May 17, 2015

Q&A: Eye cream for oily skin?

Q: I live in Florida so there is no relief from the heat and oil in the winter. My question is about the ingredients, or types of eye creams, that are best for very oily skin. I've tried so many, and each one I've tried has given me milia around my eyes (some quicker than others). Are there products you know of that are light enough to not cause the milia, but still hydrating enough for someone my age?

A: While the skin around your eyes may need a different treatment than the rest of your face, it doesn't necessarily have to be labeled an "eye cream". Most eye creams are just moisturizers in smaller packaging, and if a moisturizer doesn't contain ingredients that are contraindicated around the eyes (med-high strength exfoliating acids or retinol products, fragrances/EOs, or other irritants, etc.), a moisturizer that your facial skin tolerates can also be used under the eyes, either alone or supplemented with an additional occlusive or emollient. Personally, I use the same moisturizer all over my face (Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Mask), then add a skin care oil on top of it. I particularly enjoyed argan oil, but have also used Tarte's maracuja oil, grapeseed oil, rosehip seed oil, and am now trying the new Paula's Choice Resist Moisture Renewal oil. 

I also use Aquaphor on my eye area at night, but I have very dry skin--for those who experience comedogenic breakouts (such as milia), I would not recommend layering an occlusive over your products, even though petrolatum is technically non-comedogenic. The problem is often how your sebum interacts with the skin in the presence of such an occlusive rather than the occlusive itself. All skin care oils carry some risk of comedogenicity, though. Using a small amount of low-risk skin care oils like argan oil, jojoba oil, etc., can be an easy way to supplement your routine around your eyes if the skin is tolerating a moisturizer well, and you have a decent idea of what it can tolerate otherwise. You may have to experiment a little before you find the oil that works best for you. (See my Comedogenicity video for help choosing skin care oils - http://youtu.be/7VHIr3DtyDo )

Another option for an eye area that is extremely picky and doesn't need much additional oil to prevent trans-epidermal water loss (aka dehydration caused by a lack of oil) is an eye gel. You can find them in every price range, from department store (Ole Henriksen - http://bit.ly/1rWQRcl) to drugstore (Simple - http://bit.ly/1uEy815). These products will deliver water and humectant (water-binding) ingredients without the emollients, and don't carry the same risk of comedogenicity. 

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