Sold exclusively at Costco stores, this is a “package deal” for those seeking an eye cream and a nighttime moisturizer (which you shouldn’t be looking for because there is no reason to use an eye cream; there is no research showing that the eye area needs something different from what the face needs).
The Age Defying Protective Eye Cream is a good moisturizer for dry skin anywhere on the face. Two things keep it from earning a higher rating. First, it’s packaged in a jar, so the antioxidants it contains won’t remain effective. Second, it contains the plant extract Menyanthes trifoliate. Also known as buckbean, this plant contains bitter chemicals that may cause skin irritation. It has no known benefit for skin, but oral consumption can lead to digestive tract irritation and vomiting (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).
The Restorative Night Cream is packaged in a jar, so the effectiveness of its antioxidants will be compromised after opening. It also contains several plants that are known irritants, though these are joined by beneficial plant ingredients, so they likely cancel each other out, but that isn’t helpful for skin. Why have anything in a product that irritates skin when research tells us that irritation causes collagen to break down and hurts the skin’s protective outer barrier? With some minor formula adjustments and airtight packaging, this duo could have been a value-priced option for managing dry facial skin.
The Age-Defying Eye Cream is specially formulated for the delicate eye area where the lines of aging are so readily visible. This light, quickly absorbed cream smoothes wrinkles and fine lines and rejuvenates the skin. The Restorative Night Cream is an outstanding, anti-aging cream that helps correct the effects of time by acting on the causes of natural skin-aging. Targeted to lift, firm and smooth away wrinkles while you sleep. You’ll wake up with fresher, firmer and younger-looking skin.
Age-Defying Protective Eye Cream (0.5 ounce)
Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Protein, Stearyl Ethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Octyldodecyl Erucate, Ceteareth 20, Sweet Almond Seed Extract, Soybean Seed Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Olive Fruit Extract, Wheat Bran Extract, Menyanthes Trifoliata Leaf Extract, Ceramide 3, Panthenol, Allantoin, Propylene Glycol, Squalane, Carbomer, Bisabolol, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Trisodium Edta, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben
Restorative Night Cream (1.7 ounces)
Water, Glyceryl Stearate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Yeast Extract, Glycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Squalane, Centilla Asiatica Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Thyme Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Barley Extract, Morus Alba Leaf Extract, Olive Fruit Extract, Willow Bark Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Calluna Vulgaris Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Olive Fruit Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Ethoxydiglycol, Sd Alcohol 40-B, Ubiquinone, Sugar Cane Extract, Apple Fruit Extract, Orange Fruit Extract, Lemon Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Petrolatum, Triethanolamine, Sodium Pca, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Bisabolol, Ascorbic Acid Polypeptide, Ceramide 3, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Glucosamine, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Palmitate, Trisodium Edta, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance
Over the past few years the distribution and, as such, availability, of Borghese products has diminished. They're sold randomly in major department stores around the world and it's been years since anyone has asked us about a new Borghese product. Given the decrease in interest, we didn't even include Borghese in the most recent edition of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. After publishing the book, however, we were literally deluged with emails from readers asking (sometimes demanding to know) why we didn’t review Borghese. Those numerous requests for reviews about the line are why it's back on our roster.
As we were evaluating the products and writing the reviews for Borghese, the entire team wondered why there was such intense interest in the line. Very few Borghese products are worth any attention whatsoever. Few have any real merit and several of them are truly terrible formulas or, more often than not, an otherwise good formula was ruined by potent irritants that don't serve to make anyone's skin look better. It is especially curious that Borghese has such a following when they rarely advertise in fashion magazines. We can't recall the last time a Borghese product appeared on a "Best of Beauty" list either, so again, we wondered what all the clamoring was about.
Borghese is a cosmetics line that is supposed to have an Italian heritage of beauty. Their angle is combining the tradition of Italian beauty with modern technology. It may seem intriguing that the company maintains their products are based on "a heritage that dates back to the 14th century," but, we ask you, what skin-care or beauty information from the 14th century, or even 20 years ago, is relevant today? Think of it this way: Would you, or even could you, use a computer from the mid-90s given the technological advances since then? The same is true for skin care. Everything from free-radical damage, sun damage, how skin functions, or what causes acne and how you can treat it is recent knowledge. If your goal is to use the best products that stand a chance of giving you the results you want, then relying on anything other than recent history is definitely not the way to go.
Looking at Borghese from an objective point of view based on published studies about what ingredients can help or hurt skin reveals that their products are nothing more than a frustrating mix of good and bad. Several of their moisturizers contain a bevy of state-of-the-art ingredients, yet the choice of jar packaging means they won't last long once the product is opened. It's also disappointing that many Borghese products are filled with plant extracts, usually fragrant oils, that only serve to irritate the skin. That irritation causes collagen to break down and depletes the skin's protective outer barrier. Perhaps that was acceptable in the 14th century, but it certainly doesn't pass for smart skin care today!
As far as Borghese is concerned, Italian beauty seems to rely heavily on scent, but eau de cologne or perfume, natural or otherwise, is not good skin care. As for sun protection, Borghese also gets mixed reviews: some of the SPF-rated products provide sufficient UVA protection but others don't. Thus, Borghese is not a line to shop without knowing exactly what you're buying, and many of their claims border on the impossible, although that is certainly not unique to this brand.
You're most likely to find Borghese products in select Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, or select regional drugstores. They're sold in plenty of online stores, too, and at wholesale warehouse companies such as Costco, which distributes some Borghese products under the Kirkland Signature brand. For the most part, the Costco-sold Borghese products are simply repackaged, renamed versions of what Borghese sells in their main line—the difference is price. For example, a moisturizer you'd pay $61 for at the Borghese counter in Bloomingdale’s costs $26.99 at Costco. A considerable savings, but skin care is never a bargain if the product itself isn't going to benefit your skin beyond the basics.
For more information about Borghese, call (866) 267-4437 or visit www.borghese.com.