How To Apply Eye Cream Like a Pro

Beauty, Routines

Have you ever wondered if there’s a better way to apply your favorite skincare products? Some areas of skin are more sensitive than others, so certain application methods may do more harm than good in these areas.

“The skin near your eyes is delicate, and applying your eye cream gently is the key to better results.”

  • Shani Darden

For instance, the under-eye area is notoriously delicate — so delicate that there are moisturizers that specifically target that area’s needs. Here is my expert advice on how to apply eye cream for glowing effects.

What Is Eye Cream?

Have you ever wondered why visible signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines always start around the eyes? This is because the skin around your eyes is much thinner and more delicate than other areas of your skin.

Because of this, your under-eye skin is much more susceptible to wrinkles, dullness, and dryness. To address the specific needs of this sensitive skin, I recommend using a moisturizer specifically suited for it, like an eye cream.

Eye creams are heavy-duty moisturizers that are filled with powerful hydrators like emollients and occlusives. These formulas are often thicker than typical facial moisturizers.

Eye creams may occasionally contain ingredients with anti-aging properties as well. For instance, some eye creams that are made to address aging concerns like wrinkles and fine lines may include powerful ingredients like retinol.

Why Use Eye Cream?

Eye cream is technically not an essential part of your skincare routine – however, it does have some unique benefits that make it a great addition. Here are some reasons you may want to introduce eye cream into your routine.

Intense Hydration

The skin around your eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, which is why this area is prone to dark circles and dehydration. Not only can dehydration increase your chances of developing dark circles, but it can also lead to dehydration lines. These look very similar to fine lines and can lead to the appearance of aged skin, but they are easily addressed with a hydrating eye cream.

This area is also prone to dryness because the thinner skin produces less sebum. Sebum is part of your skin’s natural moisture mechanism, and less sebum means this area needs a heavy-duty moisturizer.

Eye creams contain emollients, which are moisturizing ingredients that help soothe and smoothen dry skin. Another common set of ingredients are occlusives, which are oil-based moisturizers that create a barrier that seals in moisture. 

Some eye creams also include humectants that attract and store water. Popular humectant ingredients include hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

Target Specific Concerns

We mentioned previously that some eye creams contain other ingredients that aren’t strictly intended to moisturize; these eye creams are often designed to target specific skin needs. Here are a few common eye cream ingredients and what they do.


Retinol is a mild retinoid that primarily reduces the appearance of signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.

Retinol can also help support regular surface skin cell turnover, which is how your skin sheds old cells. By maintaining turnover, this ingredient may help minimize the appearance of fine lines and shallow wrinkles.


Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are chemical exfoliants that help brighten skin and smooth texture. They also support skin cell turnover.

Common AHAs include lactic acid, glycolic acid, citric acid, and malic acid. These acids vary in potency, with lactic acid being the gentlest.


Niacinamide is a topical form of vitamin B3 and is sometimes listed as nicotinamide. This ingredient helps soothe irritated skin and brighten dullness.

Niacinamide can help your under-eye area by brightening the look of dark circles and supporting a proper balance of sebum. Niacinamide can also help soothe irritation caused by other powerful ingredients.


Ceramides are lipids (also known as fats) that help make up a large portion of the skin barrier. The skin barrier is the outermost layer of skin and serves as the first layer of protection against bacteria.

Your skin barrier also helps keep hydration in, which is incredibly important for the easily dehydrated under-eye area. Eye creams with ceramides can help support your skin barrier and strengthen your skin’s natural hydration.


Visible signs of skin aging can sometimes be attributed to environmental stressors and the resulting skin damage. 

Luckily, antioxidants can help protect and support your skin during exposure to stressors and irritants like UV rays and pollution. While antioxidants are no replacement for a daily SPF, they can provide a valuable layer of additional protection.

Vitamin C, niacinamide, vitamin E, and ferulic acid are common antioxidants featured in eye creams. My Intensive Eye Renewal Cream features the antioxidant powers of niacinamide as well as ceramides and squalene for truly bright under-eyes.

Minimize Signs of Aging

The eye area is particularly susceptible to signs of aging. This is because wrinkles are often the result of repeated facial expressions.

Many common facial expressions, such as smiles, squints, and laughter, repeatedly crease the delicate eye skin. This is why wrinkles and fine lines like crow’s feet commonly start in this area.

Luckily, many eye creams feature wrinkle-reducing ingredients like retinol and peptides. Retinol is an ingredient known for its great ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but its potency can irritate delicate under-eye skin.

In such cases, peptides are an excellent alternative ingredient. Peptides are amino acids that make up an important part of collagen production.

Brighten Dark Circles

Dark circles can be frustrating when they appear, but there’s only so much you can do to fade them. Often, dark circles are the result of late nights and sleeplessness. In order to truly make dark circles disappear, I recommend addressing the root cause.

However, some skincare ingredients can help temporarily improve the appearance of dark spots. For instance, niacinamide and vitamin C are excellent for brightening dark and dull under-eyes.

Some eye creams can also help plump up the appearance of the under-eyes, making the dark circles may be less noticeable.

Reduces Puffiness

Puffy under-eyes are also often a result of lack of sleep. They can also be caused by allergies, diet, and natural aging.

Eye creams often contain ingredients that can help improve the appearance of under-eye bags. For instance, ingredients like caffeine or vitamin K can help minimize the look of puffiness. 

How Should I Apply Eye Cream?

To get all of these amazing benefits, it’s important to apply eye cream the correct way. Here are my tried-and-true tips to apply eye cream like a pro.

Be Gentle

The first step to applying eye cream is to select a gentle applicator. I recommend using your ring finger since this is the weakest finger and most likely to be gentle.

Apply From Inner Corner

Apply a small amount of product, tapping it in gently. I recommend applying from the inner corners of your eye to the outer corners and following all around to the eyebrow area. My Intensive Renewal Eye Cream is formulated for application on the eyelid as well.

Pat Product into Skin

Once your dots of product are applied, use your applicator and gently pat it into your skin. Avoid using dragging or rubbing motions, as this may cause irritation and stress to your skin.

I recommend using my Facial Sculpting Wand here to massage the eye cream into your under-eye area. This wand uses vibration therapy to brighten and firm the appearance of skin and can help the ingredients in your eye cream absorb.

In Conclusion

Eye cream is not a necessary part of your skincare routine, but it’s still important for anyone looking to improve the appearance of their delicate eye skin. Eye creams can offer benefits like specific hydration, brightening, and minimizing signs of aging.

To apply eye cream correctly, the most important thing to remember is to be gentle. Once your cream is applied, I recommend following up with a moisturizer and SPF to keep your skin glowing and radiant.



How to Pick the Right Eye Cream for You | Cleveland Clinic

Ceramides and Skin Function | American Journal of Clinical DermatologyDermatologist Jodi Ganz Details Eye Creams | Piedmont Healthcare