Olay's Regenerist Luminous Dark Circle Correcting Hydraswirl is an excellent option for moisture around the eye area (or anywhere on the face). This contains several beneficial ingredients that help skin look healthier and help treat signs of aging; Olay included niacinamide, acetyl glucosamine, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 (a lesser researched peptide) along with an array of helpful emollients. Bonus: This is fragrance free, too.
You'll also see some immediate cosmetic benefit, as the mineral pigments (titanium dioxide and mica) lend a light-diffusing finish that "brightens" the eye area.
Before you get too excited, though, know this: Not everyone needs a special eye-area treatment; many facial serums and moisturizers share the exact same benefits as the Regenerist Luminous Dark Circle Correcting Hydraswirl, so why use two products when one will do? What this formula lacks is a sunscreen—and if you aren't protecting your skin around the eyes during the daytime (and, of course, on the face), you'll never see improvement in signs of aging or sun-damage related discolorations, which can include dark circles. See More Info for the details on eye treatments (and why you may not need one).
Note: If you have undereye circles, you know what a frustrating condition it can be that often tempts one to try any product promising to treat, reduce or cure them. Nevertheless, it's important to keep your expectations realistic—unfortunately, there isn't anything you can apply topically (except a concealer) that can actually reduce most forms of dark circles. See More Info for the details on why most dark-circle treatments can't live up to their promises.
- Contains a beneficial mix of anti-aging ingredients.
- Doesn't include fragrance.
- Leaves a moisturized, radiant finish to skin.
- Not too emollient, so should work well under makeup.
- Cannot repair the most common cause of dark circles (genetics).
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, as is the case for this one.
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.
Dark Circles: Dark circles 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 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 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 article, Shed Some Light on Dark Circles, for the hype-free facts about this concern, and possible solutions for some forms of undereye discolorations.
Luminous Dark Circle Correcting HydraSwirl uses a distinctive dual-swirl formula with a gel to hydrate and a cream to instantly reduce the appearance of dark circles.
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Acetyl Glucosamine, Titanium Dioxide, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Collagen, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triethanolamine, Carbomber, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, PEG-100 Stearate, Mica.
Olay offers a fairly large selection of skin-care products sold at drugstores and mass-market stores. Although Olay's products are not as diversified as Neutrogena's or as attractive as L'Oreal's, Olay has come a long way from its star product being a soft pink lotion designed to make skin younger (yet it was and is just a badly formulated product that was out of date almost from the moment it was launched). Today's Olay lineup for those concerned about staving off the effects of aging skin is impressive, comprising their Regenerist, and Total Effects lines. All of these (and several other Olay products) contain the B vitamin niacinamide. As you might expect, the claims made for it are inflated, but, as explained in the various reviews below, niacinamide is a very helpful ingredient for all skin types, capable of exerting multiple benefits. It isn't the best ingredient out there (no single ingredient has that title yet, and it's unlikely that just one ever will be) and as such doesn't deserve the prominence Olay gives it (a bit of variety would have been far better, such as a mix of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients).
Olay's sales are expected to reach $4 billion annually in the next few years, and given their global presence in stores and constant advertising in magazines and on television, that's not surprising. Much of this advertising is focused on their best products, which is attention well deserved. Just to give you an idea of the expenditure involved for these ubiquitous ads, Olay spent over $50 million to promote Regenerist in 2003. The good news is that each new range of Olay products generally improves on what came before it, offering results that, while not as impressive as the claims, are noticeable in the mirror.
For its ongoing commitment to understanding consumers and formulating products that, while not perfect, definitely offer more proof than puffery, Olay deserves consideration by any savvy skin-care shopper. And it also deserves mention that Olay is one of the few lines in this book whose entire collection of products with sunscreens provides sufficient UVA protection! (Sources for the financial figures above: The Rose Sheet, July 10, 2006, page 5; September 11, 2006, page 4; and January 1, 2007, page 5).
Olay began 2009 with the launch of Pro-X, their most expensive products to date. Not only are these products considerably more expensive than any others from Olay, the packaging, color scheme, advertising campaign, and claims have all been turned up to "max" on the cosmetics marketing dial. The amount of hype and budget thrown at these products easily explains why our Beautypedia product request e-mail inbox has been inundated with requests for me to review these products!
Whenever something this sleek-looking and pricey debuts in the mass market, lots of consumers wonder whether the extra expense is worth it. They also want to know if Olay's "Professional" designation makes these products a cut above the numerous other products they sell, including those with similar claims.
It turns out we had the same question after surveying the ingredient lists for all of the Pro-X products: How are they different from those available in Olay's Total Effects and Regenerist? Supposedly, all of those other sub-brands also have the answer to improving the telltale signs of aging, from dryness and wrinkles to loss of luminosity and unwanted discolorations. In fact, the claims on the label of these three lines are virtually identical.
It is clear from the get go that there are far more similarities than differences among Definity, Regenerist and Pro-X. All of them contain niacinamide, the B vitamin that has almost single-handedly re-energized Olay as a formidable skin-care brand. One of the Pro-X products contains acetyl glucosamine, just like several from Definity, and many Pro-X products contain peptides, just as Regenerist products do. Why should someone consider Pro-X over those other lines?
Interestingly, the folks we spoke with at Procter & Gamble didn't have a clear answer either, which isn't surprising, at least not from a formula superiority standpoint. Rather, their explanation was all about a marketing decision. This "cosmeceutical" –oriented line is supposed to give women who think that a line that looks medical must be better even if it's available at the drugstore. Pro-X was also designed to appeal to women who typically seek professional skin-care products, meaning those that are sold or recommended by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon.
Of course there is no standardized definition for "professional skin care" and "cosmeceutical" is a bogus term. The dermatologists who consulted Olay about these new products are well-respected, but the formulas still come up short in terms of a cocktail of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients that can repair damaged skin. As it turns out, despite the Alliance for Skin Care Innovation that Olay speaks of in their promotional materials for Pro-X, its creation had more to do with marketing than with bringing anything new to the cosmetics table.
Don't get me wrong: the Pro-X products have some commendable attributes and certainly offer multiple benefits for aging skin, but the truth is they're not different enough from Olay Regenerist or Definity products to warrant the higher price.
Pro-X's packaging is indeed sexier, the claims are more enticing, and the prices speak to a high-end consumer, but, to borrow a popular catchphrase from the 1980s, we were left wondering "Where's the beef?" The beef, as it were, is merely Olay creating products whose differences are much stronger from a marketing standpoint than from a formulary standpoint. That's not breakthrough news for your skin, and it's a fact that anyone considering Pro-X should know that other Olay products offer comparable benefits for less money. The only significant difference between Pro-X and Olay's other sub-brands is that Pro-X is fragrance-free; that's great, but you would think that leaving out an ingredient as opposed to adding one would lead to a price decrease rather than an increase. It's up to you if that point is enough to make the higher prices worthwhile.
For more information about Olay, owned by Procter & Gamble, call (800) 285-5170 or visit www.olay.com.