Tested on animals:Yes
This eye-area serum is sold as "a complete eye treatment," which makes us wonder what the other Replenix eye-area products are for if this one is complete (Are the others incomplete?). As it turns out, this isn't the all-in-one solution for dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles—not to mention you don't need a special serum for the eye area (see More Info to find out why). Still, this is intriguing enough to warrant further discussion.
First, regardless of claims, dark circles are extremely difficult to treat via skin-care products. Even in-office laser procedures are of marginal benefit. If the dark circles are caused or made worse by excess melanin (skin pigment) production, then you can absolutely lighten them with products that reduce pigment (for example, those that contain hydroquinone or niacinamide) and daily use of sunscreen (which this product doesn't contain). However, many cases of dark circles are hereditary and unrelated to melanin, so skin-lightening products are of minimal benefit. Think of all the products out there claiming to get rid of dark circles, and yet dark circles remain one of the top eye-area issues, and they aren't going away easily.
As for puffiness, topical anti-inflammatory or constricting ingredients can help reduce puffiness from fluid retention or simple swelling, but not puffiness from the undereye "bags" that occur with age as the fat pads beneath the eyes slip out of place. Unfortunately, this type of puffiness requires surgical intervention of some kind, not skin care.
On the upside, this serum contains many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, and simply supplying the skin with these ingredients (plus daily sun protection) can go a long way toward improving the eye-area skin, or skin anywhere on the face, neck, or chest—there is nothing in here special for the eye area. This formula definitely has what it takes to improve skin in the eye area, even though a facial moisturizer or serum with similar ingredients would work just as well. The best ingredients in this eye serum can be considered anti-aging.
This serum contains two intriguing ingredients worth explaining: pinanediol and camphanediol. These naturally derived ingredients stimulate nitric oxide production in the skin, and research has shown that doing so increases microcirculation as well as skin temperature. According to one study, these ingredients helped reduce dark circles, although only 7 of 27 subjects reported this benefit, which statistically isn't all that impressive. In contrast, other research has shown that pinanediol stimulates melanin production, a process that can make dark circles worse (Sources: Nitric Oxide, August 2006, pages 70–76; and Pigment Cell Research, February 1999, pages 36–47). Ultimately, these ingredients are a bit of a gamble in terms of efficacy, but some may find that they do improve dark circles, and this product contains a potentially effective amounts of both.
This eye serum is fragrance-free and contains titanium dioxide for a cosmetic brightening effect, but not enough to provide sun protection. Although this can make dark circles less apparent, a good concealer does a much better job!
- Contains an intriguing mix of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
- Skin-repairing ingredients help smooth and strengthen.
- None of the ingredients are slam-dunks for lightening dark circles or reducing age-related puffiness.
We know it's hard to believe, but the truth is you don't need a special product for the eye area, whether labeled eye serum or something else. Although there is much you can do to improve the skin around your eyes, the ingredients capable of doing that don't need to come from, and often aren't even included in, an eye serum. For example, most eye serums (such as this one) don't contain sunscreen, and that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage, which will make dark circles and wrinkling worse!
You can save money and take superior care of your eye area by using your face product, if it is well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes!