One of the most underused and underrated skin care products out there are eye creams. Whether you're in your 20s or your 90s, you should be using an eye cream.
I'm here not only to get you motivated to add eye cream to your daily skincare routine, but also to help guide you to the most effective ones on the market. Eye creams are typically the most expensive product in a skin care routine, so it's best to get the most bang for your buck.
Why use an eye cream? Can't I just use my facial moisturizer under my eyes?
You can, but you shouldn't. Imagine using porcelain cleaner on your stainless steel, or your toilet brush for your shower tile. Different products that both may clean can have varying effects depending on the area you use it on.
Likewise, you wouldn't use a lotion designed for your heels on your face. The eye area is made up of the most delicate skin on your entire body. It's also worked out more than any other area, even those glutes.
Think about all of the expressions we make consciously and even unconsciously throughout the day--squinting, smiling, raising our eyebrows, frowning. Crow's feet can also be caused by poor diet, stress, smoking, and menopause. Some of these are in our control, and some are not.
Combine all these factors and it means that the eye area needs special targeted ingredients not found in your regular facial moisturizer.
Which eye cream is right for me?
Depending on your age and desired result, eye creams are tailored for a variety of skin needs. If puffiness or dark circles are an issue, a brightening or calming eye cream would be ideal. If wrinkles or dry skin are the issues, a hydrating or repairing one would be the correct choice.
When do I use an eye cream?
In the morning a brightening or vitamin C based eye cream is a good choice. At night, a repairing eye cream designed to hydrate, plump and firm is the correct route to take. Personally, at night I enjoy thick and rich eye creams, the thicker the better.
Esthetician-Recommended Eye Creams for Dark Circles
This happens to be the most difficult issue to address. Genetics, allergies, and thinness of the skin will determine how pigmented those dark circles appear. But all is not lost! Here are some tried and true eye creams to use in the morning to help brighten under eye dark circles:
Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff // This cream is formulated with energizing coffee, radiance-reviving ginseng, and anti-inflammatory magnolia, minimizing the appearance of dark circles, undereye bags and puffiness.
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme // The perfect eye cream to layer under concealer, this vitamin C and collagen formulation instantly reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream // A rich, restorative eye cream which features a brightening combination of eight peptides, five forms of vitamin C and cucumber extract.
Tata Harper Illuminating Dark Circle Eye Cream // A diamond-infused eye cream that illuminates, hydrates and minimizes the look of dark circles to instantly revive tired eyes.
Dermalogica BioLumin-C Eye Serum // This Vitamin C serum revives dull, aging eyes for a brighter, more youthful appearance.
Esthetician-Recommended Eye Creams for Wrinkles
For crow's feet and aging, look for eye creams that contain peptides, retinols, or alpha hydroxy acids. A few of my favorites for evening use include:
Eminence Bearberry Eye Repair Cream // Bearberry brightens the look of tired eyes, while red clover works to reduce the appearance of visible signs of aging.
Arcona Eye Dew // The protective anti-aging formula hydrates and revitalizes your eye area, preventing the deepening of fine lines and wrinkles.
SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex // Reduce the appearance of dark circles and capillaries, while flavanoids and peptides work over time to dramatically improve dark circles and puffiness.
Beat the Dark Circles At Home
Dark circles under the eyes can be frustrating and can make you look tired and older. While they can be caused by a variety of factors such as genetics, age, lack of sleep, dehydration, and allergies, there are some DIY fixes you can try at home to reduce their appearance. However, these fixes may not work for everyone and in some cases, it's best to consult with a board-certified dermatologist for professional advice. Here are a few things you can try:
- Use a hydrating eye cream: The skin beneath your eyes is delicate and thin, so it's important to use an eye cream that is gentle and hydrating. Look for an eye cream that contains hyaluronic acid, which can help plump and hydrate the skin, or vitamin C, which can help brighten the skin tone. Apply a small amount of eye cream to your under eye area twice daily, using your ring finger to gently tap it in.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can cause dark circles to appear, so it's important to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, try developing a bedtime routine to help you relax, avoid caffeine and electronics before bed, and sleep in a cool, dark room.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins can help promote healthy skin and reduce the appearance of dark circles. Incorporate foods like blueberries, spinach, and cucumbers into your diet to give your skin a boost.
- Protect your skin: Sun damage can cause the skin beneath your eyes to become discolored and damaged, so it's important to protect your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen or by wearing sunglasses when you're outside.
- Use a cold compress: Applying a cold compress to your under eye area can help reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels, which can make dark circles less noticeable. You can use a cold washcloth, a bag of frozen peas, or a cold spoon for this purpose. Just be sure to wrap the compress in a soft cloth before applying it to your skin.
- Use an eye mask: Eye masks can be a relaxing way to treat dark circles and puffy eyes. Look for an eye mask that contains ingredients like cucumber extract or green tea, which can help soothe and reduce inflammation. Apply the eye mask to your under eye area for 10-15 minutes a few times a week.
Prevention is key. Protecting your skin from sun damage, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet can all help prevent the appearance of dark circles. Be gentle when applying skincare products to your under eye area, as the skin is delicate and sensitive. If you have very delicate skin, look for products that are specifically formulated for sensitive or delicate under eye skin.
Want to make your own recipe?
Have you found a favorite eye cream that isn't on our list? You can also choose to go the DIY route, and try one of our all-natural recipes below:
- DIY Coffee-Infused Eye Cream to Fight Fine Lines
- Vitamin-Rich Homemade Eye Wrinkle Cream
- Carrot Seed + Rosehip Under Eye Eraser
- Anti-Wrinkle Eye Oil