Your 5 Biggest Eye Cream Questions, Answered

In the beauty world, eye creams are almost as divisive as French manicures — people either swear by them or reject their premise outright. Glow Recipe spoke to a leading dermatologist to settle the debate on whether you need one (spoiler alert: probably). And if you do, what you need to know about using it. Below, NYC cosmetic dermatologist Sejal Shah, founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology, answers some of the most Googled questions about eye creams.

1. Do I really need an eye cream?
“I generally recommend an eye cream as they are specifically formulated for the delicate eye area,” says Dr. Shah. “If your concern is only dryness, your face moisturizer might be sufficient, but often the eye area needs something richer and more hydrating.” Plus, eye creams are usually packed with free-radical-fighting antioxidants that you need to reduce signs of aging and keep your skin healthy.


2. What ingredients should I look for in my eye cream?
Not all eye creams are created equal. The ingredients to look for really depend on your goals, says Dr. Shah. For instance, if you are concerned about dryness ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and emollients are helpful. We love the hydrating blend of camellia oil, coconut oil, and camellia flower extract in the Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Soombi Blooming Eye Gel Cream. It’s intensely nourishing, but the gel texture gives it a lightweight feel on the skin.

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But if you’re worried about puffiness, seek out an eye cream with circulation-boosting caffeine or anti-inflammatory properties like the flavonoid-rich rooibos tea extract found in this month’s Glow Gamechanger, the Whamisa by Glow Studio Chai Tea Eye Cream. As an added bonus it also has turmeric to smooth out uneven texture and propolis to hydrate and condition.


Vitamin K, licorice root extract, and peptides can all help brighten dark circles, especially those caused by environmental factors rather than genetic ones. Try the ID.AZ Dermastic Eye Care Cream, which is also loaded with niacinamide, squalene, and ceramides to fight dark circles and wrinkles as it hydrates the entire eye area.

3. When should I use an eye cream?
“Hydrating and brightening eye creams can be used morning or night or even twice a day, but eye creams that contain retinoids should be used only at night,” says Dr. Shah.

4. How should I apply an eye cream?
“Use your ring finger to gently pat the eye cream into the skin,” advises Dr. Shah. “Do not rub or apply too much pressure.” This will help massage the area and ensure that you’re not tugging on the delicate skin, which can lead to fine lines.”

5. Do I need an eye essence or serum and an eye cream?
Unlike the layering rituals you do for the rest of your face, eye essences and serums don’t need to be followed by a cream. Depending on the ingredients, “you run the risk of irritating this delicate area,” warns Dr. Shah. Instead, opt for one or the other, depending on your needs and texture preference. The hydrating and brightening ingredients in Whamisa Organic Flowers Eye Essence, for example, make it strong enough to do the job on its own.


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