After reading this Beauty Product Junkies post and informally talking with a few friends, one thing is clear: Few people are clear on what eye creams do and whether you need them. So here are a few FAQs about eye cream. (If you have other questions, just leave a comment.)
Do I really need an eye cream?
Yes; to protect the delicate area around your eyes, you need to apply moisturizer every day.
Can't I just use my normal face cream?
Sure — it's up to you. The skin around your eyes isn't inherently different from the skin on, say, your cheeks. If you like your moisturizer, there's no reason not to use it near your eyes. Depending on your skin type, you may prefer (as I do) to use a separate eye cream. If you have oily skin, for instance, you may want a hydrating eye cream but a mattifying face lotion. But there's nothing holding you back from using the same moisturizer all over your skin.
To find out whether eye creams can eliminate your wrinkles,
Eye creams can get rid of wrinkles, right?
Nope. No cream can actually eliminate existing wrinkles. If that were the case, people wouldn't try Botox, would they?
Crud. Well, what can they do, then?
A good eye cream keeps your skin moist, which minimizes the look of wrinkles and can hydrate skin — which, in turn, can reduce puffiness and prevent your skin from forming more wrinkles. An eye cream with glycolic acid can help exfoliate your skin, which will make crow's feet look less deep. Emollient creams with silicones or glycerin can create a smoother surface on the skin, which minimizes the look of wrinkles.
Also, keep an eye out for creams that brighten your skin superficially. Olay Definity Intense Hydrating Cream ($29.99) isn't just for the eyes (see? I told you!) but along with anti-aging amino acids, it contains mica particles that reflect light. It's just a cosmetic change, but it makes an immediate improvement in your appearance.
What else do I need to know?
A daytime eye cream — or any daytime facial moisturizer, for that matter — is worthless if it doesn't contain a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. The best way to prevent wrinkles from forming around your eyes is to wear SPF 15 or 30 day in, day out. You can pile on a $300 eye cream each night, but if you're not using sunscreen in conjunction with it, you're throwing away your money.