Dark Circles Away Collagen Eye Serum
0.5 fl. oz. for $55
Last Updated:03.11.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This eye serum is dispensed via a metal, rollerball applicator that feels cooling as you apply it, but that's just the effect of the metal against your skin and not a skin benefit in any way.

The texture is thin and lightweight, and the amount of mineral pigment titanium dioxide it contains is large enough to have a brightening effect on dark circles. However this effect is strictly cosmetic and not as efficient as covering dark circles with a good concealer, but it does help a little.

Beyond the rollerball applicator and cosmetic brightening effect, there's not much else to say. Brandt's formula contains a few interesting plant extracts and water-binding agents but they are listed after the preservative, which means the amounts are miniscule.

While the plant extracts in here have no research pertaining to their benefit for skin around the eyes, or for signs of aging in general, they do have some unique properties. Pfaffia paniculata root extract is Brazilian ginseng and there is research about it having anti-cancer properties when taken orally. 

Keeping with the Brazilian theme this product also contains Ptychopetalum olacoides bark, which has a small amount of research showing it has some benefit for improving cognitive function, but again, that is when taken orally and has nothing to do with problems of the eye area.

Unfortunately, this eye serum doesn't contain much of anything known to stimulate collagen production around the eyes or elsewhere, and it cannot make dark circles go away. The massaging action of the rollerball can help resolve minor puffiness due to fluid retention, but so can other, less costly products with this type of applicator or just putting a cool compress against your eyes.

Last, please know that under-eye hollowing, which this product claims to help, cannot be addressed by skin-care products. Hollowing around the eyes is primarily due to fat pads shifting beneath the skin, creating a sunken appearance. Dermal fillers such as Sculptra (done by an experienced doctor, never at a spa or salon) and surgery are the best options to restore a fuller look to the eye area; this is one area where skin care shows its limitations despite ridiculous claims from cosmetic companies.


  • The rollerball applicator feels cooling without irritation, and the massaging action can help reduce puffiness brought on by fluid retention.
  • Light serum texture contains enough titanium dioxide to have a brightening effect on dark circles.


  • Goes over-the-top with the eye-area concerns it claims to treat.
  • Cannot correct under-eye hollowness or bags.
  • Formula comes up short on ingredients proven to stimulate collagen production.

Dark Circles Away is an instant brightening eye serum that boosts collagen levels and stimulates microcirculation to decrease the look of: dark circles, tired, puffy & hollow eyes, lines & wrinkles and under eye bags.


Water, Glycerin, Triheptanoin, Caprylyl Trimethicone, Triisostearin, Titanium Dioxide, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Pfaffia Paniculata Root Extract, Polysorbate 20, Lecithin, Sorbitol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Germ Extract, Ptychopetalum Olacoides Bark/Stem Extract, Lilium Candidum Flower Extract, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Alcohol, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Polymethacrylate, Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Arginine, Trilaurin, Diacetyl Boldine, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phospholipids, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Oleic Acid

Brand Overview

Dr. Brandt At-A-Glance

Strengths: Provides complete ingredient lists on the company website; a good daytime moisturizer with sunscreen.

Weaknesses: Expensive; overwhelming number of products that contain irritating ingredients with no established benefit for skin; no products to comprehensively address acne or oily skin; every Pores No More product is a disappointment; jar packaging; several products make claims on par with what cosmetic procedures (not skin care) can do.

The late Dr. Fredric Brandt (he passed away in April, 2015 at the age of 65) was a Miami- and New York City–based dermatologist whose claim to fame rested on two main points. The first (and it is a very important credibility factor for consumers) included the many celebrity clients worked with, while the second was his assertion that he performed more Botox and collagen injections than any other dermatologist in the world. According to Allergan, the company that makes Botox, they no longer rank the physicians who purchase Botox from them; however, they did confirm that Dr. Brandt was definitely one of their biggest buyers. Yet regardless of how much Botox or collagen Dr. Brandt or any other physician uses, what in the world does that have to do with cosmetic formulations? If anything, you have to wonder why Brandt was using so much Botox and collagen if his products truly fight wrinkles, sagging, and on and on.

Beyond Brandt's cosmetic enhancement procedures, he is the author of Age-less: The Definitive Guide to Botox, Collagen, Lasers, Peels, and Other Solutions for Flawless Skin. His book and skin-care line are competing against the vastly more popular books and product line from fellow dermatologist Dr. N.V. Perricone. Although Perricone's skin-care line has some drawbacks, including irritating ingredients and the lack of supporting research for his neuropeptide products, the majority of his products, though overpriced, have more pros than cons. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Dr. Brandt, whose namesake skin-care line is on the disappointing side, especially given the product's price points.

Brandt's products are sold with the tag line that they are "prescription strength, prescription-free," and "are formulated under dermatologic control for maximum safety and efficiency and offer the highest performance without a prescription." Aside from how unbelievable that assertion is, what is not mentioned is the fact that none of the ingredients in Brandt's products are comparable to prescription formulations. And what is "dermatologic control" anyway, given that there are no such standards anywhere in the world? Moreover, what do dermatologists know about the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, much less cosmetics? The two arenas of expertise are completely unrelated.

Dr. Brandt positioned his products as clinically superior to what you would find in other cosmetics lines, an unproven assertion to say the least. Many of his products tout benefits that don't just stretch the truth, but snap it in two—and these fallacies were more disconcerting coming from an esteemed dermatologist. When products contain the problematic ingredients that are so pervasive in Brandt's line, such as irritating plant extracts, drying detergent cleansing agents, and far too many products with skin cell-damaging lavender oil, it becomes nothing more than a line that should be approached with extreme caution.

The line does have a few bright spots: many of Brandt's products do contain significant amounts of antioxidants, though that certainly doesn't make his line unique because many other product lines do that, too. (Here it's fair to say that while no specific amounts have been established for any antioxidant that will ensure their effectiveness, the general consensus among researchers is that more antioxidants are better than less, and less is still better than none at all.) Unless you were a devoted patient of Dr. Brandt and would be racked with guilt for not purchasing his products while visiting for an appointment, there is no reason to seek out this disappointing line.

For more information about Dr. Brandt's products, call (800) 234-1066 or visit www.drbrandtskincare.com.

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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