this particular moisturizer, and yes, it does contain what is basically Vaseline. However, one good point about it is that it stays where you put it and doesn't rub off on everything, which Vaseline is wont to do. (Unless, I suppose, you apply the moisturizer lotion by the tablespoon.) This was recently brought home to me when I had a couple of seborrheic keratosis removed and the doctor directed me to apply Vaseline to the spots, with no bandages. It took about a month to heal up, and the Vaseline got all over everything.
Susan Josephs (Boulder, Colorado)
As an elder and as I age and my road gets shorter I’ve chosen to focus my time, my attention, my resources, my energy on what is truly important to me. What will be my legacy? What good works will I accomplish? Whose lives can I improve? Decreased eye wrinkles will not be part of this. If I can enable a few humans to stop focusing on aging as a disease instead of an opportunity that’s a start. But certainly even that is not much. As Idries Shah wrote, “You have a duty to perform. Do anything else. Do any number of things but in the end, if you do not perform this task, all your life will have been ruined.” Seek your duty. Embrace your wrinkles.
john van becay (Aurora, CO)
@Susan Josephs Thank you Susan Josephs for your insightful comment. You are an example of the wisdom of elders.
F toki (Texas)
@Susan Josephs But, I might add, you are reading about wrinkle creams in NYT...taking valuable time away from volunteer opportunities.
Anna (Seattle)
Aging under capitalism and the industry that tells us that, as you said, it is a ‘disease’. May we see aging as something beautiful. Thank you for your wisdom.
MikeLT (Wilton Manors, FL)
Patsy Stone on Absolutely Fabulous had her method: Eddy says to Patsy: "Just say "please" and smile." Patsy: "I can't smile like that. I can't afford the wrinkles."
Mary (Philadelphia)
Well….skin from the British Isles…that’s going to wrinkle one way. Then there’s skin from just about everywhere else, and accordingly this skin will wrinkle other ways. If you have a genetic mix, luckier. If you don’t- it is thusly. Dermatologists told me over the decades, that had I had a different lifestyle as a youth….well, skin would be smoother now. But who can or wants to change their childhood, teens, twenties? Or who has the magic time machine to do so?
Alyson Lloyd (Philadelphia PA)
Age gracefully...
Anna (Appalachia)
It sucks that this is something women have to care about so much. Look in the comments… from what I can infer from the names, which admittedly is an assumption, not a lot of men are as concerned about their skin aging. There’s a different standard in society for men and women in terms of aging and looks. I think women are punished more harshly for looking older than 30 years old, whereas society more readily accepts older men. It's difficult to see a constant barrage of images of women in every form of media who never look older than 30 and who have no wrinkles on their faces. It feels like defeat for those of us who don't look like this naturally or who don't have the money to buy this look. I’ve been seized by a panic when I see wrinkles, and I am almost 33. I feel that as I age, I will be seen as less relevant and will be given less opportunities.
Anna: I totally get what you’re saying but I think that it is changing for men as well. They are not as immune from the visible effects of aging as they once might have been. Men need to keep their jobs well into their 60s/70s just like women do because it’s heavier competition from a younger workforce. I’ve seen more articles about skin care specifically for men. I’ve also talked to men about it and some have informed me that there is more of a competitiveness based on “looks” for them like there is for women. I’m not sure if I would consider this a positive development (e.g. men now need to work just as hard to maintain their looks as women do), or negative (why do both women and men need to care about their physical aesthetic appearance?). But, with women earning more money and being able to support themselves without a partner, it means that there would be more competition on the looks side because the partner may not be as dependent on a man’s financial status. So ultimately it’s a positive. We women have more money now so what’s wrong with having a guy that has money AND looks good? HA!
lotusflower0 (Chicago)
@PJS - Perhaps there are some instances where men are judged by their aging looks, but I'd bet there aren't that many.
Honda owner (US)
@Anna Good lord. Almost 33. Just wait.
Sander Niente (Pittsburgh)
Give me patina and tarnish, the aging of old bronze monuments. Give me a face that shows its age emphatically. Mind me, child, when I look at you through furrowed brows and crows feet.
kaye (NYc)
@Sander Niente Thank you!!
Catherine Webster (NYC)
Stay out of the sun and Botox.
Jody H (Louisville, KY)
Patricia Socia (Marine City Michigan)
I want to embrace my 70 year old face
Diane Taylor (California)
@Patricia Socia The wrinkles on my 71 year old face are my badges of honor!
Pat Lewis (Jacksonville, FL)
@Patricia Socia Sweet, short poem, Patricia. I'm tucking away for another day.
Ana (NJ)
Your face will be 70 no matter how you take care of it. Just be nice to it on the way there!
S (Midwest)
Bring on the anecdotal testimonies! I came to the comments section to see if there was anything more referring to a double blind study, but not unexpectedly, a lot of n=1 here. I work in an ER and see a lot of elderly faces. I can say that everyone looks the same in the end....except the smokers always look 20 years older than stated age...sallow, unhealthy, and those oxygen tubing grooves on the cheeks never flattered anyone.
R. R. (Hartford, CT)
I started using retinol based eye and skin creams every night as soon as they became popular, which was about 20 years ago now, when I was in my early 40s. Before that I used a collagen based moisturizer. All I can say is that my face looks "frozen in time" from the time I started using the retinol and nobody thinks I'm anywhere near 63 years old. OK some of it might be good genes, but I really doubt that my skin would look this good if not for the retinol. I'm glad I started using it when I did.
Yvette - Registered Nurse (New York State)
@R. R. What collagen based moisturizer do you use? I've been using Roc Retinol Deep Wrinkle Serum and I love it! It's been 3 weeks and there is a difference. I need a new moisturizer though...:)
TommyInNashville (Nashville)
Same question... what brand? But also, what is the retinol strength? Did you consider prescription strength? Thanks!
@R. R. Come back....we need you, R.R.
nestor potkine (paris)
I once had lunch with six dermatologists. One looked weird, because he had the belly, the hair, the hands of the 55 year-old man he was. But he had a baby face. Because he said that since his first year as a medical student he applied sunscreen on all of his face absolutely every day no matter what the weather was. Needless to say, the effect was actually creepy.
L. (East coast)
@nestor potkine Thats because we’re not meant to live forever. We’re meant to age and die. No cream will prevent that, nor will it bring back actual youth, but we love to live in fantasy, and that’s what they’re selling. Sometimes, when I apply such applications to my face or slather my body with them, I’m reminded of the fact that preparations were applied on bodies in ancient times for mummification and the afterlife. I think of how temporary the body is; how it will eventually decay or be otherwise destroyed and i laugh a little at myself for taking so much time and being so darn careful. And when a young friend tells me, “How young you look for your age!”, I wonder what good that’s really done me. It’s still ME on the inside. Younger- looking or not, at my age, I’ve certainly gotten much more benefit from spending time on the inner part of me than from spending it on the outside.
Honda owner (US)
@nestor potkine My dad the doctor always said "look at the hands" - It came up when on vacation and we saw all the "older" women lounging around the pool with faces that had been protected and surgically enhanced, but hands that had aged due to too much sun bathing.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Honda owner I wish I'd been more careful about sunscreen on my hands when I was younger.
Stacy Harris (Nashville)
When I was a toddler I fell down our home's staircase. Following a trip to the ER and a stitched forehead, I developed a scar. When vanity set in I styled my hair to hide the scar, insofar as possible. As I have aged I realized the value of wrinkles. Scars fade with time and I could no longer pick out the one on my forehead. It has blended nicely with my wrinkles.
Renee (IL)
@Stacy Harris Interesting. When I was 30 I had thyroid cancer resulting in a large scar on my neck. My doctor said "By the time you're 50 your wrinkles will disguise it". Well, that's a crappy thing to tell a 30 year old...and at age 58 I definitely don't have wrinkles of any degree to cover THAT. I hope they are training surgeons better now. Actually I've heard, incredibly enough, that some thyroid surgery can be done with an incision UNDER THE ARM.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Renee I'm sorry you have that scar. If it bothers you still, you could consult a plastic surgeon and see if anything can be done to minimize it.
Susan Blake (California)
An extremely important aspect of preventing eye wrinkles and bags is: DON’T RUB YOUR EYES! The skin around your eyes is very delicate and rubbing it can cause bags and sags. The earlier in your life you stop, the better off you are. Seriously!
Julie (MA)
@Susan Blake and when you think about the nightly removal of mascara and so on....
HelenA (Virginia)
@Julie Shall I call it luck - that when I was about 45, I became alergic to all eye makeup. Have not worn any since, not once. I use Erno Lazlo and Olay eye care cremes occasionally. At 76 now, I have no eye wrinkles.
Lisa (Toronto)
@Susan Blake I’m not sure this is true
marge201 (Fort Lee, NJ)
IMHO repetitive squinting, frowning, raising of the eyebrows must be avoided when we're alone and not interacting. Right now I'm alone and damn, if my eyebrows aren't up. I don't need my horizontal forehead lines getting more prominent. I strive for a relaxed poker face when alone when driving, computing, etc etc, and I think it's helped. Also twice a day I rinse my face with water and a fresh cloth and then moisturize my damp face. I started that years ago when I soaked dead kale and saw it totally come back to life with the water. Maybe our faces are similar.
Beau (NYC)
This is absurd.
Betty (MAss)
@Beau The water and fresh towel part is not. That's all I ever use to clean my face. I haven't used soap on my face in 40 years. It is very drying no matter how moisturizing it says it is. I am 70 now and just last week, I had to show my ID at the airport. The agent did a double take and said "70? No way." I always demure and say I got my good skin from my mother, which is true, but I've tried hard not to wreck it.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Betty I have very dry skin, and I haven't used bar soap on my face since my early 20s. I use gentle unscented rinse off cleanser because I need something to dissolve prescription rosacea medication, moisturizer, sunscreen and makeup from my face! Even in the morning, I need to wash off moisturizer and treatment products I applied the night before. How the heck do you get those products off?
Northern D (Canada)
Smooth wrinkle free skin around the eyes would be a good thing. Let me add that to my never ending list... Try not to smile too much, Crow's Feet are a dead given away you might be enjoying life way too much.
jackie (Canton, NY)
Water, water, water... and no smoking, sun or alcohol.
Dom (Brooklyn)
Sometimes using the thicker creams you use on your face can cause millea on your eyes. In those cases it’s worth it to buy a separate eye cream.
Ana (NJ)
You can just buy a non-comedogenic or oil-free moisturizer. They really mean it when they say eye creams are generally the same formula.
PandemicPounds (Montreal)
None of it works. If it worked, it would be a medicine, and it would be regulated. This is how you know.
DB (Brooklyn)
@PandemicPounds Um. Retin-A (tretinoin) is a regulated prescription drug. Retinols are just over-the-counter strengths.
PC (Philadelphia)
@DB I participated in a Retin A study when I was in my early 40s. It worked on the wrinkles. Now, in my mid 70s it doesn't. Lack of collagen maybe.
lotusflower0 (Chicago)
@PC - More likely the thinning of skin as one ages.
Scott Sattler MD (Seattle, WA)
The NYT published a great article years ago that I frequently share with my patients - the induction of dermal thickening with routine exercise amongst older adults. Coupled with sun protection (lifelong, alas), good sleep and diet habits and hydration - exercise is a powerful adjunct for you full skin texture. It’s all about the dermis.
Ian N. (Atlantic Beach, FL)
The company I work for, Refine USA, is in. the skincare business. Our skincare creams contain stem cells as the active ingredient, which weren't mentioned in the article.
Sphodros (Laguna Beach)
@Ian N. Whose stem cells? I would want my own!
Scott Sattler MD (Seattle, WA)
Perhaps it’s best for your company’s marketing plan that the ineffectiveness of topical ‘stem cells’ was left out of the NYT article.
meredith (Pittsburgh)
@Scott Sattler MD my skin never looks better than when I’m using topical stem cells. Green apple seems to be the best. It absolutely smokes both retinoids and vitamin c. And no risk of irritation.
Gail E Morris (Sparta NJ)
Hats Sun glasses Shade
Catherine Webster (NYC)
@Gail E Morris and Botox 🤗
Denancy (Brooklyn)
Thank you for this article - very informative and helpful. Especially the bit about how eye creams and facial moisturizer are basically the same thing. A
madmaxness (Australia)
retinols and hyaluronic acid are nothing new. From my experience they work and I couldn't live without em. Friends my age (old) have always been cynical about skincare products and it shows. Clinique, I salute you
Soupy (Fishkill)
Old news....genes, smoking, diet,are the real difference makers, not one ingredient..
Jan (AZ)
@Soupy Fair skinned people are more prone to wrinkles. Ever notice that? I guess that could be included in genetics.
Ana (NJ)
The ingredients mentioned have both shown significant clinical benefit compared to the same conditions minus the ingredient. Of course not smoking helps…but why not do both?
lotusflower0 (Chicago)
@Jan - Not always. I have very fair skin, and don't have wrinkles, but I do have puffiness just above my cheekbones. One of my younger siblings who constantly spent time getting tan most of her life has the most wrinkles.
c (Pennsyltucky)
Most skin care stuff is just marketing.
Tabor (Manley)
The answer is : no, eye creams hardly do anything the companies claim. They may have some temporary effect, that’s all.
celeste (nyc)
i am a skincare expert (and founder of caire beauty - skincare for grown up women). a primary cause of eye lines (and sags/circles etc) is estrogen decline - which doubles for a woman around 40 with another massive contraction at 51 or so (menopause). why does this matter? it's estrogen that is critical to skin cell synthesis. So less skin cell production over time leads to thinner skin, vastly less collagen, elastin, hyaluronic, everything. you should use PEPTIDES with signaling capabilities to turn on better, more accelerated Collagen and Hyaluronic acid generation. This can be done with or without retinoids and vitamin C and does not have the skin irritation potential of the above (Ps there are very good Vit C moisturizers with stable Vitamin C - they're worth it). While said Peptides (and really nothing) can return you to age 25, you can definitely improve the inner robustness/strength of the skin structure with consistent careful care, which is then what appears on your face.
Catlin (New York, NY)
@celeste What are the names of the Vitamin C moisturizers with stable Vitamin C? Would Olay's Regenerist, with Vit C and Peptide 24 fit the bill?
PL (ny)
@celeste -- estrogen is available in topical formulations, if you don't want to actually take it as hormone replacement.
@Catlin I use The Ordinary vitamin c powder that I mix with hyaluronic acid and water and apply immediately. It's best to start with just a little to minimize irritation and burning.
Janet (Alabama)
I have used vasiline to remove eye makeup and mosturize my eyes, elbows, feet, etc. since my teems. I am 70 and have no eye wrinkles. I also use plain old witch hazel as a toner and regular mositurizer for my face. Spend your money on healthy foods or just some fun, don't fall for all of these adverising gimmicks, lotion and mosturizer is just lotion and mosturizer.
AJ (Philadelphia)
I started using a retinol at age 42 and noticed an immediate difference in my skin. I exercise, drink lots of water, and eat a healthy diet. Retinols work.
TommyInNashville (Nashville)
Which brand and strength?
lotusflower0 (Chicago)
@AJ - You're also pretty young. 42 is a walk in the park, prime of life. Your skin would likely be fine without the retinols.
Margaret (TX)
Forgot to mention: Avoid drinking and smoking!
K.M. (SoCal)
I would’ve loved to hear more specific advice to people of color who’s melanin cause the sun to react differently to the sun.
MOS (Pine Valley)
Skincare creams are sold on hope, this hope can be very expensive. It is still said in the industry that women have "crow's feet", while men have "lines of distinction"...The guy in the photo is applying a month's worth of eye cream.
Margaret (TX)
I wear hats! I have light-sensitive eyes so I've worn hats and dark sunglasses outside since my 20s. For about $15, you can get a nice wide-brim hat that protects your face. Also I use base makeup w/ SPF 25+ but that hasn't seemed to help much ...Any recommendations for a good SPF makeup that's reasonable too?
JGoosen (CA)
@Margaret I and my daughters all use Sunprise sold on Amazon. $11 a bottle with a light scent and SPF50. I have found the korean sunscreens are light, non-oily and affordable.
Margaret (TX)
@JGoosen Thanks, I'll try it!
indie voter (Austin)
@JGoosen I like that sunscreen too.
lemon (MTL)
Nothing will repair wrinkles and spots you already have. The key is prevention, as in develop teen-age habits. Moisturize frequently, sweat/get the blood flowing, drink water, cover yourself fully in the sun, don't smoke, and don't have kids.
Larry (San Diego)
@lemon I'm guessing only monks have no wrinkles,
lemon (MTL)
@Larry Monks are terrible with skincare and notorious indulgers.
nestor potkine (paris)
@lemon You clearly have never met a single monk. Or nun.
Coco (New Rochelle)
I enjoy skincare. A medical spa happened to move into my office building when I was 50. The result was that I was fortunate enough to have a skincare guru and a guide for the best skincare products. The most valuable lesson I learned was to roll my skin 3 times a week with a .25 needle micro dermaroller. Followed by retinol once a week and whatever other products I use. The derma rolling stimulates collagen. I have done this regularly for almost 20 years. People think I am at least 10 years younger than I am. You need to be careful near the eye area. I don’t don’t roll under the eyes, but I do my neck with gusto. I also have avoided the sun for the 20 years and I am vegetarian. But, I think my success is mostly the derma roller.
Gail (Fl)
I have never been able to read in the sun…I’m always reading…so get very little sun. I can’t stand dry skin…even after simply washing my hands, I must moisturize. For many years my moisturizer of choice for all body parts was Vaseline Intensive Care Hand Lotion…then they changed the formula! Now CeraVi does the trick. Stay out of the sun & moisturize and start when you’re about 14. 65? Too late…go with what you’ve got. As another comment says…get a young haircut.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Gail Even at 65, there are procedures dermatologists or plastic surgeons can do that will improve appearance. The question is, do you want to bother with them? And pay for them? And wearing sunscreen at any age helps! Except I know you're not supposed to put it on babies, I think until they're 6 months old, or possibly it's a year.
EllieM (Midtown)
I've been wearing sunscreen everyday since 1972 (I used to mix sunscreen and moisturizer). Cosmetics have come a long way, and I generally buy drugstore moisturizers with an (zinc-based) SPF of 30. I have expression lines, and some sag, but no sun spots or wrinkles. When it comes to skin "an ounce of prevention a pound of cure." If your skin needs help, spend your moisturizer savings on a dermatologist.
Margaret (Oregon)
I’m sorry I wasted so much money on fancy skin care products that promised so much. It’s a bunch of hooey. Best you can do is avoid the sun, refrain from smoking, and hope you have good genes.
Il Duce (Beautiful Downtown Luckenbach, Texas)
Cosmetics and skin care companies sell hope. ‘nuff said.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Margaret And wear sunscreen. Even small amounts of sun exposure, such as through a window or going out to get the mail, cause damage. The only necessary products are a gentle unscented cleanser, moisturizer for dry areas, and sunscreen.
Marvina (Stanford)
I've read that retinol/retinoids are not good for women with darker skin, more melanin. I'd love to learn if that is true. Anyone know?
celeste (NYC)
@Marvina i am a skincare expert (and founder of caire beauty - Skincare for Grown Ups. we believe strongly in creating skincare that is lab tested and appropriate for ALL skin tones and types. we also specifically formulate and test for efficacy for female midlife skin and beyond, age 40+ if you're over 35 be especially careful when considering retinols because due to natural estrogen decline, skin is less strong (thinner!) and there is often a development of skin sensitivities, irritations, rosacea, blemishes etc that didn't exist before. Certainly retinols with sensitive skin is a no-go). But tetinols can be highly effective in reducing fine lines and can be used by women of color but because it works by causing "damage" which in turn results in accelerated collagen synthesis/cell turnover, i would strongly suggest consulting closely with a certified dermatologist and even then to be careful and be judicious on your own behalf. Retinols can and do cause a great of irritation (redness, burning, flaking, and sometimes hyperpigmentation; and cannot or shouldn't be used if you're in the sun). A good derm will suggest starting with low levels, applying only a few times a week; then "working" up frequency & sunscreening all the while. More powerful retinols does not = better. There are many other excellent ingredients that are highly effective & derm tested for women of color -consider low weight hyaluronic acid, pro collagen peptides, algae, other gentle antioxidants.
Terry (Cali)
I guess you have to care about having wrinkles to bother with these products. Clean and healthy is good enough for me. I look like I am supposed to.
Karen (California)
@Terry , couldn't agree more. I like my 65yo skin, imperfect though it may be .
Barbara (Coastal SC)
I wish we had real sunscreen when I was young. I am fortunate to have inherited pretty good skin from my mother and could pass for 10-20 years younger than my actual age if I were to color my gray hair again. (True story: my niece saw a photo of me at 62 and said, "Look how young you were. I'm 75 now.) I am grateful to learn that a regular mosturizer is sufficient for the eye area. I wish the article had mentioned whether to put on moisturizer first or sunscreen first.
celeste (NYC)
@Barbara Moisturizer or serum treatment first, then sunscreen!
Emily (seattle)
@Barbara Sunscreen should always be the last thing you put on your skin (but before makeup, if wearing).
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Barbara Moisturizer first, then sunscreen,then makeup (if any.)
CathyF (Indiana)
I have used the same drug store brand eye cream for years. It’s part of my daily routine, along with moisturizer with sunscreen which I never use near my eyes.
Deborah (Chicago)
I get a kick out of it when people say 'other people' are surprised when they reveal their true age. What are the 'other people' going to say? "Oh, I always thought you were the younger sister?" I get those polite comments too, but take them as required compliments. The mirror tells the truth. That said, I'm going to take the doctors' advice about eye creams. Not giving in without a fight! Frankly, when I think of older women who look particularly good, it's a youthful haircut that makes the difference. It doesn't help with wrinkles, but for overall appearance it matters.
Il Duce (Beautiful Downtown Luckenbach, Texas)
Attitude toward oneself and others make all the difference in the world. Sincere smiles, too.
anne j (maryland)
I am 94, usual ailments for one my age. But few facial wrinkles. Why? When I was a child, was told to get plenty of sun so as not to get rickets, never used skin creams etc. people ask me why I have so few wrinkles! Only wash face in clear water every day. My answer, must be. Heredity because I don’t use any products on my skin!
Soupy (Fishkill)
@anne j I believe you. I have a gorgeous 85 year old aunt who does the bare minimum..not a line on her face, and the dewiest skin ever..enjoy
Renee (IL)
@anne j Am I lucky my face is still as oily at 58 as when I was 16? Even if I wore no makeup at all, water only would never do - I'm sopping it up mid-day with oil blotting tissues! But I'm grateful to not have dry skin.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Renee I had very oily skin until I took Accutane for cystic acne at 20. Now, my skin and lips, and even the inside of my nose, are very dry. So I've been on both sides of the fence. Since I've spend most of my life in Texas, I prefer dealing with the dry skin. Oily skin in the summer here was just awful. Hot weather here starts at the end of May, and lasts until the middle or end of October.
JR mitchell (Ca)
It seems like no one has mentioned collagen powder yet. I took the collagen powder from Vital Proteins brand (at Costco) and my hair started growing back in two weeks! (My hair was thinning.) And I have to cut my nails more often too. Collagen is supposed to be good for hair, nails, and skin. My skin seemed a bit more plump too.
Ellen G. (NC)
@JR mitchell I have had the same experience with collagen. I began taking it to strengthen my nails and began to notice that my hair was thicker and my skin was showing less wrinkles. I use an online product called Collagen 360 by Stop Aging Now.
Letty ROERIG (Brownsville, Texas)
@JR mitchell , Could you provide me the exact name of the Vital Orotein brand. I found it on Amazon but there are several options to choose . Vital Protein Collagen Peptides powder or Vital Protein Collagen Peptides powder with hyaluronic acid & vitamin C?
Jeanette (Cincinnati)
Also, there have been small studies that perhaps show a benefit to joints and aging bones. Let's hope.
MTL (Vermont)
There are moisturizers that can make my eyes burn for a full day, sometimes even more. That's a real pain when you just bought an expensive one. So once I find something that doesn't bother my eyes I stick with it. I don't know what the ingredient is, so I can't watch out for it. And I find that even if I try to "avoid the eye area," it will get there anyway when I rub my eyes. So I order only one expensive brand online from a old-fashioned department store that I know is safe, and try to make it last.
lemon (MTL)
@MTL Use a physical barrier version (zinc, etc. ) and not the chemical (avobenzone, etc)
Marya (Philadelphia)
@MTL I worked for an eye doc who told patients to apply creams and lotions no closer to the eye than around the bony orbit. Many creams and lotions can cause the natural tear film to break down and lead to dry eyes and irritation.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@MT The ingredients that bother you are probably fragrances. Most skincare products are heavily fragranced. I'd bet the one that works for you has no fragrance, or has a fragrance that doesn't bother you.
LisaLoo (Whine Country, CA)
Years ago, when our youngest was small. She was listening to the other moms at after school pickup lamenting about wrinkles. As we walked to the car, she says to me, “Mom, don’t worry-you won’t get any wrinkles. You never smile, so your face is never squinched up, like the other moms.” Sigh. Those left-handed compliments get me every time.
Stephen (NYC)
@LisaLoo . Your post reminds me of a friend who practices a (supposedly) German technique of being expressionless, as a beauty solution.
Refugio Enriquez (Los Angeles)
@Stephen: Talk about expensive! An expressionless face can never be beautiful, so the "technique" is high-cost and unproductive in terms of self-censorship and loss of joy in life.
Fran (New Jersey)
Profit margins for skin care and cosmetics run from 60 to 80%! These companies are making huge profits by convincing women that their products are the fountain of youth. I use a moisturizer and wash my face with Dove, which doesn't have the harsh ingredients in regular soap. I have never used cosmetic cleaners, toners etc. and wear little makeup. I'm in my early 70 and satisfied with my appearance. I don't feel like I have to look like I'm in my 40s.
Maureen (Massachusetts)
@Fran I'm in my 60s and I used to do the same as you. But there's a whole new world of gentle cleansers and powerful actives in moisturizers that can really make a difference now. It's not just hype.
celeste (NYC)
@Fran I've worked in beauty for 20 years and yes the margins are significant but the newer direct to consumer brands (like the one i co-founded called ) take much less margin because we're not sharing the margin with department stores which in turn means (or at least should mean) that the product can have 1) a vastly higher percentage of skin improving & soothing actives and in our case, 2) the way in which the 'recipe' is made is unique. Ours is batch made and pretty costly But we know it's worth it - we privately ferment our peptides (makes the molecules smaller so they can penetrate skin - improving bioavailability) actually getting down into the dermis to communicate to skin to make more Collagen and Hyaluronic acid (which is not an acid by the way, but the moisture holder of skin's eco - extracellular matrix). All this to say, business is changing and while we live in a capitalistic world, not all products, brands or cost structures are alike. The world does not have to be dominated by J&J, P&G and the like which yes is all about making money and only that. i'm very proud of what we are doing as i am a woman over 50 myself and i believe that I deserve better science backed skincare designed specifically for pre and post menopause - which is the key driver of our changing, wrinkling up skin.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Fran OMG don't use bar soap on your face! The ingredients that hold a bar of soap together are very harsh. Also, Dove is heavily scented. Try a rinse off cleanser like Cetaphil or Vanicream. A gentle, unscented cleanser is much better for your face. And wear sunscreen!
radellaf (Raleigh NC)
When skin is dry then plumped up a bit with something like water, while it contains the added water it will fill in a bit. For this frequent use of a some good (pure) aloe vera gel has same effect. And its very inexpensive.
Gabrielle (Atlanta)
There is absolutely nothing like Wella 1 oz Skin Food Creme for the eyes. Inexpensive and really works. I've tried from most expensive to drugstore. Curel also great for skin.
Patricia J. (Milwaukee)
@Gabrielle You mean Weleda? It is good stuff!
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Patricia J. Heavily scented which is not good around the eyes.
LPR (pacific northwest)
no matter what we do, we just get older and older...still beats the alternative though.
ek (anywhere)
You can have my PTR retinol and Vit C when you can pry it from my cold, dead hands....
Marjorie (Charlottesville, VA)
@ek thx, ek, I looked it up and ordered it.
Soupy (Fishkill)
@ek Wow that stuff is pricey!
ACH (California)
No, eye creams or skin creams don’t work for wrinkles. It’s all a conspiracy by the advertisers and cosmetic giants to take your money.
lemon (MTL)
@ACH You can prevent wrinkles, you can't remove them. That's the difference.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@ACH They won't get rid of wrinkles, but they can minimize the appearance of them. But getting rid of them may require cosmetic procedures or the use of prescription retinol.
Sw (Los Angeles, CA)
Wear a hat ! The first line of defense is to not develop the problem.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Sw And sunglasses.
Gail Dolson (Novato CA)
As a Nurse Practitioner I know that even tghe most expensive products will not erase wrinkles. And it is important to stay within your budget. Make sure to check the product listing s and choose carefully. Stay our of the sun during peak sun periods. Use facial moisturizer that are alsol sunscreens . And when in doubt check with a dermatologist. And yes of course keep your body well hydrated with water! Avoid foods with preservatives. DO NOT smoke or drink excessive alcohol . All this will help- but no matter what you do - we age! And a lot of how are skin looks has a genetic basis. I am lucky. My Mon had wonderful skin and hardly any wrinkles until she was in her early 80's. So when I tell folks I am 76 -nthey say - NO way! And do kind things to your body daily!
Cindy Lou (Tucson)
I would love someone to tell me why there is not a product to erase wrinkles. I do not want to just "reduce the appearance" of wrinkles. I want them gone totally. that verbiage makes it seem like the creams are a scam. I want a total skin overhaul.
Kind Person (Pittsburgh)
The product that "erases wrinkles," at least the ones from sun damage is tretinoin.
Sn A (Manhattan)
@Cindy Lou it is called plastic surgery
Buckeye Chick (Central NC)
I’ve used Obagi products (including their retinol) for about 15 years now. I am happy with the way my skin looks (at 59, my skin gets compliments from strangers; never happened when I was younger!). But I stupidly smoked in my 20s and 30s, and nothing but surgery will get rid of the “smoker’s lines” around my lips. And I’be had enough surgeries in my life for actual medical issues, not going to go under the knife for vanity.
anonymouse (seattle)
Want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles? Stay super-hydrated and take a couple of omega 3 capsules a day. It won't reduce the impact of aging -- only retinols, vitamin c, glycolics work -- but your skin will materially LOOK better.
kathy (new jersey)
A whole foods, plant based diet is the best choice for healthy skin and overall health. No cream is better than veggies, fruits and water.
Soupy (Fishkill)
@kathy animal collagen from meat also...
Lorri (Seattle)
None of these products will prevent or slow down aging. None of them. And many of the ingredients in expensive sunscreens, notably oxybenzone or avobenzone, are destroying coral reefs, thus no longer sold in Hawaii and other sun destinations. Avoid direct sunlight between 11 and 2, wear a hat and sunglasses, uae a physical barrier sunscreen and stop obsessing. Enjoy your life. Stop comparing yourself to 20 year old skin and accept that life changes.
MissFlip (NJ)
Thanks to modern skin care products, my face looks better today than when I was 20.
RW (New York)
Sunglasses - Going on 43 years of age, and people think I'm 10 years younger.
Piet (Connecticut)
Wasn't Preparation H used for other uses i.e. wrinkles, than it is recommended for?
Ellen Malone (New London)
Not wrinkles. I think that was for puffiness under the eye. It took out the puffiness, temporarily. For example when tired or out drinking.
ACH (California)
@Piet Yes, because Preparation H is a vasoconstrictor.
Denancy (Brooklyn)
And to target pimples
nycptc (new york city)
I've got quite a collection of wrinkles around my eyes because I've smiled and laughed a whole lot for 70 years. I wouldn't erase all those laughs -- or all the laughs to come -- for anything!
lemon (MTL)
@nycptc many people have wrinkles from suffering, so count yourself lucky
Dixon Pinfold (Toronto)
Don't go overboard and avoid sunshine like it's poison. The body expects and depends upon it, and not just for some to reach the skin for vitamin D production. It is important for immune functioning. Bright light needs to reach the retina, too, for various reasons including the regulation of mood and sleep (in other words, for overall health). So find ways to protect your skin and eyes without depriving them past the point of healthfulness. In my view you can hardly go wrong hearing out Dr. Roger Seheult. He is a practicing quadruple-board-certified physician and professor of medicine at the University of California. His two-hour video on the subject from earlier this year may be of particular interest. I suspect anti-sun extremism will eventually go the way of our erstwhile anxiety about eating eggs and terror of food containing more than a few per cent fat. Moderation is the answer.
Julie (Atlanta)
@Dixon Pinfold I really appreciate this comment. Thanks.
lemon (MTL)
@Dixon Pinfold Skin cancer is no joke. Avoid the sun.
Judi (North Carolina)
@Dixon Pinfold Maybe it depends on where you live or spend most of your time. Sun in small doses is healthy, of course. Vitamin D is essential. But in the U.S. skin cancer is epidemic. And in large doses, it can be poison. This article is about skin, and too much sun takes a toll on skin - sooner or later.
Jacob-wp (pnw)
I’m still dealing with dermatitis around my eye area after briefly using a popular (and highly rated) retinol eye cream more than 5 months ago. My skin typically responds to retnoids / retinols well, so be careful! The sensitive skin around your eyes may respond much differently, and I wish that I would’ve simply stuck to the sunscreen and moisturizer route advocated by so many others here.
ihk888 (new jersey)
how could the medical community/general public believe that active ingredients such as Retinol eliminate wrinkles? can you actually reverse the biology of aging so we can live forever? when someone glances thru the articles published decades ago about the effectiveness of Retinol with photos, it is amazing the majority of the photos are taken with increased light exposure. when even novice photo hobbyists know when you take photos of your face, the wrinkle disappears, and better yet, you can do it easily with basic photo apps with existing photos. if you don't believe me, you can even play with your own photos(digital) with free photo apps such as Google or Apple app.
Sn A (Manhattan)
@ihk888 i saw a reduction in fine lines, firmness and in discoloration with prescription retinoids over the last two years. They don't cost much and have made a huge difference. Dealing with peeling for a month was annoying, and again for a couple of weeks when I increased strength. I have also had a series of chemical peels at times which has greatly improved appearance. I try to spend my money on proven things. Next up-lasers!
Kind Person (Pittsburgh)
Prescription retinion does work to reverse photoaging. There is scientific and anecdotal evidence. I've seen it on my face.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@ihk888 There's an Australian scientist whose lab at Harvard Medical School has reversed aging in mice. Of course, this may not work on other mammals such as humans. When I first read about this, I had trouble believing it, but Harvard Medical School is credible to me.
Adina Kristina (Seattle WA)
While this is all great info, let this makeup artist bring a little extra enlightenment on a couple items. First regarding retinol: never use if you have rosacea or eczema. Period. Second, face cream as an eye cream: it's of course OK if it's a good product and you're trying to save money by buying fewer products. And by OK, I mean just, OK. We can do better. One key reason to use eye cream on the eyes is the general difference in delivery : the molecular structure of eye creams (such as All About Eyes by Clinique) is much smaller than that of a face cream. Why? Because the pores in that delicate skin around the eyes are significantly smaller than the pores on the rest of your face. So while you are actually getting 'less' of a certain ingredient (like retinol or vitamin c) you are getting more of the ingredients into your eye area skin than you will with a face cream of larger molecular structure. (I love it when a skin care or beauty product has some serious science behind it like this) In a nutshell, much of a face cream is just going to sit on the surface and not penetrate like a good eye cream. And remember that the best eye creams that do have the science behind them are usually found in a skin care line as opposed to a line that's more cosmetic -centric.
Letty ROERIG (Brownsville, Texas)
@Adina Kristina , I have the type of rosacea where my face gets red, no pimples or bumps just the redness. When I work out, my face gets very red as it does when I in the sun, which I avoid line the plague. Are you suggesting that retinols would have an adverse effect on the redness of my face due to the rosacea?
Amy (San Francisco)
@Adina Kristina I have no problem using retinol despite my rosacea and have been using retinol for years. Where retinol is problematic is on my décolletage due to sun damage. Prescription Metrocream has controlled my rosacea for 30 plus years.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Adina Kristina Then why are the first few ingredients of an eye cream generally the same as face cream? Sorry, I'm sure you've been told there's a difference, but this was misinformation. Eye creams are just moisturizers in tiny packages at a ridiculous markup. You can waste your money on them if you like because it's yours to spend as you please.
Gil Narro Garcia (Harpers Farry, wv)
It does matter what creams and moisturizers you use. But it it even more critical to know HOW to apply them. I learned from my Mom to NEVER pull your skin out. Always apply creams inward. Think of a fountain—start at the top, go around your eyes and face and go inward and up. Works for me. PS: I’m a 78 year old man! AND, follow a regimen. This means, you do the same every day until you die. Get it ?
Anette (Paris)
Retinol serums and moisturizers often contain much higher levels of the active ingredient which could cause burns to the areas around the eyes (where the skin is thinner and more fragile). Eye creams are therefore better for these targeted areas.
Sn A (Manhattan)
@Anette I use prescription retinoid all around my eye area with no issue at all.
Megan (Spokane)
Since there is no FDA oversight of cosmetic creams and serums, you have to take their word for dose and efficacy. For retinoids, Adapalene Gel, previously prescription only is now available OTC, on label for acne, off label, it's a great retinoid, with FDA oversight with guaranteed stated dose and efficacy, & very reasonably priced as well. All the super expensive department store creams and serums are owned by same manufactures as drug store creams and serums - and it would not be profitable to make 100s of different recipes for different brands, it's same thing in a different bottle marketed to people at their lifestyle price point, not actual value of product. 10 minutes of google research will find your coveted $100 cream for $10 under the drug store brands, and $5 for the store brand.
Kind Person (Pittsburgh)
@Megan There is FDA oversight of prescription medications, including Tretinoin (Retin A). It works. It is more expensive than a cream from the store without a prescription.
Gil Narro Garcia (Harpers Farry, wv)
@Megan Actually, my eye specialist warned me about retinols around the eyes if you have dry eye. Don’t.
Margarita (Washington DC)
I was at a small gathering with my husband's friends from K-12. Guys 58/59 . I commented to one younger wife how good her husband looked . She proceeded to tell me she makes him a collagen consome from chicken feet that he drinks daily . I thought me might look that well cuz of her . I look 10 years younger perhaps cuz I'm overweight and stress free . Collagen is good for bones too so I now cook chicken and pork feet with bone marrow with carrots, cilantro, scallions and soy sauce . Then put it in small takeout containers and freeze most cuz it doesn't last long in the fridge. Most days drink a cup. You can see with your own eyes that it's pure Collagen. It like jello or thicker
anonymouse (seattle)
@Margarita Collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed by the skin. All of the research independently conducted shows no impact. But if people believe it looks better, great. BTW, men have different jaw structures so their skin is less likely to sag. Also, the constant exfoliation by shaving speeds cell turnover.
Dan (Madison, WI)
@Margarita - It's a good thing your friend wasn't suspicious about your comment on how good her husband looks. However, she may get suspicious if he starts saying he had a Margarita after work. ;)
Sn A (Manhattan)
@Margarita I actually think being overweight makes you look older. Maybe not in the face but overall.
GtownMD (San Francisco)
High quality, polarized sunglasses worn every time you’re outside (even on cloudy days) will do wonders for your crows’ feet. Add a good moisturizer and you’ll never need fillers or Botox.
TeaForThree (SoCal)
@GtownMD I've worn sunglasses outside, even if only stepping outside for a minute, every day of my adult life, along with wearing SPF, and I have hardly a wrinkle at 41. It works! My 8 year old already has my sunglasses habit (though not as wrinkle prevention, haha, just as eye protection).
Jzzy55 (New England)
Been wearing sunglasses since about age 14 and I have no crow’s feet. I’m 67 and the rest of my face is somewhat wrinkled.
ddugger (Vero Beach, FL 32963)
All of the "effective" retinol-oid (retinoic acid) and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) eye, skin, in serums and skin cream ingredients are essentially biologic acids that kill senescent skin cells in the dermis, causing them to be replaced with new cells at a faster rate than normal aging allows. Salicylic and or glycolic and other mild acids can accomplish the same thing. Whether these acids actually encourage collagen production - with improved skin appearance - is a by-product of forced cell turn-over. Whether the new cells naturally have higher collagen levels - or collagen production is being stimulated in non-replaced cells - is highly debatable. In the end, it probably depends on how you define - "works." Manually, forcing cellular repair and cell turnover - may reduce current wrinkles - just as will laser treatments. The question are the long term effects of repeated and regular forced cell turn over and whether it may or may not be what you have in mind. Meaning, either in net gains in appearance as the rest of your body continues to age, and or how you want to spend your time in your latter years, and or perhaps your even your eye health. Note the labels on most of those aced based skin products contain warnings to keep them out of your eyes.
Soupy (Fishkill)
@ddugger I love Salicylic acid. I take uncoated aspirin and dilute with aloe. with hazel, or rose water, massage onto my face, allow to dry, rinse, moisturize. Works great for blemishes too. Cheap and works!
Karen (California)
@Soupy sounds like an old wives' tale useless regimen of under sink products. No thanks
Renee (IL)
@Karen FYI - aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid...very similar to salicylic acid which is an active ingredient and recommended in many facial treatments.
TenAker (CT BC)
I hear Keith Richards is the new spokesperson for the Hey Kids, Don’t Go In The Sun campaign.
ACH (California)
@TenAker Richard’s has all those wrinkles from smoking mostly. The sun didn’t help, but it’s the smoking.
Gil Narro Garcia (Harpers Farry, wv)
@TenAker Too late for him.
katy890 (Birmingham, UK)
At almost 60, I have no wrinkles around my eyes or elsewhere. Some of that is due to my South Asian heritage- darker skin ages better - but the rest taking care of my skin since my late teens and using a high factor sunscreen for the last 20 years. Retinol and Vitamin C as mentioned in the article are relatively new developments but really, good skin is little more than keeping it clean, moisturised and protected from the sun every day. Diet and exercise help too. Expensive products aren't always the answer (although I will confess the the most expensive product I use is Estee Lauder eye cream which makes me feel good!)
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@katy890 Well, it's your money to spend. But really, it's an unnecessary product. You can use your regular moisturizer and put a little petroleum jelly over it for extra moisture.
DL (ct)
I was blessed with good skin genes and a mother that taught me early on to use moisturizer and avoid sunburn. Still, I have the usual lines under my eyes while sporting few wrinkles otherwise. My secret to looking younger? Glasses! Like splashing on on a pound of eye cream.
marina (san diego)
@DL glasses are great, which is why when I had recent cataract surgery I opted to have a lens implanted for near vision. That way I can read without glasses, just like I can now. Meanwhile, for running around town, etc. I will continue wearing glasses, which are flattering!
Jean (Holland, Ohio)
For many years, I have made sure to nearly always wear under eye concealer during the day. Reason is not because of rings around eyes, but rather as a total sunblock. Works. No wrinkles around eyes.
katy890 (Birmingham, UK)
I agree - I use MAC Studio Fix Concealer which contains SPF 35 under my eyes, and I think it definitely helps.
Raye (Seattle)
It always seems odd to me when commenters say things like "I'm in my 60s, but people tell me I look like I'm in my 40s.' Do people really say this? Why? And, if they do, it's possible they're flattering you. Also, YES to sunscreen, but don't be afraid to go out in the sun. Don't fear a little sunshine - take a walk, plant a garden, play outside with your kids - it'll make you feel a lot younger!
Lorri (Seattle)
@Raye I didn’t want to say it, but yes…I agree. I wondered the same thing, reading some of these comments. Even if you don’t have a lot of wrinkles, skin will inevitably sag with time. No 40 year old looks 60, no 40 year old looks 20. What of it. Enjoy life. Where you are right now.
Sn A (Manhattan)
@Raye so mtrue. When I was in my 30's, people often thought I was up to 10 years younger. (But as soon I I got past about 43, middle age settled in (hands, chest, face as well) and it becomes obvious you are not longer youthful. I am happy when people think I am a few years younger these days.
Sharon (Massachusetts)
@Raye Same when people ask you how old you think they are. Yesterday a 59 year old woman somewhat aggressively asked me how old I thought she was so I went as low as I thought was reasonable and shaved 15 years off my answer. If I had been honest, as I was tempted to be, I would have hit the nail on the head; instead I chose to flatter.
Susan (Athens , Ohio)
The most attractive people I know are beautiful because of who they are, not by how many wrinkles they don’t have.
Opal (,Fl)
I have found the best results of all, is a layer of vitamin E oil at night ( not too close to the eyes!). I swear it does better for me than any cream. Oh and mistings with rose water or some such mist.
Mary (MS)
Shun the sun, wear a huge, brimmed hat, good sunglasses, long sleeves and pants, don't sunburn the top of your feet wearing sandals, eat and sleep well and drink plenty of water. I've done these things for decades and the positive results are apparent. I also use CeraVe moisturizer and foaming facial wash twice a day. I'm happy as I am, never wear makeup and rarely use sunscreen because it makes my face break out. I wouldn't dream of paying the prices I have seen for so-called beauty products. Just avoid the sun! Take vitamin D3 if you're paranoid about lack of sun exposure.
Karen (Heartland)
@Mary CeraVe.....yes! Recommended to me by the gals in my dermatologist's office. Let's not lose sight in this conversation of the importance of avoiding skin cancer. In spite of avoiding the sun enough to be "carded" to buy alcohol when I was 40, I have had two skin cancers removed and you probably don't want those scars.
stpauley (St Paul MN)
Most of the skin knowledge in this article I gleaned years ago from Paula Begoun's books and her more recent website One important thing not mentioned is to avoid purchasing creams and serums which come in lidded containers vs. pumps or other containers which protect the contents. The containers protect the quality of the ingredients for far longer. Paula also an early advocate of wisdom that more $$ spent does not equate to a better quality product.
Soupy (Fishkill)
@stpauley I tried several Paula products and though priced reasonably, they did nothing for me
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@stpauley Another disciple of Paula! I found her first book at the public library in my late 20s, and it helped me so much! (Blue Eyeshadow Should be Illegal.) I've been buying products from her line since the late 90s. I've occasionally been disappointed, but the products that work for me work really well. Unfortunately, she sold her business and semi retired, and the new owners raised prices and started selling eye creams. I just ignore that and buy what works for me, with the occasional trial of something that sounds intriguing. But not eye cream!
Judy Harmon Smith (Washington state)
Yay for retinol! I've used a common brand, Revitalift day moisturizing creme by L'Oreal, on face, front neck, decolletage and forearms for the last 25 years; am 75 now. Huge benefit! Have fair, freckly skin. Used to be a brown California farm kid and teen sun worshipper. Since moving to the rainy NW at age 33, I've avoided the sun (not that hard to do up here!). In my late 60s I had a series of facial IPL treatments by a retired surgeon who opened a medical and cosmetic laser clinic. Greatly lessened the enlarged capillaries and general redness of my cheeks and chin, and the brown spots that are the continual legacy of my early sun exposure. Was able to stop wearing concealer and foundation, without thoughtless people exclaiming oh my, your face is as red as a beet, are you ok??!!
Opal (,Fl)
Just a reminder : Please make sure the sunscreens are Reef Safe. Many of the chemical sunscreens when washed off into our oceans are killing the coral reefs.
cirtap (Princeton, NJ)
Want to look younger in your old age ? Choose your parents carefully. It's all in the genes....
Kind Person (Pittsburgh)
@cirtap It's mostly in the genes, for sure. But also in sun exposure. Prescription tretinoin removes photoaging and sunscreen prevents it.
Byron Williams (Sarasota)
It sure does! Eat lots of ice cream and you will get fat and wrinkles will disappear.
Fairy Hill (Australia)
More importantly, do they work for humans?
René (Canada)
Could you tell me what is the problem with wrinkles?
Baba (Earth)
@René Age discrimination and living in an ageist society. It's reality, especially if you're in the workforce or trying to get a job. It's scary how blatant and rampart ageism is many workplaces, especially in tech where the youth are revered and anyone above 40 is considered old and to be phased out. I don't blame people for dyeing their hair and being obsessed with wrinkles. Even if you don't mind or if you like having wrinkles and gray hair, in this country and many others, it's impossible not to do things to look less old.
René (Canada)
@Baba Thank you for taking the time to write me. Like you, I do not blame any body. I have been a target re: ageism myself. But I wonder if hiding wrinkles or grey hair will be a winning approach to that cruel problem.
Baba (Earth)
@René Unfortunately, I think the answer is no, though I wish it was yes or even a maybe. I appreciate that you took the time to reply to my post and for continuing this dialogue. Like you, I don't think wrinkles, sagging skin or gray hair are things to be avoided at all cost. However, I'm keenly aware of how one's overall appearance matters in most work places, especially if you don't conform to certain expectations and assumptions. Given that most of us will need to work into our seventies, I get why more and more people are focused on appearances. That said, I have friends who've always been into face creams, makeup, facials and things of that ilk, so adding retinol cream and hair highlights is really nothing to them or their daily routine. They like looking put together and value it. I'm the complete opposite, the most I'll use is cetaphil and sunblock.
Fromjersey (NJ)
Ponds cold cream to remove my eye makeup at night. A routine I started over 45 years ago at age 12. During the day I wear Loreal Eye Defense around my eyes. It's less greasy. I swear by it. Clinique makes a similar product as well, but Loreal is less expensive. I swear by less is more. Makeup. Creams. And I stay true to products I've used for years. Especially Ponds! In the winter their Day Cream is the best! I'm not a vain woman, in the slightest, but I am proud of the fact that I look a lot younger than my years, and most people take me to be at least a decade younger than I am, despite sporting naturally gray hair for over 10 years. Healthy habits support that as well:)
Fred Sharples (San Francisco, CA)
@Fromjersey You're missing sunscreen. More important than Retin-A, vitamin C products or any moisturizer. Every single day, rain or shine (every two hours if you're out in the sun).
M (Los Angeles)
@Fromjersey Loreal Eye Defense is excellent! Also love Loreal Revitalift for retinol--more than Paula's or Roc retinol products....
Fromjersey (NJ)
@Fred Sharples Oh, I just didn't mention it! I use sunscreen believe me! All year round. I got into that habit decades ago. I'm fair and freckled. I was just sticking to the theme of the article, eye creams. And I don't like wearing suncreen around my eyes. So of course I am always wearing a hat! (Oil of Olay with 15 SPF in the winter. Just switched to Loreal Age Defense SPF 30 this summer, and so far I like it. I also like Cetaphil Daily Facial moisturizer SPF 50 as well.)
California Girl (PNW)
Ok thanks for saying my theory that $150 eye creams don't work. 1. I get Retin A prescription for $7. Generic. Bc I get acne sometimes my doc writes me a script. 2.Cetaphil Cleanser and moisturizer. About $15. 3. Sunscreen and Sun hat 4. Aquaphor My brother is a dermatologist and I've used all the high end products but they really don't seem to do anything special. I often get an allergic reaction to the more expensive brands. I'm keeping it it simple.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@California Girl I bet the allergic reaction is to the fragrance in high end products. Most skincare, whether from the drugstore or the department store, is heavily scented. Sounds like you have a good routine that works for you. If you ever want to change from Cetaphil, you might want to try the Vanicream facial cleanser and moisturizing cream. I've just discovered these products over the last year, and I really like them. (Note: I don't work for Vanicream, and I don't get paid to recommend their products. I also don't receive free products to review. )
Katt (Philadelphia)
You are all going to laugh, I’ve tried it all and spared little cost over the years for the sake of vanity. Gold Bond works for me on most parts of my body including and especially my face. Also my body, dry hair and occasionally “other” places too. I re-apply when my face is dry and it FEELS like it’s instantly working and for me it does ! :-)
John Virgone (Pennsylvania)
If you think it prevents wrinkles, then for you it prevents wrinkles. Somehow everyone else still sees wrinkles.
JaneAir (Albuquerque, NM)
@John Virgone LOL. So true.
r mackinnon (concord)
My mom started me on high end moisterizer, night cream and eye cream at 14. Now, over 40 years later, I have only 3 words on the topic. THANK YOU MOM (one tip- according to Cathrine Deneuve - dont use night cream 7 days a week. I agree.)
Kim Allsup (Massachusetts)
Do eye creams work for wrinkles? The answer is clear. Stop worrying about wrinkles. Focus instead on healing the climate.
Victoria (Reno)
@Kim Allsup , I can do both things at the same time.
i wander (NJ)
@Victoria Could you have said that if you were in Eastern Kentucky right now while your house was swept away in floods? Or if you were in Texas last winter when power was off and people froze to death? Or if you were in the Northwest when extreme heat killed some hundred people? And this is just the beginning, the disasters will get much worse. Tend to your beauty routine, yes, but do much more to address climate crisis. Knock on doors for Democrat party incumbents & candidates who pledge to respond to this emergency, contribute whatever you can to their campaigns, detach yourself from the Republican party who is in the clutches of the fossil fuel industry.
Andrew (Washington DC)
I swear by eye creams. I'm 60 and really have no crows feet around my eyes because of using these from age 35 and up. Even with just 5 hours of sleep a night, my eyes are not betraying my senior status.
chrisinroch (Rochester ny)
@Andrew I am 68 and don't have wrinkles. I don't use eye creams very often because with my (still) rather oily skin they migrate into my eyes. My smooth skin is really a matter of genetics, and not smoking.
DS (Denver)
The improvement seen with over the counter products is minimal and temporary. Retinol is not the same as tretinoin which one needs a prescription for. Tretinoin effects the way DNA expresses itself - you won't find that action in an over the counter skin cream. Marketing ploys are aimed at creating insecurity with the idea that if the product is expensive that it must be 'magical'. If those creams actually lived up to the claims they would require a prescription. Sunscreen, don't smoke, ditto what Bob said below.
GtownMD (San Francisco)
@DS I think all retinoic acid derivatives (both retinoids, available by Rx, and retinols available OTC) have the same effect on gene expression, just at different potency.
DS (Denver)
@GtownMD With a prescription you are assured of getting a product with a specific strength. Cosmetics labels are vague. Even if an item is said to have 10% retinol you have no idea what the potency is and they don't have to tell you. Tretinoin has also been in numerous controlled trials over the years and has proven to be effective - at the strength specified in the study. You can't say that about cosmetics. They don't have to prove their claims in advertising.
Sn A (Manhattan)
@DS I started with the strongest OTC retinols in my 30s and switched to prescription in my 40s. I think OTC was fine, and had benefits, but do wish I had started prescription younger,
Marie (BOSTON)
It was my explained to me that regular moisturizers, due to the properties that we are looking for elsewhere on our face to help reduce wrinkles will induce puffiness under the eyes, something we want to avoid. And that eye cream has the properties we are looking for but without inducing puffiness. Now, I don't know if this was just to sell two products instead of one. But this was someone I trust and I've worked with for many, many years.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Marie Nah,this was to sell product. Check the ingredients lists on the products: I would bet the first few are the same. Ingredients are listed in the proportion they appear in the product. For example, if water is the first ingredient, that's what the product mostly is. After the first few ingredients, there's very little of whatever else is listed. The person who sold you the eye cream probably was been told in sales training that there was a difference. I doubt they deliberately lied to you. Unfortunately, in the US, skincare and makeup are pretty much the Wild West. You have to educate your self, and caveat emptor! Maybe it's better in the EU; I don't know. I recommend Paula Begoun's books, and Cassandra Bankson's videos in YouTube. There's also a lot of good information on the Paula's Choice website. Click on Skin Care Resources, and scroll down to Skin Care Advice. No, I don't work for Paula's Choice, and I don't make money or get free products for directing you to them.
Bob (PA)
I have been a dermatologist for 50 years: and every reader should know that what truly does the work in any OTC eye cream or moisturizer is its oiliest component - usually petrolatum (Vaseline). The biologic key to making wrinkles LOOK better for a while is to hydrate the skin's outer layer, and the oily chemicals help keep water from evaporating/dissipating for a while, thus creating the illusion of less wrinkles due to the water present. GOOD scientific evidence that the OTC retinols and such other added chemicals actually physiologically do anything permanent is actually paltry and always suspect (the literature on these things is virtually always biased if read closely). Good skin and good skin care are cheap: minimize sun exposure (from early youth onward), wash with a mild soap as needed, forget scrubbers and exfoliants, and use whatever moisturizer floats your boat - the greasier the better. Only a little bit of whatever you choose is appropriate - you are not caulking a boat with the stuff! Moisturizers, incidentally, do not "plug up the pores".
Cie (North Jersey)
@Bob I have no doubt that you know what you're talking about, and I also hate the way that people (especially women, of course, although I think that's changing) are made to feel insecure about the effects of aging. Sometimes I watch Youtube videos about "natural"/minimal makeup for people over 50 (I'm 60), and then become horrified watching the person in the video applying layer upon layer of "product" and makeup for at least 20 minutes. And the "before" pictures, in my opinion, almost always look much better than the "after" ones. And don't get me started on plastic surgery! But I do like my skin to look nice, especially because I had pretty bad acne as a teen. Right after my marriage, 30 years ago, my aunt recommended AHA lotions to me, and I believe they've made a huge difference in the clarity and smoothness and general appearance of my skin over the years (but one needs to be SURE to wear a good sunscreen with it, because it makes the skin so prone to getting burned). I actually bought a bottle of AHA lotion with SPF 15 (not high enough, but not bad) for my son, who also had bad acne as a teen, to help clear away the remaining marks from it. And it cost around $10. But yeah--the marketing of "miracle creams" for aging (or not) skin tends to make me feel that people are being manipulated to spend money on useless things--and to feel ashamed for the way they appear naturally.
Lilou (Paris)
@Bob -- good advice, but I just turned 70 yesterday. I sunbathed, hiked, biked and skied a lot all my life, and got many year's worth of brown tans. My skin is naturally very white with a fine texture. Now I have fine lines all over my face, and bags and wrinkles around my eyes. Petroleum jelly migrates into my eyes and is irritating. In fact, it's difficult to find a non-irritating eye cream (face creams, if applied to close to my eyes, make them burn). Any recommendations for older persons' skin care, where the damage has already been done? The rest of my body is not wrinkly, I don't drink or smoke, do exercise and drink 2 litres of water per day.
M Brown (CT)
@Lilou dermatologist peels and laser treatments. They do work but there may be some downtime.
Elizabeth (Queens, NY)
I work in advertising and trust me, the companies want you to think you need an eye cream. And a neck cream, decolletage cream, body moisturizer. There's one for the butt too (Sol de Janeiro). I am not immune to marketing but try to steer clear of gratuitous beauty products.
chrisinroch (Rochester ny)
@Elizabeth I can attest to that. I am 68 and since I was a teenager up to a couple years ago I included blush as part of my makeup kit. Despite the fact that I had (undiagnosed) rosacea, and the rosiest cheeks anyone could want. It wasn't until two years ago when my rosacea was diagnosed I stopped to ask myself why I was making my already red cheeks even redder? Because I thought it would make me look like Cheryl Tiegs.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@chrisinroch I also have rosacea and only need blush to even out the color a little. My dermatologist prescribed a compounded lotion for my rosacea that's mostly azelaic acid, and it's done wonders in reducing - but not eliminating - the redness. If you continue to have problems with redness, you might want to try a product with azelaic acid.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Elizabeth Yes, a lot of people really think you need special products for different body parts. I do use products only on my face and neck that have various active ingredients that I don't feel I need to use all over my body. I could; I just choose not to. (Expense is a factor!) I use an unscented body lotion that I can, and sometimes do, use on my face. Again, it doesn't have actives in it, but it's a perfectly decent moisturizer.
Jack Ross (Chicago)
Again, M.D.'s and the general public are being sucked into the notion: take this.... apply this... do this... don't do that.I guess common sense is a thing of the past. We are swamped with articles, medicines, opinions of "experts" and advice from the common joe and what's the end result? Nothing. Yes, you may think the concoctions will be the panacea for what you or your health provider prescribes but EVERY drug, whether prescribed or over the counter, has side effects. Some worse than others. Advice: Do your homework and be your own advocate.
JS (Chapel Hill)
For me, eye cream falls into the "treats" category of skincare: if sunscreen and retinaldehyde are the "actives," and cleanser and moisturizer are the "functionals," then eye creams, serums, sprays, etc are the nice little treats that feel good but don't really have a role outside treat yo self. As for prevention, sunscreen is key, but so is a large pair of dark sunglasses. I just bought a sun hat for running between buildings or working in the garden. And a parasol! I'm lucky to live in a fairly international community so no one looks at me funny when I bust out my parasol at the bus stop. It's at least 10 degrees cooler under that thing! And while yes, ultimately the goal should be for greater acceptance of aging skin, there are still very real career and social disadvantages to women with wrinkles. Please keep that in mind before disparaging those who might get sucked in by sleek packaging and turgid copy.
lemon (MTL)
@JS Thank you- some of us are still facing ageism in the workplace.
lotusflower0 (Chicago)
@lemon - It's not just the workplace, it's everywhere.
Bubbles (USA)
I decided a couple of years ago to just stop using creams. I use sunscreen, and that's it. No more expensive serums and moisturizers and eye creams, no more multi-step regimens. Do I look better? No. But do I look worse? I don't think so. Now I have extra money to spend on books and coffees with friends--things I really enjoy. And, best of all, I'm free. I don't have to think about trying to look young any more.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Bubbles Not everybody needs to moisturize. People with oily skin really don't although they may want to use a light product around their eyes because that area is usually drier. I've read that gels can be good for that. My skin is extremely dry as a result of taking Accutane, and it's tight and uncomfortable without moisturizer. If I'm sick and don't moisturize for a couple of days, I can tell. But suit yourself. There's not a law that says you have to use multiple skincare products.
Nathan (San Marcos, Ca)
There are also reports that retinol/retinoids aggravate migraines. I had to stop using them for that reason. Too bad because they really do make a noiceable improvement in my skin.
Texan (Texas)
@Nathan Thanks for that tip.
E (Dallas)
....eye creams are NOT thicker usually, but the opposite! usually they're slightly thinner, because the skin surrounding the eye is also thinner and more delicate than the rest of the skin on your face. that's why eye creams are slightly different from the rest of your facial moisturizers. use an eye cream, cheap ones work, and wear sunscreen. wash your face everyday.
Marci (usa)
We are social creatures. Our society values youth and denigrates age. In employment, in choosing a mate, throughout our interactions. Even in nursing homes the elderly inhabitants are loath to befriend the older residents. The media drumbeat is that older people are senile and beset with every decaying condition imaginable. And for women, who are always valued for their looks, it's amplified. Women, as the ones who bear children, bring a premium for youth, beauty, and health. As we age and lose our freshness, and are considered less than men in many other aspects, we can become invisible. There's a natural desire to appear younger. Articles like this always bring a smug chorus from the aging naturally crowd. Good for you, but there are deeper reasons to try to preserve one's youthful appearance. FYI, I keep my hair dyed brown, no skincare, 75. But consider of doing more. There are no "shoulds" here
Steph (Canada)
I wish I could give your comment a thousand likes!
lemon (MTL)
@Marci Yes, let's not forget that many of us are older and still in the job market and/or relationship market. The reality is that appearance matters more when actively seeking employment and companionship than when you're in a protected job or long term/established relationship.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@lemon Yes, I really hate to say this, but I feel I must cover the gray until I'm ready to retire. Ageism in hiring is a reality.
nickdastardly (Tampa)
When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to get wrinkles so I could look like Steve McQueen. Now I’m sixty-seven, I’ve got more than enough.
Lee (New England)
@nickdastardly I still watch Steve McQueen when I have a chance. Sand Pebbles was my introduction to him and I was hooked.
Marie (BOSTON)
@Lee Talk about nnon sequitur, but I'll my bit. My father took us kids to the drive in where Sand Pebbles was one of the two movies and it scared me for life with those gruesome scenes at 11!
JeanieDiva (New York City)
My father was born here as the son of Sicilian immigrants. He had dark olive skin. My mother's family had been here for generations. She was very fair, with blond hair and blue grey eyes. Even before people talked about it, my mother never went outside without a hat and stayed out of the sun. My father did construction work from teenage years on, working outside all day, every day, from 12 until 62, then he retired and made a garden. He never wore sunscreen. He passed at 76 with dewey smooth skin, few wrinkles and a lovely complexion on his face and body both. My mother died at 80 and was very wrinkled, with jowls and lines all over her face. Thankfully, I have my dad's skin. I use only drugstore products bought at TXMass or Marshall's on discount and at 73, have very good skin. I do not wear sunscreen but use makeup that contains a low dose. Really, it's all genetics. For those who sweat a cream helps, maybe some of this might also be placebo effect. All of the people who tout this stuff in ads are cosmetically "touched up" and/or too young to even have wrinkles. Still, billions of dollars wasted every year looking for youth in a bottle or jar. We could feed the world with all that money!!!
Trish (Ohio)
For heaven’s sake, wear sunscreen! My dermatologist told me that 25 percent of Caucasians will get skin cancer.
Sn A (Manhattan)
@JeanieDiva my grandmother was the palest of pale, with strawberry blond hair. I don't know if she always wore sunscreen (did they have it back then) but she wore it once it was readily available and had always covered her skin with long sleeves and wore hats. She lived in Florida from age 10 on and was outdoorsy and a huge gardener. She had lovely skin in her 90s.
Beth (Waxhaw, NC)
@JeanieDiva The SPF isn't just for preventing wrinkles - the main thing is to prevent skin cancers. I have had two basal cell carcinomas, one on my scalp, removed and 2 months ago, had a melanoma removed from my back which left me with a 6 inch scar and I can promise you, it is not pretty! I grew up in the 60s in Florida in the days before SPF - I am fair skinned - got plenty of sunburns and thought it was the height of fashion to try to get tan. I am paying the price now and wish I had never gone out in the sun. All of my scars hurt at least some of the time, even the small one on the front of my left leg because of the damage done to nerves by the need to get every last bit of the cancers. Needless to say, I do not go out without sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses now and I can attest that having skin cancer is no joke! A 6 inch scar makes worrying about wrinkles seem like so much fluff.
Bello Giorno (Charlottesville, VA)
No moisturizer of any kind helped my crepey eye lids. Had them done by a plastic surgeon. Painless procedure ( under an hour) painless recovery. Fabulous, natural results. Worth every penny.
Rita Rousseau (Chicago)
@Bello Giorno Would you mind saying how many pennies?
Bello Giorno (Charlottesville, VA)
@Rita Rousseau $2500. However I am in Charlottesville VA, I would think higher in big US cities. Also it was in 2018. Most cosmetic surgeons offer free or low cost consultations which are very informative. Only use a board certified surgeon.
Brooke (LA)
@Bello Giorno What’s the procedure called, if you don’t mind me asking? I’ve tried facial exercises, eye creams etc but the crepe is real lol. A one hour painless procedure sounds nice. But which one? Lasers, CO2, thermage, “skin pinch” or something else altogether?? Been debating myself and researching best methods, so any tips truly welcome. Inquiring crepey eyelids would love to know, thanks!
Citygirl (Somewhere Out West)
My dermatologist is my age (63) and has beautiful skin. She can go without pantyhose as the skin on her calves is flawless. "If you want to spend $350 on moisturizer that's up to you," she told me, but she uses Oil of Olay cleanser and moisturizer and a drugstore sunscreen. That's absolutely it. She says to use a sunscreen even if you're inside all day.
Deb (Michigan)
@Citygirl Sunscreen for inside? Why on earth
George Henry (Providence)
@Deb Regular window glass in homes and cars does NOT prevent UV light from passing through the glass and inside the home or car. The UV spectrum is what causes skin damage.
JR mitchell (Ca)
@Deb Since the pandemic, I was working at home. I didn't wear sunscreen because I was working at home. Guess what? Melasma! Due to the blue light (and visible light) from my computer screen! When I went to work in the office, I was wearing sunscreen and makeup because I was "going out", and that protected me. Now, my dermatologist is trying help me get rid of the melasma. And I have to wear sunscreen with at least 10% zinc oxide even indoors, AND reapply throughtout the day!
wem (Seattle)
I purchased some expensive eye cream from Nordstrom. I went through it quickly, and returned for a second (tiny) jar. The helpful saleswoman told me I'd been applying it wrong. I didn't need much. What was important was to tap. Tap tap tap beneath the eye where the bags are. Shortly thereafter I heard Alec Baldwin explaining what happens to him when the put him in the make up chair. They put ice on the bags, briefly, and then Tap Tap Tap. This reduces the puffiness of the bags. it's not the cream, my friends, it's the tapping!
JR mitchell (Ca)
@wem I spent over $100 on one of those Tap, tap tap gadgets by Foreo. I was supposed to apply cream around my eyes, then tap tap tap it into the skin pores with this gadget. All it did was rub the cream right off! I didn't continue to use the gadget.
Curious (Canada)
@JR mitchell Put a spoon in your freezer. When you have puffy eyes, pull it out, flip it over and gently place the bottom side of the spoon onto each eye. 10-15 secs per eye. Presto.
Caracol (San Diego)
Wrinkles means you are leaving beyond all the dangers surrendering our finite life, so who cares about wrinkles which means life, experience, joy and sorrow. So, why we don't go for better serious cause which is now threatening women dignity, freedom and equality in front of the law? Why not to fight against such Inquisitorial Supreme right wings "judges": the Trump Trio plus Ginni's husband and, Alito?
Chill (NJ)
@Caracol Fair but why did you read this article? Life is short, let us take a break from the deep stuff to worry about our eye wrinkles.
Curious (Canada)
@Caracol One can decide to live in grievance every day. But it is depleting and depressing. Aging, weather one fights wrinkles or not, does offer the wisdom of some time-outs. Burning out through elevated outrage actually diminishes one's ability to focus on the best way to pick the most effective battle. -Yours, Former Hot Head.
Babette (Princeton)
Yes, at 66 I sm prepared to fight for my gay son’s rights! Dux femina facti.
Bboon (Truckee, CA)
You could probably get a similar result using Crisco, but, gee! Maybe this NEW expensive cream might actually work! Hope springs eternal!
Sam (Brooklyn)
@Bboon ugh, no. crisco clogs the pores. so, pimples on top of the wrinkles??
@Bboon - try coconut oil instead.
RVK (North Carolina)
Thank you. This article was very helpful, though I’ve read many similar articles. I wondered if eye creams were worth the price, and now I know. Plus retinol, vitamin C, and hydraulic acid are recommended over and over. That what I’ll look for. I’d love recommendations on specific products. Which products contain sufficient amounts of the active ingredients?
@RVK - I use Timeless Vitamin C serum with E Ferulic Acid & Curology Retinol Cream, which is prescription strength. I use Retinol at bedtime and Vitamin C in the morning. I have reverse aged using both products - highly recommend.
Jann (Langley)
@RVK Hydraulic acid will remover your face. Hyaluronic acid is what to look for.
Ann (Nashville, TN)
@KAK Really? How old were you, and how old are you now?
Barbara Victoria (Astoria)
I have been using Pure Hyaluronc Acid on damp face and Vitamin C serum for years and my 88 year skin is in great condition. I highly recommend this practice, Good Luck
Texan (Texas)
@Barbara Victoria Would you share the brand names you use, please?
Marleen (NYC)
Eventually we all fall.
Dead Demos (Ct. USA)
Do not over apply these creams. Or your sensitive dermal tissue will excoriate.
Juliet Kilo (Lake Placid, NY)
There’s no mention in this article about Retinatural which an extremely effective plant derived compound and a safer choice than Retinal.
Carlyle T. (NYC)
This just feeds in tot he modern predjudice that old is ugly and young is desirable ...quite a shame..feeds a huge cosmetic industry. My own former neuro opthamologist MD went from eye surgery to just Botox infusion ,just for the easier $$$$$$. I wear my lines as a mask deserved of a life, lived over 80 years of age. Add another 10 years for living all of it in NYC, so in real urban instilled life , I am age 90. Upwards and onwards! and w/o make up.
Douglas (Suwanee River)
I picked up an interesting bit of information while reading a trashy novel on an airplane several years ago. Preparation H. (the cream, not the suppositories) reduces the wrinkles around your eyes. (Apparently this is well known in Hollywood, where people are auditioning for acting jobs all the time) My wife was spending crazy amounts of money trying everything that came down the 'pike. I suggested she try Prep.H. It works, and it works fast! It doesn't last more than a day, but at that price you can apply it before going out as needed.
lingrin (ft Lauderdale fl)
Interesting and probably true but, sorry, I can't stop laughing! There has got to be a great one-liner (pun not intended) in there.
Douglas (Suwanee River)
@lingrin Well.... I guess I should have mentioned that you put this cream on your upper cheeks,(Under eyes actually) not where you would normally think to use it...
Cooofnj (New Jersey)
My sister is 2 years older than me. She has less sensitive skin (we’re white and I am really pale). She spent lots of money over the years on expensive creams etc. I used regular OTC stuff. At 66 she looks 15 years older than me. At least. She smoked, drank alcohol and sun bathed, while I didn’t. Creams will not counteract an unhealthy lifestyle.
Sn A (Manhattan)
@Cooofnj I live healthy and use proven facial products. Win/win.
Naples (Los Angeles)
Women and cosmetics. Particularly young women. There are billions in profits from eye shadow palettes. Unimaginable profit in useless wrinkle and skin creams. Is eye cream made of eyes? Makeup made Kylie Jenner a billionairess at twenty-one. One young girl I know laid all her makeup kits out on her queen-sized bed and photographed that expanse, put that on social media. Wall-to-wall powders, cheek colors, eye shadows. Well. Makes her happy I guess. Collecting can be pathological. Becomes a fairy tale obsession, spawned of the value the world still places on young female beauty—which is a real thing. And can stop you in your tracks. So many paintings of nude women over the centuries, so much devotion to young female beauty. Seems childish and vain. Which is not to say I don't use make up. As Ben Franklin would say—moderation. But the only thing that works on wrinkles is the knife. Let's face it. This country is ageist. As with the money our countrypersons spend on dieting—I can't help thinking how much good diet and makeup spending would do for half of humanity. Then I remember eight men own more than half of the world, and how negligible the good they do with all that—what can you even do with all that—seems to be. Women are valued by beauty. Men by money. What do you collect.
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
I don't think I look any younger than my age, but when I told students they all acted shocked and said're not that old! You look much younger! I was pleased. But then I realized that everyone over 35 looked uniformly old to them! Ha! Oh well. As someone once said, "Don't complain about old age, it is a privilege many do not receive." I believe that. Also, I think attitude and humor matters. If you approach life with positivity and are light hearted, you will be happier and probably look younger too. No one wants to be around crabby old men and women. Who can blame them? Life is hard enough; let's try to smile through it, wrinkles and all.
A (Rhode Island)
Anything applied close to the eyes migrate onto my contacts, cause burning or itching, and permeate the lenses so I have to throw them away. What's the solution?
Mel (NYC)
@A you may be applying the cream too close to the eye - try and apply right under your eyebrow and just where the cheekbone and eye begins to meet. Also, try a gel instead of a cream, as the oil in the cream tends to travel.
Bob (PA)
@A Don't use the stuff near the eyes!
Jean Cleary (Mass.)
The irony of growing older by both men and women. When we are teenagers we are all in a hurry to get older, then when we finally do grow older the thinking reverses itself. Why are we humans never satisfied?
JR mitchell (Ca)
@Jean Cleary We spend the first half of our lives wishing we look like someone else and the second half of our lives like the way we used to look.
Dixon Pinfold (Toronto)
@Jean Cleary Why would anyone expect or even seriously hope for satisfaction—whatever that is—when what they amount to is a tiny speck with nearly the entirety of the universe bent on their fairly imminent destruction? It makes more sense to wonder that people are ever much 'satisfied' at all for more than about half an hour. I recommend these points of view for cultivating a gratitude which keeps the worst dissatisfactions (and incipient misanthropy) safely at a distance.
Leesa (Portland)
My mom was wrinkly, her mom, her sister. I take after my dad. Mom used to say it looked like she robbed the cradle. Not a phrase one hears anymore;) l do have dark circles, also from dad.
GG (New York)
@Leesa Clarins' eye products seem to lighten dark circles, which I also have. As for crow's feet, sunglasses mitigate against them. --
Curious (Canada)
Pre-menopause I was oily skin type, now have combo mature skin - much less oil but it can still get congested. Have tried retinols several times over the past 12 years and they did not agree with my skin. I have fantastic results with glycolic acid. One line in particular I use is QRxLab's GA 20% Resurfacing Pads. Use one pad 2x a week on clean face, neck and décolleté. Use it as a treatment for 15 minutes before serum. Outstanding and these one's are also incredibly hydrating. At 55 switched all my facial skin care to the Eminence line. One can find an Eminence aesthetician in your area by visiting Eminence's site. Best to get a facial with the products first, so you know the best results for your skin. (eg: They have 4 different eye cream formulations for specific ages and issues.) And as the body's skin gets thinner and dryer too, I now have great results with CeraVe's SA Body Cream. Miracles do not exist in a jar. But really understanding your (mature) skin will greatly reduce unnecessary 'grail-hunting'. Also, remember that as your skin ages, certain colours you loved to wear in the your 30's and 40's don't work with your skin tone anymore. I loved crisp, white shirts. They are now so a no-go next to my face. Switched to off-white, reducing the cool blue undertone, thus enhancing warmth. At 63 I am still nearly wrinkle free. I have delicate laugh lines on outer of each eye, which I love!
Liz (USA)
Cosmetic chemist here. The doctors quoted in this article are greatly overstating the impact of these substances on wrinkles. We can craft creams that make very fine wrinkles seemingly disappear for a time. We can craft creams that, used daily from puberty, might make you appear to be 63 when you are 65. But whatever the good doctors say - who, incidentally, are not involved in research but instead have the research I do explained to them by marketers, there is nothing that is going to prevent you from wrinkling short of better genes. Perhaps we'll get there one day, but it isn't likely that we're going to get there with products that you apply to your skin.
Opal (,Fl)
@Liz Plus I would not use Retin-A that close to the eyes
Elle (CT)
@ liz I just love it when finally facts and truth actually make it into the comments. Well done.
Thank you. I’m a dermatologist who would agree with you except that avoiding UV damage will also work to some degree.
lulugirl (Midwest)
I have macular degeneration and I won’t use a face cream around my eyes that is not tested nor intended for use around the eye. While it may be true some creams are okay around the eye, there is no way of knowing until you get red, burning or itchy eyes. In other words, you won’t know until it’s too late. I’m not risking it any longer. If I have a problem with a eye cream, at least I have a case for a refund or complaint. A company is not going to listen to your story if they figure you used a product outside of their directions on it.
Jane Austin (Bethesda MD)
@lulugirl-- Former MD here--Have absolutely no idea where you got information that creams around the eye area have any effect on macular degeneration, which happens on your retina--on the inside of your head/eye--and has no relationship to your skin outside around your orbit! Also, this article is the first time I've seen the honest answer--eye creams don't do much and cost a lot. We are always looking for the Holy Grail against aging/wrinkles etc. But in any case--nothing you put on your face, including on the eye area, has any relationship to macular degeneration! Wear sunglasses at all times to avoid sun damage to your retina, don't smoke, and eat plenty of anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables, and maybe take an eye vitamin if your ophthalmologist recommends it, depending on your stage. Sunscreen, sunscreen, hats etc. for the skin of your face.
BenT (Chicago)
One issue is defining what people are referring to as eyelid wrinkles (please - not "eye wrinkles", that's just sloppy terminology). Some wrinkles ("crows feet" or smile lines) are due to the action of the orbicularis oculi muscle. These are best treated (if such is desired) with botulinum toxin. The lower eyelid lines may also be related to orbicularis muscle action, and often benefits from botulinum. However, often what patients are referring to is more the "tear trough" which results from age- and gravity-related loss of subcutaneous tissue, and is best treated (again, when desired) by fillers (primarily hyaluronic acid). Most skin creams don't treat anything but the very surface layers and are minimally effective and usually not worth the price.
Lulu60 (San Francisco)
Botox! Don't spend all of your money on expensive eye creams. Botox is a sure fire way to get rid of wrinkles around the eyes and in the long run is the most cost effective. Of course, you will still need to wear sunscreen and hats.
John Hay (Washington, DC)
Wrinkles around the eye are easy enough to treat effectively, it's the bags and dark circles that are impossible. Doctor, any advice?
Fran (Portland, Or)
@John Hay I just went to a plastic surgeon for an eval and surgery is the only way to banish the bags, etc.
susanwest (Colorado)
I earned my wrinkles, and I appreciate them. They are a sign of natural aging and a life well lived. My crow's feet and laugh lines make me smile even more. I feel no need to look youthful. I'm in my late seventies, and it's the best decade of my life so far!
Hannah (Gilbert, AZ)
@susanwest I totally agree with you! But we should recognize that skin aging bring problems like thinning, slow healing, sunburn and more. There is nothing wrong with looking after your skin if you plant to live to 90 or more, as many of us will. We try to look after our heart and lungs, why not our skin?
ClaudiaNichols (San Francisco)
I'm sure it's already been noted, but *sunscreen* is one's best friend to prevent premature wrinkling and age spots.
Whycats (NYC)
@ClaudiaNichols 100%. Stay. Away. From. Sun. Damage. Use high SPF daily. Daily: including winter. Wear a sunhat. Do not get tan. It's not healthy, or attractive, or youthful, or glowing. Go out and exercise and hike and bike; yes! But protect your skin. It's the #1 rule. The rest is window dressing.
Elle (CT)
Can’t wait to read all the comments from the boomers who think they look much younger than their ages. Ask your twenty something grandchildren their assessment and get a dose of reality. Eye cremes work in the sense they keep that delicate area hydrated and plump. But there’s no appreciable difference between the $30 pharmacy brands and their $500 counterparts. I know, from years of trying all of them. As one astute commenter noted, there’s nothing better than an upper and lower eye lift. It’s not the fine wrinkles, it’s gravity, and even the best eye cremes can’t forestall the sag.
Opal (,Fl)
@Elle I would rather ask all the twenty somethings why so many are rushing to have ( unnecessary!) plastic surgery to align with their favorite celebrities or influencers, rather than ask their assessment of an older person's face.
Elle (CT)
@ opal Apples and oranges, though I agree trying to look like a Kardashian or Jenner is nuts. Boomers have a hard time facing the truth about aging. Exhibits A and B, Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi.
sophia (bangor, maine)
@Opal : I'd like to ask all those young people (and some not so young) who have tattoos plastered all over their arms, neck, back....ugh. All I can think of is all that ink settling into all those wrinkles when they are eighty. To each her own, I guess.
Bill C. (Falls Church VA)
I'm early 50s male and most think I'm younger. Very fair, very dry skin, and used facial sunscreen since my 20s, but more consistently over time. Retinol has worked well for me so far. Biggest difference? Sleep! Usually my face is nice and smooth in the AM, and the lines start reappearing throughout the day.
Rod B (Canada)
I started using a daily moisturizer, with sunscreen, when I started to shave my head 35 years ago. While I am now older, fatter & balder my skin is like a baby's bottom!
Rhee (SF Bay Area)
@Rod B The fat puffs out your skin. Supposedly the french once said as you age you have to choose between your face and your figure.
Rod B (Canada)
@Rhee I get that but my skin is still smoooth & soft.
Tamar (NV)
With all the money spent on skin creams, lasers, etc., the best solution that will last longer than any of these is an eye lift (both lower or upper).
John Marus (Tucson, AZ)
I was very fortunate, there was a life guard at my gene pool. Turning 76 and pass for 60. Yes I clean and moisturize my skin and wear a 30 sun screen every day.
Laurie Struck (Colorado)
Women have been sold a false set of standards when it comes to what we perceive as beauty, and all the products designed to have women eagerly buying the “next thing”. It seems the smaller the tube and higher the price, the more desirable a product becomes. I am 65 and fairly wrinkle free. If I was, though, I would be extra proud of it all! I place a hot washcloth on my face at night followed by a moisturizer, even a light touch of almond oil. During the pandemic I quit wearing make up at all, and finally feel free!
Brian (Montrose, CO)
@Laurie Struck No human has been "sold" any standard. Humans are animals in nature, animals have a genetic predisposition to mate with other individuals of their species that appear most likely to produce viable offspring. Indicators of the relative youth and therefore, fertility, of a potential mating partner, such as skin wrinkling, etc. alter the desirability of that partner. Our sense of "beauty" is simply a genetic predisposition.
Clueless In Texas (Earth)
Along with hydration (internally and externally) and sunscreen, wear sunglasses every time you are outdoors during daylight! Not squinting goes a long way to help preventing eye wrinkles. Plus, if it’s the right kind, the lenses will also block harmful UV rays around your eyes—an extra protection from the loving sun.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Clueless In Texas This! My eyes are very light sensitive, and I wear sunglasses a lot. And at 60, I have minimal eye wrinkles. I do wear sunscreen around my eyes, which also helps.
Rhee (SF Bay Area)
@Clueless In Texas A broad brim hat is even better than sunglasses. Keeps the sun off your face and eyes both.
Maureen (Vancouver, Canada)
I believe that genes have a lot to do with how one ages. I have good skin and few wrinkles, but I'm aware that my face looks much better after getting at least 7 hours sleep every night, exercise (the more you sweat the more toxins you flush out of your body), and I'm sad to say that drinking less wine improves my skin tone. And moisturize every day.
Carlota (In the south)
@Maureen Yes, limiting my intake of the lovely 'water of the grape' makes a difference.
lemon (MTL)
@Maureen There may be dirt or sebum in the pores but there's no such thing as "toxins". Might as well say "bogey man".
Cindy (Mexico)
Two (of many) pieces of advice my grandmother gave me was to wash my face every night before bed and use a good moisturizer suited to my skin. No matter how tired (or drunk) I was in my younger days I ALWAYS washed my face before bed and used moisturizer. Still do. I'm now almost 60 and I get comments all the time about how young I look. Yes, I come from good genes, but it's also about taking care of the body you have, not trying to fix things as they break. I'm proud of every line and white hair. I earned them. There's nothing worse than a woman (or man) who looks stunned instead of stunning from too much botox or surgery.
FedGod (NJ)
What if it does and what if it doesnt ? Why are we so obsessed with looks .. Why cant we accept that aging is a part of life and we need to age gracefully? This country says it believes in God -- but feels a need to redefine the beauty inherent in all stages of life and death. Instead of seeing infinite beauty in nature and its diversity, We obsessively need to manicure everything we see in life and impose our idea of beauty upon nature. I wish to live beautifully and die beautifully and with Gratitude. I can savor life because I will savor death as it approaches. Stop with this madness. Botox. Really?
Patrice (Calabasas)
@FedGod Yes, really. I’ve had almost zilch work done but Botox is one of the few fixes that refreshes my appearance.
Kat (Chicago)
My frustration is that if you do choose to use multiple product (ex: eye cream, moisturizer, and perhaps a serum) they often try to pack as many ingredients as possible into each product and end up overlapping. I don't need to apply retinol three times!! I try to find very "simplified" products that claim to do one thing, or perhaps only have 1 ingredient. That way I can control exactly what ingredients are put on my skin and how much quantity.
Marie (West)
Crows' feet are sexy on men — Lucinda Williams even wrote a song about it. I'm not enlightened enough, at 64, to look in the mirror and not wish I looked younger, but I do hope that we can make aging and looking your age okay for women just as we do for men, and focus on health and vitality. I will say that if I'd been much, much better about sunscreen starting 35 years ago I'd have much better skin today.
Johaz (AZ)
I think it’s mostly genetics. I’m 78, spent my first 30 years in the sun as much as I could, without protection. I also drank and smoked a lot back then. I now moisturize morning and night, but still don’t wear sunscreen, and my skin looks great - for a 78-year old.
I use an eye serum product and have for 30+ years. But I use it sparingly because of the cost. Recently the company changed the packaging and I noticed that I can no longer control how much of the product is pumped out with one touch! An obvious tactic to make me use more than I need at one time. I bought a bunch of tiny twist-off cap plastic containers. Now I pump once into the tiny container, use only what I need for that day, and screw the cap on to keep it fresh. I can get three or four days from the "one pump" and I have thwarted their attempt to make me purchase their product more frequently than I should have to. BTW, I do think it works......but I don't smoke and I think that makes a huge difference, along with staying out of the sun.
Leslie (Chicagoland)
Scrolling through these comments I have only seen one reference to sunglasses, and that was with a "when necessary" caveat. I always wear sunglasses, even on a cloudy day as the UV rays penetrate cloud cover, as well.
Rebecca Dawson (Detroit)
@Leslie Or hats. I always wear both.
Auntie Mame (NYC)
OMG.. more junque people don't need. I wear a hat -- a large hat summer and winter to keep the sun out of my eyes.. BTW it is the sunlight tht also causes cataracts -- much more serious than wrinkles. At one point I discovered hylaronic acid-- a temporary fix - puffs up the skin so wrinkles disappear.. But bothering with this stuff for what purpose. Most people really don't care how you look.. They are busy worrying about themselves. And so far as attracting the opposite sex-- run slowly enough so s/he cn catch you. Dress nicely. and wear your mask.. which hides wrinkles beautifully. between thhe hat and the mask and sunglasses. -- it's called leaving ithings to the imagination. More aging than wrinkles is posture-- Don't hump or slump. (or trump)... Get your exercise, eat properly, watch the alcohol, get enough sleep. Try not to worry.
Opal (,Fl)
@Auntie Mame Great comment! especially: Most people really don't care how you look.. They are busy worrying about themselves. thanks!
DB (Philadelphia)
It's genetic. Choose your parents wisely.
MidWest (Midwest)
All the eye creams I have ever looked at said “keep away from eyes”. 🤷‍♀️
David H (Northern VA.)
Articles like this generate comments which in turn always get me thinking about health and appearance and the meaning of life. To me there is NOTHING sexier than a mature woman who eats right, exercises and is in excellent physical health. I do not even see superficialities like wrinkles. I wonder what exactly is the goal in exerting so much effort to *look* younger. --Is it to ensure that a woman remains attractive to her husband, and if so, what will happen to her marriage if she fails in her objective? If that is a concern, then wrinkles are the least of her worries. --If she is unattached, does she aim to fool men into thinking that she is younger than she actually is? What is the end game there? Will the truth be successfully concealed? I am in my early 60s, take excellent care of myself (eating once a day has produced results which, alone, are nothing short of miraculous) and think about these things because I subscribe to a dating website where women routinely post photos of themselves that are not remotely representative of who they are. (I am told that men, ashamed of their hair loss, double chins and big bellies, do precisely the same thing.) I've met many such women. They are pleasant enough but almost always are in bad health. The initial feelings I experience are deceit and disappointment and of course there is no second date. People my age want a partner who will be around for at least a little while.
Jack Ross (Chicago)
@David H Not having or the desire to subscribe to the various dating websites, you are right with the subtle deceit people advertise on these websites. You have only confirmed what I have read or witnessed in talking to people accessing these forms in finding companionship.
Janice Albert (Oakland)
Thank you for this clear advice. I wish I had known this decades ago.
ARC (New York)
About 20 years ago I was promised by science that I could take a pill that would forever make me look 25--and I now feel completely cheated. I suppose I must take a closer look at creams that contain rentinols.
Barb Davis (NoVA)
In scanning today's digital frontpage I beelined when I saw this article. Reliable info--will affect how I approach my daily eye care from here on in. Thanks
Nelle Engoron (Northern California)
Another eye wrinkle preventative for younger women: Don't wear eye make-up, at least not often. Make-up doesn't create wrinkles, but rubbing and stretching the skin around your eyes to put it on and (even more) to remove the make-up stresses the very thin and delicate skin in your eye area, leading to more wrinkling later on.
Ash (Dc)
@Nelle Engoron I second that. I wear eye makeup may be two or three times a year, if that - no liner no mascara, no eyeshadow, nothing on a day to day basis. It's partly because I am not good with makeup and never felt pressured to use any, and partly because I feel like it gets in my way (e.g.mascara always made my lashes feel heavy and made me sleepy!). At most I will use a brow gel and bit of lipstick if I need to look more polished in a professional setting - nothing else. Anyway, point is - now I am in my early 50s, having gone makeup free my whole life, and don't have lines or wrinkles near the eyes, or anywhere else. The more makeup you use, whether on face or on eyes, the more scrubbing your skin goes through to get it off regularly, and over time all that pulling and tugging add up, damaging delicate skin, making pores bigger from constant removal and cleansing of mini makeup particles, etc.
Laura (West of Poughkeepsie)
On the other hand, the makeup does act as a sunscreen of sorts. I’m in my 50s, wore too much makeup when I was teens and 20s and am told all the time I look much younger than my years. I really loaded it on and cringe when I see old photos of myself… so a little makeup can’t hurt and probably will help down the road. But what really helps is not drinking or drinking only occasionally and not getting drunk. Funny how not smoking is brought up all the time but drinking too much is rarely brought up- not good for looks or inner health!
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Nelle Engoron It's not necessary to "rub and stretch" the skin to remove makeup. Buy unscented makeup remover, put it on a pad (I have reusable ones), hold it for a few seconds over the eyelid, and then use a gentle, unscented rinse off cleanser around the eyes. Then use a swab with moisturizer or makeup remover to get whatever's left. This has worked well for me for many years.
J to the B (St. Paul)
Most commenters look 20 years younger than their actual age. Uncanny.
Zamboanga (Seattle)
I’ve been told I look 22 years younger than I feel.
sophia (bangor, maine)
@J to the B : Not me, J. I'm 70 and look it. My last man was four years younger than me (with nary a gray hair or wrinkle) but a couple times he had to go to the ER and I would be called 'mom'. Oh, didn't that annoy me. But he thought it was funny.
lemon (MTL)
@J to the B There's plenty on here bragging of their decades of unprotected sun exposure and lack of skin care, holding up their fistfuls of wrinkles as smug badges of moral superiority.
Me (Miami)
It’s all genetics. Just as being handsome or “less” than handsome is. Thank or criticize your parents accordingly. It’s thank in my case.
Julie (Boise)
The most beautiful faces are those of women over 60, covered in wrinkles..........laughing.
David H (Northern VA.)
@Julie Great comment!!
Rebecca Savet (Los Angeles)
The best item for anti aging on the face.....a hat with a large brim!
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Rebecca Savet And sunglasses. I believe one reason I don't have crowsfeet at 61 is that my eyes are very light sensitive, so I wear sunglasses a lot outdoors. Squinting causes wrinkles!
Sewchic11 (SE Pennsylvania)
It’s the sun. The Sun. Protect yourself from the sun to begin with. This should have been in the first paragraph of the story.
Paul (Brooklyn)
Well written. Don't get me wrong, these cosmetics especially when applied with the help of a pro like in movie shoots can make you look much younger. However when you take them off, you look your age.
Sn A (Manhattan)
@Paul that's not what retinoids are, They actually make you look worse at first, because your skin will peel off an on the first month or so. But it is worth it.
Paul (Brooklyn)
@Sn A Thank you for your replies. I am not an expert on these things. I am basically talking about temporary makeup that does not do things like peel off your face.
Meighan Corbett (Westchester County NY)
Having good genes is also helpful.
Ginger (Lakewood, CO)
By far and away, the most important article in the paper today, probably for this year and perhaps the millennium! Get ready to accept your Pulitzer! Seriously, with all the climate crisis problems we have in the world today, do we really need to manufacture and use yet another chemical(s) for eye wrinkles? Hey, here's a tip, reduce air pollution and thereby reduce particle absorption into tissues and your skin won't look like you smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for your whole life.
Claire (Austin, TX)
@Ginger It's possible to care about more than one thing at a time.
Joanne (Upstate and Downstate)
@Ginger The paper is FULL of the disasters here and around the world. I appreciate an article about something that takes my mind off of the insanity for just a moment. Plus there is good information here. Remember to wear sunglasses for your eyes as well as the skin around them.
Darla (New Mexico)
I think it's in the genes.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Darla To some extent, it is. My mom always looked younger than her age, and so do I. I've been a sunscreen fanatic since I was 24, and that helps. I wish I'd started younger, but I didn't understand that even walking back and forth to my car was harmful exposure.
Blackcat66 (NJ)
The best advice I've heard comes from U-tuber dermatologist Dr. Dray. I'm paraphrasing but she said there are no such things as anti-aging creams or magical eye cream that will reverse the effects of aging. The best you can do is wear 50+ spf sunscreen on the eye area. The skin is thinner and more prone to collagen breakdown and darkening from the sun. Save you money. Just invest in a good sunscreen. A hybrid mineral/chemical one shouldn't burn the eyes. Start using it young.
Carlota (In the south)
@Blackcat66 Love Dr. Dray. Her content is so educational - love it.
Claire (Olympia, WA)
Shout out to my mom, who warned me of the dangers if the California sun and trained me how to apply and reapply sunscreen from an early age. I also never got into the habit of wearing makeup, which I think is the reason at 62 I have, as yet, no wrinkles or bags around my eyes. Surely the pulling on the sensitive skin to remove mascara and liner must have some effect over the years, but I rarely hear it mentioned.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Claire It's possible to remove makeup gently, which is what I do. In general, I try to be as gentle as possible with my facial and neck skin.
Cat (CA)
Reading this as a female, Gen-Xer, I feel kinda sad. Most of us are so wrapped up with this excruciating minutia...but yes, in a society that is obsessed with looking young. And, guess which headline I clicked first this morning? HA! Thanks to all the people here who are saying to embrace yourself. Good lord we all need it.
Forsythia715 (Hillsborough, NC)
@Cat Please don't stop thinking as you do. I'm 75. When I was young and juicy, things like this mattered (a little) more to me. Hopefully, as one ages, one also grows in wisdom, discernment, and gratitude. Good health, good relationships, and a satisfying life matter far more than whether or not you have wrinkles. Judge yourself on your merits, not your appearance or the false values of a foolish society. Wishing you everything good on life's journey.
Cat (CA)
@Forsythia715 Thank you cI really appreciate your response. I’m going to save this sentence, “Judge yourself on your merits, not your appearance or the false values of a foolish society.” Warmest regards.
Karen Reed (Akron,Ohio)
I love big hats and have a huge collection of them, many from thrift stores. I always wear one, they are my trademark. I use Neutrogena Dry Touch sunscreen daily, too. While I use Dior products, I'm sure I could get away with a less expensive ones. I don't use the eye cream but use the face cream at night on my eye area. From my 20's I used Vaseline Intensive Care at the recommendation of a dermatologist along with a sunscreen. My eyes and skin look great at 71 with very few lines. I had a face lift at 60, mostly to deal with a genetic double-double chin and love the results. I am often mistaken for someone in my 30's.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Karen Reed Dior products are heavily scented. Unfortunately, many high end products are, and fragrance is irritating to the skin. You should try unscented products.
LisaG (Chicago.)
After years of buying expensive face creams, I went to a dermatologist at Rush medical center in Chicago. She gave me a regime of four products that I still use. Three of those products are low cost from my local drug store.
Leslie (Chicagoland)
@LisaG Share with us the three low cost products' names?
Sharon (L.A.)
@LisaG DO TELL!!
LisaG (Chicago.)
@Leslie 1) morning SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic and Eucerin® 4 oz. Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion SPF 30; 2) evening Alpha Skin Care Enhanced Wrinkle Repair Cream and CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream. The original night time retinol cream she recommended was discontinued and I settled on the Alpha Skin care brand. I also like the CVS brand retinol cream.
MJ (Boston)
I like a certain eye cream because it doesn’t sting my eyes. Maybe my skin temperature is high because many creams and lotions seem to melt and migrate into my eyes where it irritates, causes redness and tearing.
Susan (NYC)
My beauty secrets for skin that looks 15 years younger than my age: 1. Stay out of the sun 2. Moisturize morning and night 3. Don't have children.
Oh Well (Plymouth, MN)
@Susan I have children, garden and walk in the sun every day, and don't use moisturizer. I wouldn't trade any of those for looking 15 years younger.
KLL (SF Bay Area)
@Susan I will take the wrinkles. I love my daughter and the amazing outdoors. Gardening is one hobby and being in the pool is divine. Suntan lotion and moisturizer are a must but so is living fully.
Diane Shores (FL)
@Susan I followed that path too. People always say I look 45…not 65. I guess we are into something.
Gail (Minneapolis, MN)
Some people have help with a good/great gene pool! I use Fields and Rodan eye cream which seems to help. I have no delusions of grandeur! I'm a boomer who spent summers at the lake, tanning with friends; sunburns while in Hawaii; air pollution. I'm just going with what I have!
Oh Well (Plymouth, MN)
@Gail I'm with you! We didn't even know about sunscreen when I was a kid. We lived on a lake, waterskiing and swimming all summer. I had the worst sunburn of my life in Hawaii on a sailboat. I'm just trying to keep skin cancer at bay, not wrinkles.
sophia (bangor, maine)
@Oh Well : How many of us growing up in the fifties and sixties got sunburned (badly) at least once a summer? I know I did. The only thing we put on our skin was tanning lotion to get darker, to get that yummy tan (mistake!). Oh, and I remember my sister trying some instant tan than turned her orange.
Liz (WA)
I have prescription Retin A but always avoided putting it around the eyes. The article suggests it would work well for wrinkles. Is it safe to apply in the eye area?
Jenny (New Jersey)
Never put anything in the eye that isn’t prescribed by an optometrist. What you can do is, follow your ocular bone (use your finger and feel for the circle of bone around your eye socket. This is the area you apply your eye cream to. Follow your eye socket/ocular bone. Pump or take a pin drop amount of product and warm in between your fingers (I use my ring fingers) and gently run your finger around each occular bone until it pretty much absorbs (if it takes longer then 15-20 sec you used too much) just make sure you’re not pushing the product you’re just gently massaging in. Once it massaged in, the product will naturally distribute to the places it needs to without any pain or product in eye. Start less, warm in hands, trace your eye bone with the products slowly and gently until it absorbs. Easy peasy. I’ve been doing this since I was 20, I am now 37 I just saw my first crows feet
Pilar (Temecula, CA)
I put retin a just below my eyes and then slather moisturizer all over my face, your skin will absorb the retin a and it won’t be as irritating. If the under eye skin gets irritated, apply more moisturize, too with a bit of Vaseline to seal it in.
Mary (Cincinnati)
I've used Retin A since I was thirteen, which was the only positive thing that resulted from teenage acne. At 49, I have no wrinkles and very tight and firm skin. I've also been wearing strong sunscreen since God was a boy scout. Yes, it's vain of me, but youthful skin is important to me. Others may have more positive feelings about aging, but I'm trying to stave off its effects as long as possible without surgical inervention. Also, I have a pen for at-home microneedling. It doesn't feel like puppy kisses, but it's effective.
Renee (IL)
Interesting to me that it's no longer good enough to brag that you look TEN years younger than your age, now it is up to 15 or 20 years younger to even be notable!
Ms. Pea (Seattle)
@Renee -- I don't know if I look younger than others my age (70) or not. It seems to me that people look many different ways. I have friends that were starting to have wrinkles in their 30s, and others that are older than I am and barely have one! I try not to compare myself to anyone else. I am who I am, and this is how I look. What good does it do to compare myself to someone else who has different genes, different skin, has lived a different life? It's nonsense.
Karen (Katz)
Sun protection is important, a good diet, little to no alcohol, no smoking. Sleep as much as possible. Otherwise whatever creams or ointments are icing on the cake. Aging is just part of life and the more we accept this, the mentally healthier we will be.
KT (San Francisco)
I wear sunscreen all year and think it's the best and most effective skincare product I've ever used. As I've gotten older, I've added another item to my arsenal to keep my skin looking younger and longer - hats!
Bryan (NY, NY)
Go light on sugar and alcohol. Drink a lot of water. Get a good night's sleep. Wear a moisturizer with sunscreen. Exercise regularly. Because I was on chemo as a teen, I was told to wear sunscreen, so I began moisturizing with sunscreen then and never stopped. I'm 50 now, and people assume I'm in my late 30s.
cos (NH)
Pond's cold cream for almost 50 years, Clinique's dramatically different moisturing gel for the past 30 or so + Neutrogena oil free moisture w/ sunscreen if spending time outside for the last 10. Good night's sleep helps, and, ultimately, genes.
The Poet McTeagle (California)
Staying out of the sun is the best thing you can do. Expensive creams do one thing only: enrich the sellers. My grandmother had beautiful skin until she died at 102. She never had a sunburn or tan during her entire life.
Sn A (Manhattan)
@The Poet McTeagle prescription retinoids 100% make your skin look younger. There's nothing false about that statement. They also aren't that expensive.
kkm (NYC)
Aging gracefully and proud of it! There is no cream, potion, lotion or mask that is going to eliminate wrinkles. My diet is adding more vegetables daily, drinking water and having a laugh! I don't spend time in front of the mirror trying to recapture my youth -- I am too busy living a great life where I am right now --- and enjoying it. If someone is unhappy with my wrinkles, frankly, that is none of my business! I am comfortable with my appearance and that's what counts!
Leigh Hancock (White Salmon, WA)
@kkm Amen! America is far, far too worried about looking young. There's beauty at every age. It comes from within.
Sipa99 (Seattle)
@Leigh Hancock - Given what we see everyday, in America there is no beauty within.
MO (New York)
I think laugh lines around the eyes are beautiful! Looking "old" is a result of bags (sagging skin) under the eyes, not necessarily wrinkles. I use a serum specifically made for the eyes that contains retinol and I noticed that not only are the wrinkles diminished, but that the undereye area looks more taut and less dark. I agree with all the comments that the consistency of the eye cream (or serum) keeps the product from leaking into and stinging the eyes.
cathy (Florida)
@MO You are correct - sagging is more aging than wrinkling.
Marsha Bird (Boston)
I have used eye cream and moisturizer since my late teens. Not sure if my current eye cream has retinol in it, but have added a serum to my routine and it seems to make a difference. Have not regularly used sun block over the years But now to use moisturizer with sun protection. I have few wrinkles, and consider it genetic more than anything. I have also never worn much makeup, especially foundation, which I believe damages the skin. At 71, I use a little foundation now, just to even out the skin tone, but does it once is a blue moon. Don’t underestimate the damage the constant use of foundation can do.
Sn A (Manhattan)
@Marsha Bird actually studies have been done that people who wear foundation regularly have less wrinkles because it often, esp if thick, blocks the sun. It doesn't actually damage the skin, and in fact now it often comes with sunscreen and serums built in so it improves the skin.
Plato (CT)
If you want to lead a healthy life with good outcomes - consume the bounty nature offers you. Water, Fruits, Vegetables, Greens. All the other stuff is just that, stuff.
M (WI)
@Plato And regular exercise! It's really good for your skin to work up a sweat at least 3x a week - once a day is better.
pewter (Copenhagen)
@Plato I sometimes do the predictable-result experiment and load up on nothing but veggies and especially fruit one day and then look in the mirror the next day – I always look way healthier!
The Grey (NYC)
I use Astalift by FujiFilm (yes, the camera and film company) and plain old $15 Muji Moisturizing Toning Water which my Japanese friends swear by (they're all in their 50s looking like they're in their 30s...) Astaxanthin is found in sun-loving, red colored terrestrial and aquatic plants and some aquatic animals and allegedly protects against photoaging. I've been using the above (along with Bioré, another Japanese brand who produces Bioré UV AquaRich Sunscreen, a best seller on Amazon) and I am in my 40s and have no wrinkles or fine lines. Japanese sunscreens are the lightest on the market (it has the feels of a toning water, not greasy and heavy) yet offers the same amount of protection as the typical Western sunscreen creams/pastes.
Arlene (Columbus, OH)
@The Grey Thank you for telling us about the Bioré sunscreen. I just ordered some on Amazon. Much appreciated!
Juin (California)
@The Grey Oh Baby Grey in your 40's it is normal to have no wrinkles - Most people I know had no wrinkles and look fit and taut well into their early 60's then there is not escaping reality.
The Grey (NYC)
@Arlene Bioré UV AquaRich Sunscreen is the BEST. One of the reasons why people don't wear sunscreen is because most brands feel so heavy and sticky. Bioré's product is so light it's like wearing nothing at all. You will be hooked forever!
Suz (New York)
Lucky me . My 86 year old mother has beautiful eyes and very few wrinkles. I inherited that. I believe it's in the genes or in the plastic surgeon's office.
Elisabeth Jones (Chicago)
What about the risk of meibomian gland toxicity from vitamin A derivatives used around the eye? A lot of optometrists have raised this concern but I don’t know the level of evidence
OneNerd (Here there everywhere)
For those who want a sunscreen that you can put directly under your eyes without burning, try Clinique City Block. It is designed for daily use ( and is not waterproof), layers well under makeup. It has made a huge difference to my skin and eyes. I'm 62, regularly mistaken for someone in their late 40s.
Comp (MD)
Two ingredients I've seen in eye creams: vitamin K and caffeine--do they have any benefit? And you really can't use retinols and Vit. C around your eyes. And sunscreens sting.
Diane (Philly)
@Comp Use a mineral, such as zinc, sunscreen - no eye irritation.
Caryn (New England)
@Comp Caffeine reduces puffiness, Vitamin K is supposed to lighten dark circles, but I didn't see any difference. I use Australian Gold mineral sunscreen, and it doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes.
David H (Northern VA.)
I find wrinkles around a woman's eyes to be very appealing. I associate them with maturity, experience with life... all the wonderful things that come with age and make a person whole.
Grace (Midwest)
@David H I love this comment so much and wholeheartedly agree.
J (NJ)
@David H If only more men were as wonderful as you!
kkm (NYC)
@David H : And the saddest part about this comment is that is is directed towards women! There is still an assumption in the year 2022 that it is the woman who needs to use creams, lotions and masks because it is SHE that needs to remain attractive, appealing and life experienced while at the same time mindful of the subtext of minimizing her age. And in 2022 perhaps women have not really "come a long way, baby" if we, as women, still buy into that nonsense. Women are most liberated, in my view, when they purchase or not purchase creams simply because they want to or they don't. And not because on an unconscious level it will enhance their chances of societal approval. Finally, let me say, David H., I am certain the wrinkles around your eyes are undoubtedly equally appealing.
Meghann (Florida)
I'm reluctant to use these creams, because I'm worried about the cancer risk. All these chemicals have their side effects. I'd rather have the wrinkles!
Marty Jameson (Austin TX)
Real social progress will be known when we can see the beauty in wrinkles. Fully realized adults shouldn’t need to try to look like they haven’t accumulated a lifetime’s experience.
C. (Michigan)
I think they help women psychologically deal with wrinkles, which is why it's such a huge business. Eye creams are no different than lucky charms or safety blankets. So in that sense, they "work." A lot like Ambien - it doesn't actually help you sleep; you just can't remember that you didn't.
JJ Flowers (Laguna Beach, CA)
I am 65, and I have been using prescription Retinol since my twenties. Once I ran out and couldn't replace it for a while and honestly, I was surprised by how wrinkly my skin got. Also, silicon skin patches. Omg! They work SO well and are cheap, cheap, cheap, but... the effect only lasts about four or five hours. Yoga helps not just skin but everything.
Howard (New Jersey)
Skin is the largest organ on the human body. Take care of it just as you take care of your other organs. Don't smoke, don't abuse alcohol, avoid too much sun, don't rub chemicals all over your body. A body rub made solely with vegetables won't really do anything for your skin, but it won't harm your skin. Eat healthy, avoid fats. let your skin breathe in warm and hot weather, protect it from cold damage in cold weather. And stop worrying about what other people think.
Just (Denver)
@Howard don’t rub chemicals all over your body? What about H2O? Everything is made up of chemicals. They aren’t all scary and dangerous!
CB (New York)
@Howard fats are good for your body. Your body needs fats. Also, fats like what is contained in olive oil and other plant based products are great for the skin. So... you're wrong.
Karen (Louisville, KY)
I've been using prescription strength retinols or OTC retinoids nice my 30s, along with broad spectrum SPFs religiously (including neck, chest and arms where I just go straight to sun block). Prescription strength retinol is expensive but much, much less so if you are able to pick it up in Mexico! Maybe I just have good genes but at 59 my skin looks great, even though I don't hide from the sun. I do moisturize, including a night cream. Drinking plenty of water, not smoking, and limiting alcohol intake helps too. I've managed to maintain smooth, firm skin that is relatively free of dark spots; growths don't stand much chance with retinols and those that do can be frozen off at the dermatologist.
What Do I Know? (Boston)
I’ve used moisturizers for decades that contain vitamin c. I am near 50 and don’t have any wrinkles yet. I have also used sunscreen on my face daily since I was 20. I do think moisturizers work to an extent. I like the way eye creams feel, but do I expect them to work miracles, no. Sometimes it’s just about the feeling of putting them on…
Judi (North Carolina)
The cosmetics industry is a multibillion dollar one that pays celebrities who have had plastic surgery to tout their products. I have been a victim of this industry but am much less so now, as I age. Once a year I splurge on an under-eye cream with Vitamin C. No miracles but good results. Dermatologists and others tell me I have good skin because I have few wrinkles. I inherited my mother’s fair but rosacea-prone skin. I have never smoked and stopped drinking alcohol 20 years ago and never go outside without sunscreen. In fact, I try to avoid sun during that 10-2 time frame said to have the most damaging rays. Sun is our life source, but it is also one of the earth’s most toxic elements. Ask any dermatologist.
Enlynn Rock (Virginia)
@Judi Or ask any climatologist.
Judi (North Carolina)
@Enlynn Rock Yes!
DCeleste (Madrid)
I have been using prescription retinoid since I turned 50. I am 66 and people do not believe my age. They think I am under 50. Years ago my dermatologist told me the only thing that works to slow down the ageing process is prescription strength retinoid, glycolic acid, vitamin C and daily sunscreen. Everything else is a waste of money. I use serums over creams and moisturize quickly after washing my face to lock in moisture. I tend to peel with the 1% retinoid, and alternate with .05%, but he's advices I stick to the 1% every other day because the stronger strength, the better the result. I started to use the retinoid around my lips, neck and chest five years ago and have seen a difference. The lines along my lips and chest have diminished. Unfortunately, I have to get use to the occasional peeling knowing that shedding dead cells produces collagen. Also, results take time. Average about 3-6 months because the new cells have to move up to the top dermis.
Karen (Louisville, KY)
@DCeleste I also think you have to makee a long-term commitment to retinoid/retinols. Glycolic acid has been effective too. I agree that anything else is a waste of money. I'm the oldest of three sisters and there is a clear difference in how our skin looks - the only difference I see is that I use these products.
Mary (Cincinnati)
@DCeleste medical grade chemical peels are available for purchase online. A Jessner's peel does wonders for decolletage, arms, and hands. I was experiencing some jawline melasma as the result of hormone changes, and Jessner's and beta hydroxy peels eliminated it entirely. I buy mine from Skin Obsession.
White Mountains (NYC)
@DCeleste 100% agree with this. I use a 3% retinoid all over my face including eyelids and under eyes. I'm 57, have been using prescriptions retinoids since I was 39, and have no wrinkles. None. Face creams don't work, but prescription retinoids do. Yes, they cause peeling, but that's part of the process. I use a good exfoliator and skip days on occasion, but use daily as much as possible.
Lrs (Union NJ)
There is no eye cream that can protect against aging. We all are looking to slow the pace, not stop it. Having said that, if you smoke, sleep little and do not exercise, what good is the cream? We need to stop thinking in terms of "magical" solutions and understand the human body is a complex machinery and good diet and exercise go together if we want to look our best. Having said that, you can have a beautiful appearance, but we should also focus on being a nice decent human being, above all. That is way more attractive than anything else.
Yak (Oak Park, IL)
@Lrs Remember to minimize or eliminate alcohol (poison) consumption too!
JLH (Seattle)
@Yak alcohol is a dose dependent poison. A glass of wine a couple of times a week is beneficial, several bottles a day or the hard alcohol equivalent, that is a poison.
Sherri (Pennsylvania)
I use pure Shea butter, warmed (it solidifies at room temp) very gently patted around my eyes. Better than ANY eye cream I’ve ever tried. I also mix a little with my regular body lotion, I’m amazed at the difference since I’ve been using it.
Susan (NH)
Aging gracefully: cultivating the inner resources to keep pace with the weathering face so that we always love ourselves unconditionally. Meanwhile, I swear by Argan oil!! And a diet full of fresh fruits and veggies! And little sugar or processed foods! And self-facial massage! And the most beautiful people I know radiate love and compassion and inner peace. And sometimes they are very wrinkled! That's who I want to be when I "grow up!"
celeste (NYC)
@Susan i am a skincare expert (and founder of caire beauty - which we actually call Skincare for Grown Up women). i second your comment. A self compassionate attitude is very important. But I would also say being proactive and using modern skincare designed for this time of life can be a confidence builder as well. I say this because an important and largely ignored cause of eye lines (and sags/circles etc) is estrogen/hormone decline - which doubles for woman around 40 with another massive diminishment at 51 or so (menopause). There is so much stigmatism around menopause and really all of our growing up years - it makes me very disappointed that it is not even mentioned in the article, even though it is well understood that estrogen is critical to skin cell generation. Less estrogen (and other hormones) translates to less skin cell production which results in thinner skin and yes fine lines, wrinkles and sags. PEPTIDES (which are amino acid chains) can re-accelerate Collagen and Hyaluronic acid skin cell growth. This can be work with/without retinoids mentioned in the article. Nothing can return you to age 30 but at Caire, many women write to us that improving their skin makes them feel more like themselves, bringing confidence and joy. Every grown up is unique and if good skincare can help someone look & feel better, I think that's a good thing. PS Especially agree about lowering sugar/processed food intake & treating oneself to gua sha face massage!
Elizabeth (B)
When I was in my late 20’s I was prescribed Retin A for acne. I soon realized the amazing effects it had on lines, wrinkles and texture. Thirty years later, I am still using it. NOBODY can guess how old I am. That stuff is amazing. People ask me what I use on my skin all the time. Retin A, sunscreen, any drugstore moisturizer. It’s all you need.
Diligently using sunscreen and avoiding direct sun during peak hours along with not smoking is probably the best investment you can make in your skin health and appearance.
andamhsoir (PNW)
@KWDC - A trifecta of goodness that is hard to beat! Just a bit of care taken every day adds up. and it shows.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@KWDC Also, watch alcohol intake!
Pen (TN)
I've never had a cream make a significant difference on wrinkles. Last year I tried a few (inexpensive) serums (with HA, collagen) and wow! Actual results, quickly. I'm surprised how differently a serum performed vs. a cream.
Nancy (MA)
@Pen Would love to know which serums you tried! Especially if they were "inexpensive".
Pen (TN)
@Nancy TJ Maxx skin care aisle! They always seem to have so many serums there-- different variations of HA, collagen, retinols. Not big name brands, but affordable enough to sample many varieties. There's a line at Ulta called The Ordinary, which has great reviews & I had intended to try, but couldn't in the pandemic. I did learn a lot from reading the reviews there about how to apply & in what order. I think that has helped with effectiveness too.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Pen Ulta products can be ordered on their website.
Helen Keller (NYC)
Tazorac! You need a prescription but it works wonders. I am 62 with no wrinkles and I get complimented on my skin.
Catlin (New York, NY)
@Helen Keller I was prescribed Tazorac for a cyst, and it worked beautifully. It was a very strong medication. Do you use it on your face, for wrinkles? If so, do you mind stating what percentage?
Bboon (Truckee, CA)
@Helen Keller Yes! Great stuff! I am 67 and not very wrinkled, but I think sunscreen also helped. I was diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma at only age 29, and after that, never left the house without sunscreen on my face. It has made a huge difference. People think I am in my 50s.
Nika (USA)
@Helen Keller Did you have any wrinkles when you started using Tazorac? And, have you used it under your eyes!
Catlin (New York, NY)
An excellent book on women's skin care/makeup and the hype behind it all is "Hope in a Jar," by Kathy Peiss.
JCH (London)
Neocutis is the best eye cream
M (California)
Thank you NYT and Ms. Sneed.
Par Ici (Par Là)
By golly the skin care/cosmetics industry needs to be policed. Like tobacco companies were and other industries involved in fraud. It enrages me to see such rampant false advertising. It’s a billion dollar SCAM. They prey on the insecurities of women (mostly) who worry they aren’t perfect or are “getting older”. Well, yeah we do get older and there ain’t nothing we can do about it except: eat right, sleep right, moisturize right, exercise right and wear sunscreen…always and everywhere. These skin care companies are highway robbers. Furthermore they do not provide their ingredients to scrutiny. Years ago my dermatologist told me to use Vaseline (or it’s greener equivalent) and sunscreen every day. She said women believe that cheap stuff is ineffective as if they need to spend big money to feel worthy. Expensive creams, or fancy “schmanchy” eye creams …. will NOT make you more beautiful. The end.
s. (New York City)
@Par Ici When it comes to policing and regulations let's focus on gun control.
Blackcat66 (NJ)
@Par Ici This country can't even police the vitamin and supplements industry despite people dying every year from unregulated supplements. Since the 80s Republicans have thwarted any oversight attempt by the FDA Sith fear mongering that the gubermint is coming for your vitamins.
Smrithi (NY)
@Par Ici I agree. That last sentence. Could not agree more.
SGS (Red State)
Time chips away at our youth but it takes a while, enjoy it. There’s nothing wrong with minimizing aging symptoms like wrinkles. I may give some of the compounds mentioned a shot though I rarely even look to check. I’m much more dismayed by what aging does to my facial skin tone. It’s so pale even though I’m active and getting about, make up improves it immensely but there was a time it wasn’t necessary just good grooming! Oh well. Thanks for the naked truth on eye creams. It’s nice to be right once in a while.
Auntie Mame (NYC)
@SGS Funnily, now nearly 80, I was told I look 20 years younger by a neighbor. (I'm also told act your age.) With masks lipstick went out the window or on the mask. I do dye the eyebrows and the bit of gray around the face. Every woman hould learn early on how to streak or otherwise color her hair. Thinning eyelashes are awful.. and I guess I could learn to do artificial if my 9 yr. old niece has to wear them for her ballet recital!! They looked good. Sometimes blush. PS. if you always use unblock -- I only use it if I am on the beach.. and I am fair.. and don't tan well -- you wil be pale.. so a bit of sun on your face will give you some color. ( and if you don't know to stay out of the noonday sun.. well... PS I always wear a hat.. with a brim - super broad on super sunny days.. summer and winter. and sunglasses if needed..
Jane (New Jersey)
@SGS - and hopefully you've ruled out anemia as a cause of the pale skin.
Lizzy (Chatsworth)
Every word in this article and nearly every word in the comments, are most likely true. But, I do not plan to put the knife or shots of filler to my face and I do not mind over-paying for eye cream because they do seem different than my face and body moisturizers. And eye cream makes me happy!
Bob (PA)
@Lizzy Only some is somewhat true.
I’m a believer in eye creams. But you have to commit to the long term in order to see results. I have been using mine 2x day for the past 7 months (no skipping!) and my crows feet are significantly diminished.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@CT You're wasting your money, but it's yours to waste.
Hannah (Gilbert, AZ)
There are a few more ingredients known to help with wrinkles and other aspects of skin health and appearance. One example is epidermal growth factor, which is present in skin but decreases as we age, it helps with cell division and collagen synthesis. Antioxidants are very useful too. It's also worth considering the ingredients that should be avoided: like fragrances and essential oils. Inflammation is bad for skin (and the rest of the body).
PL (ny)
@Hannah -- I'm wary of epidermal growth factor. Yes, it spurs cell division, and could cause cancer. Any moisturizer improves the look of skin, even temporarily. It softens the light hitting the skin so you don't the unvarnished look of every wrinkle.
Hannah (Gilbert, AZ)
@PL EGF doesn't cause cancer. IF a tumor develops and IF the tumor has receptors for epidermal growth factor, then adding EGF will accelerate growth. But that is not the norm. We depend on our own, endogenous, epidermal growth factor to function. Don't dismiss anti aging creams: if they have the "right" ingredients, they work. It's down to the biochemistry: add what the skin needs and they work.
Xtine (Los Angeles)
The article does not mention retinaldehyde, which is a converted form of retinoid, or Vit A. More potent than retinol, present in some creams that actually "work" in terms of encouraging cell turnover but avoid the irritation of retinoic acid.
C Wolfe (Bloomington IN)
"If you’re pregnant, you should not use products with retinol or retinoid." I'm not and have no chance of becoming so at my age, but why does retinol pose a risk to the fetus, and how is that ill effect conveyed through the skin? Why is this potential harm not of concern to an adult using the product? About there being no difference between eye creams and face creams, it's probably true that eye creams are more expensive for no good reason, because the most active ingredients would be the same. However, I've found that good eye creams (which I mostly know from samples, as I've rarely sprung for them in my life) have a different texture or consistency—they're thicker and more substantial. I find them less likely therefore to "bleed" into my eyes if I apply the cream too closely to the lash line, whereas face cream as it warms on the skin can edge into the eyes. And the skin under my eyes and on my lids is obviously different from the skin on my cheeks. Never had a pimple that close to my eye, nor a blackhead or whitehead, nor enlarged pores there, so I can imagine a different formulation would be appropriate. If I was able and willing to throw money around, I wouldn't rule out buying eye creams.
Candace Kalish (Port Angeles)
@C Wolfe Vitamin A derivatives are teratogenic, that is, they can cause birth defects during the first three months of pregnancy when the embryo is developing. That doesn't mean that they are harmful to adults. Caffeine is teratogenic, for example. Many chemicals can be absorbed through the skin; retinoids are among them. Accutane, a very powerful and effective acne medication, is a retinoid that is known to cause birth defects. Women and girls of childbearing age have to agree to use birth control in order to be prescribed the medication.
Observer (Jacksonville)
Because there haven’t been enough studies to conclude that it’s safe for the fetus, and a danger of constructing such a study is that it’s considered unethical. These ingredients have been studied and determined safe for adults who follow the directions. However the dosing for an adult would differ from that of an infant. And because it’s absorbed through the skin, then a fetus would risk coming into contact with anything mom put on.
Karen A (Rochester, NY)
@Candace Kalish Thank you not only for your explanation but for adding to my vocabulary - teratogenic. I love learning new words which is one benefit of this site. I also love the technology which allows me to highlight words, click and get a definition. I use it frequently rather than just using context which gives me a vague understanding rather than a precise definition. I use it to "sharpen" my understanding of words, as well. As an avid reader (yay ebooks!), to me, this is a modern wonder. Imagine the breadth of my vocabulary had I grown up with this technology!
m (us)
The only reason I would consider paying big bucks for an "eye cream" is if it was demonstrably gentler on the actual eyeball. I hate getting sunscreen in my eyes.
Bruzote (NJ)
@m - But this is about skin cream, not sun block. Does skin cream in your eyes feel as bad as sunblock?
@Bruzote I can see a market opening for facial sunscreen that is specifically formulated to avoid getting in the eyes, by having the same texture as eye cream..
Greenie (San Diego)
@SCL Supergoop makes an eye cream with mineral sunscreen that works great. I have sensitivity reactions to chemical sunscreen so it has been a lifesaver for me. No stinging or running into my eyes. I’m very fair & wear sunscreen every day rain or shine… I get sunburned on cloudy days lol
Ash (Dc)
I have one of those snail eye creams, which seems very effective as well. Really appreciate the insight that face and eye creams are usually the same - they are just marketed differently to maximize revenues. Here's another random thought: for ladies who wear some form of eye makeup every day - whether it is liner, mascara, eye shadow etc, the pulling and tugging of the skin around the eyes to clean and remove it later can also damage that fragile skin over time. So one solution, which is avl nowadays but not in past, is use makeup filters for the video calls, and spare the skin!
Kevin Kelem (Santa Cruz)
Anti aging, anti wrinkle claims have always seen similar to snake oil salesmen. I have wondered for years how these companies that produce these products are not scrutinized for accuracy by FDA and any other government agency that is responsible for the claims made by these companies. Lot’s of money made selling what I believe to be false representation.
Sia (Land of Gar, Texas)
@Kevin Kelem They are very careful with how they phrase their advertising which is how they stay on the right side of the law. I'm with the doctor who doesn't use eye cream. I use my regular moisturizer and put Aquaphor on top at night. Eye creams are just moisturizers in a smaller package. They're a big ripoff.
Julie A (Wisconsin)
@Ash G The right eye cream goes a long way toward helping my concealer do its job. It's not just for moisturizing or wrinkles... it's a first layer to help your other makeup go on better. If I don't use my eye cream, my concealer looks awful. And I've used several eye creams and concealers until I found just the right combination.