Beauty: Eyes right

By Janetta Mackay

Men's thicker skin visibly ages more slowly than women's but one area can be a giveaway.

Lancome Age Fight Eye Perfecting Gel $66. Photo / Babiche Martens
Lancome Age Fight Eye Perfecting Gel $66. Photo / Babiche Martens

Dark circles and under-eye bags rate among the top skincare concerns of men, says skincare company Clinique. Cutting back on alcohol, caffeine and unbroken screen-time and getting plenty of rest are your quickest fixes, but sometimes lifestyle gets in the way of looks and a little more help may be needed.

Take with a grain of salt eye creams that promise to banish your wrinkles, but a bit of moisture in the delicate eye area can certainly smooth the surface. Avoid anything too rich, as excessive use of eye cream, especially if it seeps into the tear ducts can actually have the opposite-to-intended effect, leaving a puffy look. Application should be around the orbital bone and in the eye hollow, avoiding getting too close to the eye itself. Pat gently with your ring finger, or try a roller-ball dispenser, working from the outside in around under the eye.

Caffeine is often found in eye products because of its ability to temporarily tauten skin. An old trick for relieving the look of tired eyes is to lie down for 10 minutes with a couple of cool, damp teabags (or slices of cucumber) over your lids. Gels, serums and eye masks offer similar relief and are less messy.

Some gel-type products primarily deliver an immediate cooling sensation rather than serious skincare, but others are enriched with the same ingredients found in generally heavier creams, so it is a matter of finding a texture that best suits and soaks into your skin.

Men who are really concerned by dark circles might like to try the trick of applying a little cosmetic concealer to camouflage uneven under-eye colour. To do this effectively - that is invisibly - make sure the concealer colour is well matched to your complexion and get a few tips from a cosmetic counter on how to blend it in properly. (Many brands sell concealer in just a handful of shades, but if your complexion is extremely fair or darker you should check out the likes of M.A.C or Bobbi Brown for a wider selection).

Here's a range of eye products on offer that have been especially developed for men.

1. Lancome Age Fight Eye Perfecting Gel $66

This little tube comes from France, with Lancome saying it will fight the first signs of ageing, particularly dark circles and puffiness, in men aged 30 to 40. Then there's a step up to a richer cream. Contains caffeine. Apply morning and night.

2. Dr LeWinn's Men Eye Cream $45.90

More an appealing cream-gel in texture than a true cream, this product is part of a good men's line-up from the Australian Dr LeWinn's company. It contains algal extracts and something called "Menactive" complex, a mix derived from energising herbs. Works to reduce the look of puffy, tired eyes and as a wrinkle-deterrent.

3. Clinique Skin Supplies for Men Cooling Eye Gel $68

Styley ergonomic pen-like tube with a medical grade stainless steel roller ball dispenses an "anti-fatigue" gel-serum while stimulating micro-circulation. The serum contains caffeine plus a yeast extract said to help diminish the appearance of dark circles. Easy to apply and slips into a jacket pocket so you can refresh on the run. (The metal delivery mechanism is found in other products including a mid-priced one by L'Oreal Paris Men Expert and budget buy from Garnier.)

4. Shiseido Men Eye Soother $72

A cooling gel that targets dark circles while hydrating and soothing. Contains vitamin A and E derivatives. Designed for twice daily use, but can be used to perk up the eye area during the day.

5. Living Nature For Men Harakeke Eye Gel $39.50

Contains an extract from the native harakeke, with this flax gel delivering hydration levels akin to the much vaunted aloe vera. For men who want a natural approach, this bioactive one, made in Northland and exported worldwide, is well worth checking out, plus there's matching shave and moisturising products. (Evolu is another New Zealand company that makes a good eye gel.)

Stockists: Brand counters in selected department stores and pharmacies, Living Nature also in health stores and online and Dr LeWinn's has details.

- NZ Herald

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