When it comes to comes to skin care, we’re pretty savvy about all the essential steps. Cleansers are vital for washing away dirt, grime and sebum; serums deliver supercharged ingredients to address dark spots, improve collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines; and moisturisers are non-negotiables to hydrate dry skin and deliver a plumping effect.
As for the eye care department, this subcategory of eye creams and eye gels is often shrouded in mystery. Are they as important as brands tell us they are? Do we need to use one every day? And most importantly, do they work?!
“I think in the past, people have been skeptical about eye creams and for the right reasons,” says Nicole Kilner, CEO of Deciem. “I think some brands have just put a moisturiser in a smaller tube and called it eye cream; therefore, it’s just moisturiser [and] it’s not doing anything.”
Our thoughts exactly.
Kilner recommends an eye serum to effectively treat the delicate skin around the eye area.
“The eye area is so delicate that you really need good actives to be targeting your concern,” continues Kilner. “Creams are very good at hydrating, but they’re not good at delivering a targeted active because it doesn’t absorb into your skin as much as a serum would. Around the eye area, you don’t just want hydration, you actually want something that’s going to target the concerns [and] absorb more into the eye area.”
Prudvi Kaka, Chief Scientific Officer of Deciem, further explains the difference between an eye cream and an eye serum. “Eye creams are emulsions with medium to high viscosity. Eye serums tend to be less viscous, transparent or translucent in appearance and the formulas are either water-based, oil-based or water-free. Provided that the formula incorporates effective and high-performance active technologies, having a thin texture, such as an eye serum, will give the actives a better chance at being absorbed adequately into the skin.”
Eye serums work similarly to face serums, however, it’s not necessary to layer another moisturiser over the top of your eye serum - just the one product is enough to eliminate the appearance of eye bags, dark circles, puffy eyes... the list goes on.
Ready to try an eye serum for yourself? Here are the best eye serums we've come across.
niod fractionated eye-contour concentrate: This eye serum utilises 28 (!!!) clinical technologies to target ageing in your under-eye area, addressing concerns like puffiness, dark circles and uneven texture. A special shout out goes to the Darutoside Complex in the formula, which helps improve elasticity in the eye area and reduce the appearance of folds.
Lancôme Advanced Génifique Light Pearl Youth Activating Eye & Lash Concentrate: This eye treatment’s high-tech formula features probiotic fractions to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, whilst the rounded metal tip applicator is celebrated for its de-puffing powers. Plus, your little lash hairs don't miss out on the action - the serum can also strengthen lashes over time.
Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum: Your delicate eye area can get in on the retinol action in a safe manner with this Dr. Dennis Gross product. Inside the formula, retinol (also known as vitamin A) works to diminish the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores, ferulic aims to fight free radicals and protect skin from sun damage, and licorice root extract is ace at brightening pigmentation (such as dark spots) and uneven skin tone.
Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum: The enhanced ceramide lipid complex in these potent ampoules target crow's feet, puffiness and darkness in the under-eye area, leaving skin brighter, hydrated and more youthful.
Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Eye Serum: Vitamin C is the power force behind this anti-ageing product, which has a brightening effect on the eye area and reduces the appearance of dark circles, ultimately making you look more awake.
La Mer The Lifting Eye Serum: Besides being incredibly luxurious, this treatment from La Mer works to improve elasticity in the delicate eye area, and can be used from your eyelid to the bottom of your brows. Key ingredients include La Mer's signature Miracle Broth, glycerin and sodium hyaluronate (a form of hyaluronic acid).
Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Eye Serum: Okinawa red algae, honeysuckle leaf, caffeine and 23-karat gold (yep, you're reading that correctly!) work together to reduce puffiness and address the appearance of niggling fine lines. We're also big fans of the cooling ceramic applicator, which can soothe and instantly firm tired-looking peepers.
Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage: You can't go past this cooling eye tool that's loaded with caffeine, antioxidants and botanical ingredients to target eye puffiness. Work the rollerball around your eye area before applying makeup to immediately see a noticeable difference.
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum: This hydrating eye treatment contains marine kelp complex to lift and firm the eye area, as well as address dark circles and reduce the appearance of fine lines in the crow's feet-prone area.
Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum: This intensive eye concentrate features black tea ferment, copper peptides and niacinamide to improve the overall appearance of your peepers - it tackles puffiness, fine lines, dark rings around your eyes... the lot. We especially love its gentle formula, which makes it suitable to use on sensitive skin.
If you're after a more instantaneous solution to camouflaging your dark eye circles, here are eight of the best concealers that can do the job, quick smart. And if you need any more reassurance why you need a specific product to treat your eyes, tune into the below ep of our beauty podcast Get Lippy.
Have you tried an eye serum in the past? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.
Main image credit: @taylor_hill
Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinky-nude nail polish and wispy false lashes, she has a healthy obsession with face masks and skin care ingredients. Her previous work can be found in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Women's Health, and SHOP Til You Drop.