Where To Apply Eye Cream So That It Actually Works

06/19/2015 07:00 am ET | Updated Jun 19, 2015

Eye cream helps moisturize and even out skin tone so that you look more awake -- that is, if you're putting it on correctly.

Chances are that when using eye cream, you're either applying too much product or putting it on the wrong area of your face. Yes, eye cream should go near your eyes, but it should not go on your top eyelid, nor should it be used directly below your bottom lashes.

Celebrity makeup artist and esthetician Geri G. says that eye cream should be applied using the ring finger along the orbital bone, or eye socket, and not on the eyelids. Like this:

"I like using the wedding finger because we have less muscle there and it would be less pressure," she adds. Squeeze out a penny size amount of eye cream, enough for both eyes. Then place 4-5 dots of product about a quarter of an inch apart, starting at the outer corner of the eye where crow's feet would be, and then dab downward along the orbital bone.

You should avoid placing eye cream too close to your eye because the product travels when it warms up with your body temperature. "The product will spread within an hour or two, so there's no need to apply [cream directly] on the soft tissue area," says Geri G.

Skincare expert and celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau also cautions against getting eye cream on your eyelashes, as that might allow the product to enter and irritate your eye. "Don't fall into the trap of the heavier the eye cream, the better it is for wrinkles," she says. "Your skin acts as a sponge taking what it needs."

Most people also put on eye cream before going to bed and wake up in the morning to see that their under-eye areas look swollen. Don't automatically assume you're allergic to the product. "If you use an eye cream at night, the ingredients can actually slope into your eye because of the [eye socket's] incline," says Rouleau. "Your natural tears from the eye cream will create a pathway for it to seep into the eye, which creates puffiness and itchiness." Simply stick to applying in the morning and wait 10-15 minutes before layering on other products or makeup.

No matter your facial anatomy, Geri G. suggests investigating ingredients and analyzing your own eyes. "What works for your friends may not work for you," she says. When shopping for eye creams, look out for formulations that contain hyaluronic acid for hydration and peptides to restore your skin's natural protein.

Check out our picks for the best eye creams in the slideshow below.

Eye Creams For Fine Lines, Puffiness & More

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated "occipital" instead of "orbital" bone.

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