First of all, eye products are not redundant. The delicate skin around our eyes is different from the more hardy skin on our face; it does not have oil glands and can be more sensitive or prone to puffing up. So before you slather an extra-thick dollop of your favorite face cream around your peepers, consider getting a product meant to pamper only that area.
Creams, gels, and serums, oh my! There are a lot of eye products on the market, and because the skin around our eyes shows aging more quickly than other areas on the face, it can also be tempting to do too much for the sake of prevention. However, you don’t need to use three layers of eye product every day, and not all types of products work for everyone.
Eye cream is an emulsion of ingredients, which just means it’s a water-based mixture of hydrating elements for textural and distribution purposes—in other words, it feels really nice. An emulsion is also super hydrating because it suspends the water and moisturizing ingredients, like fatty oils, for a cushiony effect.
Creams are best for dryness as well as plumping fine lines, and can be used both day and night. If you go too heavy on an eye cream in the evening, you can wake up to puffy eyes that have retained too much moisture, so use as directed—a heavy-handed application doesn’t necessarily mean more benefits. You’ll want to give them some time to sink in before applying makeup in the morning, so plan accordingly.
A gel texture is often better for those with more sensitive skin. Serums are typically known to be more nutrient-powerful, but they can still be hydrating. Use these types of textures if you have experienced milia around the eyes, and stop using creams right away! The lighter gels and serums don’t have fatty oils in them, so the nourishing moisture will absorb quickly instead of causing buildup.
Gels and serums are also ideal for hydrating and depuffing tired eyes, and they don’t have a high-shine or greasy-feeling finish, so they wear well under makeup. This also makes them less likely to sweat off, since your skin has already soaked up the product.
Eye oils are heavier and more nourishing. They are usually antioxidant rich, so they are effective against aging, but a minimal amount is key here. Because they are such a liquidy consistency, they can get in your eyes easily and cause temporary irritation or blurred vision, and because they are heavy and fatty, they can lead to puffing of the skin around the eyes if overused. They also don’t make for a good makeup base, so unless you’re super dry, limit them to nighttime use.