Eye balm has something of a mixed reputation in the skincare community. Some people swear by them for under eye dark circles, while others claim that they don’t do much for the delicate eye area. What does eye balm do exactly, and how can you tell whether or not it will be a good fit for your routine? Let’s break down these questions in detail.
Eye Balm – What’s It Good For?
At their core, eye balm is a type of anti-aging or moisturizing eye product for the skin underneath and around your eyes. Compared to skin elsewhere on your body, the skin around your eyes is around 10 times thinner on average in order to allow for the flexibility needed for eye movement, like looking around or blinking.
Since the delicate skin around your eyes also moves quite frequently, it’s one of the first areas to showcase age-based wrinkles like crows feet, along with other signs of stress, aging, and more. To make matters worse, our eyes are often the first place people look when meeting us – who wants their first impression to be marred by wrinkles?
Eye balms can help improve that. In a nutshell, eye balms are a hydrating and moisturizing eye treatment that can provide a host of helpful ingredients to the skin around your eyes. They’re distinct products from eye creams, although they share many of the same benefits and features.
Eye balms will often have ingredient lists that demonstrate their skin type focus or ideal user. For instance, many best seller eye balms use naturally-derived key ingredients with specific aims, such as hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, and vitamin C to help hydrate dry skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines, vitamin E (AKA tocopherol) to help improve free radical damage that can perpetuate wrinkles, and aloe barbadensis leaf juice to help alleviate mild eye puffiness.
Eye balms generally also have other nourishing vitamins and minerals derived from essential oils and fruit extracts to help your skin cells replicate more efficiently and produce younger, healthier cells over the long-term.
The end result? Many eye balms produce younger and more vibrant looking skin around your eyes with proper and repeated use. Of course, eye balms alone can't reverse the effects of aging or eliminate wrinkles, but you can think of them as dedicated supporters for skin-based eye care and tired eyes.
Eye Creams vs. Eye Balms
Many people use eye balms and creams relatively interchangeably, but this isn’t correct. The main difference is in their texture and the composition of either type of formula.
Eye cream, for example, is made mostly of water. Most excellent eye cream products actually only have about 20% of their formula containing their helpful ingredients or vitamins. This makes creams a little easier to smear around, but this can be a bit uncomfortable for the thin and sensitive skin around your eyes.
Eye balms, on the other hand, are a little firmer and don’t use a lot (or even any) water, often fancily denoted as aqua or eau. This allows skincare product manufacturers to produce eye balms with more natural ingredients compared to eye creams, such as coconut oil and shea butter as a base.
Balms still provide the same kinds of advantages and benefits, but are arguably a little easier to apply or dab onto the skin around your eyes at the beginning or end of the day. Suki Skincare’s Ultra-Protect Eye Balm for example is an ideal example of a good eye balm product that may be able to help smoothe or soothe away signs of dehydration and stress. It also may be able to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles associated with aging.
Like the best eye balms, Suki’s balm is also made with natural ingredients like cocoa seed butter, seed oils, flower oils, and more.
As we'd recommend with all skincare products, always check labeling to make sure your products are as natural as possible, avoiding outdated and potentially harmful ingredients like parabens, phenoxyethanol, and phthalates.
How to Use Eye Balm
Eye balm is pretty easy to apply, which is why so many people have adopted this product into their evening routines. While you can apply eye balm in the morning, it’s normally best to leave your eye balm application for right before bed. Your eyes will be able to absorb the nutrients passively without being interrupted by constant blinking or environmental dirt and debris.
To apply eye balm:
- Prepare for your regular nightly routine. This includes washing and/or toning the face with associated products, along with exfoliating depending on how frequently you do that.
- Next, massage a little bit of eye balm around your delicate eye skin.
- Leave the eye balm on overnight so that the nutrients can properly be absorbed.
- If you want to use a moisturizer as well, use the moisturizer beforehand. Many great eye balms already have moisturizing ingredients however, so they may double for this purpose.
You can use eye balm as a concealer base if you want to apply heavy makeup around your eyes. It will keep the skin around your eyes relatively moist and smooth. Eye Balm can also and double as a skin smoother for the area around your lips as well.
Are Eye Balms Really Worthwhile?
If you’re wondering whether eye balms, by themselves, can cancel the effects of aging or remove dark spots, then the answer is no. As discussed, these aren’t products that can reverse the skincare issues you might have with the skin around your eyes--we're not sure that such a product even exists.
Furthermore, eye balms made with natural ingredients will take some time for their full benefits to take effect. Remember, eye balms essentially provide your skin with nutrients and other ingredients it needs to regenerate healthily and produce new skin cells that look and feel younger. This means you should expect to use eye balm for a number of weeks before you see any noticeable improvements.
With all these in mind, eye balms may seriously be able to help your eyes look more alert, alleviate drooping or discoloration, and improve the appearance of stubborn wrinkles. There are good reasons to include eye balm as part of your evening skincare routine.
In the end, eye balm is a no-brainer if you want to maintain great looking skin around your eyes. It’s also easy to add to any existing skincare routine. Consider a product made with natural ingredients and you’ll likely see excellent results in no time!