Eye creams and balms are very similar products that fit close niches in a daily or nightly skin care routine. Even though they serve similar purposes, both types of products are different enough that folks might clearly prefer one or the other because of a few minor distinctions. If you don’t want to err on the side of caution and just grab both, you’ll be better off getting the eye product that’s right for your skin specifically.
Below, we’ll break down the differences between eye creams and eye balms in detail so you know which one you should grab for your next nightly routine.
Eye creams are topical treatments with a water base. In fact, these creams are mostly water – only around 20% of their formula consists of helpful nutrients and vitamins, at least on average. This may not sound like a lot, but many eye creams can still provide noticeable benefits to those who use them.
Eye creams are quite moisturizing and often use plant oils and other hydrating elements like aloe vera or hyaluronic acid. For example, Suki Skincare’s Eye Lift Renewal Cream contains several helpful types of hydrating acids, shea butter, a little bit of alcohol, and rose water flower oil.
Most people use eye creams as hydrating and nourishing solutions for the skin beneath their eyes. In doing so, they provide the skin under their eyes with the nutrients and moisture it needs to look great and regenerate throughout the night.
On the other hand, eye balms don’t contain nearly the same amount of water as eye creams. Some eye balms may not even use any water whatsoever, instead using shea butter or coconut oil as their base ingredients.
This produces a difference in texture, although both products are used in much the same way. Eye balms are still applied to the skin around your eyes to give your skin extra vitamins and nutrients. In doing so, your skin’s cells can multiply more healthily and rapidly. Cellular turnover rate increases, meaning old and dead skin cells fall away while new skin cells that look and feel younger take their places.
The Benefits of Eye Creams and Balms
Both eye creams and balms are extremely helpful for improving many issues that can affect the skin around, and especially under, your eyes.
- Dark circles or general puffiness. This condition, also called edema, crops up when the thin skin around and beneath your eyes becomes filled with excess fluid. This can sometimes happen as a natural result of aging or if you don't get enough sleep. Basically, your blood vessels widen so the skin cells there can get all the nutrients they need. Offering extra vitamins and minerals via eye creams and balms can offset the dark circles you might be used to
- Reducing the appearance of wrinkles. While eye creams and balms can’t get rid of all wrinkles entirely, they might be a good choice to diminish the size and deepness of crow’s feet and other wrinkles that cluster around your eyes. The skin there is thin so our eyes can blink rapidly, but this means it’s also susceptible to getting wrinkly earlier than elsewhere on our bodies
- Dehydration protection. Since the skin around your eyes is thinner than average, it’s more susceptible to getting dried out from cold or dry air around you. This can make your eyes feel itchy or irritable. Applying a bit of cream or balm to the skin there can make you feel a lot better
The Big Differences – Texture and Comfort
As hinted above, the big difference between eye creams and balms has to do with texture.
Since eye creams use a water base, they’re a lot easier to rub around the skin near your eyes. You can use a much smaller amount of cream to cover the same amount of surface area. But there’s a small trade-off to this – creams sometimes contain fewer vitamins and minerals per unit than balms. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are ineffective, however.
Eye balms are thicker thanks to their waxier texture and their butter base. This makes them a little harder to smear around your eyes, but many people report the experience being more comfortable since the thin skin doesn’t get stretched out as much.
Suki Skin Care’s Ultra-Protect Eye Balm demonstrates these benefits better than most other competitors. It can smooth away many of the common signs of dryness or dehydration, plus nourish and moisturize the delicate skin around your eyes. This makes them look better, makes your eyes look more alert, and makes you feel better throughout the day.
Are Eye Creams or Balms Better?
This is largely up to personal preference. Both eye creams and balms are great if you want to help nourish and revitalize the skin around your eyes, and if you want to reduce the appearance of the ever-encroaching onset of wrinkles and aging lines.
However, you might prefer one or the other based on their texture. Those with stronger skin around their eyes might be fine with creams. Those with thinner skin might prefer balms.
On the flipside, eye creams are often a little more hydrating since they contain more water than their balm counterparts. Always remember to check the ingredients for a given eye cream or balm since that can tell you whether the product contains moisturizing ingredients, like aloe vera or hyaluronic acid.
When Should You Use Creams and Balms During Your Routine?
Either solution should be used after thoroughly washing and toning your skin. You should also use a serum and moisturizer before moving onto an eye cream or balm. In fact, both products are among the last steps for a full skin care routine.
Ultimately, the differences between eye creams and balms are minor, and both products can be worthwhile choices for daily use. You can even use both if you prefer – you certainly won’t hurt the skin around your eyes and they might benefit from added nutrients and vitamins.