03.12.2015
2
4
Hypoallergenic Firming Eye Cream
Rating
0.5 fl. oz. for $65
Category:Skin Care > Retinol Products > Eye Moisturizers
Last Updated:03.12.2015
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This fragrance-free eye cream contains great ingredients for dry skin anywhere on the face, but it doesn’t distinguish itself in any striking way from most emollient facial moisturizers, further proof that a product labeled as eye cream for use around the eye area is really not necessary (see More Info to find out why).

As for the hypoallergenic portion of the name, it’s meaningless. The term “hypoallergenic” isn’t regulated and there are no agreed-on standards governing its use on skin-care product labels. As a result, any skin-care product can be named or labeled “hypoallergenic, ”and we’ve seen plenty of products with this claim that contain ingredients known to be a problem for sensitive skin. Fortunately, that isn’t the case here, as this is a gentle formula with some good soothing agents, but that still doesn’t tell you whether or not you will have an allergic reaction.

The real shortcoming of this product is that most of the beneficial anti-irritants and other anti-aging ingredients won’t remain stable due to the jar packaging. Please see More Info to find out why jar packaging is a problem.

Given the price, the jar packaging, and the fact that you don’t need an eye cream, there are few reasons to consider this product. It’s especially disappointing that most of the state-of-the-art ingredients are listed after the preservative. For what this costs, more of the good stuff should be toward the beginning rather than the end of the ingredient list.

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Contains some good smoothing emollients for dry skin.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • Jar packaging hinders the effectiveness of key anti-aging ingredients.
  • Most of the state-of-the-art ingredients are listed after the preservative, which isn’t what you want to see in a product, especially one that costs as much as this.

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

Firming Eye Cream is a multi-tasking eye treatment and cream in one formulated with the therapeutic benefits of Olive Polyphenols. This formula is ideal for sensitive and dry skin.

Ingredients

Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Dimethicone, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-75 Stearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Panthenol, Steareth-20, Ectoin, Ceteth-20, Xanthan Gum, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Tocotrienols, Tocopherol, Phosphatidylcholine, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Hydrolyzed Sericin, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7

Brand Overview

Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals At-A-Glance

Strengths: A handful of good cleansers; a couple of worthwhile moisturizers for the eye area; several fragrance-free products; a few impressive makeup products.

Weaknesses: Expensive; long on claims not supported by evidence-based science; use of controversial ingredients throughout the line; several antioxidant-rich products are packaged in jars, which renders those beneficial ingredients less effective.

This dermatologist-developed line is perhaps the best known in an increasingly crowded field. The frenzy began with Nicholas Perricone's first book, The Wrinkle Cure, and continued when he appeared on PBS to discuss his book and namesake products, all of which seemed incredibly legitimate to consumers worried about how to look younger longer. PBS reaped a financial windfall from his appearance, netting millions of dollars between 2001 and 2002 (Source: www.quackwatch.org). Originally all the fuss centered around vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid, but as his success continued, Perricone wrote half a dozen more books and expanded his product line to include other over-hyped ingredients, each with claims (and price tags) more inflated than the last round.

We sourced the Web site Quackwatch.org because they have an excellent, unbiased report on the Perricone phenomenon. This non-profit site is operated by consumer advocate Dr. Stephen Barrett, and, to quote the Quackwatch Mission Statement, their purpose is "to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies, and misconduct." That's where Perricone comes into play. According to Quackwatch, Perricone's books "contain many claims that are questionable, controversial, fanciful, unsupported by published evidence, or just plain wrong. Although he mentions standard skin-care treatments, sometimes favorably, his books provide little guidance about when they might be appropriate or sufficient. Although he provides long lists of references, practically none of them directly support what he promises." Those sentiments are exactly what we felt and wrote after reading The Wrinkle Cure.

The site goes on to state: "Perricone's books are sprinkled with statements that his ideas are based on his own research. However, the extent and quality of this research is unclear. A PubMed search for his name brought up only six citations, of which only two appear to be original research, both on topical glycolic acid. His books describe situations in which he tested various ideas in a few patients, usually over a short period of time, but he provides few details and apparently published none of those findings in medical journals." Does that sound like the kind of products you'd like to spend (a lot of) your money on?

They go on to conclude (and we agree completely with the following text): "Dr. Perricone has mixed a pinch of science with a gallon of imagination to create an elaborate, time-consuming, expensive, prescription for a healthy life and younger skin. There is no reason to think his program is more effective than standard measures. Although some of his advice is standard, most of his recommendations are based on speculation and fanciful interpretation of selected medical literature. He makes lots of money by convincing patients and consumers, but he hasn't succeeded in convincing critical thinkers, doctors, scientists, or anyone who wants to see hard evidence. Perricone's prescription isn't science; it's creative salesmanship." And which ingredient is the answer for healthy skin? Perricone can't seem to make up his mind, because one group of products contains alpha lipoic acid, another group olive oil, another vitamin C, and still another neuropeptides. Come on, doctor, which is it?

One ingredient Perricone uses deserves some discussion because it is present in all of his products, and that's dimethyl MEA, also known as DMAE (chemically 2-dimethyl-aminoethanol). DMAE has been around for years as an oral supplement that's popularly believed to improve mental alertness, much like Ginkgo biloba and coenzyme Q10. However, the research about DMAE does not show the same positive results as the other two supplements. Because DMAE is chemically similar to choline, DMAE is thought to stimulate production of acetylcholine. And because acetylcholine is a brain neurotransmitter, it's easy to see how it could be associated with brain function. However, only a handful of studies have looked at DMAE for that purpose and they have not been conclusive in the least, while some have shown that DMAE may be problematic or not very effective (Sources: Mechanisms of Aging and Development, February 1988, pages 129–138; Neuropharmacology, June 1989, pages, 557–561; European Neurology, 1991, pages 423–425; and European Journal of Medical Research, May 2003, pages 183–191).

How does any of this translate into skin care, or, more to the point, suppressing the signs of aging? Perricone claims DMAE restores muscle tone to skin that has lost firmness and has begun to slacken, as well as conveying an antioxidant benefit. Johnson & Johnson uses DMAE in a few of their Neutrogena products, and a study they paid for appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (June 2005, pages 39–47). The conclusion was as follows: "the benefits of DMAE in dermatology include a potential anti-inflammatory effect and a documented increase in skin firmness with possible improvement in underlying facial muscle tone." The study examined topical application of 3% DMAE over a period of 16 weeks, but it was not done double-blind and was not placebo-controlled, which makes the results, at best, questionable. Moreover, the study didn't examine whether a 3% or lower concentration of other ingredients, such as green tea, glycolic acid, vitamin C, or myriad others (many of which Perricone has extolled in his other products, and the amount of DMAE he used varies widely from product to product), might have had the same or better results.

Is there any reason to get excited (and drain your pocketbook) for products with DMAE? Apparently not; a study published in The British Journal of Dermatology (May 2007) has shown contrary evidence that it may actually pose risks for the skin. In vitro tests of the pure substance, as well as creams that contained DMAE, demonstrated a fairly fast and significant increase in protective elements around the skin cell. However, a short time later the researchers observed an important reduction in cell growth and in some cases they found that it halted cell growth altogether. So, while you may initially experience a kind of swelling of the skin because of the expanding effect caused by topical application of DMAE, the long-term results appear to be far from desirable.

Interestingly, even though this ingredient is present throughout Perricone's line, he has yet to publish his own research discussing the claims and explaining how topical DMAE works. The bottom line is that as more research comes to light, DMAE may prove more problematic than helpful for aging skin. But in the meantime, Perricone is raking in lots of money by convincing consumers otherwise.

For more information about Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals call (888) 823-7837 or visit www.perriconemd.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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04.19.2014
Just adds "some: hydration

I have been desparately seeking an anti-aging eye cream for my very thin, crepey skin which happened at 37 due to potent medications. I had firm skin prior to the meds, & within 4 months, my skin literally aged tremendously. ALL PRODUCTS I used previoulsy began to cause burns to my skin! I swtiched to products for sensitive skin, & this one was pushed at Sephora everytime. Yes, it hydrates, but not as well as I'd hoped. I do NOT see any anti-aging benefits in regards to lines & firming.

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Stacey
03.12.2014
Super pricey but I liked it

I ordered this from QVC on a whim, mostly b/c of the "hypoallergenic" part. I came here to see if there was a review, and was surprised it didn't get a very good rating....I was disappointed because this is one of few eye creams that did not burn or irritate my eyes at all. It felt so good too, if that makes sense. Oh well! I knew it wouldn't take wrinkles away, but I did feel that it moisturized the area under my eye very well, without causing any irritation.

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Reviewed by
Erika H
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