do i need a separate eye cream

Have you ever wondered if you really need an eye cream? There is so much conflicting information out there on whether you can simply use your regular face moisturizer or if you need a special cream dedicated to your delicate eye area.

After much research, I’ve come to the conclusion that it all depends on your skin. Unfortunately, there is not a definitive YES or NO answer to this question, but if you read on, this post will help you determine whether or not an eye cream might work for you.

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The Delicate Skin Around Your Eyes

Time and again I’ve heard the recommendation to use your regular facial moisturizer around your eye area to avoid purchasing a separate eye cream. Eye creams can be expensive and the amount of product you get is much less than a face moisturizer. So should you skip buying a separate cream for the eyes? Maybe, maybe not.

It’s important to remember that the skin around the eyes is thinner and more sensitive than other areas of your face. If you have dry skin, you could be using a rich and emollient moisturizer on your face. Or, if you have concerns regarding fine lines and wrinkles you could be using a facial moisturizer with anti-aging ingredients such as retinol.

Using specialized creams may be too much for the sensitive eye area, so it is important that your moisturizer is formulated in a way that is gentle and non-irritating to the eyes. More than once I’ve been careless with face cream and applied it to my eye area, only to have milia (those annoying bumps that look like whiteheads) appear under my eyes.

You also have to take into consideration your skin type and where you are in your skincare journey. If you are in your teens or early 20’s and just getting your skincare routine together, using a simple moisturizer on your face and around your eyes may work well for you.

My theory is that you can never start too early when it comes to preventing aging that occurs to the delicate eye area, so why not start as early as possible?

Related Post: How to Apply Your Skincare Products in the Correct Order

Eye Creams for Specific Concerns

There are many different issues that can occur with the skin around your eyes. Unfortunately, the eyes are one of the first places on the face that show aging, so wrinkles and crow’s feet around the eyes may be the first signs of aging to appear on your face. Dark circles, puffiness, and bags are other concerns that can appear at any age, and today there are many eye creams formulated to address specific concerns.

On a side note, I need a separate eye cream, since I deal with dark circles, crow’s feet, and fine lines around my eyes. As I’ve aged, the skin under my eyes has also thinned, so I look for products to address all of these concerns.

Just be aware that you can’t expect miracles. With any eye cream, results will not be immediate. But with consistent use over time, you will start seeing the benefits.

Dark Circles

There are eye creams formulated to brighten the skin under the eyes and hide dark circles. Eye creams containing vitamin C are helpful in reducing the appearance of under-eye circles. I am loving Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme during the day. This eye cream also color-corrects. I love it for its brightening qualities but also since it works so well under makeup.

Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Eye creams with retinol will help with cell turnover, can increase firmness, and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. In the long term, these creams can help to increase the thickness of the skin and collagen production.

I just started using Olay Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream and am loving its creamy but light consistency. Another drugstore eye cream with retinol is RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. This one is a multi-tasker and goes to work on wrinkles, crow’s feet, dark circles, and puffiness. For added moisture, Derma E Firming DMAE Eye Lift Cream contains skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, peptides, and DMAE, nature’s firming agent, to support skin’s collagen production for a firmer, more lifted under-eye appearance.

Related: Olay Retinol 24 Night Serum, Eye Cream & Moisturizer: Skincare Review


Caffeine constricts blood vessels, helping to reduce the appearance of puffiness and bags under the eyes. The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream is a favorite not only for its affordable price but because it also contains Matrxyl 3000 peptide. This peptide helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35 has an angled metal tip applicator that is incredibly soothing to puffy eyes and helps reduce the appearance of dark circles. Plus it contains hyaluronic acid and mineral sunscreen in the form of zinc oxide 6.7% and titanium dioxide 7.9% for SPF 35 protection. Sun protection for the eyes? Yes, please! This lightly tinted eye cream is pricey but because of the sunscreen protection, I think it is worth premium price.


Milia, the little white cysts that look like whiteheads, occur when keratin gets trapped beneath the skin. You’ll often see these pesky spots under the eye. They are an annoyance and their removal is best handled by a dermatologist. Some eye creams may even cause milia if they are too rich by creating a barrier on your skin which does not allow the skin’s natural exfoliation process.

Using an eye cream with retinol will help with cell turn over. Or try a gentle exfoliating eye cream like BeautyRx By Dr. Schultz Gentle Exfoliating Eye Cream which contains pH-adjusted and buffered glycolic acid for gentle exfoliation.

Final Thoughts on Using an Eye Cream

As you can see, there is no shortage of eye creams on the market targeting many different concerns. Should you use a separate eye cream? Maybe. Whether or not you choose to use one is up to you and your skin concerns.

Keep in mind that prevention is the key and these creams, especially those with sun protection, will help with fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness and more. Do you use an eye cream? Let me know in the comments!

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