Skin Care

By Andrea Toochin

Outside of Manhattan and Hollywood, most people look at the eyes first. That’s reason enough to invest in a good eye cream, but the question is, how does one choose a single eye cream in a country where cosmetic sales recently topped $30 billion?

Over the last ten years, I’ve been searching for a non-clumping mascara, naturally-faded vintage jeans, and an EFFECTIVE eye cream. Since the summer usually translates to more sun, increased alcohol intake and lighter make up, I’ve chosen July to unveil my choices of the latest creams that de-puff, lighten and moisturize.

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LIGHTEN & DEPUFF
I’ve asked many friends, “What do you want in an eye cream?” and they all respond, something that will rid my eyes of dark circles. Dark circles are essentially bruises. The bruising is caused by the oxidation of blood, which leaks through capillaries.

Bremenn Research Labs claims their latest product, Hylexin, will do prevent and treat those bruises. I discovered the product on one of those unsightful ads placed in the middle of glossy magazines. I used to shun those, but when I saw Mario Badescu and Devachan advertised there, I decided they might not all be HSN-type products.

Hylexin proposes to stop the leakage of blood by strengthening capillary walls, and to eliminate existing dark circles by stimulating the production of an enzyme that breaks down the actual pigment. It also contains antioxidants and peptides that calm inflammation and help firm skin.

Yes, they have real science and clinical studies to back up their claims; yes, about 70 percent of volunteers in their research studies noticed a vast difference, which high-resolution photos showed as well, but it’s important to note each study consisted of about 20 women, which is hardly a fair sample size. Though I’m doubtful that less than 100 people can qualify results statistically significant, I must admit that both studies tested quantities of the main solution that are less than half of the amount in the product on sale. The price may seem high – $95 for a six-week supply – but if it does work for you, imagine the amount of money you’ll save on concealer and injections years down the road?!

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There are countless labs around the world developing skin care products that result in complicated creams and packages with a daunting list of ingredients that can only parallel the preservative-packed salt-, sugar-, and carb-free products on supermarket shelves. Barielle’s new eye product is a soothing lotion that’s gentle enough to use on the eyelids and contains five key ingredients everyone can pronounce, that help diminish puffiness and slight dark circles: Japanese Green Tea, yeast extracts, mango seed butter, marine collagen, and vitamin E.

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Kenzo’s White Lotus line smells good enough to justify the purchase and claims relaxation properties through aromacology, the clinical term for the relationship between aromatherapy and psychology. The Relaxing Eye Whipped Cream/do not disturb works by calming the cells; Actiflow helps reduce dark circles and swelling by stimulating circulation. It also contains Dormance, the extract of the narcissus bulb, which plays the role of the slowing down the cells so they preserve energy. Think of this product as a vacation for your eyes – while you sleep so will the cells around your eyes.

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Pevonia’s C Evolutive Eye Gel is another product that’s great for sensitive skin; it moisturizes and refreshes with the goal of minimizing puffiness and dark circles. It contains orange extract, invigorating natural elements like chamomile and ginkgo biloba, and stimulating agents like carrot seed oil, and a popular new moisturizing oil, squalane.

One of the first lines amid a growing number sold exclusively though dermatologists, the PRESCRIBEDsolutions eye cream, like the rest of the line, can be customized for each patient, by requesting one of nine boosters, including Acne Control, Rosacea, and Menopause Control, which can be added to any of the topical products. The Eyes Have It is their vitamin K-based eye cream that treats dark circles and prevents further lines and wrinkles by combating free radicals. Vitamin K and Arnica Montana Extract work to diminish bruising, while vitamin C, Hibiscus flower extract, collagen, elastin, green tea, and beta-glucan treat lines and prevent damage.

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TONING & MOISTURING
The entire SK-II line is based on a discovery made in Sake factories in Japan. As such, the signature ingredient, Pitera, is a yeast extract with innate vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. The Eye Treatment Film was designed for the area around the eyes, one of the most sensitive parts of the skin. Like the rest of the line, it’s designed to get the skin on a regular schedule, thereby promoting cell turnover, resulting in new, radiant skin. But, the eye product also revitalizes the area through moisture, provided by glycerin and Comb extract, a form of hyaluronic acid, the moisturizer and topical filler.

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No amount of science will eliminate lines via a topical agent however; lines can be less noticeable with a moisturizing and firming agent. Pevonia’s Evolutive Eye Cream utilizes moisturizing ingredients like squalane, allantoin, and Hazel Nut oil, and enhances texture with Hyaluronic acid, Glycolic acid, and Retinyl Palmitate. The product can also be used as a mask.

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RODAN & FIELDS ANTI-AGE
The inclusion of peptides and antioxidants in cosmetics is nothing new. However, try finding one cream that not only utilizes multi-peptide technology, but also boasts the moisturizing power of squalane and avocado, and a variety of antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, such as wheat and barley extracts, yeast extract, sea whip extract and fish collagen.

Is it a good or bad thing that the ingredients on the packaging run onto the bottom of the carton? Who knows, but if these two women are good enough to get Estee Lauder to buy their company, I think we can trust their research.

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Advanced-C Eye Toning Gel boasts a base ingredient of 10 percent L-Ascorbic acid, which stimulates collagen production. Part of the efficacy of a product lies in the body’s ability to recognize the substances and allow them to permeate the skin and work at the cellular level. Since the body recognizes this form of vitamin C, it functions with the other ingredients, like green tea and grape seed extract, at the cellular level instead of the skin’s surface.

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This product is another that claims to multi-task through peptides and antioxidants. A few of my favorite ingredients are present, which is one reason I think it’s worth a shot – white tea, caffeine and algae. The other reason? At $70 for a full ounce, it’s quite reasonable and it’ll last long enough to evaluate the results.

Hylexin is available at Saks, Bloomingdales and Sephora, .78oz $95

Barielle AM Puffy Relief Eye Cream is available at www.barielle.com, 1oz $30

KenzoKi Relaxing Eye Whipped Cream is available at www.Sephora.com and www.Nordstrom.com, .5oz $45

Pevonia C Evolutive Eye Gel and Pevonia Evolutive Eye Cream are available at The Spa at Essex House 160 Central Park South, Park Avenue Spa & Fitness Hotel Swissotel The Drake 440 Park Avenue (56th St), and at www.pevonia.com

PRESCRIBEDsolutions The Eyes Have It is available through select dermatologists, www.prescibedsolutions.com for doctors in your area, .8oz $80

SK-II is available at Saks, .5oz $80

Rodan & Fields Anti-Age Multi-Peptide Treatment: Eye Cream with Anti-Oxidants is available at Henri Bendel, www.Nordstrom.com and www.Gloss.com, .5oz $50

Cellex-C is available at www.drugstore.com, .5oz $67

DERMAdoctor Wrinkle Revenge Rescue & Protec Eye Balm is available at www.dermadoctor.com and Sephora, 1oz $68

Originally published July 2005
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