Cream, serum, gel and roll-on – today eye creams are available in a range of different variants for both men and women. There are also creams for different purposes, such as for young skin, mature skin or to counteract dark circles and bags under the eyes. Often the cream is nourishing and moisturising but without being sticky, as otherwise it can affect the application of make-up. Eye creams contain smaller molecules than normal face creams. Because the pores around the eyes are small, they can more easily absorb and utilise these molecules. If a normal face cream or body lotion is used, it forms a film around the eye, which can give you irritated or swollen eyes. The wrong type of product around the eyes can lead to a range of skin problems, such as milia – small sebaceous nodules that get stuck in the pores and lead to white spots.
Eye creams are intended to counteract visible signs of skin ageing and to give anti-age properties. They do this by smoothing out wrinkles, giving a firming effect and reducing dark circles and swelling. You simply look a little brighter and fresher. The creams contain a range of ingredients to achieve these results. Among the most common are vitamin K, which counteracts dark circles, and antioxidants to give additional protection. The majority of creams also contain a substance that moisturises and calms the skin, such as aloe vera. For people with very tired and severely swollen eyes, eye creams containing caffeine are recommended, as it both counteracts the swelling and smooths out the skin around the eye. If you often wake up with swollen eyes, you can try out storing the cream in the refrigerator. The coolness of the cream when you apply it can help to reduce the swelling still further.
You generally use eye cream in the morning before facing the day's challenges and in the evening before it's time for your beauty sleep. However, some brands produce creams that are developed to be used only at night, and these are a little greasier. The majority of eye creams are extremely economical, which means that you only need to use a very small amount. About half a little fingernail's worth is usually enough for both eyes.
When you apply eye cream, it's important that you don't press too hard on the sensitive skin around the eyes. A good tip is to apply the eye cream with the ring fingers, which aren't as strong as your forefinger and middle finger. This means you're automatically more gentle. Dab the cream lightly around the orbital bone. You needn't apply it to the eyelid as the skin will absorb the moisture itself and the entire area around the eye will gradually absorb the cream it needs. If you apply the cream in the morning, it's even more important that you don't apply it to the eyelid, as it can make it sticky if you're going to apply make-up.
We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. The eye creams were used for a period of three weeks by both men and women. During these three weeks, all creams were also stored in a refrigerator to achieve an extra cooling effect on application. In addition to this, our testers followed the instructions on the packaging regarding how the cream should be applied. In the test, we included the following parameters:
Use: How easy is the product to apply? Does the product feel sticky on the fingers or around the eyes? What consistency does the product have and does it last for a long time? Is the product scented?
Moisturising ability: How does the skin around the eyes feel after application? Does the cream moisturise efficiently without feeling oily?
The eye creams have been used over a longer period to get an idea of how the cream’s characteristics affect the skin over time. The product score is based on the overall experience. This is then compared to the product price to determine value for money and allocate a score.
Tired eyes are a thing of the past and a night with little sleep is no longer a problem. Dermalogica's Total Eye Care SPF15 cream is a very pale beige colour. This means that dark circles are concealed from the first application. After a period of use, it also helps the skin to look fresh even before the cream has been applied, but for those who don’t have time to wait several weeks for results, this tint is perfect. The colour in the cream is a delicate shade that blends in with the skin and doesn’t make you look “made-up”. This means that it’s suitable for both men and women who don’t want to wear make-up. The light consistency is easily absorbed by the skin, which feels moisturised without being greasy.
The firming effect is relatively low. However, the cream soothes the skin and is good on bags under the eyes after a few weeks’ use. The cream isn’t quite as economical as some other eye creams. Getting the right quantity is simple and hygienic with the little spout on the tube. A big plus is also that the cream provides SPF 15. Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF15 is expensive, but the ability of the cream to counteract dark circles together with its effectiveness on bags makes it quite simply fantastic.
Exuviance delivers an incredibly moisturising eye cream. In the winter, when the skin is often a little drier, Hydrating Lift Eye Complex is an absolute lifesaver. The cream nourishes the skin around the eye very well, which naturally counteracts both swollen eyes and dark circles. However, it doesn’t produce spectacular results. The primary characteristic of this cream is quite simply its moisturising ability. Despite the intense moisture, the cream is quickly absorbed by the skin and doesn’t feel sticky. It’s no problem to apply make-up immediately after the cream. Because the eye cream is so nourishing, the skin feels fresher and firmer after using it both morning and evening for a little while.
The tube has a pointed hygienic top which makes it easy to apply the right amount. The thick consistency of the cream also makes it easy to measure out. However, you need quite a lot to get the right amount for both eyes. But the moisturising ability counts for a lot, and means that Exuviance Hydrating Lift Eye Complex climbs the placings, particularly in the winter.
Clarins’ eye cream has a gel consistency and gives a good firming effect, leaving you with a fresh feeling. The gel feels cooling and soothing. This means that the cream is relatively effective against swollen eyes, even if it won’t quite conceal a sleepless night with your newborn or a late night on the town. But normal tiredness is no problem. The exclusive tube the cream comes in is easy to store in the bathroom cabinet as you can stand it upright. However, the light consistency of the contents means that too much cream often comes out. This is a risk that increases when the cream is stored standing up, as the contents run down towards the opening. Eye Contour Gel is actually quite economical but because it’s difficult to get the right amount it still runs out quickly.
Dark circles aren’t this cream’s strong point, but the firming effect still gives an obviously fresher impression overall. It moisturises well and the light formula is quickly absorbed by the skin and is neither oily nor sticky. You can apply your day’s make-up immediately after application, which is perfect on a stressful morning. Clarins Eye Contour Gel gives a pleasant fresh feeling, but given the price we would have liked it to last a bit longer.
Decléor’s Lift and Brighten Eye Cream has a lovely creamy consistency which is easy to apply evenly to the skin around the eyes. The skin is immediately well moisturised and feels fresher. If the cream is applied at night time, the skin is still smooth and soft next morning. The cream is also absorbed quickly, which means that you can apply your make-up immediately afterwards. After a few weeks’ use, dark circles are also reduced. However, it's the moisturising and firming ability that's the most obvious characteristic of this cream.
The tube the cream comes in is eye-catching to say the least. The top is almost as long as the rest of the tube, concealing a construction with a kind of spatula-like pump from which the cream is squeezed. The top of the pump is also intended to apply the cream. A nice idea, but not really necessary, was our verdict. It would have been easier to use a normal tube without the spatula construction. Instead this makes it rather fiddly both to get the cream out and to store the tube. Other than the tube construction, Decléor Lift and Brighten Eye Cream is a good product. However, it doesn’t give particularly astonishing results, and given the price we’d have liked to see more.
Regardless of whether it’s a tired and early morning or a late evening, this light eye cream from Clinique gives you a fresh feeling. It is quickly absorbed by the skin and despite the thin formula is extremely moisturising. It has an average firming effect and there are other creams that are better in this area. However, it’s incredibly effective on dark circles. You won’t see the difference the first time you use All About Eyes Rich Cream, but after a few weeks the dark circles begin to disappear and the skin around the eyes looks healthy and fresh. Clinique promise that the product is particularly aimed at bags under the eyes, and for this reason it contains caffeine. Like many other eye creams, it definitely helps to extend, but to say that it’s particularly good is stretching the truth somewhat.
The packaging is an attractive and stylish jar with Clinique's exclusive appearance. However, you need to wash your hands before using the cream because otherwise bacteria can build up, as you have to put your fingers in the jar to apply it. It can also be difficult to get the right amount of cream, but if you do it right the cream is economical and you only need to use a very small amount product. All About Eyes Rich Cream certainly does give a fresh feeling and is economical, but given the difficulty of getting the right amount and the jar, it doesn’t get top marks.