Crow’s FeetEver wondered why a tiny jar of eye cream is so expensive? I wondered that too and I’ve been doing educated ingredient comparisons for a couple of years now to try and figure out what it is we’re paying for. It seems many women (and some pretty men, of course) are willing to spend anything for a the psychological benefits of feeling like they’ve done everything they can to try and diminish their crow’s feet.

Re-vive Intensite Volumizing Serum ($600 for 1.0 oz) has a “Naturally occurring protein molecule that halts DNA fragmentation.” La Prairie Cellular Radiance Eye Cream ($275 for 0.5 oz) “A multi-complex formula of time-correcting restorative therapy.” Sisley’s Sisleya Eye Cream ($190 for 0.5 oz)

Though I have not compared ingredients on these high-end creams myself, the fact that not one of these “miracles” has been on the front page of the Times should tell you that they really are nothing special in the ‘fight against wrinkles’. Though the one you may keep in your cabinet might feel great, maybe you should wonder if a less expensive product would do the same. The more expensive brands you can buy at a drug store claim to include a special “complex.”

What is “complex” is the names of the chemicals in those jars. Still, dermatologists would have you avoid complex chemicals, synthetic fragrances and chemical preservatives for that very sensitive skin near your eye and because with one rub, the chemicals get into your actual eye-ball. Sunscreens, natural or chemical- should they get in your eye, are bad news.

Eye creams are supposed to be ophthalmologist tested, but most aren’t. It’s important to note that two chemicals which are in many department and drug store eye creams are not safe for your eye area. Avoid:

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) – These natural acids are not PH balanced for the eye area and are known to burn the delicate eye area and the eye itself. AHA’s are said to prevent wrinkles because they create smoothness as they slough off dead skin. Leave this for other areas on your face, if you must! It’s important to note that

Retinol – This chemical is a synthetic or animal-product derived part of Vitamin-A protein. Creams with high concentrations of retinol may sting the eyes and cause drying of the skin, though this chemical is touted as helping skin regenerate faster. Anything labeled as “Vitamin A” is safer; it is plant based and less concentrated.

The more natural eye creams are getting (as companies and consumers start to “get it” about chemicals), the more natural eye creams begin to look like any other cream, and you will notice natural eye creams don’t come with the same hype.

Okay, so what is healthy for around-the-eye? The antioxidant vitamins A, C and Vitamin E. Oil. Shea Butter, Apricot Oil and other natural oils are safe and highly moisturizing. I randomly came upon a free jar of eye cream two years ago. I had never used cream near my eyes before and was just starting to get wrinkles. The way this product (more like a “balm”) made my eyes feel was amazing and I looked great in the morning. It turns out this great eye cream was all-natural Eye Tissue Repair from Suki and about $35 (.65 oz)

Turns out it’s nothing but natural plant oils. Now, I don’t spend even that much on cream for my eyes. I use whatever my favorite natural night time face cream is at the moment. Or I use a natural oil which I also use on my body. Same results.

No cream will get rid of wrinkles, only make the skin appear more plump and smooth. There are some things that help prevent wrinkles, however!

1. Sleep well and for eight hours (on your back if you can, to avoid squishing your eye tissue).

2. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day.

3. Pat your eye area every night with plenty of your oil-based product. Don’t rub your eyes with a washcloth when you wash in the morning.

4. Wear as little eye make-up as possible to avoid pulling of the eye tissue (breaking down natural collagen) when you go to remove it.

5. Wear large, full-coverage sunglasses with UV and broad spectrum protection.

Or learn to love and accept yourself as you age. (You could also tell me that I should to got to hell since I’m in my twenties and have just two wrinkles near each eye and that your $150 cream is well worth it.)