Tested on animals:Yes
This eye cream has a very silky, somewhat thick texture owing to the amount of silicones it contains. It also treats skin to an efficacious amount of stabilized vitamin C (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate). Although vitamin C is a very good ingredient for all skin types, it isn't unique for the eye area and has no special benefit for undereye bags or dark circles. Countless eye creams claim to reduce puffiness (bags) and dark circles but if any of them worked as well as claimed, who would have these common eye-area concerns?
The truth is, most eye creams aren't necessary (see More Info to learn why) but if you decide to use one anyway, this is a good option that has a couple of concerns. No, it won't make undereye bags or circles go away but its formula can moisturize (though not well enough if eye-area skin is very dry) and contains plenty of ingredients that can stimulate collagen production for firmer, smoother skin.
Although that's great, we must point out that this eye cream also contains a potentially problematic amount of barium sulfate. This mineral is used as a whitening agent in cosmetics (think whitening as in brightening, not as in making dark spots fade). Although not considered a primary irritant, this ingredient can be poisonous if ingested and is noted for the way it frequently causes skin reactions. This same ingredient is consumed orally before having certain types of X-rays taken; it is believed that barium sulfate's low solubility and the body's ability to excrete it both help promote its negligible bioavailability. Still, it's not the best ingredient to see so prominently in a skin-care product designed to be used around the eyes (Source: British Journal of Dermatology, September 2004, pages 357–364).
This came close to earning a higher rating but missed due to the aforementioned inclusion of barium sulfate and the fragrance ingredient farnesol. As a fragrance ingredient, farnesol poses a risk of irritation that isn't ideal for the eye area or skin anywhere on the face (Sources: Dermatitis, March 2012, pages 71–74; and Contact Dermatitis, August 2002, pages 78–85). Even if you insist on using eye cream, you can find others that don't contain questionable ingredients for the eye area.
Note that the titanium dioxide this contains can have a subtle brightening effect on skin, and this can make dark circles less apparent—but it's not permanent and is no substitute for what a good concealer can do.
One more comment: This product contains type of retinol philosophy refers to as HPR, an acronym for hydroxypinacolone retinoate. The company maintains that this form of retinol boosts surface cell turnover rate without irritation. The lack of irritation is the big sell here; lots of consumers concerned with mitigating signs of aging know that a retinoid (e.g., topical prescription drug Renova) is a better option than a cosmetic, but that tolerance is an issue for many, and for some it means that retinoids are best avoided. There is no substantiated research proving that hydroxypinacolone retinoate is a viable option for treating wrinkled, sun-damaged skin so you'll have to take philosophy's word for it. The only information pertaining to its efficacy comes from Grant Industries, the company that sells this ingredient to cosmetics brands. Their sole study on the effectiveness and claims for this retinoid involved five people, which is not nearly a large enough sample to declare that this retinoid is the one to beat (Source: http://grantinc.com/cosmetics/active_series/granactive_rd-101.php). It's a leap of faith (a lo-o-o-ong leap) that the retinoid in miracle worker is going to work as claimed.
- Very silky, smoothing texture.
- Contains an impressive amount of stabilized vitamin C.
- Very good mix of anti-aging ingredients, though none are unique for the eye area.
- Amount of barium sulfate poses a risk of irritation.
- Contains fragrance ingredient farnesol, yet at the very least eye-area products should be fragrance-free.
- Type of retinol doesn't have independent research proving it's the preferred form.
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.