Eye cream: a luxurious add-on or a skincare staple? And is it really that different from a face cream? The debates around step two in your skincare regimen are plenty — but so are the benefits.
We’re here to share expert advice and solve common doubts along the way. Let’s dive into the world of eye creams, including how they work and how to use them.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why do you need an eye cream?
- 2 How should I apply eye cream?
- 3 Start the search for the perfect eye cream (or two)
- 4 Just the FAQs
Why do you need an eye cream?
The skin around the eye is actually the thinnest part of the face, making it one of the places most likely to show signs of aging, damage, and stress. Think about it: laughing with friends, squinting into the sun (or at the computer screen). The skin around your eyes gets an extra workout on the daily, so it could use a little extra dedication, too.
Here are a few things that a good eye cream can do:
- Combat eye bags. Targeted ingredients can minimize puffiness, improving firmness and elasticity.
- Fight dark circles. Reach for formulas designed to diminish the appearance of dark circles, restoring brightness to your look.
- Hydrate. On top of working to moisturize, many eye creams act proactively by locking in water before environmental stressors can zap it from your skin.
- Support well-aging. Stimulating powerhouses, such as caffeine, and smoothing allies, such as rice extract, can help soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
How is an eye cream different from a face cream?
While it’s true that eye cream and face cream ingredient lists can overlap, there are two main differences: concentration and concern. The sensitive under eye area can’t always handle the same powerful formulation as the rest of your face. And it’s likely that your goals vary, too (think targeting bags vs. correcting sun spots).
In other words: does it make sense to use the same product to wash your body as your face? Ideally, opt for a formula that’s targeted toward the unique needs of the eye contour area.
How should I apply eye cream?
It’s best to smooth eye contour cream onto clean, dry skin before any serums or moisturizers. And why not after? Face products can sometimes cause irritation when they come into contact with this sensitive zone. By applying eye contour cream first, you can make sure that this delicate area absorbs all the right ingredients — while shielding it from anything that’s too harsh.
Next up? Pay attention to how and where you apply your eye cream. Even if you’re excited to get started (as it should be!), take a pause to read your product’s label. Do the instructions only mention the under eye or the lid area too? Most often, eye creams are designed for just the contour, AKA under eye. So, if your product’s how-to doesn’t specify, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Now for the how: opt for a gentle application with your ring finger. With a daintier touch than the index, you can smooth on the cream with just-right pressure.
Start the search for the perfect eye cream (or two)
If you haven’t found an eye cream to star in your skincare line up yet, not to worry. Pick your objective below to set off in the right direction.
Minimize bags and dark circles: K-Ox Eyes
This multitasker combats bags, puffiness, and dark circles in one stroke, brightening the under eye area. To top it off, the award-winning formula offers a firming effect while protecting skin from moisture loss.
How to use it:
Apply a small amount, roughly the size of a grain of rice, onto your fingertip. Massage under the eye with light touches, gently extending with the cooling, ceramic applicator to refresh your look.
This is your ideal eye cream if:
- You’d love to visibly reduce puffiness and dark circles.
- You’re in need of a refreshing effect to awaken your look (on even the earliest of mornings).
- You’re craving a brighter, more even skin tone in your under eye area.
Boost firmness and soften lines: Vital Eyes
Our eye contour cream formulated with melatonin works while you sleep to combat oxidative stress accumulated throughout the day. Take advantage of your skin’s natural nighttime repair mode to help improve the signs of skin aging, like fine lines and wrinkles.
How to use it:
Gently tap the product into the under-eye area — not too close to the eye — and avoid pulling. With Vital Eyes, you can then use the cooling applicator tool to extend the cream and enjoy a light lymphatic drainage massage. For best results, slowly and gently move the applicator from your inner eye contour corner outwards, with smooth, repeated strokes. And voilà!
This is your ideal eye cream if:
- You’re looking to dramatically diminish fine lines and crow’s feet.
- You’d like to firm things up: the formula’s prolonged lifting effect helps promote a well-rested look.
- You’re in search of a rich, luxurious texture.
Just the FAQs
What are the five basic steps of skincare?
Here’s a simple breakdown of a skincare routine:
Step 2: Apply eye contour cream
Step 3: Apply your serum
Step 5: Protect skin with sunscreen
✨ Not sure what your skin type is or how to start building a routine? Take our quick skincare routine quiz!
What is the right age to use eye cream?
Generally, the sooner, the better. The delicate skin under your eyes can begin to show its first signs of aging starting in your 20s. That’s when things start to slow down — like the skin’s natural formation of hyaluronic acid and the turnover of collagen and elastin. And this can cause fine lines to pop up around the eyes. Meaning? It’s never too early (or too late) to prioritize targeted care for this delicate zone.
Is it better to put eye cream on at night or in the morning?
Many eye creams are meant for both AM and PM. However, it’s best to check your product’s label. Also, some ingredients do their best work at a certain time of day. Take melatonin for example: it wakes up your skin’s antioxidant defenses overnight.
Overall, consistency is key. So as long as you’re applying eye cream daily, you should be on your way to results.
Now that you’ve met your ideal eye cream, it’s time to add it to your daily skincare routine. Happy, healthy, beautiful skin to follow!
Amy is a content strategist who turned a part-time obsession with skincare into a full-time passion. Her experience as a creative storyteller includes a range of lifestyle and technology topics across Washington D.C. and Barcelona. What's in her travel bag? Eye contour cream and sunscreen, always.