Pack your bags

Nobody wants to look old before they need to - not in these ageist days, when the next round of ‘'rationalisations’’ at work could find us in an 'exciting' new career.

And where many of us will see the first signs of ageing is in the delicate skin around our eyes. Too much squinting at the sun, too much staring at the screen, too many late nights, cigarettes and booze. Or really, face it, you’re just getting on a bit.

Droopy eyelids, purple rings, crinkly skin texture and crow's feet are what we’re talking about here.

Whatever the cause - droopy eyelids, purple rings, crinkly skin texture and crow's feet are what we’re talking about here.

A good night‘s sleep can help a lot but sometimes more drastic action is required.  And that’s why, my on-hand beauty tipster tells me, the first type of anti-ageing product most women turn to (after stock-standard cleanser and moisturiser) is for use around the eyes.

So along to our rescue, gentlemen, march the massed ranks of the cosmetics industry with products that, they say, will variously keep our eyes radiant and refreshed, minimise the appearance of fine lines and reduce the look of dark circles and puffiness. Hurrah!

The choice is pretty wide - and there's a price point to suit us all. From $12.69 for Nivea for Men’s Skin Energy Eye Roll On to Burt’s Bees Radiance Eye Cream at $34.95.

Then there is Guinot’s Defatigant Express Yeux Pour Homme (It’s French) at $76 to Estee Lauder’s double-dipping Re-Nutriv Re-Creation Eye Balm and Night Serum for Eyes, which will set you back $550. (The balm‘s for the morning to help restore elasticity and spring, the night serum for later on.)

But do they really work?

Frederic Brandt, named by Vanity Fair this month as one of its favourite skin doctors, says that no matter what bothers you about your eyes, you should use a good eye cream (to suit your budget), day and night to hydrate and protect the skin. And a sunscreen during the day (don’t get it in your eyes).

And maybe turn to some minor plastic surgery. Injectible fillers can be used to lift up the eyebrow, reduce hollowness and improve bags. Muscle freezers can work on crow’s feet and saggy upper eyes.  But Brandt - known as ‘Dr Botox’ - advises first and foremost non-needle things to help an ageing eye area. So here are five simple, cheap and relatively painless things that may help:

1 Decrease your salt intake.
2 Ditch the cigarettes - the smoke from them is a killer when it comes to the eyes.
3 Wear sunglasses.
4 Drink a cup of coffee - the caffeine helps decrease puffiness.
5 And get to bed earlier.
Have your eyes ever let you down - and did you change your habits, follow some good advice or try something more radical?