Anti-Fatigue Eye-Gel nearly earned a GOOD rating, as it contains a nice array of antioxidants, including caffeine, grapeseed extract, pomegranate, and others. So, why the AVERAGE rating? It also contains the irritants tangerine peel and rosemary extract. The amount is likely small—there is no discernible scent—but these are still risky for inclusion in a product designed for the eye area. Reddened, irritated skin is certainly not the goal when shopping for an eye treatment.
Housed in a tube outfitted with a metal rollerball applicator, this glides onto the skin and dries rapidly, but this product does not moisturize skin very well. Also, don't put much stock in the claims that Clinique makes about de-puffing and dark-circle correcting, as these generally are the result of genetics or aging, and so cannot be fixed with a topical product (for reasons we discuss in the More Info section).
Anti-Fatigue Eye-Gel contains a few lesser-known ingredients, such as the antioxidant nordihydroguaiaretic acid, which is derived from the desert-dwelling creosote bush, and the antioxidant (wait for it) "ethylbisiminomethylguaiacol manganese chloride." Also known as EUK-134, which is much easier on the tongue, a 2004 Journal of Investigative Dermatology study demonstrated that its antioxidant capacity helps offset the damage from UV exposure—although there isn't much EUK-134 in this product.
We wish we could recommend this, but for the reasons mentioned above, it's one that should be skipped given that there are better alternatives within Clinique's own "for-women" line and from dozens of others on our list of Best Eye Moisturizers.
- Contains an impressive array of antioxidants that help protect skin against free-radical damage.
- Dries quickly and doesn't leave a greasy residue that can interfere with eye makeup.
- Isn't packaged in a jar (a rarity for eye-area treatments).
- Contains the potential irritants tangerine peel and rosemary extract, albeit in small amounts.
- If you use this during the day, you still need to apply a sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater over it.
- Isn't really moisturizing enough for the skin around the eyes.
Why You May Not Need an Eye Gel: Most eye gels 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 gel doesn't mean it's good for your eye area; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.
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 effective emollients will work wonders and those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye gel. You would be shocked how many eye gels lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye gels (like this one) don't contain sunscreen. During the day that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage and this absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse!
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 cream or gel, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer around your eyes.
Dark Circles and Puffiness: Dark circles and puffiness 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 and puffiness 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 and puffiness 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 articles, Shed Some Light on Dark Circles or Puffy Eyes, for the hype-free facts about these concerns and possible solutions for some forms of undereye discolorations and puffiness.