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Do you actually need an eye cream? The myths concerning the most delicate skin on the face

It's an age old quandary: Do you need an eye cream? Some swear their effects are profound and evident in the years to come, some write them off as a placebo superfluous to a skin care routine. However, with the skin around the eye particularly delicate and being an area that is susceptible to dryness, there is sound reason to employ an eye cream on the daily. Here, we unpack the difference between skin under the eyes and the face, how to address concerns and who should be using an eye cream.

What is eye cream?

An eye cream is formulated to be applied to the skin surrounding the eye, and can be used in conjunction with or in lieu of an eye serum. While some ingredients in face creams may be similar, there will likely be a lower concentration in an eye cream as the skin is more delicate underneath and on top of the eyelid.

Is there a difference between eye skin and face skin?

Simply put, yes there is a difference between the skin on our face and the skin localised in the eye region. Eyelid skin is delicate and is prone to showing the signs of ageing sooner than on other parts of the face.

Under-eyes have the thinnest skin on the body at only 0.5mm thick and unlike the forehead, chin or nose, there is a minuscule amount of oil glands around the eyes. This can make them more susceptible to dryness, meaning additional hydration is a bonus, alongside contributing to crowsfeet being the typical first sign of ageing.

Additionally, the skin surrounding the eyes is under much more stress than the rest of the face, due to facial expressions, squinting and blinking, which can happen up to 28,000 times a day.

The thin, delicate nature of the skin means it is more reactive and even if you do not have sensitive skin elsewhere on your face, it’s common for the eye area to become irritated when exposed to certain actives in heavy concentration. For example, retinol and exfoliating acids can be formulated in concentrations too harsh for the eye area, yet in small doses are beneficial for the skin.

Who should be using eye cream?  

Anyone can employ an eye cream in their skin care routine if looking to bolster hydration in the area, however there are some more applicable to its use. Those with dark circles, fine lines and under eye puffiness may benefit from regularly using an eye cream as these are regularly targeted by formulated products.

If you have dark circles…

Niacinamide is your friend, due to its brightening properties, alongside antioxidants such as vitamin C, which is also known for alleviating blemishes and protecting against free radical damage.

Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinoid + Niacinamide Eye Serum

do you need eye cream

If you have wrinkles…

Here is where the carefully-crafted eye creams containing retinol will be your friend. It may even be beneficial to use a retinol eye serum in the first instance, then build from there to see how your skin reacts to the new product. Alongside this, peptides and growth factors can assist in boosting collagen production and improving the overall texture of the area.


Ella Bache Retinol Renewal Eye Serum

do you need eye cream

If you have under eye bags…

Look for a caffeine-based eye cream, coupled with cold compresses or a jade roller. The chilled effect of the two work to de-puff the skin and lessen the appearance of puffiness. An eye cream with a metal applicator, creating a cooling effect, is ideal.

Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Cream

do you need eye cream

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