Eye Serums vs. Eye Creams: The Good, the Better, and the Best

KatBurki_Klorane_Kiehls_LaRoche-Posay_Chantecaille_NaturaBisse_Fresh_iSClinical_L'OrealParis_CledePeauBeaute_EyeSerum_CeyeCream

With all of the skincare “must-haves” out there these days (and less time to fit them all into your beauty routines), it’s best to minimize the amount of product on your vanity and decide what works best for you. And that brings me to a question I’ve been asked a lot lately: What’s the difference between eye serums and eye creams? Well, not a lot, actually!

Serums aren’t as heavy as creams, so what you use comes down to a matter of personal preference. I started using serums AND creams in conjunction last year (’cuz a working mom in her 40s will take all of the help she can get!), and love the double-duty effect. The serums I apply generally have some sort of acid – be it vitamin C or glycolic – that I find helps the creams absorb better. If you have sensitive skin, though, I would skip serums with acid to avoid any potential reaction or swelling. And that’s what the serum vs. cream question really comes down to: finding something that will address your issues, be they dark circles, puffiness, or deep lines. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Make sure you’re taking care of them now, so that they will continue to shine.

Eye Serums

NaturaBisse_DiamondExtremeEye

Natura Bisse Diamond Life Infusion Retinol Eye Serum: As the price suggests, this serum is serious business, as it’s best for addressing deep lines in very dry or mature skin. Last year, I started using it at night under my Diamond Extreme Eye Cream. It is the single most amazing eye product I HAVE EVER USED. Apply with the ring finger in circular motions going up along the orbital area, then lightly massage from the inner to the outer under eye before finishing on the lids. And yes, this is costly, but you only need a tiny bit – half a grain of rice as Michael Ann Guthrie, the skin guru at Natura Bisse, shared with me in one of her master classes (find out where Natura Bisse master classes are in your city; it will be the best hour you’ll ever spend learning how to care for your skin!). At Neiman Marcus for $275.

KatBurki_RoseHipIntenseRecoveryEyeSerum

Kat Burki Rose Hip Intense Recovery Eye Serum: With its medium consistency, this can stand alone as an eye cream. I love how it feels under my concealer during the daytime. Try it out if you have sensitive to medium skin and hope to address puffiness and light lines. At Nordstrom for $125.

CledePeauBeaute_ConcentratedBrighteningEyeSerum

Clé de Peau Beauté Concentrated Brightening Eye Serum: Lightweight and moisturizing, this dark circle-fighting serum can be worn alone or under eye cream for extra help. At Neiman Marcus for $120.

LOrealParis_AgePerfectCellRenewalGoldenSerum

L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Golden Serum: I was sent this to try out and was impressed by how nice it felt and by how the golden hue makes skin glow. Just goes to show that you don’t need to spend big on skincare! As a warning, though, there is a strong scent. I wasn’t bothered by it, but if you’re sensitive to fragrance, you should probably skip this. On drugstore.com for $19.99, from $24.99.

iSClinical_CEyeAdvancePlus

iS Clinical C Eye Advance Plus: Thanks to its soothing feeling, this is my favorite daytime vitamin C eye serum (I use it daily under my Chantecaille eye cream). I call it a cosmeceutical product since it’s normally sold at doctors’ offices. On dermstore.com for $56.

Eye Creams

Fresh_CremeAncienneEyeCream

Fresh Créme Ancienne Eye Cream: This is one of my all-time favorites, which reminds me – I need to buy more this week! I have an arsenal of eye creams in my cabinet and choose which to use based on the way my skin looks or feels. This one in particular is rich and full of oils hand-blended by monks, so I relegate it to the colder months. At Neiman Marcus for $110.

NaturaBisse_DiamondLifeInfusionRetinolEyeSerum

Natura Bisse Diamond Extreme Eye: I’ve been using Natura Bisse’s Diamond Eye Cream since college! This is my mainstay when it comes to nighttime creams. It’s moisturizing but not heavy, so I apply it over the Diamond Life Infusion Retinol Eye Serum. My skin soaks it all up and is noticeably different immediately after application. At Neiman Marcus for $202.

Chantecaille_StressRepairConcentrate

Chantecaille Stress Repair Concentrate: Since I’m always stressed, I need this daily! It’s not as heavy as some of the other creams, but it’s super moisturizing and works so well under my concealer. The formula also includes vitamin C, making this a good pairing with my iS Clinical vitamin C serum. At Saks Fifth Avenue for $178.

LaRoche-Posay_ActiveCEyes

La Roche-Posay Active C Eyes: Though this is more of a serum with its lightweight texture, it’s sold as a cream so I’ll leave it as such! I first tried Active C Eyes on a trip to Paris when I forgot to pack my eye cream and had to pick one up at a drugstore. It’s more expensive stateside, but the results are worth it. On dermstore.com for $42.99.

KiehlsSince1851_AvocadoEyeCream

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Avocado Eye Cream: THIS IS AMAZING! It’s one of the creams I switch over to come winter. The avocado oils soak right into my thirsty skin, so it’s great for skiing or other cold weather activities. At Neiman Marcus for $47.

Eye Masks

Klorane_SmoothingRelaxingPatchesSoothingCornflower

Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with Soothing Cornflower: Klorane is one of the best drugstore brands out there. Their masks aren’t as nourishing as the higher-priced ones and they dry out quickly, but during the warm summer months, they’re very soothing. At dermstore.com for $21.

KatBurki_KB5EyeRecoveryMasks

Kat Burki KB5 Eye Recovery Masks: This is one of my new favorites. I use them when flying (I have no qualms about putting on eye masks on planes!) or after a late night with the hubby or girls. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then reveal velvety skin. At Nordstrom for $85.

5 Comments

  1. October 21, 2015 / 1:15 am

    I like this article and product because dermal under eye treatment serum worked for me. It tightened the skin around my eyes and really helped diminish the lines around my eyes. I do not have dark circles, so I do not know how this would work on those, but. I do know it has my eyes looking 10 years younger.

  2. October 22, 2015 / 1:11 pm

    There are some great products on this list! Which one do you think would be best for students in cosmetology to use?

    • Tina Craig
      October 25, 2015 / 7:02 pm

      How old? Lighter is best for that age, heavy creams can actually cause pre-mature wrinkling! xx Tina

  3. June 23, 2016 / 4:51 pm

    Wonderful breakdown off all these eye creams! I would LOVE to send you some samples of our (Whistler Naturals) Hibiscus Miracle Eye Lift & Wrinkle Treatment (for eyes, lips, forehead, and any other trouble spots) to test out! For myself, I am in my mid-40’s and have one of those genetically falling eye lids that runs in my family. It started for me in my late 30’s and has completely reversed now, without surgery 🙂 Please feel free to email me, including your skin type, and I can put a request in for a pack of products to be sent out to you.

    You can see the full details and ingredients list here (100% natural): http://www.whistlernaturals.com/cart/index.php?route=product/product&path=75&product_id=89

    • Linda Rossetti
      September 8, 2020 / 10:23 am

      I would love some samples of your eye serums/creams

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