The skin around your eyes is the most delicate and overworked skin on your face.

Not only is it more prone to dryness, damage, wrinkles, and lines, it is often the first part of your face that people focus on. So why is it that most of us skip eye creams or serums from our routines? The answer is that most of us feel that just using a little of our standard face moisturiser will ‘do’. So, before we get into the eye serum vs eye cream debate, here is why your current moisturiser just isn’t cutting it.

A standard face moisturiser – even thicker night creams – may not be heavy, thick or contain enough oil to hydrate and protect the delicate eye area. What’s more, there are some key ingredients needed to regenerate the delicate skin around your eyes – ingredients that most standard moisturisers do not contain.

Some of the ingredients to look out for are caffeine, hyaluronic acid and peptides. This combination of ingredients work to shrink under-eye bags, make your skin plumper and more youthful whilst drawing and sealing in moisture to the skin around your eyes. Other ingredients, such as retinol also help to tackle aging eyes and delay the onset of fine lines and wrinkles.

So, the question is not whether you should use a product specifically formulated for the eyes or not, it’s which one to choose. Let’s start by looking at the two most popular options for moisturizing, protecting and regenerating the eye area – eye serum and eye cream.

Young Beautiful Girl After Showering with Towel

Eye Serum or Eye Cream – What’s the Difference?

Still wondering, is eye cream necessary? Well then, you are probably also asking: what is eye serum? And what does eye serum do? Here, is a quick breakdown of what makes them different.


  • Texture: Eye serum is lighter in consistency and generally contains less oil than the standard eye cream.
  • Purpose: Eye serum is often used to tackle wrinkles, dark circles and is used to improve skin firmness. This product should penetrate deeper than an eye cream.
  • Skin Type: For aging skin and dark circles


  • Texture: Eye cream is thicker, heavier, and has a much creamier texture than an eye serum
  • Purpose: Eye cream is more often used for moisture retention, hydration and puffiness.
  • Skin Type: For dull, dry and puffy skin around the eyes.

Because eye creams and eye serums actually do different things and combat different issues, many opt to use both. If you decide to do the same, there is a way to get the very best out of these two products and it really comes down to how you use them.

Which Comes First Eye Cream or Serum?

Whether you apply your eye cream or serum first comes down to a couple of things –consistency and purpose. Serums are designed to penetrate the skin deeply. They often contain more potent active ingredients, alongside a carrier designed to seep right into the skin. On the other hand, eye creams contain emollients and are often heavier, so they work well to seal in moisture and protect the skin but also create a barrier. This means that by applying your eye cream first, you could be blocking the benefits of your serum. This is not to say that your eye cream does not penetrate the skin with necessary ingredients too, but if you are going to use both, using a serum first will generally mean you get the best out of both products.

Is an eye serum necessary?

When all is said and done, if you choose to opt for an eye cream and not a serum you will get better results than using nothing at all – even if you are using a standard face moisturiser, a serum is probably going to be a better choice for your eyes.. To be more specific, here is a bit more on what an eye serum can do for the delicate area around your eyes:

Improving skin cells:

The retinol used in some serums can boost cell turnover. This means that the area under the eyes which is more prone to wrinkling, lines and general signs of aging can be maintained and made to look younger and fresher.

Building collagen:

The collagen stimulating ingredients found in some eye serums help to strengthen the skin and make it more robust.

Lightening discolouration:

A serum containing hyaluronic acid serum can help to minimize dark circles and under-eye bags caused by dehydration.

Restoring the skins barrier:

The antioxidants and moisture binding products found in eye serums can restore even damaged skin whilst strengthening the skins barrier around the delicate eye area.

Skin Beauty

What Should I Purchase?

Well, that all depends on what you are trying to protect and/or improve. There are many products and brands on the market all claiming to tackle different things – the point is, what you really need to purchase is wholly dependent on how the skin around your eyes is aging. It’s true, that many specialists suggest incorporating eye creams and serums into your skincare routine BEFORE you need them. Essentially, using products to aid the skin before you start to see lines, wrinkles, dark circles, dryness or damage. This is good advice, as it will in most cases prevent these things from occurring too early – prevention is better than a cure. That said, many of us do not do this, so we are able to tell what it is we need to use by looking at our skin.

If in any doubt, we suggest opting for a good all-rounder – an eye serum and/or eye cream which can restore the skin whilst keeping it both protected and moisturised. Remember to check for reviews online and go for brands that are either well established / trusted or who use natural ingredients. The eye area is very delicate, so tread carefully, only use products you trust and if you experience irritation or see any signs of damage discontinue use immediately.