Here's why you should be using an eye serum

An expert weighs in on why they work better than eye creams

September 11 2020

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 specific skin concerns, and moisturisers are non-negotiables for juicy, plump hydration.

The eye care department, however, can get a little confusing. Are they as important as brands tell us they are? Do we need to use one every day? And most importantly, should we swapping our eye creams for eye serums?

We asked the team at Deciem (the clever company behind The Ordinary, NIOD and a bunch of your favourite skin care brands) to weigh in.

Eye creams vs. eye serums

“I think in the past, people have been skeptical about eye creams and for the right reasons,” says Nicole Kilner, Deciem's CEO. “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.” 

“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) agrees, further explaining the major differences between eye creams and their serum alternatives: “Eye creams are emulsions with medium to high viscosity. Eye serums tend to be less viscous [and are generally more] transparent or translucent in appearance as the formulas are either water-based, oil-based or water-free. Provided that the formula incorporates effective and high-performance active technologies, thin textures such as eye serums will give the actives a better chance at being absorbed adequately into the skin.”

So, now that we know what we're looking for, let's get into the formulas we love. Here are our top 10 eye serums.

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 in one go. 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 Serum

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 beloved for its de-puffing powers. Plus (yes, we know there's a lot of perks), 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 reap the benefits of retinol in a safe manner with this superstar serum. It works to diminish the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores (that's the retinol working!) while ferulic protects skin from sun damage and licorice root extract helps in the dark spot-ditching department.

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum

The enhanced ceramide lipid complex in these potent ampoules targets crow's feet, puffiness and darkness in the under-eye area, leaving skin brighter, hydrated and more youthful. The single serving size delivery also ensures your ingredients are as fresh as can be, equalling optimal results every time.

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. Basically, if you've been choosing Netflix over sleep, this illuminating option is the key to looking way more awake than you actually are.

La Mer The Lifting Eye Serum

Besides being incredibly luxurious, this treatment from La Mer works to improve elasticity all over the delicate eye area, designed to be used both around the under-eye and right up 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

Red algae, honeysuckle leaf, caffeine and 23-karat gold (yep, you're reading that correctly; bougie huh?!) 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 if it's redness relief you're after; it's loaded with caffeine, antioxidants and botanical ingredients to target eye puffiness while offering some serious soothing help. 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. If eye serum superlatives were a thing, it'd definitely take home 'best all rounder'.

Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum

Featuring black tea ferment, copper peptides and niacinamide to improve the overall appearance of your peepers, this intensive eye concentrate tackles puffiness, fine lines and dark rings around your eyes, while still being gentle enough to be sensitive skin-friendly.

Main image credit: @shaninamshaik

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