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September 3 2014

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Dr. Marsha Gordon: “There’s No Use Crying Over Bad Eye Cream”

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This column features weekly tips and advice from a revolving cast of industry leaders, on hand to discuss your beauty dilemmas, from blemishes to Botox. To submit a question, e-mail celia_ ellenberg@condenast.com.

I’ve been using an eye cream pretty religiously, and while I like what it does for my skin, it always makes my eyes water when I go outside. Why is this happening and what can I do to prevent it?

If your eye cream made your eyes water every time you put in on, inside or outside, I’d say you were sensitive to the cream. But since your eyes only tear outdoors, your problem is probably not related to the cream at all. Ironically, it may be the first stage in the development of a dry-eye condition. The tear film of the eye is composed of several layers. If the oily component is diminished, there may be a compensatory increase in the watery component coming from the lachrymal, or tear, gland. At the early stage of dry eyes, people can lubricate their eyes effectively indoors but, when faced with the added stress of the outdoor environment, lubrication is not sufficient and the eye responds by tearing up. I recommend you see an ophthalmologist to check for this possibility and to provide treatment suggestions if appropriate.

A nationally recognized expert on the issues of skincare, cosmetic dermatology, and the prevention and detection of skin cancer, Dr. Marsha Gordon has co-authored a book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beautiful Skin, and frequently appears on New York magazine’s Best Doctors list. She serves as the vice chairman of Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Division of General Dermatology and as a consulting dermatologist to the St. Ives brand.

Photo: Getty Images

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