Imagine this scenario, if you will, a friend from out of town that you haven’t seen in a long time calls and lets you know he’s in town and wants to hang out. While you know there’s an important meeting the next day, you can’t miss an opportunity to go out with your friend.

After dinner, drinks, and hours of conversation, you make it back home with two hours to spare before the looming, morning meeting.

Realizing that there isn’t time to get some sleep, you take a shower, drink lots of coffee, and prepare for the day. After dressing and going through the morning routine, you take one last look in the mirror and are instantly hit with a harsh reality.

While most of your body and face looks no worse for the wear, the skin around the eyes did not get the memo. The effects of last night are very apparent under and around the eyes.

This troubling area is always a problem for men. It is the first place most guys begin to show their age. It is notorious for having dark circles, crow’s feet, and sagging.

While this area can be frustrating and unveil the attempt of a mirage after a late night, there are lots of men’s eye care products to help resolve these issues.

Since the eye area is the most delicate part of the face, it is understandable that it is the first place aging appears. This is due, largely, to the skin in this area being thinner and dryer that other areas of the face. Another factor is that the eyes are constantly in motion as they are our first part of the body to express emotion.

There are many additional causes to why men have puffy eyes and dark circles. These are often a result of lack of sleep, consuming lots of alcohol, smoking, dehydration, and a diet with high amounts of sodium. Developing healthy patterns in these areas will help but heredity and getting older will continue this trend without applying a formula to the eyes.

Knowing there is help for the skin around the eyes is only half the battle. This, possibly more than any other area, is a difficult area to navigate for the novice. Does one choose eye cream or eye serum and will your very best moisturizer for men be sufficient.

A proper place to begin is with defining these products.

Eye Cream and Eye Serum

what is the difference between eye cream, eye serum, moisturizer

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Often people say that eye cream and eye serum have no specific differences. It is commonly thought that eye serum is, simply, a more potent, more advanced version of eye cream. Others say that it is just a marketing strategy. Here’s what is known:

  • Both are used as anti-aging eye treatment.
  • They often come in different forms. Eye cream, almost always, has a liquid-like texture that resembles skin lotion. Eye serum is much more diverse in its consistency. It can come in gel form, lotion, or come in a syringe-like container to be applied directly to the skin.
  • While there are thousands of different eye creams and serums, they are common ingredients in each that are the major distinguishment between the cream and serum.

Eye Cream usually contains:

  • Eyeliss – this is added to reduce dark circles under the eyes. It works to strengthen the veins and capillaries. While doing that, it firms and makes skin more elastic which prevents swelling.
  • Matrixyl – this functions to increase the production of elastin and collagen in the body. It reduces wrinkles and lifts the skin.
  • Haloxyl – this gets rid of discoloration around eyes by removing pigments that originated from blood
  • Chamomile Extract – protects and soothes skin to return it to its normal state.
  • Vitamin K – for years this has been known to reduce the appearance of things like varicose veins. It, also, helps the body heal dark circles, skin discoloration, age spots, and sun damage
  • Vitamin E – this is a powerful aging fighter that reduces wrinkles and lines while protecting the skin from UV damage.
  • Caffeine – while this may seem like an odd addition, it is great for eye care. It often depresses puffy eyes, is a natural antioxidant, and just refreshes the face overall.

Eye Serum (some of these ingredients are included for deeper penetration)

  • Hyaluronic Acid – this is in most serums because it absorbs moisture into the air. After doing this, it fattens the skin and fills in wrinkles and lines so that they will not be as noticeable.
  • Retinol – comes from vitamin A roots. It stimulates the production of collagen and speeds up cell turnover in the skin. This reduces lines and wrinkles.
  • Neuropeptides – proteins that, also, encourage the production of collagen which fights against sagging skin.

Some of these ingredients are in both and some products go in a completely different direction. When understanding the difference between eye cream and eye serum, always remember that serums are designed to penetrate deeper and contain more nutrients than cream.

Serums in gel form are best for dark circles and heavy bags under they eye and more cream and lotion formulas work best for fine lines and wrinkles. It is a common rule of thumb to begin eye care before the age of thirty. This will prevent the damage from becoming too extent.

Another good idea is to look for eye cream or eye serum that contains sun protection or SPF high enough like a good sunscreen. Sun is the biggest factor in causing fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. The sooner protection is worn around the better results one will have.

How to apply Eye Cream and Eye Serum

How to apply eye cream or serum

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  1. Wash the face to remove all dirt, oil, or debris from the face. These can prohibit the success of the product.
  2. Take a small pea-sized drop of cream for both eyes and apply it every morning and night, typically after a moisturizer. Using too much will prohibit the cream from fully absorbing into the skin and using too little is, well, too little to work.
  3. It is advisable to use the ring finger. This finger has the lightest touch of the other fingers and is less likely to rub too hard or pull at the delicate skin.
  4. Apply the cream, both, above the eye and under the eye. The application should go up to the eyebrow and down to where one touches the cheek. It is often that people new to eye cream or serum forget to apply above the eye because the part underneath is where the dark circles exists. While some areas may not be as visible, the entire eye area needs to receive attention for optimal results.
  5. Tap the eye area to stimulate circulation. This will open up pores and help the cream absorb into the skin.
  6. Wait for it to absorb. It usually takes around 15 minutes to be absorbed into the skin so be sure not to apply anything else to the eye area until after that.

A common question asked about eye creams and eye serum is “can’t one just use moisturizer around the eyes?”

Here is what is known about moisturizers or emollients

Face creams and moisturizers. Differencies and what you need to be applying

Image courtesy: Dontree/ 

They are complex formulas specially designed to make the outermost layer of the skin smoother, softer, and more pliable. They works at it permeates skin with water and moisture while limiting the amount of moisture that leaves the skin. In addition to that it infuses the skin with natural, much needed vitamins and nutrients.

Moisturizers, typically, work with a three step process; ingredients are added to form a thin layer of film on top of the skin and prevent the necessary moisture from dissipating, ingredients called humectants work to pull in moisture already present in the air and inject it into the skin, and natural minerals, that the body have become deprived of for one reason or another are replaced to restore the skin back to its natural functioning order.

It is true that eye creams and facial moisturizers have more than a few similarities but there are some differences that every man should know about. As one ages, the skin around the eyes becomes noticeably more sensitive. Here are some things to think about in the moisturizer vs. eye cream/serum debate.

  • Since the skin around the eye is thinner and easier to irritate and harm than the rest of the face, eye creams must be lighter and less sticky/greasy than the average face moisturizers and body moisturizers. It is a good rule of thumb to avoid putting anything near the eyes that contains a heavy, harsh ingredient like petrolatum.
  • Since facial moisturizers are meant to be placed on last and then left there, they are made to absorb quicker than eye cream and eye serum. Because of this, it will not provide the deep level of penetration and moisturizing that eye cream and eye serum does.
  • Eye creams and serums are, typically, made with a formula that is milder than moisturizers because the skin area is so easily irritated. Eye creams avoid things that can irritate like fragrance and are, almost always, tested by an ophthalmologist to ensure that no harm can happen to the eyes upon use. Moisturizers may have scent and are not tested to the same standard around the eyes.
  • Eye creams and serums are meant to tighten the skin and reduce puffiness rather than just moisturize. This is often done by adding ingredients like dimethicone which films up on the skin to give the appearance of and feel tighter. Eyes look and feel less puffy and less wrinkled as a result.

While it’s true that eye creams and facial moisturizers have a lot of the same ingredients. Remember eye cream and serums have been tweaked for use around the delicate skin around eyes, many facial moisturizers do not give the desired results one is looking for and can cause reactions in the area around the eyes and the eyes, in particular.

Studies have proven that men actually have a built in advantage when it comes to facial skin. Men have naturally younger looking skin when compared to a woman of a similar age.

Numbers actually show that men’s skin usually appears anywhere between 10 to 15 years younger than that of a woman when equal treatment, or lack thereof, is applied to the skin. While this seems like men would love these results, it has created a culture of laziness among most men.

Most men have for years disregarded any resemblance of proper skin care. As a result, men quickly catch up with women and by their mid 50s most men look just as wrinkled and aged as their females counterparts. W

ith a simple addition of eye cream/serum, and a moisturizer, men will look youthful for much longer and avoid all the undesired aging signs like crows feet, wrinkles and dark circles.

Α few of our favorite Eye Creams, Eye Serums, and Moisturizers

Eye Creams

For a cheaper option try Every Man Jack Age Defying Eye Cream.

This product comes from a company that most of us have heard of and is easily obtainable. It is manufactured in California, USA. The company says it strives to use as many naturally derived and plant-based ingredients possible, yet still delivering high quality products that perform. It contains no parabens, no phthalates, no dyes, no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), no animal testing, and vegan.

The innovative formula is enriched with minerals and vitamins as well as anti-oxidants that works well to lessen the sight of dark circles. Ingredients such as myrtus leaf extract revitalize and reduce lines my firming the skin and adding needed elasticity. Green tea extract is added to soothe the skin while aloe and cocoa butter hydrates the skin.

It goes on in a smooth, light, non-greasy lotion that feels nice on the skin. It is fragrance-free and most people (even those with extremely sensitive skin) have used it and had good results and no negative effects. It may not deliver the results as quickly as a high end product but does a really good job for the price. Overall rating 4.3

For a pricey, high quality option Brickell Men’s Restoring Eye Balm/Serum for Men.

It comes from a trusted company, Brickell. It has the reputation of creating high quality men’s skincare and grooming products. It uses natural and certified organic ingredients. The products are sold all over the world and have appeared in various respected men’s magazines such as GQ, Men’s Health, and Men’s Journal.

This product will brighten and revitalize tired, dull eyes with natural ingredients. It is fast absorbing and lightweight. It leaves little to no greasy residue. It is proven to do three key things: smooth out fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet, reduce puffiness, and reduce the appearance of dark circles. It has deep moisturizers and protein peptides to restore skin.

In this product are ingredients like Matrixyl 3000 which is a blend of protein peptides that are clinically proven to reduce wrinkles by 45% in two months as it boost collagen production. MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is a nutrient in super foods like spinach that brightens the skin and reduces age spots and skin pigmentation. Caffeine is added as well. This product makes big promises and delivers on those for just about all users. One will pay for the quality but shouldn’t be disappointed. Overall rating 4.7


For a cheaper, good option, try Dove Men + Care Hydrate Face Lotion SPF 15.

While this product is lower than the recommended SPF 30 at SPF 15, it does a great job to lock in moisture. It feels light and non-greasy on the skin. It prevents skin damage and is gentle on sensitive skin. It offers advanced protection for those men who are prone to having drier skin but still works great on oily skin as well. It does have a light fragrance but absorbs quickly so it will not leave smelling it all day.

This product would get a higher review but the bottle and pump it comes with leaves much to be desired. It is not a natural product, nor does it claim to be. With that being said, it is the best product at this price point and that is, like all Dove products, easily accessible at any store that sells moisturizer. It is paraben free, oil-free, sulfate-free, and Dermatologist tested.

For a high end, excellent quality product, try MD Solar Sciences: Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30.

A moisturizer from a company that is really driven to end the negative effects of the sun on skin. In response to that mission, it contains a patented SolSci-X stabilization system that provides broad spectrum SPF 30 protection without the use of harmful, controversial chemicals. This product contains a 24 hour time release formulation for moisture infusement all day. It fights wrinkles through 9 powerful wrinkle fighting antioxidants and comes loaded with helpful vitamins and moisture enhancers.

It is loaded with powerful collagen repair peptides, antioxidants, caffeine and niacinamide. These ingredients work to reduce signs of UV-induced damage and restore the skin’s natural glow while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It contains calming and repairing ingredients like chamomile and seaweed extract.

It will not clog pores as it is deemed non-comedogenic. The light lavender smell is not overbearing and it feels comfortable on the skin.

Just as with most products from MD Solar Sciences, this product is paraben free, gluten free, never tested on animals, ecocert certified, and recommended by the skin cancer foundation. It comes with a high price tag but will last for a long time and is as effective as any product on the market. Overall rating 4.8

Closing thoughts

Many men have conceded that the wrinkles and dark circles under their eyes are inevitable. While they are to a certain degree, with using a eye cream, eye serum, and moisturizer one can add years to their skin’s appearance.

Most men who regularly apply these to their skin are said to look as much as 20 years younger. Isn’t that something we all wouldn’t mind?

Additionally, the next time a friend comes to town and wants to pull an allnighter, make sure that single night doesn’t cause havoc on the sensitive skin around the eye area. After those long nights, the application of eye cream, eye serum, and moisturizer will restore the skin and eyes back to a healthy state rather than one that begins a course to severely aging skin.