Tested on animals:Yes
Right off the bat, we have to ding philosophy for putting the ultimate miracle worker eye SPF 15 in a jar. That means many of its good ingredients (the ones you're paying big bucks for—this product hardly qualifies as inexpensive!) aren't likely to remain stable or potent for very long after opening. That aside, there are other issues with this formula that hold it back, despite the fact that it contains some beneficial anti-aging ingredients.
Let's start with the SPF. If you didn't realize this contains sunscreen until reading this review, you're not alone. For whatever reason, philosophy didn't include "SPF 15" in the product name or anywhere on the front of the jar, for that matter. Regardless, this does indeed contain broad spectrum sun-protection which is a major plus for daytime wear, but we're disappointed that it's only SPF 15. Today's recommended standard by dermatologists around the world is SPF 30 or higher.
The fact that philosophy used non-mineral sunscreen actives is also a bit disappointing because for most people, the eye area is more prone to being sensitive towards those actives. Not everyone will experience issues with that, but it is something to be aware of nonetheless.
The fragrant plant extracts that the ultimate miracle worker eye SPF 15 contains are another point of contention due to their potential to irritate skin. Fortunately, they're present in low amounts and only faintly detectable by smell so we aren't overly concerned. Still, this combo may prove troublesome if you have sensitive skin.
What about the good ingredients? Moisturizing emollients make up the bulk of the rich cream formula, followed by other beneficial ingredients such as antioxidant-rich plant extracts, vitamin C, retinol, etc. but again, the jar packaging inhibits the effectiveness of the formula's anti-aging properties which is a terrible waste. (See More Info for the full scoop on why jar packaging is a problem.)
In terms of philosophy's claims that the ultimate miracle worker eye SPF 15 can help improve puffiness, there is no research indicating topically applied caffeine (or any of the other ingredients this formula contains) can reduce that. However, caffeine does have potential as an antioxidant, so it has some purpose in the formula.
The bottom line is that despite the fact that the ultimate miracle worker eye SPF 15 offers rich moisture, it isn't money well spent due to its compromising packaging and mixed bag formula. Your eye area will benefit far more from the options on our list of Best Eye Moisturizers, or if your facial moisturizer is well formulated, you may want to just use that (see More Info for additional details on why not everyone needs a separate eye cream).
- Richly moisturizing cream texture.
- Contains beneficial ingredients including antioxidant-rich plant extracts and vitamin C.
- Jar packaging compromises the stability of many of the good anti-aging ingredients.
- SPF 15 is below the recommended minimum for daytime protection.
- Combo of fragrant plant extracts + non-mineral sunscreen actives may be an issue for sensitive skin around the eyes.
Jar Packaging: The fact that this eye cream is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).
Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)
Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream: There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes, but this doesn't have to include using an eye-area product. Any product loaded with antioxidants, emollients, skin-repairing and anti-inflammatory ingredients will work wonders when used around the eye area. Those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye cream or gel or serum or balm—they can come from any well-formulated moisturizer or serum.
Most eye-area products aren't necessary because so many 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 a special eye-area treatment doesn't mean it's good for the eye area or any part of the face; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.
You would be shocked how many eye-area products lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye-area products don't contain sunscreen. During the day, that is a serious problem if you aren't wearing it under a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30+ as it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage—and that absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse. Of course, for nighttime use, eye-area products without sun protection are just fine.
Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type you have around your eyes. You may prefer using a specially labelled eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer and/or serum around your eyes.