Is eye cream necessary?

In the hierarchy of skincare, eye cream is right up there alongside face wash and moisturizer. So is eye cream necessary? We certainly think so.

The main reason is that the skin around the eyes is different from the skin on the rest of our face. You wouldn't do a bicep curl to try to stretch your hamstring, would you? Different muscles need unique exercises to keep them healthy and strong. And we need a specific skincare product that will serve the unique needs of our peepers.

It's this difference in our eye skin that makes our eyes show fatigue and aging quicker than the rest of our face. And while we're big pro-aging fans over here at empyri, everyone deserves to look as vibrant and rested on the outside as they feel on the inside!

Convinced yet? Probably not. Keep reading for the full 411 on why you need an eye cream in your skincare routine stat. I'll start with covering what an eye cream does.



What do eye creams do?

Eye creams are specifically formulated for the skin around the eyes. The primary goal is hydration (the key to healthy skin) so you can think of an eye cream as a targeted moisturizer first and foremost. The skin around our eyes is thin and more prone to dryness. Even if you don't see dry skin when you look in the mirror, it's a lack of moisture that might be causing other visible issues - like fine lines and wrinkles.

Our hemp eye cream uses a juicy cocktail of hydrating ingredients to effectively moisturize the sensitive skin around your eyes:

  • Hemp seed oil
  • Hydrolyzed hemp seed extract
  • Aloe vera Leaf Juice
  • Glycerine (vegetable)
  • Shea butter
  • Sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid)

In addition to treating dry skin, eye creams do something else too. They protect your skin from environmental stressors and prevent signs of aging and fatigue.


Empyri Hemp Eye Cream


Do they actually work?

With the right expectations, eye creams do actually work. Here's what the right eye cream can do:

  • moisturize + soften
  • reduce puffiness
  • brighten dark circles
  • slow appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • evens skin tone
  • create a smooth base for concealer/makeup

If any (or all) of the above concern you, the right eye cream will get the job done. Like we said, it's all about expectations. Their are some skin conditions around the eyes that only cosmetic procedure can reverse. For example, an eye cream cannot remedy loss of volume (ie sunken) or darkness that's caused by visible blood vessels under the skin.


Do I need eye cream in my:


Your 20s is a great time to start using an eye cream. By 25, collagen production starts to slow down so it's smart to begin supplementing the changes in our skin with targeted products. Remember, collagen is what gives our skin its structure and keeps it from sagging.

Just like with the health of our bodies, prevention is key to healthy skin. That's why we included green tea extract and apple stem-cell extract in our hemp eye cream. These two naturally-sourced ingredients are powerful antioxidants that will protect your eyes from free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that are missing an electron. Think of them like your friend who’s forgotten  their lunch at home and now they are both hungry and angry. Free radicals go searching for an electron (snack) and wreak havoc along the way. Your “hangry” friend might cuss at you even though you’ve done nothing wrong and free radicals start breaking down your collagen. Antioxidants are like you giving your hangry friend your extra snack so that their blood sugar goes up and their attitude calms down. Antioxidants give free radicals the electron they’re looking for so that they become neutralized.

Oh and if there's ANY other ingredient you need to start using in your 20's, it's vitamin C. And obviously sunscreen, but you already knew that. 


Empyri Vitamin C


30s and 40s

Yes, yes, yes! If you're lucky, you don't have too many wrinkles yet. But if you didn't start using an eye cream in your 20's, now is the time.

I probably don't need to tell you this, but for these two decades, your life is FULL to the brim. Career, family, and all the other things that light up your world... these are the years when your eyes won't keep a good secret of how tired you really are. You'll probably try many eye creams in your 30s and 40s. When you find the one that fits, hold on tight!

And then go take a nap... seriously go take a nap! There's no substitute for quality zzz's.


50s and 60s

Maybe you don't see youthful skin staring back at you in the mirror anymore. That's OK! It's never too late to start something new in your skincare routine. The best way to treat mature skin around the eyes is to choose a hydrating eye cream. At 50 or 60, you cannot make your crow's feet go away, but you can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Choose an eye cream with hyaluronic acid (HA) during the day. HA holds 1000x its weight in water, drawing so much moisture to the skin that it effectively fills in the gaps between your skin cells for skin that looks smoother and bouncier. At night, choose skincare products with vitamin C. It’s one of the only ingredients that’s proven to benefit skin at a cellular level, so its beneficial to use overnight while your skin cells are working to repair themselves..

And don't forget, those "signs of aging" are really just the result of years of sun damage. Whether you've been a sun worshipper all your life or you've taken sun protection seriously, a lifetime of exposure to UV rays has an impact on everyone.


70s and 80s

Girl, if you're reading this and you're in your 70+... by now you've probably got some beautiful "life lines" around your eyes. And so you should... you've earned them! Congratulations on a life well-lived. Just enjoy. (If doing a skincare routine brings you joy, then go ahead and slather on the eye cream).



Can you use moisturizer as an eye cream?


YES, under a couple of conditions.

First, you don't have any specific concerns about the skin around your eyes.

Second, your moisturizer does not contain any ingredients that may cause skin irritation. Retinoids, for example, should be avoided around the eyes.

Remember, your eyes have the most fragile skin on your body so you need to take extra care.

If you meet this criteria, and are generally not concerned about the look of the skin around your eyes, then it is OK to just use your regular moisturizer.

On the other hand, you cannot use your regular face moisturizer on your eyes if you're experiencing dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles or puffiness. Your face cream just won't cut it here. But this doesn't mean that you shouldn't opt for an eye cream if your eyes are looking bright and smooth (I'm looking at you, twenty-somethings!).

Don't forget that your skincare routine should not only treat but also prevent signs of aging that are caused by ordinary exposure to environmental stressors. Unless you plan to never see the light of day, you should use an eye cream that helps protect your delicate skin for the future.




Can vaseline be used as an eye cream?

No. Vaseline is 100% occlusive, meaning it sits on the surface of the skin. It creatives a protective layer on top of the skin to lock in moisture - but it doesn't provide that moisture. Using Vaseline as an eye cream would be like putting the lid on a pot to keep the steam from escaping...but you haven't filled the pot with any water to boil!

Eyes need hydration more than anything else, so you need a product that absorbs to draw moisture into the skin. Vaseline and other petrolatum products can be used on top of a moisturizer or eye cream overnight. This is called "slugging". By adding a shield or barrier on top of your moisturizer, ingredients in your eye cream are absorbed more deeply into the skin.

The other reason you may use Vaseline around your eyes is to protect them during any type of at-home acid treatment like a strong retinol serum. This will ensure none of the retinol contacts your delicate eye area - which may cause irritation.


Do you put eye cream on eyelids?

We do not recommend putting eye cream on your eyelids. Use a pea-sized amount to apply underneath, around to the corners and up to your brow bone. Avoid getting too close to your bottom lashes as cream can block the oil glands which may lead to a stye or other irritated bump. Always use clean, gentle hands when touching the area around your eyes.


What else can I use instead of eye cream?

Instead of eye cream, you can try at-home remedies. Since your eye skin is very delicate, you need to be careful.

  • Coffee ice cubes - to de-puff and "wake up" your eyes in the morning.

  • Green tea bags (cool, not hot!) - caffeine and antioxidant

  • Coconut oil - locks in moisture and fills lines/creases

And like we stated earlier, you can use your face cream around your eyes as well. Be sure to check the ingredient list for anything that might be irritating.


under eye dark circles


​​Do eye creams help with dark circles?

A lot of eye creams are formulated specifically to treat dark circles, because it's one of the three most common concerns people have about the skin around their eyes. But do eye creams help with dark circles? The answer is yes, they can. I'll need to take this answer in two parts.

First, eye creams help with dark circles IF they use the right active ingredients to do so. At empyri, we use Haloxyl ® in our hemp eye cream. It's a polypeptide that's clinically proven to treat dark circles by targeting pigmented skin cells. This means your dark circles are caused by hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the skin, usually from sun exposure.

Second, eye creams help with dark circles IF your dark circles are caused by hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation can be genetic or develop over time from sun exposure. Since hyperpigmentation is happening on the surface of the skin, it can be treated topically ie with eye cream. Other dark circles are structural, so only a dermatological procedure will provide a permanent solution.

On the bright side, one of those "structural causes" is extra thin skin that exposes vasculature (ie blood vessels) underneath. This gives the appearance of dark circles, but can be treated with an eye cream that contains caffeine which constricts (shrinks) the vessels making them less visible.

And finally there's under eye bags, which also sometimes present as dark circles. Eye bags are a swelling so for this it is wise to choose an eye cream that targets puffiness to lessen their appearance. 

Do I need eye cream if I use retinol?

You need to use an eye cream if you use retinol to help hydrate the area.

If you're not already familiar, retinol is a retinoid which means its a derivative of vitamin A. Retinol has become a popular over the counter skincare ingredient in recent years. Before that, the most common retinoid was well-known as a prescription by the name of retin-A.

Retinol is beloved for its "anti-aging" properties. It's one of the only skincare ingredients that is proven to enhance collagen production. (One of the others is vitamin C. If you hang around empyri long enough, you'll learn we have a huge love affair with vitamin C). Collagen makes our skin look plump and firm, but its production in our body slows drastically as we age.

Since signs of aging (lines, crepiness) show up first around our eyes, many people are fans of using retinol around the eye area to target fine lines and crow's feet. But retinol can be drying (and cause flakiness if over-used) so an eye cream to moisturize is important.

Can eye cream cause wrinkles?

An eye cream that contains retinol (scroll up if you need a retinol refresher!) can cause appear. Retinol can be drying if the potency is too strong for the sensitivity of your skin or if over-used.

We know that dry/dehydrated skin causes fine lines and wrinkles to be more visible. So in this equation, an eye cream can "cause" wrinkles. It's not really making them appear, its just making it so we can see them more!

If this happens to you, stop using your retinol product as often - or altogether if its causing irritation. Choose an eye cream that focuses on hydration to keep skin healthy and treat your wrinkles with something gentler, like vitamin C. 

In summary-Is it worth the cost?

Truly, the only person who can decide if a new skincare product is worth the cost is YOU. But we can tell you that with the right formulation, an eye cream is worth the hype. And like all sound health advice, prevention is better than treatment. At the first signs in changes to your eye area, start using an eye cream - and thank us later.


You Are Loved.


Jennifer Grant with Hemp Roots


Author Bio: Jennifer is the president and founder of empyri.  Jennifer’s passion for formulation and product development was set ablaze in 2019, when she incorporated the healing power of cannabis roots into her long-standing three-step skin care system. Armed with scientific evidence on the actives in cannabis roots and seeds, a clean and conscious brand was born. Using her masters degree in bio-chemical engineering, Jennifer is forging a path to ...READ FULL BIO