Do You Really Need An Eye Cream?

by Gio
Do you really need eye cream?

Do you need eye cream?

I don’t use one. Well, most of the time…

I do use an eye cream if I get a u/ sets that happen to have one, or a PR sends me a sample, because I don’t want them to go to waste. But, actually go out and buy a full-size jar of eye cream with my own money?

Never.

When I was young, I’d tell myself I didn’t need it and would think about buying one when the first few lines would appear (which is SO wrong, because by then it’s usually too late). And, when they appeared , I already knew enough about skincare to know what a con they are.

Turns out, there really is no difference between a facial moisturizer and an eye cream. Well, actually there’s a difference: the price. With eye creams, you’re paying more for less product.

Told you, it was a con. Here’s why:



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Do You Need Eye Cream?: The Case Against

Myth 1: Eye Creams Contain Special Ingredients For The Eye Area

The skin around our eyes is thinner and super delicate, so there must be some special ingredients just for it, right?

Wrong. Take a look at your fave moisturizers and eye creams. Their formulas are almost identical: same moisturizing ingredients, same antioxidants, some sunscreen actives….

Truth is, the ingredients that provide these benefits are the same for all types of skincare products.

Wait, what about ingredients for dark circles and puffy eyes?

Ok, those, like caffeine, aren’t usually found in facial moisturizers. But, have you ever found an eye cream that can really get rid of puffy eyes or undereye bags?

Me neither.

Sure, some can help. But, you know why? Because they have light-reflective particles and silicones that fill in wrinkles and make them look smaller.

The same light-reflective particles and silicones that are used in facial moisturizers. Need I say more, girls?

Related: Can Vitamin K Treat Dark Circles?

Curious to know what really works against dark circles? Click on the image below to subscribe to my newsletter and download the Dark Circle cheatsheet. It lists all causes of dark circles and how to fix them.

Myth #2: Eye Creams are more gentle

Some of them, maybe. But, you’d be surprised how many eye creams contain fragrance, alcohol, and lots of other stuff that’s irritating for the thicker skin of your face, let alone the delicate skin of your eyes.

Just because it is labelled EYE cream, it doesn’t mean it is suitable for the eye area.

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Do You Need Eye Cream: The Case For It

Every rule has an exception. This one has two. Using a separate eye cream may be worth it in two cases:

1. When your facial moisturizer isn’t suitable for the eye area.

If it contains alcohol, fragrance, or any irritating ingredients, it may be best not to use it on the eye area. But, in this case, why not switch to a fomula you can use all over?

2. The eye area has different needs

If yoru skin is drier under your eyes and oilier everywhere else, for example, then using two separate products makes sense. But, they don’t need to be a face cream and an eye cream. It could be two face creams. Just look at the formula, not the label.

Shop Eye Creams

The Bottom Line

Your undereye area needs just what your face needs: a well-formulated moisturizer that hydrates, helps fight premature aging, and provides sun protection. So, save yourself some money, and buy yourself a good facial moisturizer you can use all over, eye area included.

Do you think you need eye cream? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Take The Guesswork Out Of Skincare Shopping

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50 comments

Dao May 30, 2011 - 12:20 pm

Nice article. Once, I used the same face cream for my eyes and got tiny little scales around my eyelids. I switched to the regular eye cream and it took time for the scales to fade away. Theoretically, if your facial moisturizer is light-weight and scent-free, you can use it as your eye cream but I learned my lesson 🙂

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beautifulwithbrains May 30, 2011 - 4:44 pm

Dao, I’m sorry that you had a bad experience when you tried to use your face moisturizer on your eye area. I do think it depends on the product as there are some face moisturizers that won’t work on the eye area, just like there are face moisturizers that cause havoc on the skin. Some products work, others don’t. But even if your usual face moisturizer doesn’t work, you can always buy one that is scent-free and lightweight and use it on the eyes as that’ll probably cost you less than using a separate eye cream but work just as well.

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esther September 12, 2018 - 8:11 am

YAY! i knew it….thanks Gio!

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Gio September 13, 2018 - 4:51 pm

Esther, 🙂

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Sandra L May 30, 2011 - 1:26 pm

Hi! Another nice article! You are lucky you can do this. I never had much luck using my face cream in the eye contour, I usually get little red bumps that are quite annoying. However I never had much luck with eye creams either as my upper eyelid is quite oily and my lower lid area is dry. Though it seems the last one I bought is performing better than all previous ones (which included high end and pharmacy brands). The fine lines I had under my eyes from dehydration are getting better and my under eye circles too (although the packaging says nothing about circles and no cream had ever improved their condition). It was a good surprise and I was just expecting it to be moisturizing. Also, my upper eyelid is no more oily than it was before and that’s good. For reference it’s Bioderma Sensibio eye contour cream.

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beautifulwithbrains May 30, 2011 - 4:54 pm

Sandra, it can be really hard to find a good moisturizer for the eye area when different parts have different needs. I am glad to hear the Bioderma cream is working well for you. I think people should just use the products that work best for them, it’s just that I don’t agree with the concept that you need a separate eye cream. The eye area needs a moisturizer, but whether the label states eye or face doesn’t really matter as they are pretty much the same thing really.

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leo May 30, 2011 - 2:19 pm

I confess: every time I buy something beauty-related, I ask for a sample of eye cream “to test because I have very sensitive eyes” – I survive on samples… 😉
(and eye cream samples are quite generous, compared to the size of the actual cream!)

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beautifulwithbrains May 30, 2011 - 4:57 pm

Leo, lol, but good for you. Eye cream samples are generous indeed and they last quite a while. 🙂

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Jamilla May 30, 2011 - 2:52 pm

I think your point about whether a moisturiser is suitable for use in the eye area is key. I use an eye cream for two reasons: 1-my face cream has SPF and can irritate my eyes. 2-in middle age, my eye area is much thinner and drier than my facial skin, so I use a rich eye cream.

In general, though, your observations are absolutely right!

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beautifulwithbrains May 30, 2011 - 6:57 pm

Jamilla, I think it depends on a product really. Some are well-formulated, others aren’t. It’s just a matter of finding what works for you and better suits your needs. If the skin of the eye area and that of the face have different needs, then it is obviously best to use different products but they could just be two face moisturizers and not necessarily a face moisturizer and an eye cream. They are all just moisturizers really and if you find a product that works, you should stick to it despite on how it is labelled. I just disagree that only eye creams are suitable for the eye area cos they are just expensive facial moisturizer in smaller jars.

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ali May 30, 2011 - 7:03 pm

i found that subversive apothecary’s serum works for everything, and has made my (emerging) fine lines under my eyes much more moisturized and not as pronounced. WAY better than any drugstore purchase.

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beautifulwithbrains May 30, 2011 - 7:58 pm

Ali, I’m glad you found something that works well for you and it is multi-tasking too.

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Sophie April 4, 2012 - 2:26 am

But isn’t it also important to use sunscreen around your eyes as well? Possibly in a facial moisturizer made for sensitive skin if the eye cream is too harsh?

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beautifulwithbrains April 4, 2012 - 1:16 pm

Sophie, yes, it’s important to wear sunscreen around the eyes too. I just use my regular face sunscreen, but you could use a moisturizer with SPF that’s not too rich as well.

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La Bisbetica May 30, 2011 - 9:15 pm

Great post!
I use eyecream since a couple of years. When I was in high school I use my moisturizer on eye area too, I was scared when I read that it shouldn’t be used there. To be honest I never had problems but I prefer to use eyecream since my eye contour is dryer than my face.

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beautifulwithbrains May 31, 2011 - 1:29 pm

La Bisbetica, there really is no reason why face moisturizers can’t be used on the eye area, unless they contain harsh and irritating ingredients. But if a product irritates my eye area, I just wouldn’t wanna use it anywhere else. In that case, a separate cream for the eyes is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be labelled as an eye cream. A richer facial moisturizer would do but if you’ve found a good eye cream that works well for you, by all means keep using it.

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Vonvon May 30, 2011 - 10:22 pm

I do apply some of my lighter face moisturizer around my eye area.

But generally, I do use a dedicated eye cream (or two) for my eyes. Before I used only one type of eye cream for day and night.

Now I use Lancome Neuroshield eye cream with SPF 15 for day time, and Lancome Renergie Yeux for night time. The Renergie eye cream really works for the developing fine lines around my eyes.

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beautifulwithbrains May 31, 2011 - 1:34 pm

Vonvon, I’m glad you found an eye cream that works well for you. I wish eye creams were cheaper though since they are just regular moisturizers but in a smaller packaging.

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Lys February 20, 2019 - 5:15 am

Ladies, I was wondering too why eye creams are more expensive. I look at ingredients list and found the same as the ingredients in a moisturiser. So I rarely use eye creams, except for those sample sizes that were given with purchase of other products. Before, when I was not into reading a lot of intelligent beauty blogs (like Gio’s), my belief is that the more expensive the item, the more effective it is. So in my 20s, my wish was to be able to buy an eye cream when I am earning a lot. But it changed one decade and six wrinkles later, when I realized that it’s not always price = quality. Still, to this date, the price of eye creams are unacceptable for me. lol.

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Gio February 20, 2019 - 5:50 pm

Thank you, Lys. I hear ya! When I was a teen and just started to get into skincare, I really coveted those expensive eye creams I saw in the magazines (hey, there was no internet back then). But as soon as you delve deeper into the science, it’s appalling what they charge for a bit of a moisturiser in a smaller jar!

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MarciaF May 31, 2011 - 1:13 am

Oh just wait til you are in your fifties!! I didn’t use eye cream until I turned 50 and then I became addicted. I don’t find moisturizer is the same.

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beautifulwithbrains May 31, 2011 - 1:36 pm

MarciaF, I just think it is a matter of finding a good moisturizer for mature skin though. I really can’t bring myself to splurge on eye creams knowing they don’t contain any special ingredients for the eye area. But maybe in my 50s I’ll change my mind, who knows?

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Nikki May 31, 2011 - 1:30 am

I love eye creams and I use them regularly! I’ve seen huge effects on my eyes base on photos from last year and this year 😀

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beautifulwithbrains May 31, 2011 - 1:42 pm

Nikki, I’m glad they work well for you. I don’t have anything against eye creams, I just don’t understand why they have to be so expensive when they don’t contain any special ingredients but come in a smaller packaging. But if they work for you, that’s great. 🙂

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Roxann May 31, 2011 - 6:08 am

I really need a cream to target the fine lines under my eyes. Im 26 and the lines make me look 46! Help! I have tried Estee Lauder advanced night repair and now im using Avon Dermafull….i just dont know what ingredients to look for…

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beautifulwithbrains May 31, 2011 - 1:46 pm

Roxann, to reduce fine lines the only ingredients that work overtime are Retinoids. They can be irritating at first so use them carefully. Other ingredients that will prevent new fine lines from forming or existing ones getting worse are antioxidants like Vitamins C and E and sunscreen. I hope this helps.

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Jeni May 31, 2011 - 8:42 am

I don’t use eye creams because I have dry skin and use a really thick and hydrating moisturizer on my whole face – including my eye area. And usually eye creams are twice the price for half the product. I sometimes use the Clinique All About Eyes that I see you have in your “how to apply eye cream” post, but I only use that because it was a free-with-purchase product.

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beautifulwithbrains May 31, 2011 - 1:53 pm

Jeni, I agree with you. Your face moisturizer will do, no need to spend extra money on eye creams which are expensive but come in small packaging. That Clinique cream was part of a travel-size set and I thought it worked well even though it’s a shame that comes in a jar instead of a tube.

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Adia May 31, 2011 - 10:34 am

Thank you for the useful article.
Someone told me before that eye cream doesn’t make anything different than the face cream.I beleive that too but it just makes me feel good to use the eye cream LOL

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beautifulwithbrains May 31, 2011 - 1:54 pm

Adia, if it makes you feel good then keeping using eye creams lol. But yes, they really aren’t that different from face creams.

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Tammy June 1, 2011 - 6:20 am

I haven’t bought eye cream in years! I’m oily, but the skin under my eyes is really dry. I just use my regular moisturizer, then slather on a thin layer of Aquaphor under my eyes. It works great, and it’s cheap!

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beautifulwithbrains June 1, 2011 - 7:13 am

Tammy, I’m glad you found a cheap moisturizer that works for you. I don’t think you really need an eye cream. They are so expensive that, if you a different skin type in different areas, buying two face moisturizers will be less expensive than buying a face moisturizer and an eye cream. And work just as well.

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fluthergirlraggedyme June 13, 2012 - 1:33 pm

I agree, I’ve come to realize after getting older, that I’m only throwing my money away when I purchase a separate eye cream, even experts, the honest ones, who aren’t trying to make a buck, will agree too.

If my moisturizer, and or sunscreen can’t cover my entire face, including around my eyes, I won’t purchase it. I also, won’t purchase anything in a jar, if it states it has antioxidants in it.

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beautifulwithbrains June 13, 2012 - 8:54 pm

fluthergirlraggedyme, I agree with everything you said. You are a smart shopper. I too think it’s not worth it to buy a moisturizer that’s not good for your entire face and antioxidants in a jar are a big no-no indeed.

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jose March 13, 2013 - 11:12 pm

I really think that is nice you have an article so interesting such as, eye care creams my addition to this topic is that hope people make research about the products they use since with the new technology people can post whatever they want, believe that not necessarly true. In my experience I have seen people when they get little bumps on the around under eye area. Those bumps are not easy to eradicate therefore, for the amount of cream that I need to take care of my eyes I rather to pay the price and listen the dermatologist knowledge rather than somebody just post whatever she or he thinks.

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beautifulwithbrains March 14, 2013 - 8:32 am

Jose, that’s a good point. I believe that bloggers’ reviews can be helpful as they tell you how thin/thick the texture is, how it smells, if the packaging dispenses too much product or not… But then how well a product works depends on the ingredients and to learn how those work requires a lot of study and research. The opinion of a blogger can’t substitute that of a dermatologist of course (I always recommend you go see one, especially if you have serious skincare problems, for a proper skincare routine and treatment that will suit your needs), but can enrich it by pointing out all the little bits that dermatologists may not take into consideration such as a bad scent.

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Tarron October 23, 2014 - 7:51 pm

I’m sorry but this is not true especially for aging skin. There is a reason you are supposed to use products that are formulated for your eye area specifically.
People are leaving comments above telling you how they have had a reaction from using their face creme on their eyes and you are saying “Dao, I’m sorry that you had a bad experience when you tried to use your face moisturizer on your eye area. I do think it depends on the product as there are some face moisturizers that won’t work on the eye area, just like there are face moisturizers that cause havoc on the skin.” but still saying it is fine to use your face creme. More often than not your face creme is too strong for the eye area.
http://beauticontrol.typepad.com/gary/2014/04/proper-application-of-eye-products.html

http://beauticontrol.typepad.com/gary/your-questions-answered/

There are significant differences between eye cremes and facial cremes. If you buy them from a good company and do your research, you will be able to see the difference in your skin. I am a Beauti Control rep and our company is very open with the research and development of our products and every ingredient that goes into each products. Just because you buy something from the mall does not make it a good product. Lancome and other brands sold at malls across America still have lead in their products. Avon and Mary Kay have also been found to have lead in their products.

You are flip flopping in every reply to each person.

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Gio October 24, 2014 - 2:31 pm

Tarron, thank you for your comment. If I am flip flopping is because there isn’t a definite answer. My point is that the eye area needs a good moisturizer capable of providing to its needs without side effects, but whether that moisturizer is marketed as eye or face cream is irrelevant. There are many face creams that work well on the eye areas and others that don’t, just like that are many eye creams that work for the same areas and many that don’t.

I don’t doubt there are companies that do their best to create eye creams that are suitable for the eye area and that work well for it, but there are also many others that just repackage their face moisturizers (sometimes just tweaking them a bit) in smaller containers so you’re paying for the same thing twice.

My point is: use what works for you. If your face moisturizer works well for you eye area, why not use that? If your area has different needs from the rest of your face, or your facial moisturizer doesn’t work for it, then buy a separate cream.

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Angelina February 21, 2016 - 10:17 pm

Can I use sleep and peel night cream from filorga around my eyes at night and day time use Jojoba oil on my face and eye.

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Gio February 22, 2016 - 5:39 pm

Angelina, if they work well for you, and don’t cause any irritations or breakouts, then yes, you can.

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Amanda June 8, 2017 - 4:14 pm

I’ve always used an eye cream because it’s always been drummed into our heads that you are supposed to and I never thought to question I guess. Right now I am not wearing any because I have purchased so many over the years and they never really did anything for me other than a temporary or superficial lift. I would like the next one that I do buy actually DO something for dark circles and my hollow, sunken undereyes!
Do you know if I can wear the Olay Total Effects 7 in One Moisturizer with SPF 15 for face as an eye cream too? It’s fragrance-free. I bought it after you wrote about it on this blog and I like what it’s doing for my skin so far, and would like to wear it under my eyes as well.

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Gio June 10, 2017 - 7:19 pm

Amanda, yes, you can. I do it all the time, it’s one of my fave moisturizers for the entire face, eye area included.

I wish the same. The day someone will come up with it, I will be the first to buy it. Until then, let’s stick to our facial moisturizers.

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paulette lancaster January 26, 2018 - 2:10 pm

I’ve used some of the “best” pricey eye creams from Saks, Barneys, & plastic surgeons ….I used the SOmaluxe Triple Collage Eye Gel for the last week and I saw notable improvement in skin texture around my eyes. Dark circles show marked improved also after waking up from 1 single application.

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Gio February 2, 2018 - 3:44 pm

Paulette, glad you found something that works so well for you.

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J April 29, 2018 - 6:22 am

Hi Gio! I have a very problematic dark circle and eye bags. It getting worsen and I dont know how to get rid of them even tho i tried all the hacks. Do eye cream would help?

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Gio May 4, 2018 - 6:56 pm

J, it really depends on what causes your dark circles. For some types, eye creams can help. For others, the only cure is concealer. Do you need what causes yours?

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SherryG May 7, 2018 - 11:35 pm

No, I don’t use an eye cream. I have a fragrance allergy and sensitive skin, so my regular face moisturizer is gentle enough for around my eyes. There are so many moisturizers out there that have fragrance and irritants, I’m not surprised you have comments that state they needed a separate eye cream. And in other news, Beauticontrol went out of business recently.

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Gio May 19, 2018 - 11:07 am

SherryG, I agree. You’d think that irritating ingredients would be left out of creams but nope. 🙁 I’m all about using formulas that work for you, regardless of whether they’re labelled eye cream or face cream.

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kanchan sharma July 18, 2019 - 10:14 am

Hello Gio,
I have dark circle issue. I haven’t use any eye cream and was not following any proper skin care routine. But now I have started. I just want to know the order of eye cream that we need to follow ?
Right now I am following –
1. Cleansing
2. Toner
3. Moisturizer
4. Eye Cream
5. Suns cream
Same as night only suns cream replaced by night cream.
Let me know if am following correct order of products.

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Gio August 8, 2019 - 3:02 pm

Kanchan, use eye cream before moisturiser. Everything else is fine.

Reply

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