An eye cream is a specially formulated moisturizer that in most cases has been tested as effective to use near the eyes, and that won’t damage the soft tissue around the eyes or cause eye irritation. Many of these creams are made with special ingredients that help either reduce the look of wrinkles around the eyes, provide anti-aging benefits, or help to reduce darker skin tone around the eyes. Some products offer more than one benefit, but all benefit claims have to be taken with a grain of salt, since cosmetic companies are quite well known for making inflated claims about their products.
Some eye cream types contain ingredients that help firm the skin, like caffeine, retinol, or vitamin C. These may temporarily provide a firmer look to the eyes. Those creams that help to lighten skin around the eyes, especially dark circles may contain ingredients such as hydroquinone or Vitamin K. Occasionally you’ll find creams that offer anti-aging or firming benefits and reduce dark circles.
Often eye cream formulas have heavier moisturizing ingredients, and some night creams can be used safely around the eyes. You still have to be careful applying any of these creams since even if they don’t damage the eyes, they may still hurt if you get some of the cream in your eyes. Eye creams may also be sold as oils or serums instead of creams, which some people find easier to apply.
There is significant variation in price in eye creams, and many come in very small bottles. Trying out a few before buying can help, and sometimes cosmetics companies will offer small samples. Especially when an eye cream is greatly expensive, it’s a great idea to see if it works for you, rather than plunk down a lot of money to get a product that doesn’t work very well. There are a few eye cream variants that are sold by prescription only. Anything containing hydroquinone may be available in certain countries only by prescription, and some countries ban its use because it may be connected with a higher incidence of skin cancer.
Eye cream with high acid content may make skin more vulnerable to the sun. If you’re using a product with acids, make sure to protect your eyes and skin during the day with a high SPF sunscreen, and with sunglasses. Other eye creams tend to skip compounds that make the skin more vulnerable and lean heavily on moisturizers.
A good way to start choosing an eye cream that will be right for you is to read independent customer reviews of products. You may also get recommendations from friends, or ask your dermatologist what he or she recommends. Aestheticians and make up artists can be another excellent source for discovering which eye creams might truly deliver on their promises.