Luminous Eye Serum

Price:
$19.95 - 0.6 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Retinol Products > Eye Moisturizers
Last Updated:
9/16/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

Luminous Eye Serum is an excellent lightweight formula for the eye area (or anywhere on the face, actually). Ingredients such as sodium PCA, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, caffeine, and multiple skin-repairing agents help your skin look and act younger and healthier, and are what you should look for in an eye serum, although not everyone needs this type of product (we explain why in More Info).

Best for normal to slightly dry skin, this does not leave a greasy or thick feel on the skin. Be sure you take their "serum" description seriously if you have dry to very dry skin around the eye area, because if that's the case, then you'll need to layer this under another product.

To the credit of Andalou Naturals, this is packaged in a squeeze-tube container that protects its delicate ingredients from air and light.

One last note: Please totally ignore the claims made about the fruit stem cell ingredients (see More Info if you wish to read the considerable details explaining why). The notion that plant stem cells can "renew dormant cells, repair damaged cells, or regenerate healthy cells" may be true for a plant, but it isn't for human skin. The entire notion is rather silly. A plant stem cell can't regenerate human skin cells or any other cell in the body. While these ingredients aren't harmful or irritating to the skin (and can have antioxidant benefit), there is no research to support the claims of regenerating skin or functioning like your skin's own stem cells, which would push this product from its status as a cosmetic to a drug.

Pros:
  • Loaded with beneficial anti-aging ingredients.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Works well to moisturize skin around the eyes (or anywhere on the face).
  • Packaged to keep its ingredients protected from light and air exposure.
Cons:
  • If you use this during the day, you'll need to use it under a sunscreen rated SPF 20 or greater.
  • Plant stem cells don't renew or generate human cells of any kind.
More Info:

Why You May Not Need an Eye Serum: Most eye serums aren't necessary. That's either because they are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won't keep key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled as an eye serum doesn't mean it's good for your eye area; in fact, many can actually make matters worse or leave your skin vulnerable to damage.

There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes. Any product loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, skin-lightening ingredients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and hydrating ingredients will work wonders and those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye serum. And during the day, any eye-area product you use should ideally provide sun protection or be followed by a product that does, such as a moisturizer rated SPF 25 or greater.

Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes! That may mean you need an eye serum, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial serum or moisturizer around your eyes.

Dark Circles: Dark circles are caused by several factors, and unfortunately, there aren't any skin-care products in the world that can tackle all or even most of the causes of them. While there are definitely things you can do to improve dark circles as well as keep them from getting worse, your solution won't be found in a specialty product labeled with miraculous claims or a miracle ingredient.

The most common causes of dark circles include sun damage, irritation, allergies, genetics, and veins/capillaries showing through the surface layer of skin. For genetic causes, dark circles aren't going to respond to topical treatment, but those caused by sun damage can be treated, as can those stemming from irritation or allergies.

See our article, Shed Some Light on Dark Circles, for the hype-free facts about this concern, and possible solutions for some forms of undereye discolorations.

Stem Cells in Skin-Care Products: Stem cells are cells in animals and plants that are capable of becoming any other type of cell in that organism and of producing more of those cells. Despite the fact that stem cell research is in its infancy, many cosmetics companies claim they are successfully using plant-based or human-derived stem cells in their anti-aging products. The claims run the gamut, from reducing wrinkles to elastin repair and cell regeneration, so the temptation for consumers to try these is intense.

The truth is that stem cells in skin-care products do not work as claimed. In fact, they likely have no effect at all because stem cells must be alive to function as stem cells. Once these delicate cells are added to skin-care products, they are long dead and, therefore, useless.

Plant stem cells, such as those derived from apples, melons, flowers, and rice, cannot stimulate stem cells in human skin, but because they are from plants these ingredients likely have antioxidant

properties. Actually, it's a good thing plant stem cells can't work as stem cells in skin-care products; after all, you don't want your skin to absorb cells that can grow into apples or watermelons!

There are also claims that because a plant's stem cells allow a plant to repair itself or to survive in harsh climates, these benefits can be passed on to human skin. How a plant functions in nature is unrelated to human skin, and these claims are completely without substantiation.

Another twist on the issue is that cosmetics company's claim they have taken components (such as peptides) out of the plant stem cells and made them stable so they then can work as stem cells. This approach is not valid because stem cells must be complete to function normally. Even if you could isolate substances or extracts from these cells and make them stable, there is no published research showing they can affect stem cells in human skin.

Fruit Stem Cell Complex, Vitamin C, and Goji glycopeptides boost collagen and elastin to smooth fine lines and firm dermal texture, as caffeine from green coffee stimulates circulation to reduce puffiness and help diminish dark circles.

Aloe Barbadensis Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) and Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extracts, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Glycopeptide, Lauric Acid, Sodium PCA, Hyaluronic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Caffeine (Green Coffee), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos), Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) and Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Extracts, Laminaria Digitata (Kelp) Extract, Allantoin, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oil

Andalou Naturals is a rare presence in the saturated market of natural-themed cosmetics lines because the brand manages to keep the focus on their products and ingredients without resorting to the silly “scary chemical” and fear-mongering marketing approach common to so many other natural lines.

Just as impressive as their marketing are many of their formulas, several of which include many antioxidants and multiple skin-repairing ingredients, and aren’t laden with natural fragrance ingredients, which may please your nose but can be very irritating to the skin, even if you don’t see or feel the damage taking place.

Headquartered in Petaluma, California, Andalou Naturals was founded by husband and wife Mark and Stacey Egide—both of whom also created the Avalon Organics line. The duo sold Avalon Organics in 2002, and started Andalou Naturals in 2011, where it’s sold at health food stores and online.

Visit their site and you’ll quickly find the brand is focused on the “feel-good” approach to skin care. Andalou Naturals brand philosophy is heavily steeped in philanthropy: Their “A Force of Nature” fund regularly donates to various nonprofit groups, and every order you place on their site adds $1 to this fund. How wonderful!

Andalou Naturals offers an extensive line of face-, body-, and hair-care products, themed around what they call, “Fruit Stem Cell Science,” which includes extracts from apple, grape, and argan. While these types of ingredients have antioxidant benefit, the idea that they work like your stem cells to turn back time isn’t supported by published research of any kind.

Stem cells work only if they are alive, and in a skin-care product, they are long dead. Not to mention that even if stem cells could survive the skin-care formulation process, an apple stem cell is helpful only to an apple—your skin cells wouldn’t have the first clue how to use stem cells from a plant. Stem-cell research is still in its infancy—science is just beginning to understand how stem cells work and/or how they can actually benefit our health; the cosmetics industry isn’t beating the medical industry in this regard!

The company also includes what they refer to as “BioActive 8 Berry Complex” in many of their products. This is really a blanket name for a mix of non-fragrant berry juice extracts (acai, aronia, bearberry, bilberry, black elderberry, goji berry, rosehips berry, and sea buckthorn berry). All of these ingredients have antioxidant function on the skin, but, again, they aren’t miracle ingredients by any stretch, nor is Andalou Naturals the only line using them.

We should note that Andalou Naturals, at the time of this review, doesn’t list all of the ingredients in their “BioActive 8 Berry Complex” on their product labels. While the individual berry extracts mentioned above are listed on their website as part of their marketing messaging, they omit them on their products, which violates International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) and FDA labeling regulatory requirements. This is an important oversight, because you have the right to know all of the ingredients in your skin-care products, without having to jump through extra hoops. We hope the company rectifies this in the near future.

On a more positive note, we found that many of the skin-care products Andalou Naturals offers were good—mostly for normal to dry skin, although there also are a few winners for those with oily to combination skin. Many contain some amount of fragrance (but to their credit, the facial formulas that did contain fragrance mostly had only a minimum amount, which is not typical of natural-themed lines).

We were especially impressed that they avoided the boring or basic formulas so common among natural skin-care brands. Several of their products contain the types of beneficial ingredients that have plenty of published research to back up their claims. What a great change of pace!

The missteps were the few instances of jar packaging (which marred what would’ve otherwise been well-rated products) that expose delicate ingredients to air and light, as well as their body-care formulas, which tended to include higher amounts of fragrance.

For more information, call (888) 898-6955, or visit www.andalou.com.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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