Racecar Driver-Approved Skincare: How Real-Life Rush Star Niki Lauda Crashed, Burned, and Recovered

Niki Lauda and James Hunt

In a chilling scene in director Ron Howard's Rush (out now), which chronicles the heated rivalry between F1 racecar drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt (played by Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth), Lauda's Ferrari spins out of control during the 1976 German Grand Prix, resulting in a horrendous, fiery crash. For real-life Lauda, the third-degree burns to his face and head were so extensive that many believed he wouldn't make it. In fact, a priest was called to the hospital to read Lauda his last rites.

Fast forward six weeks and Lauda is at the Italian Grand Prix, bravely facing the public eye with the help of legendary Brazilian plastic surgeon Dr. Ivo Pitanguy, who performed the delicate, corrective surgery on one of Lauda's eyelids that wasn't able to close normally, expediting his return to racing.

Pitanguy, who's worked on some of the world's most recognizable faces (doctor-patient confidentiality prevents him from name-dropping) recently introduced a new product to his Beauty by Clinica line. Called PreVious Restoring Eye Cream, it restores and repairs the delicate, fragile skin around the eyes—much like the procedure performed on Lauda. As it's the thinnest skin on the body, it's the first place to show signs of aging, stress, and years of late nights.

Pitanguy uses a patented form of hyaluronic acid, a humectant that binds moisture to the skin and delivers deep hydration, plumps up fine lines and wrinkles, and firms slack skin. It's packed with serious ingredients, like a special peptide called PT4 that encourages drainage (to minimize puffiness) and inhibits glycation (inhibiting the way sugar can speed up the skin's aging process), and centella asiatica extract, which boasts anti-inflammatory and toning properties to brighten and tighten.

All this technology, however, comes at a price: $185, to be exact (the 1/2 ounce jar will last you 2-3 months with regular use). But if you're not ready to splurge (or your crow's feet don't require burn-victim grade product), we understand. So here are a few other doctor-endorsed eye treatments that also made our cut:

Advanced Eye Area Therapy by Dr. Perricone ($98)
Brimming with anti-aging goodies including Alpha Lipoic Acid, GABA, caffeine, and DMAE, this concentrated treatment helps turn back the clock on tired eyes. Fragrance and paraben-free, it's also ideal for guys with sensitive skin.

Dark Circles Away by Dr. Brandt ($55)
The roller ball application packs a three-way punch with a cooling sensation, even product distribution, and gentle application (much better than rubbing with your fingers, which can exacerbate wrinkles). The serum formulation also penetrates the skin faster than traditional creams.

Age Erase Moisture With Mega 10 for Eyes by Dr. Dennis Gross ($35)
Especially beneficial for super-dry skin, the ingredients in this formula read much like an alphabet primer. Vitamins A through E tackle basic concerns from moisture loss to droopy eyelids.

—Katie Chang is a writer and shopkeeper based in Brooklyn. Follow her at @katieshewrote.

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