02.25.2013
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Essential Lift Contouring Eye Creme
Rating
0.5 fl. oz. for $25.95
Last Updated:02.25.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

There is seemingly no end to the claims about what minerals in skin-care products can do. In this case, you’re asked to believe that the same mineral that lifts sagging skin can reshape the eye area. It’s always disappointing when cosmetics companies jump on the marketing bandwagon and create products with ingredients that lack research to support their intended purpose. Sea silt extract, the main ingredient in this eye cream, is merely soil and rock that have gone through a special process to concentrate their supposed special properties. However, only the cosmetics industry believes this to be true (if they really do) because there is no research showing sea silt is preferred over hundreds of other ingredients for skin.

This formula does contain some good emollients for dry skin anywhere on the face, but it suffers from the inclusion of far too many irritants, including cedar and lavender oils. Using this around your eyes is a big mistake because the irritation it can cause leads to collagen breakdown and inflammation. In truth, you don’t need an eye cream. Although there is much you can do to improve the skin around your eyes, the ingredients capable of doing that don’t need to come from, and often aren’t even included in, an eye cream. For example, most eye creams (such as this one) don’t contain sunscreen, and that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage, which will make dark circles and wrinkling worse!

Claims

Restore and firm the delicate skin around the eyes with this intense, mineral rich crème that renourishes skin by drawing upon deep moisture reserves. Contours are renewed for a lifted appearance. Hydrated at the cellular level, skin is refreshed and eyes look immediately defined and awake.

Ingredients

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sea Silt Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Coco-Caprylate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Copaifera Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pogostemon Cabin (Patchouli) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Styrax Benzoin Resin Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Secale Cereale (Rye) Seed Extract, Aqua (Water), Dehydroxanthan Gum, Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Limonene, Linalool

Brand Overview

Avalon Organics At-A-Glance

Strengths: Avalon Organics provides complete ingredient lists on their Web site; excellent lip balm; a few well-formulated moisturizers and serums.

Weaknesses: Several products contain irritating plant extracts and/or fragrant oils; moisturizers contain only a tiny amount of state-of-the-art ingredients; none of the sunscreens have UVA-protecting ingredients; there are repetitive formulas within the sub-brands (and the only differences between them won't make any difference to your skin); average to poor cleansers and toners; no AHA or BHA options; no anti-acne or skin-lightening options; jar packaging, which leaves the air-sensitive ingredients unprotected and subject to deterioration after opening.

Avalon Organics is one of many companies owned by Hain-Celestial, a company that specializes in marketing "natural" products. Along with various food and beverage brands you often see lining the shelves of health food stores, Hain-Celestial is also behind several other cosmetics lines, including Alba Botanica, Jason Natural, and Zia Natural (and just to be clear, none of these are all natural in the least).

Avalon Organics is most similar to Alba Botanica, but strangely enough, Avalon in many ways is the inferior line. Relative to the Alba Botanica line, Avalon Organics products cost more and their formulas aren't nearly as state of the art. A major thumbs down for Avalon Organics is the fact that none of their sunscreens contains sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients. In addition, many more of the Avalon Organics products contain irritating plant oils (lavender, orange), and almost all also feature a plant tea concoction that includes not only lavender but also arnica, a problematic plant if ever there was one (Sources: American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, June 1996, pages 94–99; and www.naturaldatabase.com). It is these natural ingredients that sabotage many of the Avalon Organics products.

Avalon does include several helpful natural ingredients (among them willow herb, licorice, borage oil, and aloe), but their benefit is diminished when they must overcome the potential skin problems presented by the not-so-helpful plants. Moreover, several Avalon Organics products contain a blend of unidentified essential oils. These are used for fragrance, but Avalon opted to list the generic term "fragrance" as "other essential oils," which means that consumers do not know exactly what oils they're applying to their skin. This goes directly against FDA regulatory requirements: "other essential oils" is not a legitimate ingredient term.

It is indeed admirable that Avalon Organics is dedicated to organic farming and to sustainable agricultural practices that improve the environment, but such a mission doesn’t translate into great skin-care: farming is one issue, but brilliantly formulated products is another. In this case you can't rely on Avalon products to take care of your skin without some careful consideration. There are a handful of recommended products to consider, especially if you prefer a ratio of ingredients that favors natural over synthetic. (Note, however, this is not an all-natural line, any more than munching on Skittles candy is like eating real fruit.) But taking "the time to honor yourself" (Avalon's statement) by using products only from their line, or being swayed by this brand's "Consciousness in Cosmetics" for the sake of your skin, would be a mistake.

For more information about Avalon Organics, call (888) 659-7730 or visit www.avalonorganics.com.

Note: Avalon uses the term "other essential oils" on their ingredient lists, which does not comply with FDA or international regulations. These regulations state that you must list by name ALL the individual ingredients you include in your product for this category of ingredients.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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