Eye creams are a class of moisturizers and lotions crafted specifically for the delicate eye area. They tend to come in smaller sizes than a typical moisturizer, and they feature ingredients that are especially good for the issues that plague the eye area, like dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines. You might ask yourself, do I really need to use eye creams? How do I use them properly? Well, keep reading to find the answers!
In this article, I lay down all the knowledge you need about eye creams – how they work, what they are good for, and how to choose the best eye creams for your needs. I also explain the difference between eye creams, gels, and serums, and I’ll let you know the best way to apply eye creams. To finish of, I’ll give some suggestions for the best eye creams for all the different eye needs. Enjoy!
Best Eye Creams: Contents
• Do You Really Need to Use an Eye Cream?
• What Are Eye Creams Good For?
• How to Apply Eye Cream
• What About Eye Serums and Gels?
• How to Choose the Best Eye Creams for Your Different Eye Needs
• Best Eye Creams for Dryness
• Best Eye Creams for Fine Lines
• Best Eye Creams for Dark Circles
• Best Eye Creams for Puffiness
Anyone who answers this question with a yes is trying to sell you something (by something, I mean eye creams). Eye creams are phenomenal products that can have a very serious positive impact, but they are not a mandatory skincare product.
If you don’t have any eye-specific issues to address, and your moisturizer is nourishing and gentle without any strong actives, then you don’t have to use an eye cream. Your moisturizer will suffice.
However, if you have specific eye issues you would like to address, like puffiness, dark circles, or crow’s feet, then you should definitely opt for an eye cream. Eye creams are crafted to deal with the specific skin concerns that people usually have about the eye area, with the right concentration of active ingredients to target issues without irritating the skin.
Eye creams are excellent for treating the following issues:
• Dryness and dehydrations
• Hyperpigmentation and dark circles
• Loss of tone
• Fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet
• Sensitivity and redness around the eyes
• Eye creams with SPF can also provide eye protection
Since the skin around the eyes is so much thinner than the skin everywhere else on the face, it is very important to be extremely gentle when applying eye creams. If you follow these steps, you are guaranteed a perfect eye cream application routine!
• Begin with clean eyes! Use a gentle, eye-safe cleanser or eye makeup remover, and remove all makeup and impurities from around the eyes. If you are wearing heavy eye makeup, saturate a cotton pad with eye makeup remover, and press it against the eyes for a few seconds, to allow it to dissolve all of the makeup. Wipe it all away gentle.
• Now that the eye area is clean, squeeze or scoop out a tiny amount of the eye cream of your choice. You only need a tiny amount – we’re talking a fraction of a milliliter.
• Using your ring finger (the weakest finger on the hand, and because of that, also the gentlest finger), gently press the eye cream along the orbital bone. Begin below the inner corner of the eye, and work your way outwards. Then, apply the eye cream with the same gentle pressing motion along the brow bone.
• You don’t need to apply the eye cream directly on the eyelid or in the eye socket – you risk damaging the delicate skin there, or getting eye cream right in the eye. When you apply along the orbital bone, you can rest assured that the product will travel closer to the eye area.
Much like serums and gels for the face, eye serums and gels are simply eye care products with a thinner texture. Because of their thinner texture, they penetrate more quickly into the skin, and they are a great way of delivering potent active ingredients like vitamin C or retinol.
Unlike eye creams, eye serums and gels contain less occlusive ingredients, which means they are not as protective and moisturizing. If you have complex eye area concerns that you would like to improve, you might want to use both an eye serum/ gel and an eye cream!
Here are some guidelines for choosing the best eye creams for your specific concerns, with the best ingredients and textures for your unique needs!
Eye Creams for Dryness and Dehydrations
If your eye area simply needs more moisture, look for an eye cream (or a very gentle moisturizer, for that matter) with a mixture of hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and panthenol, and emollient/ occlusive ingredients that will look in moisture, like nutritious botanical oils.
Eye Creams for Hyperpigmentation and Dark Circles
This is the most common concern for the area around the eyes. There are two types of darkness people experience under the eyes, one of which is hyperpigmentation, which is normally brownish and can be fixed with eye creams and serums filled with skin-brightening ingredients like vitamin C, arbutin, niacinamide, licorice root extract, etc.
The second type of darkness under the eyes is caused by one of the following things: stress, not enough sleep, not enough iron in the body, and overly delicate or thin skin. This kind of darkness tends to be more blue-toned.
The key to improving these kinds of dark circles is in improving one’s lifestyle and diet, but topical eye creams can still slightly help. Look for eye creams with many antioxidants, skin-healing ingredients, ceramides, and retinol. These ingredients can promote cell regeneration, and help thicken up the skin under the eyes, to minimize the visible darkness.
Eye Creams for Puffiness and Purple Circles
The reason these two eye concerns are listed together is that they are both often caused by the same issue: congestion and circulation problems. The best way to treat them is with eye creams rich in topical ingredients that help improve circulation and tighten up the eye area. These include caffeine, green tea extract, and vitamin K. Gentle massage might also help, as would sleeping on the back, and keeping the sinuses clear.
Eye Creams for Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Crow’s Feet, and Loss of Elasticity
The same anti-age ingredients that help the rest of the skin will also help the eye area. To help minimize the look of fine lines around the eyes instantly, opt for humectants – especially hyaluronic acid, which has an instant plumping effect.
In the long term, you want to use skin-regenerating and protecting ingredients. Once again, retinol and vitamin C are good choices, as are all kinds of botanical oils and extracts that are rich in antioxidant vitamins.
Eye Creams for Sensitivity and Redness Around the Eyes
Many people find that they are more sensitive and prone to redness around the eye area, so using a gentle, fragrance-free eye cream is key. Opt for calming and skin-strengthening ingredients like green tea extract, ceramides, oat extract, and vitamin E, along with hydrators and botanical oils.
Eye Creams for Milia
Milia around the eyes look like whiteheads, and some people are very prone to getting them. Milia is essentially a hard plug of keratin (a protein that is part of human skin) that clogs the pores around the eyes.
The best eye creams for milia would include ingredients that can soften the plugs, and prevent their return. Most dermatologists recommend using retinol-based eye creams to do that, although it’s possible that gentle exfoliation with an eye product with salicylic acid could also help. For a quicker solution, you can also go to a dermatologist and have them lance and extract the milia.
Best Eye Creams for Every Skin Issue
So if you have decided you really need an eye cream in your skincare routine, make sure to try one of these best eye creams for dark circles, dryness, puffiness or fine lines!
1. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
Avocado oil and shea butter are perfect ingredients for nourishing the eye area and getting rid of dryness. This eye treatment is also loaded with antioxidants, so it is a perfect choice for preventing premature aging. It comes highly rated for its lovely texture. You can purchase it from Nordstrom.
2. Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream
You cannot go wrong with this gentle, moisturizing eye cream. It is deeply hydrating and very simple, so it can work really well even for those with very sensitive skin. It contains moisture-binding superstar hyaluronic acid, along with a few other antioxidants and hydrators. You can buy it at Dermstore.
1. Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment
This lovely eye product is light and gentle, but it helps to diminish the look of fine lines both instantly, and in the long term. The silicone formula hides the look of fine lines, while glutamine and alanine help to rejuvenate the skin over time. This excellent anti-age eye treatment is available at Sephora.
2. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream
The retinol in this eye cream makes it one of the more effective solutions to improving the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Hundreds of people swear by how effective it is, and the light, hydrating texture is another wonderful benefit. You can purchase a tube of this eye cream through Ulta.
1. Strivectin Intensive Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles
This product belongs in multiple categories, because of all of the moisturizing, anti-aging, and depuffing ingredients. Ultimately, I decided the respectable amount of niacinamide here would be excellent for dark circles caused by hyperpigmentation, while skin-repairing peptides would help to build up the skin cells and cover up dark circles caused by delicate skin. It is available for purchasing through Nordstrom.
2. Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment
For the best brightening, anti-aging, and skin repairing effect, how can you not opt for one of the most well researched ingredients – vitamin C. This brightening eye cream also moisturizes beautifully, with a collection of botanical oils along with squalane – one of my favorite ingredients! You can buy this eye cream from Sephora.
1. 100 Percent Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
Caffeine and green tea act as astringents in this eye cream, to firm up the eye area and break down fatty deposits, so your eye area will look healthy and tight. There are also lots of antioxidant-rich oils and botanicals to moisturize and protect from premature aging. You can grab yourself a tube at Dermstore.
2. Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate
You can nourish the eye area and eliminate puffiness with this caffeine-based eye cream. One of the best eye creams for puffiness, it also has lots of anti-aging ingredients including some of our favorite peptides. The consistency is silky, and sinks in quickly, so it’s great under makeup. You can pick it up at Ulta.
Photos via @lioninthewild, @jessimalay