Do Eye Creams Really Work?

The following is a guest post from none other than skincare expert Renee Rouleau! I adore Renee and her products. I want to thank her so much for writing this article so I could share it with you all! Check out her website for more info, and make sure to follow her on Twitter!

Recently, I was flipping through a magazine when I read a top beauty editorsaying, “I never use eye cream becauseI’ve never found one that actually worked.”  So it got methinking. If a top editor or blogger, who is given skin care products on adaily basis from beauty brands, therefore has surely tried many of them, issaying this, then certainly consumers must be feeling this too.

Do I really need to usean eye cream? Is using eye cream really necessary?
Let me start by saying that eye creams and other skin care products are notabsolute miracles like some cosmetic companies and their sales people make themsound to be – and we want to believe. If you use an eye cream thinking you’llget rid of all your lines and wrinkles, this is just not possible. Moreinvasive treatments such as Botox will make the biggest difference fordramatically smoothing this area, but an eye cream simply cannot do this. But can they help to prevent wrinkles and keep thisarea moist and younger-looking? Absolutely yes.

The skin around the eyes is 10 times thinner than that of the face and has veryfew oil glands. Combined with blinking 10,000 times a day, squinting andsmiling, this area is the first to show the signs of aging and you really needto treat this tender area by using an eye cream every night. Of the fivefingers one can use to apply eye cream, the ring finger is the weakest fingerso therefore should be the one used.  Simply put, you need to keep ithydrated and moist to prevent it from aging as quickly.

For an example on the powerful effects of topical moisturization, I alwaysrefer back to a study done on stretch marks in pregnant women. It showed thatwomen who applied lotion to their stomachs several times a day (with any kindof lotion, no specific magic ingredient) had fewer stretch marks than those whorarely moisturized. When the skin is hydrated topically, it keeps theskin’s structure intact to keep it supple so the wear and tear is less.This means moisturizing definitely works. So in the case of the eye area, sinceit is constantly moving from smiling, squinting and rubbing, an eye cream willprevent collagen and elasticity breakdown, resulting in the prevention of linesand wrinkles.  Generally, because the skin is thin around the eyes, facialscrubs may be too aggressive for the eye area, but an acid serum can really dothe trick at managing the signs of aging around the eyes.

There have been many breakthroughs in the science of moisture retention andwhen choosing an eye cream, it’s important to use one that is well-formulatedand doesn’t use petrolatum or mineral oil. Instead, choose eye creams that usegood emollients and barrier-repairing oils like sunflower or jojoba oils. Thesenatural oils are much better for repairing the skin and preventingtransepidermal water loss so the skin is kept moist and supple – the way itneeds to be to prevent wrinkles and soften fine lines. I love Renee Rouleau SynergyEye Cream and Firming Eye Therapy.

Note: Eye creams do not have to beheavy and greasy to give moisturization. In fact, if an eye cream is toogreasy, it can migrate into the eyes and cause under eye puffiness which thenunnecessarily stretches out the skin causing a weakening in elasticity. Notgood!  Also, it’s so important to keep the eye area protected from the sunby using sunglasses when outdoors and making sure sunscreen is used on the eyearea during all daylight hours.

Top Splurge Purchase Picks

This is kind of a different “top picks” post. Yesterday I wrote about Renee Rouleau’s Anti-Cyst treatment, which at $38.50 for .5 oz is pretty expensive. However, for skincare that works, I feel it’s worth spending the money if you have it. This post is all about the expensive stuff that is completely worth it. I’m not saying that all cheaper options suck, I’m just saying that these products are awesome, worth the money, and if you have the means to try them out you might enjoy them just as much as I do.

Alterna Moisture Caviar hair care products – Geez have I raved about Alterna enough yet? I love the shampoo, conditioner, and overnight hair rescue treatment. I’m playing with the working hair spray too and it’s not bad at all (I’m not a huge hair spray person). The rapid repair spray is also in occasional rotation as needed, too. Sephora has a little set that has travel sizes of my favorites from Alterna for $30.

LeAine Dehmer skin care – everything I’ve tried is phenomenal! I love the Maximum Daily Requirement moisturizer, Skin Breather exfoliating peel, and the basic gentle cleanser. I’ve also reviewed the completely awesome eye makeup remover. The downside? The price! That’s it! But if I could afford it I’d use this stuff like crazy. Instead I hoard what I have. ;) Available at LeAine Dehmer.

Clarisonic skin care brush – This is hotly debated in the beauty community. Worth it or not? Yes. There are less expensive “similar” products, but they aren’t sonic like the Clarisonic. It’s like comparing a budget electric toothbrush to a Sonicare electric toothbrush. Or comparing a VW to an Audi. I have no regrets about my Clarisonic. If you have an issue with keeping your pores clear, you won’t either. Note: I use the delicate brush heads and always use it with a gentle cleanser. Available from a variety of retailers – Sephora, Ulta,

T3 Pro Hair Dryer. Yes, there are many cheaper hair dryers that work, but I still have no regrets about splurging for the T3 pro. I’ve had it for several years and it has never done me wrong. My hair dries faster and with less frizz, the dryer is very lightweight, and quieter than others. And it’s pink. So, come on.

GHD Flat Iron – When I started flat ironing my hair, I started out with a very cheap Revlon flat iron. It didn’t matter too much to me because I flat ironed my hair maybe once every other month, and used heat protector. But when that one died an untimely death I decided to upgrade to a Sedu. When my Sedu went missing mysteriously in a move, I was heartbroken. The difference between an extremely cheap flat iron and a higher end iron was already cemented in my habits. I didn’t spend full price on my GHD as mine was a salon demo model (it had only been used on a doll head), but it was still $100 so it was a significant purchase. I freaking love this flat iron. It heats up so fast and it takes me about 15 minutes to flat iron my hair. I don’t have that horrible tearing sensation as it glides over my hair, and my hair stays straight for a long time. GHD irons are available from Sephora. Please do not buy them on ebay as there are many fakes out there and they are DANGEROUS. Also try for a lot of really nice straighteners (including Sedu!).

Makeup Forever Foundation – $40 is a lot to spend on a foundation for most people, but if you’ve got the money it just can’t be beat. I really adore HD foundation as well as Face & Body. It doesn’t hurt that both have perfect matches for my skin, either. ;)

Beauty Blender Sponges – This is another one I see discussed all the time. I admit, when I saw this I had the reaction that most of you do: “$20 for a sponge? WTF?” but, alas (for your wallet) it’s worth it. I first tried the cheaper alternative by Sonia Kashuk (available at Target), but then when I had a gift certificate I splurged on the set of 2 Beauty Blenders. They are so much sturdier than the SK version. If you wear makeup often, or do makeup on others, it’s worth having a tool that is of a higher quality that will last. My SK sponge already had a couple of chunks missing that tore out from washing/use. Beauty Blenders are going strong! Note: While I love the sponges, I don’t think the Beauty Blender Cleanser is worth it. Just use your regular brush cleanser or what you use to break down foundation on your brushes. Dawn soap works great too.

Alright. Capitalismfest is over. Going back to saving money posts after this. But if you get that bonus you’re hoping for, I hope you’ll refer to this list of splurges. ;)

Renee Rouleau Anti-Cyst Treatment

I first learned about Renee Rouleau through the magic of Twitter. She can be found there as @ReneeRouleau. She gives absolutely fantastic skin care advice, and I’d been curious about her products for a long time. I actually picked up this little gem months and months ago, but I for some reason hadn’t gotten around to really reviewing it until now. There aren’t too many treatments out there specifically formulated for cystic acne. I’d tried one by Mario Badescu but it was not effective for me. Enter Renee Rouleau Anti-Cyst Treatment.
Cystic acne. It’s horrible. Deep, painful cystic breakouts under the skin. They can be very inflamed, very large, unsightly, and uncomfortable! Not to mention the inflammation can cause lots of scarring. They often take a very long time to go away, too. For more info about cystic acne, check out this blog post from Renee herself. For many, including myself, cystic acne often occurs during or the week before a period, when our hormones go all wacky. As if being totally hormonal didn’t cause enough problems…sigh. 

Not too long ago I posted about how my skin had been healing pretty well lately, not breaking out, and the marks fading due to adding a ton of vitamin E to my regimen. Well, I think I jinxed myself, because about a day after that post went live I felt that feeling that is oh so familiar to anyone who has had a cystic type break out. The sort of sore, tender feeling of “oh sh*t, not again” when a cyst is forming in your skin. The Anti-Cyst Treatment works best when you can apply it as soon as this feeling occurs, so that is exactly what I did. And then I applied it 2x a day to the spot for a few days after, and I’m applying it just once before bed now.
This stuff is a freakin’ miracle, I tell ya. The next morning, all soreness was gone and the bump was still invisible (I could feel it if I prodded my chin, and it was about half the size it was the day before). Now, it’s just barely a smudge on my chin. It never turned into the big painful monster it had the potential to be. It’s almost gone. The best part is this all happened without drying out my skin or causing any irritation whatsoever. Hormonal Breakouts: 0 Me: 1
The treatment works by killing the bacteria and unblocking the pores, and also reducing inflammation. I have used other things on cystic acne that contain benzoyl peroxide, and while they have also been effective for me, they are often smelly, very drying, and have the potential to bleach your pillow case. It’s also not a very good idea to use benzoyl peroxide long-term because of the drying effects. I also read somewhere that it can thin your skin if used over time. No thanks. 
The only downsides to this product are the price, and availability. You can only get this from Renee’s website, or from one of her spas (locations in Dallas and Plano TX). The price is steep at $38.50 for .5 oz, but frankly if you have a cystic break out it’s worth every damn penny and then some.