Do eye creams really work?

Do eye creams really work? Close up of woman's eye area with dots of eye cream underneath her right eye

Up until recently I rarely used eye-creams.  I didn’t believe I needed to and the ones I did use didn’t seem to do anything noticeable.  Besides, there were no glaringly obvious concerns that a decent amount of concealer couldn’t fix.  But that belief all changed in an instant with just one picture.

Here’s the picture that had me running (more specifically sprinting) to my local beauty retailer like a person possessed. 

Do eye creams really work? Picture of Alex Grace smiling at camera wearing a white t-shirt
Let’s call this exhibit A – please note the crows feet!

The lady at the counter must have smelt fresh, impressionable blood because before I knew it, she had skilfully encouraged me to part with £38 for an eye-cream.  Not just any old eye cream either!  This was a ground-breaking line-correcting booster serum – proven to visibly reduce the appearance of even the deepest lines and wrinkles (their words not mine).  Clinical trials had produced women proclaiming the best results they had ever seen – even for women who had previously had Botox.  But did it work for me?  Did it heck! I wanted it to so desperately.  I applied it religiously day and night for weeks on end, but I saw no difference.  

It led me to thinking – am I just picking the wrong products? Or, more to the point – do eye creams really work?

I decided to question my friends and family to find out their opinions and experiences.  Maybe one of them had the miracle answer!  Nope.  In-fact over half of the people I questioned (over 20 women) no longer use an eye-cream.  Why not? I asked.  Because nearly all of them – despite using eye creams in the past – gave up believing they really work.  And out of the women who currently use one, the majority  weren’t convinced they were seeing any results either!   

Eye creams used to treat dark circles, puffiness and soothe tight skin produced the best results.  Which is great news if those are your specific concerns.  However, nearly everyone I asked said their main reason for using an eye-cream was for anti-ageing benefits.  Like me, the  majority wanted to tackle or prevent the dreaded fine lines and wrinkles.  Yet nearly no-one had managed to find a cream they were certain aided in this crusade.

I guess the question is, do I just happen to associate with a large bunch of unlucky individuals or is it actually that eye-creams don’t really work after all?  We can’t all be wrong, can we?

It was time to see what the skincare boffins had to say…

Do eye creams really work? Image of Scientific analyzes of DNA code

The fact is the skin around your eyes is more fragile than the skin on the rest of your face.   The delicate eye area is more prone to dryness and quicker to show signs of age and fatigue.  Eye creams are formulated specifically for this delicate skin.  They are oilier than a regular facial moisturiser and can contain active ingredients aimed at the problems we see around the eyes.  Specific eye concerns, such as dark circles, aren’t necessarily what you might want to address on the rest of your face.  By using an eye cream you are more effectively targeting these areas of concern.  We also have to keep in mind that clinical trials have provided evidence that certain eye creams do work.

However, there are leading dermatologists who do not believe in the efficacy of eye creams.  They agree that a lack of hydration contributes to wrinkles, so therefore it makes sense that a moisturiser in this area appears to benefit dehydrated skin.  But, the majority of eye-creams on the market are formulated with the same ingredients as most facial moisturisers – so they question how much additional benefit they are actually adding?  

A lot of specialists do feel there are certain issues that eye creams can help treat.  Although some concerns (regardless of the money you’re prepared to pay) are reportedly untouchable.     

A friend of mine has been using eye creams for years and she swears by them.  To be fair, her eyes do look pretty fantastic.  She’s the same age as me and has far less fine lines and wrinkles.  Yet despite trying the same products as her, why do I not receive the same benefit?  Is it lifestyle? Genetics?  Who knows!  Maybe it’s down to the fact she’s always used them – prevention is better than cure, is it not?  

All I know is that once I stopped using my ‘miracle’ eye-cream, I actually started to notice the lines less.  Which I believe is a pretty good result in itself.  Whilst I have resigned – for the time being – not to use an eye cream, I do ensure I hydrate my skin well.  At this moment in time, I’m happy with this being the state of affairs.

In need of some effective hydration? Read: Hyaluronic Acid – What you need to know!

I’m not advising total abandonment of eye creams – I know for some they have worked well.  In the meantime, like the majority of the women who responded to my eye cream questions, I’ll sit and wait ready to spend the big bucks when a guaranteed miracle product really is created – manufacturers take note! 

So, do eye creams really work? Should you be using one?

Do eye creams really work? Portrait of unsure doubtful cute African American young woman in yellow overalls and headband, scratching head, pursing lips and frowning while thinking, being questioned and uncertain

I can’t answer for certain.  I’m not sure anyone can really.  It’s all down to whether you think they work for you and if you find they do, great keep using them!

Otherwise, the truth is it’s always more noticeable to you than other people.

If we can go back to the original picture (where for me this all started).  Yes it’s evident I have prominent crows feet when I smile.  Some people call them laughter lines.  I smile and laugh A LOT.  It means I’m happy.  The  lines should be my daily reminder life is good and been well lived.  I guess it’s just perspective.  When you overly focus on something you see as a flaw it can become all you see – it takes on a whole new level of severity and significance. 

I would suggest shifting your focus to what you do love about yourself, that way whether you find an eye cream works for you or not, it won’t really matter.


Want to discover more certain ways to keep your eye area looking more youthful? Read:

10 ways to slow signs of ageing around your eyes without using an eye cream

Were these the results you were expecting to read or are you surprised by the outcome?  What has your experience of eye creams been? Any great ones to recommend to anyone who is still keen to find that ‘miracle’ product?  Get in touch by leaving a comment in the box below – I’d love to hear from you!

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12 thoughts on “Do eye creams really work?

  1. I tried eye cream once because I received it free. This was some years ago when I was younger. I did not feel I needed eye cream then, or still now.
    When I tried the eye cream, it was nice to apply, but personally I can’t be bothered patting the eye cream gently around my eye.
    I moisturise my face every morning without fail and I moisturise my hands and body, but personally, I am not going to bother with eye cream.

  2. Great post. I sometimes use eye serums but not eye creams as such. I tend to pick ingredients rather than brand claims if that makes sense. Hyaluronic acid and caffeine and some acid masks. Would quite like to invest in a dermal roller tbh to help fine lines and wrinkles x

    1. Thanks! I think that’s a really sensible approach – all of those ingredients are known to help.

  3. Not surprised by your findings. My skins quite sensitive and some eye creams I tried reacted angrily around my eye area. Now I just make sure I moisturise well with my tried and tested general moisturiser and go a bit more gently in that area. Interesting article Alex

    1. I think they’re good for some concerns but often over-promise and under-deliver. Stick with what you’re doing Lesley, it works well for you and that’s the key! Thanks for sharing Lesley!

  4. I have tried many eye creams, like you I smile and laugh a lot especially with my eyes and nothing seems to work. The only thing that makes my eye “area” feel better is good old cucumber slices xxxx

    1. Quite a few of the women who responded mentioned the benefits of cucumber slices! Glad to hear they work for you too! Thanks for reading Jodie and keep smiling – lines be damned 😉 xx

  5. A great post Alex and I was inspired to read this especially as I cleared out my beauty/makeup yesterday and found a few eye creams I must have bought at some point (they are probably years old!) and I did wonder if I should be using them myself. Now that I’m way over 40 I’m looking to get my mojo back, so whatever works I’ll give a go! 🙂

    1. Thank you! So pleased you liked it – I hope it’s helped to take a little pressure off! x

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