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Do Eye Creams Really Work? Let’s find out!

The eye cream world is divided into 2 worlds. One is filled with people who believe in the power and efficacy of eye creams. The other one contains people who do not believe that eye creams do anything special for them. The believers swear by eye creams and diligently use expensive stuff around their eyes in order to prevent or reverse puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles.

The eye cream nonbelievers, on the other hand, believe that whatever cream they are using for their face is sufficient for their eyes for dealing with all the above mentioned problems, which also makes a lot of sense though. So what is the truth here? Do eye creams work or not? Let’s find out today.

Do Eye Creams Really Work? Let’s find out!

Eye Creams: The Controversial Item in Skincare

According to many specialists, eye creams can help in treating some eye issues(1); however, there are some concerns that no matter how expensive the eye cream is, certain eye issues will not go away.

One fact that no one can dispute is the skin around our eyes is more delicate, thin and fragile when compared to the skin on the rest of our face(2). So, considering the fragile nature of the skin surrounding the eyes, it is highly recommended that we be more careful with it and pamper it more than we do the rest of our body. Other than being delicate, the skin surrounding our eyes is also constantly subjected to micro-movements, which in itself warrants special care.

The fragility of the eye area is also the reason why many of us experience the signs of aging in that area first. Lack of hydration is a major cause for development of wrinkles. Since the skin surrounding our eyes is thinner, it becomes drier over the time and causes early development of fine lines and crow’s feet.

So, for this reason, there are some experts who believe that a specially designed gel/cream for the eyes should be used. The skin surrounding our eyes can get irritated from our regular facial moisturizers or creams; and therefore a cream specially made for the eye region should be used.

According to studies, there are some anti-aging eye creams or treatments that can definitely help with increasing the smoothness under the eyes and also in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines(1). According to some experts there are some ingredients, such as retinol, which if present in an eye cream or any other cream is effective in resolving many skin issues.

Ingredients To Look For In An Eye Cream (4)

In order for the eye cream to be effective, you have to look for certain ingredients that will slow down the aging process and also help with other issues, such as dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. A retinol based eye cream helps in increasing the cell turnover; thus making your skin smoother and younger. As we age, our skin cells do not shed or multiply as fast, so here’s where retinol helps your skin by speeding up the process of cell regeneration. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative and has been proven to not only fight, but also reverse the signs of aging(5). Other than this, retinol has been in use for more than 2,000 years and also helps with other medical issues, such as night blindness.(5, 6)

Other ingredients that you should look for in an eye cream are peptides and vitamin C that have been established to contain lots of anti-aging benefits. These ingredients in an eye cream will help in strengthening and brightening the skin. Antioxidants also help in fighting the free radical damage. Hyaluronic acid is another ingredient that helps with appearance of the wrinkles and makes the skin plumper. Sodium pyroglutamic acid (NaPCA) is a component that helps in increasing the moisture in the skin. Ceramides also help in moisturizing the skin. Caffeine and niacinamide also help with battling skin issues, especially the under eye area.

NOTE: Remember this, whatever products you choose for your under eye treatment, make sure you use it with caution. If you were to develop irritation, redness and swelling, then you need to stop using the eye cream immediately.

Coming to the Puffiness and Bags Under the Eyes

Bags under the eyes can be hereditary, which if it they are, then no eye cream can help with it. The more younger you are when you have developed puffiness and bags under the eyes, then it is an indication of genes being at play here. Other causes of dark circles, puffiness and bags under the eyes are inflammation caused by sun exposure, stress, free radical oxidation, allergies and fatigue(3). Sometimes, changing or modifying your lifestyle, such as sleeping and eating properly, drinking lot of water, reducing stress also helps a lot with your under eye problems.

Our under eye area contains lot of micro-vessels that are permeable and prone to fluid leakage, especially when you rub the eyes due to allergy and this fluid collects under the eye making the area appear darker than the rest of your face(2). The swelling from fluid often reduces as there is reabsorbing by the body (sometimes can take few weeks too).

Easy Steps for Using Eye Cream

  • First make sure that your face is clean including your under eye area.
  • Eye creams are usually thicker than normal creams, so a little goes a long way. Take a pea-sized amount of the eye cream, if it is a gel form, then you have to take a little more.
  • Scoop out some amount using your ring finger (clean fingers please!).
  • Dot the cream gently round your eyes and very gently massage in circular motions; especially where you tend to develop crow’s feet.
  • After some of the cream has been absorbed, then gently pat the cream around your eyes using your ring finger only, as ring finger exerts less pleasure. There you go, now you are sorted!

There are some eyes creams, which are meant to be specially used at night. So, you should apply these creams about half an hour before going to sleep.

NOTE: Gel based eye creams are more easily absorbed as they’re lighter.

Is It Advisable To Apply The Eye Cream On The Eyelids Also?

Like mentioned before, the skin present in the eye area is very thin and sensitive and loses moisture rapidly when compared to the skin all over the body and this is why the eye region shows the signs of aging before any other part of the body.

However, it doesn’t mean that you need to slather eye cream everywhere around your eyes. Whether you should apply the eye cream on your eyelids depends mainly on the eye cream which you are using. There are certain formulas in eye cream that are not meant for applying on the eyelids. So, better to read the instructions on the eye cream and apply accordingly, whether surrounding your eye region, including the eyelids; or just under the eye area.

Other than this, massaging your face gently including the under eye area with any good moisturizer helps in reducing the fluid buildup and also increases the blood circulation.


Many people may not care much about eye creams thinking they do not work. Eye creams may not benefit you if your dark circles or bags under the eyes are hereditary. Making some lifestyle changes, such as drinking lot of water, sleeping well, cutting down on salt intake, smoking and alcohol , exercising also helps with your under eye problems. You don’t need to spend a ton on expensive eye creams; especially if you are following these lifestyle changes and benefiting by them. Make sure to use a good sunscreen also on your face and under eye area when stepping out in the sun.

However, eye creams containing certain ingredients in them do benefit the under eye region by giving it the extra moisture that it needs and by also reducing the appearance of puffiness, wrinkles and dark circles. So, those who need it go and buy that jar of eye cream!


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 1, 2021

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