Eye Creams vs. Eye Gels: Which Should You Use?
Among all of the eye treatment options, the most common are eye creams and eye gels. The standard advice for selecting a cream or a gel defaults to skin type, but this approach doesn’t work for eye products. We’ll explain the differences between eye creams and eye gels and share with you why you might do well with one or the other, or, in some cases, with both!
The main difference between eye creams and gels is, no surprise, texture! Eye creams tend to be thicker and richer-feeling, while the thinner texture of eye gels feels light, refreshing, and more silky than the emollient eye creams.
Both eye creams and eye gels should contain the same type of essential anti-aging ingredients that all skin types need to address signs of aging around the eyes: antioxidants, skin-restoring ingredients, and skin-replenishing ingredients. The best eye creams and eye gels contain these ingredients in abundance, including Paula’s Choice Skincare RESIST Anti-Aging Eye Cream, RESIST Anti-Aging Eye Gel, and CLINICAL Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream.
Another key point: Both eye creams and eye gels can improve the look of puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, and crepe-like texture. Both can also be applied to the underbrow or eyelid area, but be careful to avoid getting the product into the eye itself.
Back to choosing an eye product based on your skin type: It’s not helpful advice because as we age, the skin around our eyes tends to become drier than the skin on the rest of the face. So, even if you have oily or combination skin, your eye area is more likely to be dry.
You should use an eye cream if you prefer a creamy texture and your eye area is much drier than the rest of your face; however, an eye gel has its place, too!
Eye gels are wonderful in the morning to smooth, refresh, and help diminish AM puffiness. The light, silky texture of most eye gels also works well under makeup. The rich eye creams can cause concealer to crease into lines and shorten the wear time of eyeliner and mascara, problems that eye gels typically don’t cause.
Eye creams are best used at night, when you can apply a thick layer to soak in while you sleep. If you find you need eye cream during the day, too, the trick is to apply only a thin layer and allow it to absorb before applying sunscreen (critical for the wrinkle-prone eye area) and makeup.
Do you need an eye cream and an eye gel in your skincare routine? This comes down to personal preference. Many people prefer the lighter, soothing feel of eye gels for daytime use and the thicker, protective feel of eye creams for night, but some find one type works great both morning and evening. Experiment to find out which method work best for you!
References for this information:
Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, April-June 2016, pages 65–72
Facial Plastic Surgery, August 2013, pages 273–280
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, January 2013, ePublication
Hautarzt, August 2011, pages 607–613
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About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!