You have been applying your under-eye cream incorrectly and these are the mistakes to avoid

Is it worth investing in an other product when you use targeted serums and night creams? We checked with leading dermatologists on where an under eye cream stands in your skincare routine. The question is not why should you use an under eye cream, but are you applying it correctly? Let’s start at the very beginning.

How is an eye cream different from your serum and moisturisers?

“Eye creams contain more oil than a regular facial lotion and are usually more hydrating. This is because the skin around the eyes is more fragile, more prone to dryness, and quicker to show age and fatigue. Squinting and constant movement of the eyes also hasten the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and fluids collect under the eyes and cause puffiness and dark circles. Eye creams are formulated specifically with a lot of active ingredients to address these issues around the eye,” explains Dr Veenu Jindal, consultant dermatologist, Rasaderm and Max Hospital.

Ahead, common mistakes (silly mistakes, according to dermatologists) we make when using eye creams.

Not keeping your hands clean

You might be home and feel it unnecessary to sanitise your hands yet again. Research shows that our cell phones are much dirtier than we think, and every time our fingers touch our phones and then our face/eyes, we allow the germs to travel within. “Just before application, wash your hands with soap (not sanitisers) and remove any excess oils or debris from hands and especially fingertips. To ensure better product penetration, wash your face thoroughly, especially with an AHA and BHA-based face wash,” recommends Dr Satish Bhatia MD, FAAD Board Certified Dermatologist, The Indian Cancer Society, Mumbai.

Rubbing the product in

Portions matter when it comes to eye creams; don’t overdo them. After scooping up a pea size amount, which is enough to cover both the eyes, use your ring finger (not index), gently tap small dots under your eyes, says Dr Bhatia. “Pat the eye cream gently instead of rubbing or massaging it as it can cause skin damage,” adds dermatologist Dr Madhuri Agarwal, Medical Director & CEO of Yavana Aesthetics Clinic. “Make a semi-circle of dots, starting just below the inner part of your eyebrow and moving sideways and upward along the orbital bone that surrounds your eye” advises Dr Jindal.

Applying it only to the under eye

Dr Agarwal says that most patients make the mistake of applying it literally to the under-eye area. For best results, apply it around the entire eye area in a clockwise manner inward to outward. This also prevents the collection of products in the inner eye corner. “Apply the eye cream twice a day for maximum benefit,” she recommends.

Not selecting the right product

Picking the right product according to your targeted concerns will help you achieve the desired output from your product. “If you are bothered by fine lines and crows’ feet, look for formulas that use retinol and peptides, two proven wrinkle-fighters. If dark circles annoy you more, seek out brightening ingredients, such as niacinamide and caffeine that helps boost circulation and combat the sluggish blood flow. Caffeine de-puffs the eyes to create a fresher look. When in doubt or trouble with multiple issues, seek out multi-tasking formulas that address all of the above,” informs Dr Jindal.

Creams vs gel under eye products

To make the best of your eye care routine, understand textures besides ingredients. Both eye creams and eye gels contain similar anti-ageing and skin-restoring ingredients. “However, creams are preferred over gels if one has drier skin. Roll-ons usually have a metal tip which has an additional cooling and soothing effect. Eye pads usually have the same ingredients as eye creams but they are uniquely shaped and formulated to stay put,” says Dr Jindal. They are a quick fix before an event or anytime you’re feeling puffy or swollen.

Not knowing how to layer it

There is no incorrect layering, to be honest. But an easy way to determine the correct order of application is to start with products that are lightweight or fluid in texture and work up to the heaviest texture. Hence, according to Dr Bhatia, eye creams should be applied after serum and before moisturiser and the SPF. Any cosmetic products such as foundation, concealer or eye-liners are to be applied after basic eye care routine, adds Dr. Jindal.

Not observing a cut-off time

You have to be consistent and give it minimum 3-5 weeks to show results. But if it’s not living up to its claims despite your commitment, you need to switch to a different product or seek an expert’s advice.

This article first appeared in Vogue


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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