Given that Lancome's original Visionnaire facial product was such a hit, we knew it wouldn't be long before they launched an eye-area counterpart, and here it is. As expected, it differs little from the facial-care version, proving again that most eye creams are truly an unnecessary addition to a skin-care routine. See More Info to learn more about why an eye cream isn't a necessity.
Lancome boasts that this product contains their exalted LR 2412 molecule, the same one present in the original Visionnaire. Despite the fact that the original product was never advertised as being helpful for dark circles, apparently that has changed. Of course there's no published research to prove this, but those kinds of details rarely bother cosmetics companies.
Interestingly, Lancome added a good bit of titanium dioxide and other mineral pigments to this formula for their brightening effect on undereye darkness, but that's a cosmetic benefit, not a skin-care treatment—it has nothing to do with really getting rid of dark circles.
So what is this LR 2412 molecule? It's derived from the jasmine plant and is listed on the ingredient list as sodium tetrahydrojasmonate (also known as tetrahydrojasmonic acid). By either name, in their natural state, these ingredients are lipids (fats) that help the jasmine plant signal when repair is needed and that control the life cycle of the plant's cells (Sources: Plant Physiology, April 2010, pages 1940–1950; and PLoS Biology, September 2008, page e320).
Lancome wants you to believe that these lipids, which in the jasmine plant repair environmental damage and control cell behavior, can somehow have similar effects on your skin, such as improving wrinkles and dark circles when applied to skin via their bioengineered LR 2412 molecule. Unfortunately, there isn't a shred of published research to support their assertion. More to the point, even if these jasmine-derived ingredients were miracle workers for the eye area, the amount of alcohol in this formula likely will harm your skin in the process (alcohol causes free-radical damage), so any potential benefit is muted. See More Info to learn why a high amount of alcohol is a problem for skin, especially around the delicate eye area.
Of course, you also have to ask yourself: If LR 2412 is able to tackle the eye-area concerns mentioned, why is Lancome selling so many other eye creams that don't have this ingredient and that claim to treat the same concerns? Shouldn't they just admit that LR 2412 is the best and stop selling their other eye creams that don't include it? This might be a different story if these allegedly remarkable single ingredients actually were worth seeking out, but that's rarely the case.
- Brightens the undereye area.
- High amount of alcohol puts skin at risk of irritation.
- Contains a minimal amount of proven anti-aging ingredients.
- Contains more brightening mineral pigments (which are more makeup than skin care) than state-of-the-art ingredients or anything unique for the eye area.
Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream: Most eye creams 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 cream 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 cream.
You would be shocked how many eye creams lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye creams 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, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer around your eyes.
Why Alcohol is a Problem for Skin: Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Our ultimate advanced eye contour corrector, also containing our innovative molecule LR 2412. See results on the appearance of dark circles in only 4 weeks. Wrinkles and uneven texture around the eye area are visibly corrected for a smoother eye contour.
Aqua / Water / Eau, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Sodium Tetrahydrojasmonate, Propanediol, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, Dipropylene Glycol, Stearyl Dimethicone, Di-C12-13 Alkyl Malate, CI 77491, Ci 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 75470 / Carmine, Zea Mays Starch / Corn Starch, Mica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol, Steareth-20, Adenosine, PTFE, Caffeine, PEG-12 Dimethicone, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Triethanolamine, Silica, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide / Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Dimethiconol, Mannitol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Chrysin, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Alumina, Chlorhexidine Digluconate.
French flair, free gifts with purchase, constant magazine ads, and attractive packaging impel women to seek out the Lancome counter. Once you're there, though, unless you're captured by the enticing claims, the skin-care products are resoundingly dull, and we mean really, really dull (the makeup is a different story). With new research and developments in skin care many cosmetics companies typically improve their formulas, even if just in a small way. That’s not the case with Lancome, which tends to raise their prices while producing lackluster, ordinary formulas with little benefit for skin.
Even more shocking is that their most expensive skin-care items tend to be the most disappointing, usually for what they lack rather than for what they contain. It's startling to realize that their priciest moisturizer is remarkably similar to dozens of other Lancome creams priced more reasonably (but still too high when you consider what you're getting for the money). It seems that all it takes to justify the excessive prices is a good story based around a rare ingredient and claims of delivering a younger look. What a shame so many consumers are taken in by this kind of marketing mumbo jumbo.
L'Oreal-owned Lancome, along with L'Oreal's own skin-care products sold at the drugstore, has fallen well behind their competition. For all their lofty claims and beautiful models, many other companies leave them in the dust. Most of the Lauder companies (Clinique, Estee Lauder), along with Dove, and Olay have skin-care formularies that consistently outperform those of Lancome and L'Oreal in terms of what substantiated research has shown is necessary to have healthy, more wrinkle- and age-resistant skin. Lancome claims to understand women, and they certainly know how to entice them with pretty packaging and scientific-sounding claims. It would be far better if they had an intimate understanding of what it really takes for skin to look its best and function optimally.
The biggest improvement Lancome has made is that almost all of their sunscreens now include the right UVA-protecting ingredients. Who knows why it took them so long to get this straightened out (L'Oreal is no stranger to this issue, as they have developed and patented new UVA filters throughout the years), but it is now easier than ever to find a reliable sunscreen from Lancome. Given their prominence and presence in department stores around the world, Lancome isn't easy to ignore. My suggestion is to look beyond most of the skin care and focus on what they do best: makeup (especially foundations and mascaras).
Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all Lancome products contain fragrance.
For more information about Lancome, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 526-2663 or visit www.lancome.com.
L'Oreal-owned Lancome is a stellar, French-bred collection of makeup that remains the best reason to shop this line. Because most of Lancome's skin-care products have problematic elements (be it jar packaging, insufficient sun protection, or dated formulas), it is a relief to find that, for the most part, the colorful side of their business has more than its share of innovative products. We enjoyed the fact that no matter where we shopped, Lancome's counter personnel were friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. There's a lot to keep track of, and Lancome deserves credit for keeping their salespeople so well informed.
If you're looking for a force to reckon with for foundations, Lancome is a must-see. They continue to offer some of the most elegant, silky formulas anywhere and in a color range that is overwhelmingly neutral, whether your skin is porcelain or ebony. The only troubling aspect is that most of Lancome's foundations with sunscreen do not contain adequate UVA protection or the SPF rating is too low. Lancome obviously knows about the risks with these issues (after all, they market ecamsule, their version of the UVA-protecting ingredient Mexoryl SX, and brag about its UVA range). And considering that, we are not recommending as many of their foundations as we have in previous editions of this book. Beyond this major gripe, you will discover that Lancome has a well-deserved reputation for their fantastic mascaras, and that their latest powders and eyeshadows apply with a silkiness that makes them gratifying to work with. The rest of the makeup encompasses many valid choices, but before you commit to Lancome, consider the similar options available for less from sister companies L'Oreal and Maybelline New York. Striking a balance among the best of each of these lines will give you first-class makeup that beautifies without breaking the bank.
Note: Lancome is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Lancome does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.