Reader Questions: Eye Care Help and Winter Cleansing Tips

Hi all! Sorry for the long absence. My real life has been quite busy and with dispensing advice daily, so it’s taken away from answering my digital mailbox queue. Let’s dive in with two questions that may be particularly helpful to all this winter.


I wake up every morning and my eyes just look terrible. The fine lines and wrinkles are so deep that I don’t even want to look at my face in the mirror after I get up anymore. I use eye cream, I’ve done jade rollers for circulation, and they all help when I put it on. My eyes look okay during the day after I eye cream it but nothing seems to last overnight because every morning they go back to looking dreadful. Any help or tips?

Yes! This is absolutely normal and there are many ways to treat the “morning eyes” as I call it. The reason that fine lines and wrinkles are more pronounced when you wake up is that it is the time when you’re likely to be the most dehydrated. Dehydration results in a lack of “plumpness” to your skin which in effect causes fine lines and wrinkles to look exaggerated. You’ve noticed that your eyes look better during the day and it is not just the result of your eye cream but also rehydrating your body from the overnight water loss.

A few things you can do to help:
1. Sleep with a humidifier. This keeps moisture-levels higher which prevents water from being sapped out of your body.
2. Use a hyaluronic acid serum, this can actually pull in moisture from your humidifier. While eye creams are great for nourishing skin, they sit on top of the skin and do not add water content. Add a hyaluronic acid serum first, preferably one in a thin low viscosity texture to penetrate into the skin. Give it about 2 minutes and then seal with your eye cream.
3. No wine or alcohol 3 hours before bed. This saps away moisture. Similarly, avoid consuming foods that are heavy in sodium, it causes bloating in all the wrong areas and draws water away from where you need it.
4. Apply your hyaluronic acid serum first thing when you wake up and then immediately spray a water type mist, pressed around the fine lines and wrinkles. This directly “re-plumps” the area so that your skin does not retain the imprint which prevents further deepening of fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Drink a lot of water throughout the day and consume a lot of water-rich fruits and vegetables.

Recommended products:

A good hyaluronic acid serum with the perfect texture that will sink in and rehydrate is YÜLI’s Ambrosia Beauty Nectar, as a bonus, it’s also really rejuvenating (anti-aging) so you get additional benefits to target fine lines and wrinkles. A lower cost hyaluronic acid serum with fewer bells and whistles is Pestle & Mortar’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which also has a great texture and will hydrate.

For eye cream, I like Tata Harper’s Restorative Eye Creme and a good option for sensitive skins is PAI’s Echium & Argan Gentle Eye Cream.

My skin feels so dry after cleansing in the winter. I’ve tried to not cleanse, but even my dry skin will look dull and move toward congestion so cleansing is still a must. I do not want congestion but also do not want my skin to be dried out from cleansing. Can you advise me on what to do? 

Sure! Look at the ingredient’s list of your cleansers and toss them if they contain: SLS (sulfates), alcohol, soap (even Castile soap), and extensive lists of surfactants. Granted, the last one is harder to decipher so you may need to test it on your skin first as most surfactants are foaming agents, so toss the ones that are high foaming. The aforementioned are the ingredients that can cause more dryness, outside of those, it’s actually not about your cleanser but figuring out how to hydrate and nourish your skin.

Here’s the thing: Some people use “thicker” cleansers that “moisturize” skin but that’s… not the point.. of a cleanser. You’re really looking for a moisturizer to do that. “Nourishing/moisturizing” cleansers work by using heavier creams or oils to create a barrier on your skin surface which negates the actual cleansing that is necessary, especially as the larger molecules are considered too big to work anywhere other than the surface of the skin. The oils and creams are often not water-soluble which means they leave residue as well. This all results in serums not being able to penetrate and an accumulation of debris in pores that altogether make skin more dull, congested, and compromised (sensitive).

I’m a big proponent of the double cleanse. A good oil or balm to melt off the makeup, sunscreen and “surface” stuff, and then the cleanser to get to work. You would not use an oil or moisturizer-like cream to wash your dishes of stuck-on grime, so don’t do it for your skin either. Use common sense, follow with an actual cleanser that gets it off.

“But my skin feels dry after cleansing!” Here’s the thing, you can’t look for moisturizing properties from cleanser anymore than you should be looking for cleansing properties from your moisturizer. They serve two distinct functions.

And so the trick is how quickly you get hydration and oils back into and onto your skin after cleansing. You pretty much have anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 minute after cleansing to get this done. Dry skin has a shorter window and oily skin has a longer window. After this window, the moisture starts escaping and that is when you’ll feel dryness and tightness if you haven’t placed your toners, serums, and moisturizers. The reason you feel it more during winter is that the effect is more pronounced as the rate of moisture escape is higher. So rather than changing to a less effective cleanser, you need to focus on upping the strength of the hydration and nourishing serums and barrier creams in a timely way.

Recommended products:

Face mists right after cleansing to start soaking skin in moisture (here are some favorites from the Garçon’s team), deep hydration serums (aforementioned YÜLI Ambrosia Beauty Nectar, Pestle & Mortar Hyaluronic Acid Serum are both good and can be worked into your eye routine mentioned above), good face oils that have more nourishing carrier oils (Dr. Alkaitis Nourishing Treatment Oil, Odacite Winter in Paris, Josh Rosebrook Active Infusion Serum), followed by a hefty barrier cream – or what is most commonly referred to as a moisturizer (PAI Age Confidence Cream, Nuori Vital Face Cream, Indie Lee Squalane Face Cream, OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream).

If you have any questions that you’d like The Green Derm to answer, e-mail us


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