Updated February 1, 2021Eye cream has been a topic of debate for many years in the beauty world. Some dermatologists and experts claim it’s a necessary step in your skin care routine, while others have deemed it as simply ‘overpriced moisturizer.’No matter your stance on eye cream, it’s important to remember that skincare is individual to everyone. What works for one person might not work for another—and that’s perfectly normal!With that being said, eye cream has the potential to be a transformative step in your skincare routine, and it doesn’t always have to break the bank. Whether you’re young and are looking to take preventative measures for your skin or are starting to notice signs of aging that you want to reverse, a quality eye cream might be just what your skin needs.Please keep reading to learn all about eye cream, including what it is, the signs you could benefit from using one, and ingredients to look for.First Things First: What is Eye Cream?Eye creams are specifically formulated to nourish the delicate skin under and around your eyes. These creams tend to be thicker in consistency and contain active ingredients to treat common problems we often notice in this area.Our eyes are at work all day, every day. We’re constantly moving, squinting, and straining them, which can cause stress on the delicate skin around them. This commonly appears in the form of puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles—which are a few of the concerns eye creams are designed to treat.Eye Cream vs. MoisturizerSo what makes eye cream different from a regular moisturizer? Is eye cream just a way for brands to sell us another product?The skin around our eyes is much thinner and is, therefore, more fragile than the skin on the rest of our faces and bodies. It’s often the first place to show signs of aging and is one of the most noticeable. Think about it—when talking to one other, we often are looking into each other’s eyes!While a natural face moisturizer can certainly benefit your under eyes, eye cream is specifically designed to treat the delicate eye area without irritating it. We only get one set of eyes, and eye cream is an extra step that can have a significant long-term impact.An eye cream contains concentrated ingredients (which we’ll cover later in this article) that can nourish and protect the delicate skin around our peepers. Whether you’re looking to fight signs of aging or combat dark circles and puffiness (or all of the above!), there are plenty of options to choose from.While eye creams often get a bad rap for being expensive, there are many affordable options. A $15 cream from the drugstore can be a worthwhile investment and provide noticeable results. Plus, as eye cream is meant to be applied in tiny amounts, one jar can last you a long time.Eye Gels and Eye SerumsWhen you’re shopping for a good eye cream, you’re likely to run into similar products such as eye gels and eye creams. These are usually watery, lighter products.Eye gels often focus on treating the “raccoon eyes” that give you a tired appearance or on alleviating puffiness. Gels may also be recommended as a way to treat small bumps on your face that form on eyelids or in the under-eye area.Eye serums are designed to provide a concentrated dose of helpful ingredients that your skin quickly absorbs. Serums are often a “long-term” product, penetrating deep into your face to take care of skin cells that aren’t yet surface level. Serums can also be better suited for all skin types.How do you know when to use a gel, a serum, or a cream? Gels and serums often pair better with other products because of their reduced residue, so some people use them during the day and reserve the heavier, rich eye creams for their nighttime routine. Others may choose to reap the benefits of two products at once, such as applying an eye serum before a cream.How to Know if You Need an Eye CreamSo how do you know if your skin could actually benefit from an eye cream? Here are a few signs that may make you a good candidate:Sagging skinEye wrinklesDrynessPuffinessDark eye circlesEye bagsSun damageCrow’s feet (fine lines that gather around the outer corner of your eyes)Ingredients to Look ForEye creams are formulated with a variety of different ingredients. This can be overwhelming if you don’t know what each ingredient is designed to do—but don’t panic! Here’s a list of special ingredients (and their benefits) that are commonly found in eye creams:Hyaluronic acid (HA): Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient for plump, hydrated skin. Our bodies naturally produce hyaluronic acid, but this diminishes as we age. HA is excellent for retaining moisture and locking it in throughout the day, which is why it’s a top ingredient in many eye creams.Retinol: One of the most well-known anti-aging ingredients, retinol can offer incredible benefits for the under-eye area. Specifically, retinol sloughs away aging cells for new ones to form, promotes new cell growth, and stimulates collagen production, which, like hyaluronic acid, naturally decreases as we age. Something to keep in mind with a retinol eye cream is to only use it at night, as it can make your skin more sensitive and prone to sun damage.Vitamin C: When you think of vitamin C, think brightening. This antioxidant protects the skin from free radicals caused by UV exposure, and it also slows melanin production in the skin to lighten darkness and hyperpigmentation.Vitamin E: Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E helps to protect skin from free radicals. It also helps protect the skin from UV rays (when paired with SPF) and hydrate and soothe irritated skin.Caffeine: Caffeine can provide the ultimate wake-up call for tired eyes. This ingredient combats puffiness, darkness, and can even help to smooth fine lines.Green tea extract: On a similar note, green tea extract is another ingredient that is perfect for tired eyes. Green tea constricts blood vessels, minimizes swelling, and soothes inflamed skin.Coal tar: Coal tar is often found in doctor prescribed creams and is used to treat skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. The tar encourages your skin to shed dead cells and slow down cell growth.What Eye Creams Have to OfferThere are thousands of eye creams on the market, all claiming to offer different benefits. However, some of the most common benefits of eye cream include:Increased Skin ElasticityThe anti-aging skincare game is a fight against gravity. While eye cream can’t completely stop the aging process, a quality product can slow the process by firming and tightening the skin under and around our eyes.Skin-BrighteningIf you’re someone who suffers from dark circles and dullness around your eyes, you’ll want to opt for an eye cream with skin-brightening ingredients (such as vitamin C). Over time, an eye cream can help combat darkness and give the skin around your eyes a boost of radiance.HydrationThe skin under our eyes needs moisture. The right eye cream can boost hydration and help keep this area plump and dewy. Not only is this good for your skin, but it can also help your other under eye products.Relief from IrritationThe constant movement of our eyes and rubbing and touching them throughout the day can easily irritate the skin. If you’re someone who has sensitive skin, to begin with, you may suffer from red, itchy, and inflamed skin around your eyes. However, an eye cream formulated with soothing ingredients like green tea can calm irritation while hydrating and nourishing the eyes.Anti-AgingFighting signs of aging is one of the most common reasons people reach for an eye cream. As mentioned, our under eyes are one of the first areas to show signs of aging, and an eye cream formulated with the right ingredients can help combat the wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging that comes with age.You don’t have to wait until you have crow’s feet to apply an anti-aging cream. A good cream is often better as a preventive measure against wrinkles than a remedy to smooth them out after they develop.PreventionIf you are in your 20s or 30s, using eye cream can be an amazing way to prevent wrinkles and fine lines from forming in the first place. It’s never too soon to start taking care of your skin. You’ll thank yourself later!AntioxidantWhile antioxidants don’t have immediate visible effects on the skin, they can help shield the skin from environmental stressors that speed up aging. Using an eye cream formulated with antioxidants is a great way to protect the delicate skin in this area.Sun ProtectionMany eye creams are formulated with SPF, which are great for daytime use. Even if your daily facial moisturizer contains sunscreen, using an eye cream with SPF can provide an extra layer of protection and fight the harmful effects of the sun’s harsh UV rays. Still, even if your eye cream does include SPF, it’s smart to apply a sunscreen to your face as the final step in your care routine.Applying Eye CreamIf it’s your first time, you might be unsure how to apply an eye cream. Common questions include “How much do you use?” and “How close do you get to the eyes?” We’ll briefly go over the steps of applying eye cream.First, follow the prior steps of your care routine. Normally, that means cleansing and exfoliating the skin, then applying a face toner. If you choose to use a serum, apply it after the toner and before the cream.Then comes the eye cream. Dab a small amount onto your ring finger, then place it over the inner corner of your eye. With gentle patting motions, dot the cream from the inner corner to the outer corner.After it’s applied, use your ring finger to blend in the cream with light presses and taps. Avoid rubbing the cream into the thin skin here.When it comes to applying eye cream, you don’t want to get too close to your eyes. So, where do you apply eye cream? A good rule of thumb is to follow the feel of your eye socket, ensuring you don’t move past it. You don’t want to apply eye cream to your eyelids unless the product specifically calls for that.Allow the eye cream time to sink into your skin before you move onto a moisturizer and sunscreen.Tips for Picking the Best Eye CreamPicking the right eye cream for your specific skin type is key.If you have oily skin, you’ll likely want to look for an oil-free formula. Many eye creams come in lightweight gel formulas, which can be ideal for those who don’t want a product that feels too heavy on the skin. Don’t forget to cleanse before applying all of your products, including the eye cream, to ensure you don’t break out in adult acne.If your skin is on the dry side, you may want to opt for a thicker cream full of hydrating ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid or a nourishing oil like rosehip seed oil). If you have combination skin, you’ll want to choose a cream that helps keep your skin hydrated but isn’t overly oily or greasy.Those with sensitive skin types will want to be extra careful when choosing an eye cream. Always look at the ingredients to ensure the product is free of any harsh chemicals, artificial dyes, or fragrances. Choosing an eye cream formulated with all-natural ingredients may be the best choice.Frequently Asked QuestionsShould guys use eye cream?Yes, men aren’t immune to the effects of aging and dehydrated skin, and many skin products can be used by anyone or target men specifically. A proper men’s eye cream can treat the appearance of dark circles, puffy eyes, and crow’s feet. Men can decide if a heavy cream or lightweight eye gel fits better into their lifestyles.What are the benefits of eye cream?One of the biggest benefits is rehydrating your skin. The skin around your eyes is particularly prone to drying out and becoming irritated. A good eye cream can also keep the skin looking tight and firm, preventing wrinkles from forming.How is eye cream different from face cream?The skin around your eyes is more delicate and thin than the rest of your facial skin. An eye cream is formulated with that in mind. Usually, an eye cream is milder than a cream for the entire face, containing less grease than the average moisturizer.Does eye cream help with dark circles?Yes, using an eye cream can reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. Many eye creams brighten the skin, masking the dark bags. Others might constrict the blood vessels in the area, lowering the skin’s redness.You can also treat dark circles by making sure you get a good night’s rest. If you’re not following a good sleep schedule, your skin may look paler when you wake up, making eye circles more obvious.What can I use instead of eye cream?If you’ve run out of eye cream and don’t have a chance to re-stock soon, you can treat your eyes with some homemade remedies:If you have puffy eyes, try boiling two cups of water. Add a couple of bags of green tea and let the water cool down. Soak cotton rounds in the tea and apply to the under-eye area.You can ease swelling and brighten your skin by freezing coffee into ice cubes. The coffee’s antioxidant properties canNumerous oils such as olive oil and coconut oil can be applied to your eye area, smoothing the skin and locking in moisture.ConclusionAll in all, finding an eye cream that works for your individual skin type may take some trial and error. Always do your research beforehand and read customer ratings and reviews, as this can help to give you an idea of whether a product will work for you or not.Once you find an eye cream that works for you, stick to a regular regimen of using it every morning and night. Consistency is key to long-term results!This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.