12.19.2014
0
88
Youth Code Eye Cream
Rating
0.5 fl. oz. for $24.99
Last Updated:12.19.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

If the claims for L’Oreal’s Youth Code products and their GenActiv technology sound familiar, that’s because Lancome (which L’Oreal owns) claimed almost the same thing in 2010 when they launched their Genifique products. No one on the Paula’s Choice Team was surprised when Youth Code was announced, as it isn’t uncommon for L’Oreal and Lancome to offer similar products whose only significant differences are price and retail location.

This well-packaged, fragrance-free eye cream (it comes in a squeeze tube with a built-in, smooth-tip applicator) is a pretty good formula. It does not contain anything special for the eye area, and this product is not necessary if you already use a well-formulated moisturizer (more on that in a minute), but overall this is a better formula than most of L’Oreal’s other eye-area moisturizers.

L’Oreal maintains that Youth Code (just like Lancome’s Genifique) took 10 years of research. Although that sounds impressive, what they came up with for this eye cream, while good, isn’t in any way a breakthrough or worth considering over any of the moisturizers in our Best Products section.

The crux of Youth Code is the claim that it stimulates genes in your skin that supposedly are responsible for its regenerating power.

It is absolutely true that there are genes in our skin responsible for generating proteins. These proteins create antioxidant pathways that protect skin from intrinsic (internal) and external signs of aging. As we age (actually, as we accumulate more sun damage from years of exposure), these genes become less able to “express” themselves in a healthy manner. That leads to oxidation within the skin and a decreased ability for the gene-generated proteins and enzymes to handle oxidative stress. The result of these deficiencies is damaged collagen, inflammation, and unwanted changes to skin texture, such as roughness, increased sensitivity, and, yes, wrinkles (Sources: Planta Medica, October 2008, pages 1548–1559; Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research, February 2008, pages 79–88; and Free Radical Biology & Medicine, August 2008, pages 385–395).

What is L’Oreal’s solution—a yeast ingredient known as bifida ferment lysate. The problem is that there’s no research proving that this specific form of yeast has any anti-aging, regenerating, or gene-stimulating activity when applied to skin. You’d think that after 10 years of research L’Oreal would publish their findings, but they haven’t.

There is limited research showing that yeast ferment filtrate (a compound different from bifida ferment lysate) reduces oxidative skin damage in the presence of UV light, but this research also showed that many other antioxidants have a similar effect (Sources: Archives of Dermatological Research, April 2008, pages S51–S56; and Journal of Dermatological Science, June 2006, pages 249–257). Plus, one ingredient is never enough for skin. Skin is a complex organ that needs a cocktail of ingredients to be healthy and really look and act younger.

Although this eye cream deserves a Good rating, the truth is that eye creams aren't something that everyone needs. Please see More Info to find out why.

NOTE:This eye cream is packaged in a jar as part of L'Oreal's Youth Code Starter System. Given the jar packaging and weaknesses of the other Youth Code products packaged in this system, it is not recommended. Our review only applies to the eye cream as sold separately.

More Info:

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.

Claims

After 10 years of research, L’Oréal scientists unlock the code of skin’s youth by discovering a specific set of genes that are responsible for skin’s natural power of regeneration. With L’Oréal’s breakthrough GenActiv Technology”, this powerful daily moisturizing eye cream can increase skin’s power of regeneration so it regains the qualities of young skin. See smoother, youthfully luminous and rested skin emerge in the eye area. The unique smooth gliding sensation of this cream melts on contact with your skin, leaving an extremely soft finish. Light-diffusing micro-pearls illuminate the eye area.

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Squalane, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Palmitic Acid, PEG-100, Stearate, Cera Alba, Glyceryl Stearate, Nylon-66, Propylene Glycol, Mel, Peg-20 Stearate, Algae, Ruscus Aculeatus Extract, Glycine Soja Protein, Caffeine, Isohexadecane, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Silica, Cholesterol, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Adenosine, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine, Panthenol, Fagus Sylvatica Extract, Polysilicone-8, Polysorbate 80, Acrylamide/ Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorhexadine Digluconate, Ethylparaben, Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Benzoate

Brand Overview

L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.

L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.

L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.

The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.

Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.

For more information about L'Oreal, call (800) 322-2036 or visit www.loreal.com or www.lorealparisusa.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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