September 19, 2022: Today, there is a whole gamut of skincare solutions available in the market, both for your face and your body. From oils to serums to creams to balms, the choices are endless! And sometimes, these never-ending moisturizer choices can frustrate you and really get under your skin.
Some people are minimalists – they buy one face cream, apply it all over, and they are done. Others invest heavily in their skincare regime, layering products like toners, face serums, and creams. And to top it off, they religiously apply eye creams or undereye creams all over the thin skin around their eye area.
But do you really need to purchase an eye cream, or will your regular face serum do the job? Are eye creams an expensive fad? Or are they a must-have in your skincare routine, like your favourite beauty influencer insists? Let us try to peel away the layers and solve this mystery with Dr. Priti Shenai, Founder of Skinworks, a leading beauty, and dermatology clinic based out of Mumbai.
What is a face serum?
Dr. Priti: Face serums nourish, hydrate, and protect your skin. They have a thin consistency so that they can be absorbed quickly by your skin. Another feature of face serums that sets them apart from face creams is that they have a higher concentration of active ingredients like skin lightening agents, exfoliating acids, vitamins, etc. So, by using a face serum, you can expect results much faster than a face cream.
Is it okay to use a face serum around your eyes?
Dr. Priti: The skin around your eyes (eyelids and under eyes) is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your face. So, it shows wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation, and other signs of ageing sooner than other areas of the face. So, you must take great care to keep this skin moisturized to prevent dryness.
Since the eye area is more delicate than the rest of your face, certain types of face serums can be harsh on them. Highly-concentrated serums with active ingredients like retinol and exfoliating acids (such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid) are not gentle on the eye area! So, if you use such a face serum, do not apply it around the eye area. Instead, use an eye cream.
What is an eye cream, and how is it different from face creams and serums?
Dr. Priti: Eye creams are specially formulated to treat (or prevent) skin conditions that affect the area around the eyes.
They treat common skin woes such as:
- Dark circles
- Sagging skin (eye bags)
- Sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, it will not react well to face serums and greasy creams
Eye creams have a thicker consistency than face creams and are much oilier than face serums. They are also much gentler and contain active ingredients like retinol in a smaller amount.
The bottom line: should one buy an eye cream?
Dr. Priti: If you want to banish dark circles or reduce wrinkles around your eye area, then it is definitely worth investing in an eye cream. But, before you spend big bucks on products that are trendy or are being promoted, consult your dermatologist. They will recommend fast-acting, genuine products that work best for your specific skin type and solve your skincare woes for good.