When Should You Apply Eye Cream In Your Skincare Routine? We Have The Answer

If you stop to think about it, your eyes do a lot of work. From all the blinking, squinting, eye-rolling, and every other facial expression that summons them to make a point, your eyes certainly get one heck of a workout. But what we don't usually think about while batting our lovely eyes is that the skin in that area, especially the eyelids, is the thinnest of all the skin on the human body. It's only 0.05mm thick, making it almost as thin as a piece of paper (which is about 0.1mm). This means that your eyes need extra love and attention, and that's why eye cream should be a non-negotiable step in your skincare routine.

"Eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate skin around the eye, so they tend to be thicker," dermatologist Patricia Farris, MD told WebMD. "They contain more oil than a regular facial lotion, and they have a lot of active ingredients aimed at the problems we see around the eyes."

But if you have a long skin routine, knowing exactly when you should apply eye cream can leave some people scratching their heads. Of course, somethings are obvious, like the fact that it goes on after you wash your face, but that doesn't get to the heart of the situation. If you're unsure, no need to fret about it. We have the answer for you.

When you should apply your eye cream

First of all, eye cream should be used during both your daytime and nighttime skincare routines. In both of these lineups, it should come after cleansers and toners, but before moisturizers. If your routine is more complicated and includes other steps, then eye cream should be applied after serums, but before spot treatments — both of which sit comfortably between toner and moisturizer, per Cosmopolitan.

When you do apply it, be gentle with your application. "I recommend applying eye cream with your ring finger, which provides the least amount of pressure on the skin and gently patting the cream into the skin," dermatologist Caroline Robinson, MD told Shape. "All eye creams are formulated to be used underneath and around the eye, but not all of them can be used on the upper lids." Because of this, before you start dabbing your eye cream everywhere, check to see what the directions specify. 

Why is this the case

Similarly to baking a cake, doing things in a specific order is the best way to make sure your products can be as effective as possible. "The rule of thumb when applying skincare is to apply the lightest first and the heaviest last, since thinner products can't penetrate thicker products," dermatologist Shereene Idriss, MD told Cosmopolitan.

But it's not just about penetration, it's the interaction as well. It's important to remember that eye cream has a precise formula created only for the skin around the eyes, and it shouldn't be forced to struggle to do its job. "You don't want products with active ingredients having to fight through another product in order to target the skin properly," dermatologist Dr. Brittany Carter-Snell told Bustle. It's also worth noting that sometimes these "fights" can lead to irritation, so make sure you pay attention to the ingredients in everything you use.

You've probably invested a lot of money in your skincare products, so tossing them on your face with zero regard for how and why they work, and what the ingredients need to flourish defeats the purpose. If you're going to use eye cream, it's best if you use it correctly to get the maximum benefits out of it.