The Secret to Youthful Eyes: The (Potential) Power of Eye Cream For Wrinkles

womens eye

Aging is living, and that’s a beautiful thing! But as part of that process, we all start to see eye wrinkles forming—sometimes sooner than we’d like. The delicate skin around our eyes is prone to showing signs of aging, with fine lines and wrinkles becoming more prominent over time. Here’s the good news: there are steps we can take to combat the appearance of crow’s feet, droopy under eyes, dark circles, and bags. A potential tool in your skincare stash is a cream or serum with ingredients specially formulated for the eye area. In this blog post, we explore the idea of a serum or eye cream for wrinkles and how they can become a part of your skincare routine.

Why do we get eye wrinkles?

Like most things, genetics play a role in wrinkles, impacting factors like collagen production and skin elasticity. Over time, the body's natural collagen and elastin production diminishes, leading to a gradual loss of firmness and the formation of fine lines. External factors like sun exposure, pollution, and lifestyle habits accelerate collagen breakdown and contribute to the premature appearance of wrinkles. Excessive squinting and repetitive facial expressions can also play a role, causing the skin to fold and crease over time. 

Is eye cream necessary? 

Although not an essential part of your skincare routine, eye treatment has a lot of unique benefits. If you’re using derm-grade retinoids like Tretinoin on your face, your skin is already absorbing powerful anti-aging ingredients. (Asking yourself, “what is Tretinoin?” - read our comprehensive blog post on it.) However, eye creams and serums allow you to apply eye-sensitive, targeted treatment to this delicate area. It can be a good idea to incorporate an eye cream or serum if you’re worried about the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes or aren’t currently using a product that targets anti-aging.

Benefits of eye cream

Embracing eye cream for wrinkles can offer many benefits beyond the cosmetic. They are specially formulated to address the unique concerns of the eye area and often contain potent ingredients working to stimulate collagen production, improve skin elasticity, and combat other signs of aging like puffiness and dark circles.

Consistent use of an eye cream or serum can nurture the skin and prevent signs of aging that can negatively impact our complexion and confidence. 

What does eye cream do?

Eye creams are designed to be gentle, non-irritating, and lightweight, qualities that not every standard moisturizer offers. Eye creams often contain active ingredients that target specific issues related to aging. If you’re going to reach for one, look for these ingredients:

The best ingredients for eye creams

  1. Retinoids: A derivative of vitamin A, retinoids like Tretinoin are known for their ability to stimulate collagen production and promote cell turnover, which in turn reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As mentioned before, if you’re already using a product with retinoids you’re getting the anti-aging benefits already and may not need to directly apply it to the eye area. That’s just one of many Tretinoin cream benefits.

For patients with sensitive skin, our dermatologist partner Dr. Kashlan suggests applying Vaseline to the eye area to protect the skin from irritation before using retinol or retinoids on the rest of the face. It can be helpful to use a separate serum for the eye area. Dr. Kashlan recommends using a lower-concentration retinol than you would on the rest of your face..

  1. Ceramides: Incorporating ceramides helps fortify the delicate skin around the eyes. By replenishing and reinforcing the lipid barrier, ceramides enhance the skin's ability to retain moisture and resist external aggressors.
  2. Antioxidants: Antioxidants play a pivotal role in neutralizing free radicals (unstable molecules that can cause cellular damage) and shield the delicate skin around the eyes from environmental stressors such as UV rays and pollution that contribute to the prevention of premature aging. They also promote collagen production and support skin regeneration. We recommend incorporating vitamin C and E serum for a youthful glow. Are you asking, “can you use vitamin C with retinol?” Read our blog post on the topic. 
  3. Hyaluronic Acid: This naturally occurring substance acts as a moisture magnet, attracting and retaining water molecules to ensure optimal hydration which in turn reduces the appearance of fine lines.

How to use eye cream

For optimal results, it's essential to use eye cream for wrinkles consistently and correctly. Here's a simple guide to incorporating eye treatments into your skincare routine:

  1. Cleanse: Start with a gentle cleanser to remove any makeup, dirt, or impurities from the eye area.
  2. (Optional) Eye Cream/Serum Application: Dab a small amount of eye cream or serum and gently tap it into the skin, avoiding direct contact with the eyes.
  3. Follow with Moisturizer: Apply a moisturizer suitable for your skin type to lock in the benefits of the eye treatment. Note: a gentle, non-irritating and lightweight moisturizer can be used all over, including the eye area.
  4. Sunscreen: In the morning, always finish off your skincare routine with a broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen for face to protect the delicate eye area (and the rest of your face) from UV damage.

Do you put eye cream on before or after moisturizer?

Generally, it is recommended to apply eye cream before moisturizer. After cleansing your face, dab a small amount of your chosen eye cream onto your ring finger and gently tap it around the orbital bone, avoiding direct contact with the eyes. Once the product has been absorbed, follow up with your moisturizer to lock in hydration and create a protective barrier for the rest of your face. This layered approach ensures that the products can work in synergy, catering to the unique needs of the eye area while providing overall nourishment and moisture.

How to apply eye cream

Applying any product to the eye area is a delicate ritual that, when done correctly, can yield remarkable results. Once your skin is clean and prepared, apply a small amount of your chosen eye cream/serum onto your ring finger, the gentlest finger and least likely to exert excess pressure on the delicate skin. 

Where to apply eye cream

When applying eye cream, precision is key, as the delicate skin around the eyes requires targeted care.

  • Gently tap a small amount of eye cream or serum onto your ring finger to avoid unnecessary pressure, encourage absorption and stimulate blood circulation. 
  • The application should focus on the orbital bone surrounding the eye, starting from the inner corner and moving towards the outer corner. 
  • Be cautious not to apply the cream too close to the lash line or directly on the eyelids, as the thin skin in these areas is more sensitive and prone to irritation.

The goal is to cover the under-eye area and the crow's feet, ensuring the product is well-distributed for maximum effectiveness. 

When to apply eye cream

Timing is crucial when it comes to applying eye cream or serum for optimal results, and the best time(s) will depend on the key ingredients. For example, if you’re using a retinoid-based eye cream, you may only need to use it once a day (usually at night). Whether you and your derm decide it’s best to use your eye cream/serum in the morning, in the evening, or both, the general order listed below will help your eye treatment have the most impact.

  • In the morning, after washing your face, apply your eye cream/serum before moisturizing. This helps create a protective barrier and ensures that the delicate eye area is hydrated throughout the day. 
  • In the evening, after cleansing, apply the eye cream before your moisturizer and any heavier night treatments. The nighttime application allows the active ingredients to work their magic while you sleep, aiding in the regeneration and repair of the delicate skin around your eyes. 

Consistency is key, so apply eye cream for wrinkles as a habitual part of your skincare ritual, and watch as your eyes reflect the benefits.

What is the best eye cream for wrinkles?

An effective eye cream should have a blend of ingredients designed to address specific aging issues. Look for formulations containing retinoids like Tretinoin, renowned for stimulating collagen production and reducing fine lines. A good eye cream should be fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and dermatologist-tested to ensure suitability for the sensitive eye area. Your skin type and specific skin concerns should guide your choice. It may be necessary to experiment in order to find the right eye cream/serum.

With the right combination of active ingredients, consistency, and a well-rounded skincare routine, you can maintain youthful and radiant eyes. So, embrace the power of eye cream for wrinkles and wait for your friends and family to ask you the secret to your glow!

Product suggestions

We know eye wrinkles can be a source of insecurity. That’s why we’ve formulated products to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, even in that ultra-sensitive area. For prevention and treatment, we recommend the following Dear Brightly products.

Night Shift

Our derm-grade retinoid Night Shift is tailored to your skin and proven to prevent and treat wrinkles. It stimulates the production of collagen and doesn’t require direct application on the eye area. Instead, it works its magic through absorption. No need to irritate your eyes. 

Daily Sip

Daily Sip combines the power of Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid in one ultra-hydrating moisturizer. It's designed to work with retinoids and exfoliators plus protects your skin from harsh external factors that can cause early aging signs. 

Liquid Cloak

If you’re looking for additional collagen production, the antioxidant power in Liquid Cloak will be your best friend. With vitamin C and vitamin E, this serum protects and restores skin from photoaging (sun-caused aging) and other environmental stressors.