BEAUTY CLINIC: Eye creams for sensitive skin

 Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to

Q I’m just noticing a huge difference in the lines, wrinkles and crêpiness under my eyes in last year or so. I have always been a bit lazy when it comes to using eye creams, partly as I started becoming ultra-sensitive to products, even those specifically formulated for sensitive skin. But I need to do something now! I’m prepared to pay a high price if a product gives decent results – without the irritation…

A Sensitivity is such an individual thing that we almost hesitate to suggest products. In your longer email, you refer to coming out in itchy rashes and eczema, even with a totally natural organic product designed for concerns like yours. The message being that any ingredient can provoke a reaction in susceptible individuals, whether it’s a synthetic chemical or pure and natural, even organically certified. (Curiously, Sarah is sensitive to the herb eyebright, which is often found in eye products… and other colleagues to various essential oils.)

Before we talk products, just two things: firstly, it’s important not to put an eye cream or gel too near the eye where it will inevitably travel into the eye and cause irritation. Just tap a tiny amount with your ring finger around the orbital bone of your eye socket. Secondly, avoid extra load on your touchy eyes by wearing big (uber-flattering) Jackie O sunglasses, with wide arms, whenever you are outside in polluted environments, or indeed with hay fever season coming up in the countryside too.

Our best advice is to find a brand that you know suits you and try their eye product. Both of us have super-sensitive peepers so we stick to products that we know won’t upset them. The range that suits Sarah excellently is Heaven skincare by Deborah Mitchell. This offers several different options for eye care. For instance, non-greasy 02 Eye Cream/£37 for 15 ml, would be suitable for your concerns as it promises to treat fine lines and wrinkles and promote healthier looking skin around the eye area as well as brightening tired and dull eyes and combatting puffiness. 

Jo, meanwhile, has a couple of favourites: the admittedly luxe-priced Chanel Sublimage La Crème Yeux Ultimate Revitalisation Eye Cream, £128 for 15 g (she loves the metal applicator, which works brilliantly to de-puff), and Temple Spa Eye Truffle, £60 for 15 ml. Despite having super-sensitive eyes, she has nothing but good things to report about both of these. Both are pricy – but a little goes a long way with eye treatments.  

Beauty Bible loves… Sisley Hair Rituel, from £54-£135.


Sisley, of course, are known for fabulously luxe skincare. And with this range, they make the bold statement: ‘Haircare is the new skincare.’

When you think about it, why not? Why are we prepared to invest heavily in effective skincare, but when it comes to shampoo and conditioner, cut corners? Well, let us tell you: there’s no corner-cutting here; this range is packed with goodness and (having used it ourselves) we are massively impressed with the results.

There’s a choice of Revitalizing Volumizing Shampoo or Smoothing Shampoo (the first for finer-textured hair, the second for more wayward tresses). These cleanse gently, without harsh sulfates. The Restructuring Conditioner works across all hairtypes, detangling and boosting hair resilience and shine with cotton proteins. So far, so terrific.

We’re not suggesting you sell your kids or mortgage your house to get your hands on Sisley Hair Rituel. But life’s all about priorities

But the truly stellar performers, for us, are these three…

Sisley Rituel Regenerating Hair Mask. Oh, we love a hair mask, and this is sensational – a nourishing blend of macadamia, camellia, hazelnut and shea butter. (A comb just glides through hair, after using this.)

Sisley Rituel Revitalizing Fortifying Serum for the Scalp. Trust us, we’re going to be hearing a LOT more about scalp health, because that’s where great hair truly begins. You part your hair a few times and dropper this serum onto scalp, massaging it in with fingertips. It’s packed with high levels of minerals, plant extracts and vitamins; Sisley tell us that this has proved hugely beneficial to sufferers with thinning hair, though we can’t attest to that ourselves.

Sisley Rituel Precious Hair Oil. This is a brilliant quick fix, as well as an additional conditioning treatment; we like to add a drop or two to palms and skim through the lengths of hair. Doesn’t make it greasy. Just super-shiny. (And like the rest of the range, smells beautiful – we can best describe the scent as ‘botanical’, and we love it.)

We’re not suggesting you sell your kids or mortgage your house to get your hands on Sisley Hair Rituel. But life’s all about priorities. Hair matters a lot to us – more than new clothes, actually, since we wear our hair every darned day of the year.

So we figure: if you can afford a takeaway coffee every day, and you switched to making that coffee at home and carrying it in a flask, in about a week and a half you’d have saved enough at least for a shampoo. That’s a great place to start – though we’d advise going D-I-Y on your caffeine fix for a few days longer, and investing either in the oil or the mask.