Ever wondered why you need a different cream for your eyes when regular moisturizers offer the same benefits? They hydrate dry skin, reduce wrinkles, boost collagen production, lighten dark circles, and improve skin tone—just like eye creams do.

Truth is, you can get away with using your moisturizer as an eye cream, especially if it’s mild and fragrance-free. But know this (you saw it coming!): the area around your eyes is the thinnest and most easily-triggered layer of skin across your entire body. That means it’s susceptible to stinging, burning, and other forms of irritation that don’t normally occur on “regular” skin. Using a specialty cream designed for the delicate eye area is advisable, especially as your skin gets weaker and less supple with age.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to choose the right potion for your peepers. There’s no recommended age to start using an eye cream, but you can dot it on as early as your twenties, when fine lines and dark circles become more pronounced. Here are five things to keep an eye out for (pun intended).

1. SOOTHING INGREDIENTS, SANS FRAGRANCE

The skin around the eyes is fragile, often dry, and quick to show signs of fatigue. Eye creams with chamomile, cucumber, witch hazel, and tea tree extracts relax tired eyes and reduce puffiness. Avoid synthetic fragrances or artificial color, which can irritate sensitive skin.
Start with Marilou Bio’s Anti-Aging Eye Contour Gel.

2. RICH EMOLLIENTS

Emollients = moisturizers. Whether it’s a cream, per se, or a gel, serum, or balm, expect your eye cream to be packed with more hydrating treatments than your facial lotion. Look for hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which deliver rich moisture and help prevent water loss, respectively. On top of that, any vitamin E content will help nourish tired skin under the eyes.
Elizabeth Arden’s Visible Difference Moisturizing Eye Cream contains a unique blend of moisturizing liposomes, glycerin, and Tocopheryl Acetate (a vitamin E derivative) that penetrates deep into the skin’s surface for this very effect.

3. A GENTLE FORM OF RETINOL

Looking for an anti-aging solution? Opt for an over-the-counter retinol derivative (other forms of retinol can be overly harsh for sensitive under-eye skin). Eye creams with peptides and vitamin C are great choices as well. These active ingredients work to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while boosting cell regeneration and collagen production.
We recommend Dermalogica’s Age Smart Age Reveral Eye Complex, which contains two out of three!

4. MILD SKIN-LIGHTENING EFFECT

Well-known brighteners like kojic acid, niacinamide, licorice root, and vitamins B3 and C lighten dark circles and even out skin tone. Additionally, caffeine extract improves blood circulation, which in turn refreshes the eye.
A product containing a mix of these ingredients, like Aloe Derma’s Brightening Eye Cream, can give you well-rested, more wide-awake eyes with regular use.

5. QUICK-ABSORBING FORMULA

Here’s one last factor to consider! Look for thin, lightweight, fast-absorbing formulas, like Clarins’ Multi-Active Eye Revive.
Why? So you can quickly apply makeup over it in the mornings when you’re in a rush to go to work! A non-greasy potion is a plus—too-oily formulas can clog pores, especially if you’re prone to acne or milia.

While eye creams work to reveal a firmer, smoother, and brighter eye area, remember that they work their magic over time. You can expect beautiful results—just not necessarily overnight.


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