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What Is Eye Cream and How to Apply It

Plus, which eye cream ingredients to look for.
January 11, 2023


Since the skin around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the other parts of the face, the eye area is actually more prone to showing early signs of aging, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Besides grinning and bearing it, there are steps you can take to address your biggest under-eye problems, including dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles. That’s where using eye cream in your daily skin care routine comes in. 


But the truth is, not everyone knows how to apply eye cream the correct way in order to reap its benefits. So below, we’re sharing what you need to know about where to apply eye cream, when to apply eye cream, and the effective eye cream ingredients to look out for in your products. 

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What Does Eye Cream Do?

Eye cream is a moisturizer designed to be used specifically around the eye area. Eye creams can also be used to combat puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles. And while you may think you can multitask and use your facial moisturizer under your eyes as well, understand that it’s important to use a dedicated eye cream. Using a product that's specially formulated for the delicate eye area  will help avoid irritation while also ensuring that the skin around your eyes gets the hydration that it needs.

Ingredients to Look for In an Eye Cream

The eye cream you pick should depend on which eye area concerns you have, and looking at the ingredients list is an easy way to choose the right one. The six skin care ingredients below are a great place to start when shopping for your next eye cream.

1. Hyaluronic Acid

This polysaccharide (a natural carbohydrate) is great for combating any fine lines or dry under-eyes because it boosts your skin’s moisture-retention for lasting hydration.

2. Retinol 

This Vitamin A derivative will help with anti-aging, as it stimulates collagen and cell turnover.

3. Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a B-complex vitamin that helps to combat dark circles and hyperpigmentation.

4. Caffeine

This stimulant is your best bet if you have puffy under-eyes as it can help reduce swelling.

5. Peptides

Peptides include collagen and elastin, and using them in an eye cream can boost droopy under-eyes by adding elasticity and structure to the skin.

6. Antioxidants

Antioxidants include ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid, and as Cleveland Clinic reports, they can help protect against cell damage. 

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How Often Should You Apply Eye Cream?

As with all skin care products, it’s important to determine how often you should apply eye cream. If your under-eyes are dry, apply eye cream as part of both your morning and nighttime routines. If you find that your eye area gets oily, applying eye cream once daily is best. But always remember that it’s important to read the instructions on the specific eye cream you choose in order to determine the best application frequency. 

When Should You Apply Eye Cream?

The order of application is key when it comes to using eye cream correctly. An easy way to determine the correct order for your skin care products is to start with the products that are the most fluid or lightweight in consistency and work up to the heaviest consistency. With this philosophy in mind, eye cream should be applied after serum and before moisturizer and SPF (in most instances). 

How to Apply Eye Cream 

Once you’ve established how often to apply your eye cream and when in your routine to apply it, follow these steps on properly how to apply the skin care product to your eye area. 

Step 1. When it comes to eye cream, a little goes a long way. If you apply too much, it can potentially cause congestion or contribute to milia in the area. Pick up a small amount of eye cream with your ring finger and dot it on around the orbital bone, from the inner to the outer corners of your eye area.

Step 2. Rubbing in eye cream may be fast and easy, but it can actually be too harsh for the sensitive area. Because of how delicate the skin around your eyes is, you’re better off applying eye cream as gently as possible. After you’ve dotted it on, use the pad of your finger to gently pat, rather than rub, the eye cream to help it absorb. 

Step 3. Wait for about three to five minutes for your eye cream to absorb into your skin, then move on to applying your serums and moisturizer.

How to Find the Right Eye Cream For You

Now that you know how to use eye cream correctly, you need a product to put this new knowledge to use. Ahead, recommendations for common eye area concerns.

The Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles 

If you have dark circles, reach for the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Eye Treatment. It’s formulated with a combination of pro-retinol to reduce lines, vitamin C to brighten, and hyaluronic acid.

The Best Eye Cream for Puffiness

If you have puffiness or under-eye bags, try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives with 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid, 1% Caffeine Eye Serum. This luxurious, lightweight eye serum formulated with hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and caffeine to reduce swelling. Plus, it has a cooling roller applicator which helps to further depuff and calm the area. 

The Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles 

If you’re concerned about wrinkles in the eye area, reach for the L’Oréal Paris Wrinkle Expert 55+ Anti-Wrinkle Eye Treatment. It’s formulated with calcium to strengthen thinning skin around the eye and visibly wrinkles. Calcium, the most commonly found mineral in the body as per the NCBI, plays an important part in reinforcing the skin's barrier.

The Best Eye Cream for Dull, Crepey Skin

If you want to combat dullness, the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Rosy Tone Anti-Aging Eye Brightener is for you. This pink-toned eye cream helps visibly color-correct the look of dark under-eye circles with peony extract, while caffeine will also help target the appearance of your dark circles.


The Best Eye Cream for Anti-Aging

If you're experiencing several symptoms of aging skin, such as fine lines and wrinkles, dryness, crepey skin, puffiness and more, the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Anti-Aging Eye Cream Treatment is for you. Formulated with vitamin E, it works to firm, moisturize, brighten and address wrinkles with continued use. 

Next10 Tips for an Anti-Aging Skin Care Routine

Photography: Chaunte Vaughn, Associate Creative Director: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Associate Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Digital Tech: Erik Dalzen, Photo Assistant: Sam Kang, Model: London Knight

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