Serum vs Cream for Eyes- Choosing the Best Eye Care Product

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When putting the bits of your skincare routine together, it’s only natural to want to make the better choice between two or more products. If you are very particular about what product you apply around your eyes, you certainly want to know the difference between serum vs cream.

Eye serum and eye cream are analogs of your face serums and face moisturizers, except that they are formulated for the skin around your eyes. Both products, separately or together, help to improve the appearance of the skin around your eyes. With consistent use, they give you brighter eyes.

An eye serum is not an eye cream, nor the other way around. This comparison of serum vs cream for eyes points out their differences, why they are good for your eyes and it better informs you on what to use.

What Does Eye Serum Do?

An eye serum like a face serum is a lightweight product with high concentrations of essential vitamins, minerals, peptides, and active ingredients like retinol. These ingredients fortify your skin and target specific eye concerns like puffiness, wrinkles, and dark circles.

The lightweight formula makes the active ingredient quickly absorb into your skin and begin to work on the specific concerns. The skin around the eyes is very tender and as such, serums are formulated to cater to the tenderness of the skin and keep it looking its best.

Furthermore, eye serums are hydrating but that benefit is second to its effects on the signs of aging that are present around your eyes. Serums are the best vehicles for delivering active ingredients to your skin.

The ingredients stimulate collagen synthesis and promote skin firmness. They stimulate cell turnover and consequently improve the appearance of dark circles and reduce eye puffiness.

What Does Eye Cream Do?

Eye creams are thick, creamy moisturizers applied around the eye area to moisturize and nourish it. They contain occlusive and emollient ingredients that work on the surface of your skin.

Eye creams also contain active ingredients that address dryness around the eyes, dark circles, and eye wrinkles. The cream creates a protective barrier over your skin that locks in moisture, keeps skin cells plump, and prevents the manifestation of the signs of aging.

Since eye creams supply the skin around your eyes with intense moisture, they can also help smoothen out crepes and improve the texture of your skin.

An eye cream may contain actives like retinol, vitamin C and peptides which help stimulate cell turnover and strengthen and brighten your skin.

Eye creams do not promise an overnight treatment of these unpleasant appearances around your eyes. The consistent application guarantees that they would become a thing of the past in weeks.

Serum vs Cream for Eyes

Generally, serums and creams are on opposite ends when it comes to consistency. Eye serums are lightweight, water-based products while creams are rich, thick, and heavy products. The former leaves out the airtight, occlusive ingredients eye creams are made of.

The lightweight formula of serums makes them penetrate deep into your skin but creams can only work on the surface of your skin. Both products contain active ingredients but these actives are in higher concentrations in serums than in creams.

Based on function, eye serum works from the inside out. It best targets wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, and sagging skin. On the other hand, eye creams work on the surface and use moisture to improve the texture of your skin, alleviate dryness and reduce puffiness.

Although eye creams may help with fine lines and wrinkles, serums do it better. Also, despite being packed with so many active ingredients, eye serums are not as hydrating or moisturizing as eye creams.

In addition, when it comes to what choice to make between serum vs cream for your eyes, eye serums work for every skin type but the same cannot be said for eye creams. When choosing an eye cream, your skin type is very important, just like it is when picking a moisturizer.

Is Serum or Cream Better for Eyes?

An eye serum is not better than an eye cream, nor the other way around. The product you choose to apply around your eyes depends on what issue you want to address.

When it comes to removing fine lines, wrinkles, firming up your skin and brightening your eyes in the morning, an eye serum is your best pick. On the flip side, an eye serum may not hydrate your skin as much as an eye cream would.

Based on your skin type, if you have oily skin, eye serums will win over eye creams. The lightweight formula will absorb into your skin and reduce greasiness.

If your skin shows no appearance of fine lines, dark circles, or wrinkles, you do not have to use an eye serum. An eye cream alone suffices to hydrate your skin and prevent these phenomena.

Can You Use Eye Serum Without Cream?

Yes, you can. Unless your skin requires it, it is not compulsory to use both eye serum and cream at a time. If the skin around your under eyes is more on the oily side, a serum alone may be enough in moisturizing your skin.

If you aren’t battling skin dryness or roughness in texture, an eye cream may not be necessary. More so, eye serums do a better job at smoothening out fine lines and wrinkles, depuffing your eyes, getting rid of crow’s feet, and fading away dark circles.

However, if you have dry skin, you may need to apply eye cream after serum to seal in moisture and keep your skin hydrated. This can help preempt the progression of dry skin into the development of fine lines and wrinkles.

Can You Use Eye Cream in Place of Serum?

Eye cream is not serum, eye serum is not eye cream. Therefore, eye creams cannot replace eye serums. If your skin fares well with just one of the two, it’s okay to stick with what works for you.

Each of these products does different things for your eyes and as such, one cannot fill in the role of the other. You may enjoy certain benefits of using serum when you use an eye cream but you shouldn’t expect to get equal benefits.

Skincare experts advise that you always pay attention to your skin and use what is necessary for the moment.

Can You Use Eye Serum and Cream Together?

Absolutely. Eye serum and eye cream work in tandem to improve the appearance of the skin around your eyes. If your skin perfectly tolerates both products, you can use them.

However, it is possible that your skin, if super sensitive, will get aggravated by using eye serum and cream together.

Eye serum repairs your skin from the inside out while creams work on the outside. Eye serums are richly formulated with actives but do not contain occlusive ingredients. Pairing them with creams will help seal in moisture and enhance the effectiveness of the serum.

Together, they make an effective anti-aging skincare routine. Most importantly, your skin type and skin needs are what matters when choosing products for your under eyes.

How to Use Eye Serum With Cream in Your Routine

  • Before applying any product to your face, make sure the area is clean in order to maximize results
  • Cleanse your eye area with micellar water because of the tenderness of the skin there. Make sure you remove eye makeup residues and anything else that will interfere with the absorption of your products
  • Apply eye serum to your under-eye with the dropper applicator
  • Gently tap the serum into your skin and allow it to absorb completely
  • Thereafter, take a pea-sized amount of cream in your hand and rub it around your eyes to seal in moisture
  • Carry on with the rest of your routine and finish off with sunscreen to protect your eyes from sun damage


Are eye serums worth it?

Yes, they are. Eye serums may seem ostentatious but they are worth every cent. Eye creams are effective but they are not comparable to serums when it comes to tackling dark circles, wrinkles, greasiness, and eye puffiness.

Is eye cream necessary?

Eye cream is necessary if the skin around your eyes is dry and rough. Eye creams are highly hydrating and they use moisture to smoothen out rough skin and aid the smooth application of eye makeup.

However, if you have oily skin, you may skip eye cream and work with just serum to tame greasiness.

Is eye serum or cream better for puffy eyes?

Eye serum and eye cream are great for depuffing eye bags and brightening up your eyes. Eye serums give long-term results because they address this issue at the deep layers of your skin while creams work at the surface level.


If you’re one of those who pay special care to the skin around their eyes, you sure have wondered what is best for your skin between serum vs cream. Both products are good and care for the tenderness of the skin around your eyes.

Before you relegate one and uphold the other, you should know that they are formulated differently and work in different ways. No one is inferior or superior to the other. Your choice of product should be based on your skin type, skin needs, and personal preferences.

Thanks for reading.

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