Questions I’m asked a lot: Do you need eye cream? Which one is best?

I use eye cream sometimes.

Mostly when a new exciting one is sent to me, or I have a facial and the therapist says things like, “Are you using eye cream? You should be using eye cream. Jesus, Zoe, why won’t you use an eye cream? Why do you insist on denying me this one thing? Etc.”

Look. Generally my thinking is that if you have a pretty normal eye area (not too dark, puffy or creased) and if you’re using a good serum and good facial moisturiser, and neither irritate your eyes, then they will do the trick nicely, hydrating and protecting, and doing all the things the serum/cream does on the rest of your face. (Just don’t take them up any closer than about 1cm under your eye.)

Of course, being a dame with dry skin and fine lines round my eyes that can take a thick cream, I would say that, because the face creams I use tend to be deliciously rich, and can adequately quench the eye area. And oh, it needs quenching, the eye area. It endures the most muscle movement of the entire face (laughing is especially bad and should be ruled out completely) and with little to no oil glands around there, it’s going to be where you see your lines first.

But, if you have sensitive skin or eyes, and they tend to easily go red, teary, puffy or irritated, then you might need something specifically designed for the area: something soft, lightweight, instantly absorbed and which won’t piss your eyes off. A specific eye cream, in other words. (Which generally have less additives than face cream, due to their proximity to said eyes.)

There are plenty of great eye creams (‘eye moisturisers’) around for those wanting some hydration and some assistance battling lines. Look for words like sensitive if you know that’s what you are, and go for a gel or serum if you want it to sink in real fast and pose no sneak up risk. (The new Dermalogica UltraSmoothing Eye Serum is one such serumy product, and one I currently am trialling. All lovely and collagen-boosting, they tell me. Ideal for plumping my fine lines.)


Some options? Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum is the latest offering from cult Estee AR range, loved the world over, and Eminence Organics Herbal Eye Contour Cream is a lovely and nourishing organic option. For a very effective anti-ageing effect, (ie: something that visibly-no shit has an effect) you’ll need something with retinol, like ROC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, say. (Applied only at night due to UV sensitivity.)


But! There are some other reasons, aside of moisturisation, that you might like to invest in a specific eye cream. And they run parallel to why you might invest in a serum: because you have a specific issue you want to treat. In this case? Yes. They can help. Advised.

The issue might be…

Dark circles

This is a tricky one, often genetic or lifestyle-based, and I am yet to hear of a product that completely solves the issue… Many in the eye cream expert field will tell you that regardless which product you use, you still need to get the circulation moving with massage (pitter pattering up and down gently with the fingers.) My recommendation honestly? Buy a fantastic corrector such as those made by Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier, a good concealer and a great brightener.

Products specifically for this include Clinique Even Better Dark Circle Corrector, and Dr Brandt’s Flaws No More.



(Temporary) Puffiness

Generally from lack of sleep, shitty diet, fluid retention, allergies, crying at Nicholas Spark movies and minor inflammation. Cold compresses – like teaspoons left in the freezer while you shower then held (back down) over the eyes, or cotton pads dipped in witch hazel, or a chilled, soaked green tea bag (or more specifically their tannins) in a tissue – work when used for a few minutes, shrinking everything down nicely.

The best eye cream for puffy eyes? Actually a mask in my opinion. I love the Gernetic Eye Mask for puffy eyes, five minutes of tingling and I get fresh, detoxed, unpuffed eyes.




Under the eyes is a common place to get sun damage as the cheekbones are a high point on the face and ripe for it. The pill and pregnancy can also stitch you up here. Also, metal rims on sunglasses attract more sun, and therefore more sun damage, so be mindful of that, Aviator fans. (Google laser toning melasma if you want a more permanent solution.) It’s hard to remove, sorry, but Vitamin C and ‘brightening’ and ‘whitening’ eye products can reduce the appearance of the melanin and cosmetically illuminate the area.

I like both the nice-price Olay Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex, and Priori’s Idebenone Eye Serum.


Now, listen here.

If you do use eye cream, in order to avoid puffy eyes from product exposure, and to get the best results, make sure it’s applied NO HIGHER THAN THE ORBITAL BONE and UP ALMOST UNDER THE BROW BONE because man that shit moves around with body heat. Too close to the actual eye, (less than 1cm) and it’s pretty much going in there. Which sucks a doz.

Responses to this drivel: 19 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 19 )
  • Brooke

    Zoe do you know where we can get the ROC Cream in Australia by any chance? Or best to just order from the states? Thanks!

  • fruity

    Brooke I think you can get it in Aus?… If not there are plenty of Retinol alternatives, like Neutrogena Ageless Intensive Deep Wrinkle Eye Cream from Priceline, say.

  • Lizzy

    What are the deliciously rich face creams that you speak of, Zoe? My skin is suffering in a very cold (Canberra) winter and I just can’t get enough moisture into it! I always have dry flaky bits around my t-zone.

  • Mrs P

    We used to sell ROC products in the pharmacy we worked in so look around.

    Zoe, when are you going to get your underlights? I’m keen to check them out!

  • Michelle

    Zoe I’m using the Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector at the moment – all over my face including under my eyes. Is that ok or is it too harsh for the eye area? I use sunscreen on top.

  • Amy

    Thankyou so much for this post! I have been scouring the internet in the last week trying to find a recommendation for an eye cream, so it was so good to see some recommendations from someone whose opinion I trust.

    I’ve ordered the ROC eyecream, but I’m also interested in getting an Bobbi Brown corrector. My issue is I’m not sure what shade and because there are no stockists for Bobbi Brown in Tas I can’t try any out. I wear MAC foundation in NW20, can someone please suggest what shade that might translate to?
    I’m an unlucky dame who suffers from BOTH dark circles and pigmentation so covering either is a mission 🙂

    • dani

      Hiya im nw20 as well. Are u thinking bobbi brown creamy concealer? Im actually heading into a djs & myer tomorrow so can check out what colour I’d be matched to & let u know.

  • Kaitlen

    Zoe I am 22 and as yet (fingers crossed) have no real under eye concerns! Do I need to use an eye cream or is it ok to continue to just use normal moisturiser and serum?

    Great new website by the way – loving your work!

  • Ozlicious

    I recommend using an eye cream 100%! I always see a difference on myself whenever I use one! My favourite all-rounder, anti-ager, hydratey, line-plumpy eye product is Germaine de Capuccini Timexpert Rides Eye Contour Duo (what a mouthful!). It is a gorgeous little box that contains an eye serum for nighttime and an eye cream for daytime. Of all the eye creams I’ve ever used (hint: LOTS) it’s the one that’s given me the most noticeable results.

    And to eye masques: I SAY YES! I love Guinot’s Masque Yeux. It’s a heavenly gorgeous gel which hydrates and reduces puffiness. Win. I use it whenever I use a facial masque, and I often use it when I’m blowdrying my hair – just because.

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  • Jo

    Hi Zoe,
    What conclusion did you reach regarding the Dermalogica UltraSmoothing Eye Serum? I am looking for an eye serum at the moment (all of a sudden I am very self-conscience about lines under my eyes, age: 26..!) and considered the Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Cream – what do you think? Are there any others you would recommend?

  • Christina

    Monsia is my preference! 🙂

  • Kathy

    I have so many little bumps under my eye.  Have I used t much under eye creams

  • Amanda

    Really nice post, i have been using these now my face is completely soft and beautiful without any marks and dark circles. 

  • laura con

    I agree with Vogue UK, that the Made from Earth Chamomile Eye Therapy is #1. Vogue in the US has put them as #4, but that Chamomile Eye Therapy deserves to be #1 cause I saw the best results using that – and this is coming from someone who used to have very tired looking eyes.

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