Your A-To-Z Eye Cream Guide
Your A-To-Z Eye Cream Guide

Your A-To-Z Eye Cream Guide

6 minutes read

Some of the most common questions a beauty editor gets asked are about eye creams. Do they work? Should you start using one in your 20s/30s/40s…? And what’s the best eye cream to try? 

Perhaps the reason eye creams are regarded with some amount of scepticism is that they tend to look just like moisturiser. At the same time, they shoulder tons of responsibilities: de-puffing, erasing dark circles, moisturising… But can your regular face cream do the same job? 

Here’s everything you should know.

Close up of a woman's face

Do you need an eye cream?

“The eye area has an epidermis that’s around 25% thinner than the rest of the face,” says Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager. “It also has fewer sebaceous glands.” This is why products targeted for the eye area formulated to be gentler than anything you use all over your face. They are also ophthalmologist tested. 

But at the same time, they have a lot more work to do, and therefore also need to be more potent. “Eyes are incredibly expressive and reactive. All of this combined makes them a likely candidate for showing the first and most obvious signs of ageing,” says McHale.

So, when’s a suitable time to start using an eye cream? “Women’s skin starts to lose collagen and elastin form the age of 25, so this is the best time to consider using an eye product.” McHale advises. 

Do eye creams work?

The big question on everyone’s mind: do they even work? “Yes!” says McHale. And she can explain exactly why: 

“Puffiness and dark circles are often caused by poor circulation around the eye area (sometimes through lack of sleep, for example) and ingredients such as caffeine and horse chestnut work really well to topically boost this microcirculation helping to reduce puffiness and dark circles. Ingredients like teasel, oat sugars and harungana can energise, tighten and replenish signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles.”  

Clarins have been formulating eye care products since 1966, so there’s loads of expertise behind what’s being offered. Below, we’re sharing our favourite eye creams, gels and serums that tackle some of the most common concerns.

The best eye cream for dark circles

Everything from your genetics to a lack of sleep could cause and worsen the appearance of dark circles. And while a dab of concealer is the only way to instantly eradicate them, an eye cream with the right ingredients can help fade them with regular use.  

Double Eye Serum

McHale recommends the Double Serum Eye, £56 as her all-round favourite. “It helps alleviate puffiness and dark circles, combat signs of ageing and protects the eye area from the harmful effects of blue light,” she explains. Blue light is light projected from phones and laptops that contributes to premature ageing. 

The 96% natural origin formula is power-packed with 13 potent plant extracts. It’s perfect for anyone who wants something light and easy to use. The serum texture absorbs quickly and works well under make-up. 

Total Eye Contour Gel

The Total Eye Contour Gel, £35 is ideal if dark circles and puffiness are your main concerns. It’s the first eye care product Clarins launched, back in 1966. The gel texture feels soothing under the eyes and the formula also includes calming ingredients like aloe vera and camomile. But the star ingredient here is caffeine that helps improve microcirculation and reduce discolouration.  

The best eye cream for puffy eyes

A broad range of factors could cause your eyes to get puffy: genetics, ageing, smoking, allergies or even fluid retention due to a high-salt diet. Giving yourself a facial massage is great way to tighten and de-puff the skin. But for the eye area, these are the products that will help.

V Shaping Facial Lift Tightening & Anti-Puffiness Eye Concentrate

If de-puffing is your primary goal, make the V Shaping Facial Lift Tightening & Anti-Puffiness Eye Concentrate, £42 your go-to eye care product.  

For best results, begin by gently massaging the eye contour. Use your thumb and forefinger to lightly press and massage the skin along the eye socket in small circular motions. Next, apply the eye concentrate along the contour and use your fingers to gently press it in. This will help drain the fluid and prevent water retention.

Total Eye Revive

The cream-gel formula of the Total Eye Revive, £36 is dispensed through a cooling metal applicator that instantly soothes the eye area. Along with targeting puffiness and dark circles, the formula also works to smooth fine lines around the eyes. As a bonus, there are also some luminous pigments in the cream that offer an instant brightening effect.  

RE-FRESH Roll-On Eye De-Puffer

The RE-FRESH Roll-On, £18 is perfect if you want a de-puffing gel that feels super lightweight. The refreshing formula is loaded with soothing and moisturising ingredients like organic coconut water, alpine rose extract, caffeine and horse chestnut. 

Tip: Leave your eye cream (especially if it has a metal applicator) in the fridge so that it feels extra cool and soothing on application.  

The best eye cream for fine lines and wrinkles

Wrinkles and fine lines grow more prominent as we age, especially around the eyes – and that’s natural. However, wrinkles that develop pre-maturely due to environmental aggressors and unhealthy lifestyle choices can be prevented.  

Staying hydrated, improving your diet, cutting down on alcohol and wearing sunglasses can all help minimise the fine lines around your eyes. For an extra lift, these eye care products come to the rescue.  

Total Eye Hydrate

If you’re an eye cream novice and want to start your journey with a simple, moisturising formula, the Total Eye Hydrate, £30 is the one to reach for. It’s also great if you suffer from dry under eyes. The key ingredient in this cooling balm is leaf of life extract (also known as kalanchoe pinnata) that improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture.  

Total Eye Lift

For fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet, Total Eye Lift, £59 is the hero product to try. It currently boasts over 1,900 5-star reviews on the website. What makes it special? Users have noticed visible results within just weeks of using the product. It’s got harungana, a plant extract that’s as effective as superstar anti-ageing ingredient retinol. 

Total Eye Smooth

Specifically formulated for women in their 40s, the Total Eye Smooth, £43 is part of the beloved Extra-Firming range by Clarins. The balmy texture instantly smoothes the under-eye area. It’s loaded with plant extracts like albizia, white horehound, oats and furcellaria that tighten, protect and revitalise the skin. 

Want personalised eye care recommendations? Check out Clarins’ Eye Care Finder 

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