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What Is Eye Cream?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 21, 2024
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An eye cream is a specially formulated moisturizer that in most cases has been tested as effective to use near the eyes, and that won’t damage the soft tissue around the eyes or cause eye irritation. Many of these creams are made with special ingredients that help either reduce the look of wrinkles around the eyes, provide anti-aging benefits, or help to reduce darker skin tone around the eyes. Some products offer more than one benefit, but all benefit claims have to be taken with a grain of salt, since cosmetic companies are quite well known for making inflated claims about their products.

Some eye cream types contain ingredients that help firm the skin, like caffeine, retinol, or vitamin C. These may temporarily provide a firmer look to the eyes. Those creams that help to lighten skin around the eyes, especially dark circles may contain ingredients such as hydroquinone or Vitamin K. Occasionally you’ll find creams that offer anti-aging or firming benefits and targeted eye creams for dark circles.

Often eye cream formulas have heavier moisturizing ingredients, and some night creams can be used safely around the eyes. You still have to be careful applying any of these creams since even if they don’t damage the eyes, they may still hurt if you get some of the cream in your eyes. Eye creams may also be sold as oils or serums instead of creams, which some people find easier to apply.

There is significant variation in price in eye creams, and many come in very small bottles. Trying out a few before buying can help, and sometimes cosmetics companies will offer small samples. Especially when an eye cream is greatly expensive, it’s a great idea to see if it works for you, rather than plunk down a lot of money to get a product that doesn’t work very well. There are a few eye cream variants that are sold by prescription only. Anything containing hydroquinone may be available in certain countries only by prescription, and some countries ban its use because it may be connected with a higher incidence of skin cancer.

Eye cream with high acid content may make skin more vulnerable to the sun. If you’re using a product with acids, make sure to protect your eyes and skin during the day with a high SPF sunscreen, and with sunglasses. Other eye creams tend to skip compounds that make the skin more vulnerable and lean heavily on moisturizers.

A good way to start choosing an eye cream that will be right for you is to read independent customer reviews of products. You may also get recommendations from friends, or ask your dermatologist what he or she recommends. Aestheticians and make up artists can be another excellent source for discovering which eye creams might truly deliver on their promises.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a BeautyAnswered contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By SteamLouis — On Sep 08, 2014

For everyone suffering from puffy, tired eyes in the morning, I recommend an eye cream with caffeine. I was skeptical at first, but it really works.

If I wake up with very puffy eyes, what I do is put on a cold gel, eye mask for about fifteen minutes while I have breakfast. Cold cucumber slices under the eyes will work too. Then I apply my caffeine eye cream. By the time I get to work, my eyes are back to normal. They look fresh and rested, just the way I want them to look.

By ysmina — On Sep 07, 2014

@serenesurface-- I don't think that's a good idea. I tried it before. I used my facial cream under my eyes and it caused little white spots under my eyes. I found out later that the skin under our eyes is very thin and delicate. The rest of our face is not like that. So creams that work for our face, won't work for the area around our eyes. Moreover, the skin under the eyes tend to have more issues like wrinkles, puffiness and dark spots. So it needs special care and it needs a special cream to take care of those problems.

Although eye creams may seem like they are expensive for the amount, they last a long time. A little goes a way. You only need a pea sized amount. Apply it with your ring finger with light patting and let your skin absorb it well.

By serenesurface — On Sep 07, 2014

Is it necessary to buy a separate eye cream for my beauty routine? Can't I just use my regular facial cream under my eyes? Eye cream is very expensive.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a BeautyAnswered contributor, Tricia...
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