How to Choose an Eye Cream
The first step to knowing how to choose an eye cream is to know your Baumann Skin Type® and what your eye concerns are. This guide will help you choose an eye cream, but if you have not taken the quiz- we suggest you go here first.
What eye cream is best for me quiz
This quiz will give you a list of eye creams and serums from many brands to choose from.
Whether you chose by price, brand, or preferences such as all natural- you can be confident these are right for your skin type.
When To Apply Eye Cream? Before or After Moisturizers?
Eye creams should be the second step in your daily skin care routine and applied before your moisturizer. Eye products, including serums, creams or gels, should be applied directly after cleansing. This is for several reasons:
- The eye cream will be able to penetrate into the skin without having to pass through any other products
- The eye cream will be able to fill in any creases in the skin to smooth away wrinkles. Many are designed to do this and will not work as well if applied on top of other serums, gels and creams.
- Your eye cream will protect the delicate eye area from the third step in the skin care regimen, which is a treatment serum that often contains ingredients that can irritate the delicate skin near your eyes.
When To Apply Eye Cream? In The Morning or At Night?
Eye creams should be applied both in the daytime skin routine and at night before bed. At night, your other skin care products often rub off onto your pillowcase and transfer to the eye area. These products can irritate delicate eye skin- especially retinoids and hydroxyacids. So -it is a good idea to use a protective eye cream under your eyes at night – especially if you are using retinoids like retinol. The eye cream - especially a barrier repair eye cream- will protect the eye area from any irritating skin care products or detergents on your sheets and pillowcases. This is very important for sensitive skin types.
When To Apply Eye Cream? Before or After SPF?
Sunscreen is applied after eye cream, serums, and moisturizers. Sunscreen is the last skin product to apply to the skin before using makeup.
What Are the Different Types of Eye Cream?
There are six main types of eye creams, and the best under-eye product for you will depend on your skin type and specific skin care needs. While the first step to choosing the best eye cream for you is to find out your skin type, these are some general rules to follow when choosing an eye cream, gel or serum.
6 Types of Eye Creams
Hydrating eye creams- These eye products contain moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and fatty acids to hydrate the thin skin around your eyes. This helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkled skin caused by dehydration.
Anti-aging eye creams - Anti-aging eye products generally contain ingredients like peptides, retinol, growth factors, antioxidants, and other cutting-edge ingredients such as heparan sulfate and defensins to smooth away lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging in the eye area. To learn more about antiaging ingredients- click here.
Soothing eye serums - Anti-inflammatory eye serums are best for sensitive skin types such as rosacea and allergic skin types. Rosacea patients often have red eyelids, as this is a symptom of rosacea, and need eye creams and serums safe for rosacea prone skin. Look for eye creams and serums that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients to calm redness and soothe stinging, burning, or other signs of irritation. If you have allergic skin, eye creams that are labeled as hypoallergenic are great choices, as this ensures they do not contain common allergens. The best eye creams for sensitive skin should have minimal fragrances and preservatives and as few allergens as possible.
Brightening and lightening eye creams. Under-eye circles are one of the most common cosmetic complaints among many skin types. To remedy this, choose a brightening eye cream that contains tyrosinase inhibitors, anti-inflammatories, or Par-2 inhibitors. All of these ingredients work to prevent melanin production and therefore lighten dark spots and circles.
Anti-puffiness eye creams. Under-eye puffiness is caused by an accumulation of lymph fluid, or water retention, in the tissue under your eyes. Use an eye cream that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients and caffeine to reduce puffiness. Anti-puffiness eye creams should not contain humectant ingredients, because they draw in moisture and therefore increase puffiness.
Hydroxy acid eye creams. Hydroxy acid eye creams can help to reduce wrinkles, sun damage, and other signs of skin aging. However, you should not use these products unless you are a resistant skin type and your skin has already been acclimated to the highest strength retinoid. Otherwise, hydroxy acids can cause dryness, flaking, and irritation, especially when used in the delicate eye area.
Eye serums vs eye creams
There is a wide variety of eye creams and serums designed specifically for the eye area. When deciding on an eye cream vs an eye serum, consider your Baumann Skin Type®. Creams are thicker with more lipids and are more hydrating than eye serums, which have a gel-like consistency. If you have dry skin, you will prefer an eye cream which hydrates fine lines under the eyes and plumps them. If you have very dry skin, choose a barrier repair eye cream. If eye creams make your eyes puffy, choose a eye serum instead. You do not want to use a hydrating eye cream because this will make puffiness worse. Instead choose an eye serum. Oily skin types often prefer the feel of an eye serum. There is no reason to use both an eye serum and an eye cream at the same time. They just dilute each other and reduce efficacy of both. If you want to use both an eye cream and an eye serum, use one in the am and one in the pm.
Do I use an eye cream or eye serum first?
Never use an eye cream or an eye serum at the same time because you are wasting money and reducing the effectiveness of both products. However, you may choose to use one in the am and one in the pm. These are the factors to consider when deciding which eye product to use in the am and which to use in the pm:
Do you wear makeup? If so, choose the eye products that make your concealer go on smoother in the am. Think of your eye cream or eye serum as a primer for under eye wrinkles. Choosing the right eye product will help to stop concealer from settling in creases and lines. It is hard to say which is best to go under concealer- a serum or a cream- because it depends upon the characteristics of the eye products and the ingredients in the concealer. So- we recommend trying several different ones to find which eye serum is best to prevent makeup from caking.
Are you using a retinoid at night? If yes- choose an eye cream for night. It will protect you from retinol and other retinoids that gets on the pillow and transfer to thin eye lid skin. This can cause eyelid irritation from retinoids. Using an eye cream can help you tolerate retinoids at night.
Are you having eye irritation from side effects of facial medications such as acne medications and skin cancer treatments.? Applying an eye cream first can help prevent imiquimod side effects.
Do you have eczema around the eyes or eyelid dermatitis? Choose a barrier repair eye cream to protect delicate eye skin. Use this eye cream am and pm. A serum is not hydrating enough if you have eczema around the eyes.
Do you have puffy eyes? If you have puffy eyes, avoid eye creams and only use a serum. An eye cream will make puffiness worse. Use the anti-puff eye product at night because puffiness is usually worse when you wake up in the am. This will help prevent fluid accumulation under the eyes at night.
How to apply eye cream
It important to use the correct amount of eye cream. We recommend 1/8th teaspoon of serum total for both eyes. Because pictures are worth a thousand words- this video shows the correct way to apply eye cream and eye serum. Notice that she applies the eye product to the upper and lower lids. When applying eye products to the lower lid area, you want to rub towards the middle – towards the nose- so you are moving lymph fluid towards the lymph nodes to speed lymph drainage.
What to Avoid in an Eye Cream
First- know your skin type so you know which eye cream ingredients to avoid and which to use. In general, if your eye burn from eye creams, avoid witch hazel, ascorbic acid, hydroxy acid, retinol, avobenzone sunscreen, essential oils and fragrances in eye creams. Fragrances, including those derived from natural ingredients, are often irritating to the skin, especially in the delicate eye area. Similarly, some dyes, preservatives, and other common allergens can irritate eye-area skin, especially in rosacea prone skin types. Choose a hypoallergenic eye cream if your skin tends to react negatively to many common ingredients.
When beginning a retinoid in your nighttime skin care regimen, avoid retinol and hydroxy acids in eye creams until you are already acclimated to high-strength retinol use every night.
Which Is the Best Eye Cream for You?
The best eye cream for you will depend on your Baumann Skin Type® and your specific skin concerns. For example, is your main concern lines and wrinkles, sun damage, redness, or dehydration, or are you simply looking to prevent these problems from arising in the future? Once you know your Baumann Skin Type, you can work with our STS approved skin care experts to find the best eye cream for eye serum for your skin type.
When to start using eye cream?
It is never too early to begin using an eye cream or eye serum- however they are not necessary unless you are having one of these issues:
- Dry skin on the eye lids
- Fine lines under the eyes
- Crow’s feet wrinkles
- Eye puffiness
- Red or stinging eyes
- Discoloration, dark circles or darkness under the eyes
There is one exception to this rule. If you are a W Baumann Skin Type - this means you are wrinkle-prone and need to use an eye cream or serum to prevent wrinkles.
If you a e not a W Baumann Skin type, you can start using eye products to prevent these issues, or you can use your facial moisturizer around your eyes until you develop one of these issues. In some cases, it is important to use an eye cream to prevent eye irritation from other products such as anti-aging or acne products.
Can I use my eye cream on my face?
No! never use an eye cream on your face. Eye creams are designed as primers to go under makeup and to prevent caking of makeup under the eyes. Using eye creams on the face can lead to clogged pores and black heads. The difference between eye cream and face cream is the underlying formulation- not the active ingredients. The eye cream is meant to make a thin primer layer on the skin that masks dark circles, reflects light, fills in creases under the eyes and allows makeup up to go on smoothly. There are not as many oil glands in the under-eye lid skin as there is in the t-zone and other areas of the face. So- although rice eye creams can cause milia and clogged pores under the eyes, they are even more likely to cause black heads when use don other parts of the face. For this reason- don’t use eye creams on your face. However, you can use facial moisturizers on your eye lids. Face creams are meant to spread easily over the skin and not cause comedones.
Can I put facial moisturizer under my eyes instead of an eye cream?
Eye creams are expensive. In some cases, you may want to lower your skin care costs by eliminating a product. In our opinion, the eye cream/ serum is the first skin care product to eliminate when you are on a budget. Or- maybe you are going on a trip and you need to free up space in your luggage- you can leave your eye cream at home. But- what to use instead of eye cream? Your facial moisturizer! As long as it does not have retinol, hydroxyacids or benzoyl peroxide or strong fragrances- you should be able to use a facial moisturizer instead of an eye cream.
There is a lot to know about eye creams and serums but it is worth learning about because eye products are expensive. We would hate to see you wasting time and money on the wrong eye products. To avoid this - take the quiz and get a customized skin care routine. Then you can browse and see what eye products from many different brands and price points are right for you.