5 Eye Cream Mistakes That Are Sabotaging Your Anti-Aging Goals

Skincare pros dish on eye cream no-nos.

If you've ever wondered to yourself, "Do I really need to use an eye cream?" the answer is yes. The skin around our eyes tends to be more fragile and prone to dryness compared to the rest of our face, which means the area shows signs of aging more quickly. Think crow's feet, skin laxity, and even sun spots.

"Eye creams are formulated specifically for the thinner, more delicate skin around our eyes, which is why they tend to be thicker," notes Stacy Chimento, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Miami, Fla. "Eye creams also contain more oil than a facial cream [and often feature] active ingredients that target specific issues."

Whether you're new to the eye cream game or have been dutifully slathering for years, take note of these common eye cream mistakes that might be sabotaging your anti-aging goals.

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Thinking regular moisturizer will suffice

As Dr. Chimento mentioned, eye creams are specifically formulated for your eye area. Swapping in a regular facial moisturizer won't yield the same results.

"So many of my clients come to me with the concerns of fine lines, puffiness, and darkness around the eyes, but when I ask what they are using to treat their concerns they usually say 'nothing' or 'I use moisturizer,'" says Kasey Boone, esthetician and founder of Glow Skincare LA. "Moisturizer is great for hydrating the skin, but if you are looking to treat the eye area, you need a good eye cream!"

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Using way too much

Ever notice how petite eye cream jars are? There's a reason why they don't come in supersize containers. A little bit is all you need, and using too much can actually backfire.

"Some believe that the more product you use, the more effective it will be. However, for the area under your eyes, less is always more," notes Dr. Chimento. "Putting on too much product can clog your pores and even creep into your eyes and irritate them." A pea-sized amount is all you need.

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Not letting the product absorb

"You have to make sure you give any product you place on your skin time to seep in. Make sure you give it a few minutes to settle into the skin to feel its effects," says Dr. Chimento.

That means not layering too many products in a short period of time, including more skincare or any makeup (such as concealer for dark under-eye circles) or sunscreen you'd apply on top. And if you're going to bed, make sure that you're giving your eye cream enough time to absorb before laying down; otherwise you risk transferring the product to your pillow.

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Applying too close to your eyes

You shouldn't apply eye cream to your eyelids or too close to your lash line. This puts you at risk of getting the product into your eyes, which can be super uncomfortable. "As your body temperature rises, the product can travel on its own," explains Dr. Chimento. "There is no need to place it too close to the eye and risk irritation." Instead, focus on applying to the orbital bone and undereye area.

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Expecting immediate results

While some eye creams can instantly plump and minimize the look of wrinkles, it can take some time to see long-term results. In the same way you wouldn't expect a huge change after going to the gym once or twice, you'll need to stick with your eye cream to reap the full rewards.

Boone says that a lot of her clients sing the woes of "trying everything," but when she does a little prodding, they reveal they've only been using an eye cream for a matter of days or weeks.

"Give your eye cream time—at least 30 to 60 days," she advises. "Also, remember that eye creams aren't plastic surgery, [so don't expect a drastic change]. Over time you can see a major improvement if you are using a great eye cream for your specific concern."

Slow and steady wins the eye cream race.

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