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Eye cream 101

Joanna Melville | 11.05.2021

Puffiness, dark circles or fine lines are enough to remove the twinkle in anyone’s eye so it’s important to give this area special attention in your skincare routine. The eyes can be the first place that wider skin concerns manifest such as signs of ageing and dehydration. 

The skin around the eye is much thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face. It moves a lot throughout the day from blinking to supporting a whole spectrum of facial expressions. As it doesn’t produce as much collagen, it can also be more susceptible to lifestyle stressors such as fatigue, allergens, UV and diet showing up as premature ageing, puffiness, dryness or dark circles. 

So what can we do? Your normal serums and actives can be too strong or harsh to use on such a fragile area but specially formulated eye creams are a way of incorporating these hero ingredients safely whilst avoiding irritation. This even includes Retinol which is a hero product for targeting the signs of ageing. Eye creams sit within the Treat stage of your skincare layering routine. Find out more about how to effectively layer your skincare routine in our How to Layer Skincare blog article.

Here’s the lowdown on some of the core concerns we hear about most at The INKEY List and the best eye cream to tackle them.


What causes dark circles under eyes?

Going hand in hand with eye bags, dark circles are likely because you are TIRED. Lack of sleep/fatigue will show up with this beautiful hallmark as does eye strain from long periods staring at screens. Some vitamin deficiencies and medical conditions can have symptoms of dark circles around the eyes so, if persistent or worsening, it can be worth exploring with a doctor or dermatologist. The solution? Vitamin C is key to brightening up the bags.

Model applying Brighten-i eye cream under her eyes

Try our Brighten-i Eye Cream to get rid of dark circles.

Containing a Vitamin C derivative, this product is designed for both instant and long-term impact. The BRIGHTENYL works to brighten the eye contour over time and even skin tone whilst the Mica Mineral blend instantly illumunates the under-eye area.

TIP: Pair the Brighten-i Eye Cream with our Symbright Moisturizer or Polyglutamic Acid for a makeup base for an instant cover up. 


Puffiness tends to occur when fluid gets trapped around the eye area, generally when you sleep. Fluid retention, also known as edema, can increase as a result of ageing as the tissue in the eyelids weakens leaving space for fluid to get trapped. Alongside fluid, other causes can include not enough sleep, genetics, crying (we’ve all been there) and potential allergies. Cooling the skin slows the blood flow to the area and soothes the swelling whilst hydrating products will reduce the retention. 

Model applying Caffeine Eye Cream to her under eyes

Our best eye cream for puffy eyes is;  Caffeine Eye Cream

As caffeine is a diuretic it can help to relieve water retention, a major cause of puffiness under the eyes. 

TIP: Keep the eye cream in the fridge for instant impact in reducing the appearance of puffiness. Cold temperatures reduce the blood flow to the area which then reduces the swelling.


Fine lines and wrinkles are not just a result of the ageing process, there’s actually a few different types. Dynamic wrinkles appear over time from repeated muscle movement (hello crows feet and smile lines!); Static wrinkles can be due to skin damage from the sun or smoking whilst wrinkle folds are more related to ageing which hits this area first. Collagen production slows down with age so actives which work with the skin’s natural process are a great support.

Model applying Retinol Eye cream to her underlies

Our best eye cream for under eye wrinkles is; Retinol Eye Cream

This is a slow-release Vitamin A derived formula designed to avoid the irritation often associated with retinols whilst supporting natural collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

TIP: Use in the PM 1-2 times per week. Our anti-ageing Retinol Eye Cream is a specially created formula that can be used in this area which can be used alongside our Retinol serum to allow benefits to be seen across the full face. 



Bags under eyes are a result of weakening in the supporting tissue and surrounding muscles of the eye which allows fats and fluids to move into the space below it, causing mild puffiness, sagging or swelling. There can be genetic factors that influence this but bags are also a result of the classic lack of sleep.

Try our Caffeine Eye Cream to get rid of eye bags

As caffeine is a diuretic it can help to relieve water retention, a major cause of bags under the eyes.


Dehydration can have a huge impact on the eyes from dark circles to puffiness. This can also manifest on the skin’s surface with dry patches appearing. Reactions to certain products in your skin care routine could also dry your skin out more so it can be worth exploring if dryness appears suddenly. 

Try our Caffeine Eye Cream or Brighten-i Eye Cream

We recommend a double attack for dryness using the Brighten-i Eye Cream for hydration and the Caffeine Eye Cream to smooth texture. 


Redness around the eye is likely to be due to irritation such as from a product you have in your routine. As the skin in this area is delicate, it can be more sensitive and show signs of irritation from a product more quickly than other areas of the skin. 

Try our Caffeine Eye Cream

Caffeine has super hydrating properties which can ease the redness, and when used cold, this can be a beautifully soothing option to remove the redness.

TIP: Keep the eye cream in the fridge for instant impact in reducing the appearance of puffiness. Cold temperatures reduce the blood flow to the area which then reduces the swelling 


We recommend using eye creams after cleansing, toning and applying serums and before moisturising as part of your AM and PM routine. Use the pinkie finger to gently dab across the skin beneath the eye so you don’t put too much pressure or pull the skin. 

Whilst it is safe to apply eye treatments around the eye area due to their specific formulation, we don’t recommend using on the eyelids. Perspiration can cause product to seep into the actual eye or duct which is painful!


Be gentle when removing makeup so as not to irritate the skin. Our Oat Cleansing Balm is an oil based cleanser suitable for removing eye makeup.

As UV can cause premature signs of ageing and skin damage, we always advise using an SPF in your AM routine, including around the eye where skin is thinner and will absorb rays more quickly.  

General wellbeing including staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and maintaining a good diet can all have a positive impact on your skin appearance.

For any further questions or advice, contact the team at #askINKEY! 

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