Anti-Aging Q&A Part 3 is on the use of separate creams for the neck and/or under eye area. Part 1 was on derma rolling, part 2 was on at-home devices. In this 4 part series, I’ll answer the most asked, but most difficult to answer anti-aging questions!
Question 3: What eye cream or neck cream do you use?
This question takes many forms but mostly people say their neck or under eyes are showing their age because of sagging and wrinkling. The neck people are looking for a cream that lifts and firms skin while the eye people want something that minimizes wrinkles, removes dark circles, or shrinks puffiness.
My answer to the question is that I don’t usually use separate creams for under my eyes or for my neck. I believe that all skin is basically the same, with variations in thickness, hairiness, and oil production for different parts of the body. From an anti-aging standpoint I think the skin of the face, neck, and under eyes need the same wrinkle fighting ingredients. So for me, it doesn’t matter if the label says eye cream or face cream or neck cream as long as it has the right ingredients.
Unfortunately, topical ingredients that are proven to firm, lift, and/or reduce wrinkles are few and far between. Research has shown that antioxidants (vitamins A, C, E), peptides, and exfoliating acids work to help build collagen and elastin in skin while correcting surface issues like wrinkles and discoloration. I look for products that contain good amounts of those ingredients and use them daily on my face, neck, chest and hands. If I could, I’d bathe in them!
Having said that, the skin of the neck and under eyes can be thinner and therefore more sensitive than the skin of the face, so there are times that I have used a separate cream for my neck or under eyes because of irritation. For example, I use prescription tretinoin (Retin-A) which is the gold standard wrinkle cream. It’s effective, but it’s often irritating. The first time I used it, I got the maximum strength and started right in using it every day… and OUCH did my face hurt! I felt like I had a sunburn that was especially painful under my eyes, and my neck became itchy, red and irritated. I had to stop putting the cream below my eyes and on my neck until the irritation subsided.
When the skin finally returned to normal I started using a separate weaker OTC retinol cream for those areas. But I didn’t get one labeled “neck cream” or “eye cream”. I find that often they contain the exact same ingredients as their related face creams, just in a smaller, more costly package.
Just compare the ingredients from Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Cream ($20 for 1 oz.)
to the ingredients in Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream ($20 for .5 oz.)
The only other exception I have to the “unified cream” rule is in the case of under eye bags and dark circles. There may be creams or serums that can treat those specific conditions, but I can’t recommend one based on personal use.
Here are links to some of the active ingredient creams/serums that I use:
Here are a few links for some extra reading on what works and what doesn’t:
A well researched and comprehensive article from the University of Maryland Medical Center on the treatment and prevention of skin wrinkles and blemishes.
A study on the Effects of AHA on Photo-Aged Skin
A round-up of anti-aging treatments from NYU Langone Medical Center
*There are no up-front paid product placements in this post. All products were purchased with my own money for my personal use. My reviews always contain my honest opinion about the products shown. I’ve included links to where the products may be purchased and some may be affiliate links. Affiliate links are marked (*). If you click the link and buy something, I receive a commission for the sale, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra. You are free to use the link or not as you choose.