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. We 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.

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, peptides, and other essential ingredients that you need to reduce signs of aging and keep your skin healthy. And, last but definitely not least, eye creams should be ophthalmologist-tested to ensure they’re safe for use around the eye area.

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 dark circles, brightening actives are (of course) your best bet. That’s why you can find a lineup of tone-evening ingredients in Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream, which is designed to tackle dark circles related to hyperpigmentation, thinning skin, sleep loss, and beyond. As the name suggests, it’s powered by five forms of vitamin C in a gentle, encapsulated form to maximize efficacy while minimizing irritation. The lightweight, gel formula also interferes with the pigment production process, as does niacinamide — together, they help fade pigment-related dark circles over time. The combo of peptides and green caffeine, meanwhile, helps to strengthen skin around the eyes, reducing puffiness to tackle dark circles caused by its shadows.

If you’re worried about fine lines and wrinkles, on the other hand, look to an eye cream with retinol, such as our Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream. Like vitamin C, the retinol (which boosts skin cell turnover and stimulates collagen production) in this hydrogel-based formula is encapsulated to ensure a gentler delivery with peak potency. It’s also paired with nourishing, antioxidant-packed avocado to further smooth, firm, and deeply moisturize the delicate eye area.

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. To that end, depending on your concerns, you can use the Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream twice a day, or use it in the a.m. with Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream in the evenings to get the best of both worlds.

How should I apply eye cream?

When you’re applying 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.”

Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream is actually designed to take a 360-degree approach to bright eyes, since the eye area isn’t just your under-eyes; it also includes your eyelids. It was both formulated and tested to be used on the eyelids, too. After lightly patting it under the eyes, use your ring fingers to tap it onto the eyelids and between the brows.

Do I need an eye essence or serum and an eye cream?

Not really, since most eye creams, including ours, are jam-packed with active ingredients — so the extra step would be overkill. Plus, depending on the ingredients, “you run the risk of irritating this delicate area,” warns Dr. Shah.

Read more about keeping your eye area healthy and bright:


Glow Recipe

Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream


Glow Recipe

Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream