Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel Review

Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel is a hydrating eye gel that claims to reduce puffiness, crepiness, sagginess, appearance of dark circles and gives eyes a well-rested look.

Biossance has added a recently new eye product called Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream and on Instagram has commented that the Marine Algae Eye Cream is richer and targets fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness while the Peptide Eye Gel is lightweight and targets puffiness and dark circles. If using both, the Peptide Eye Gel can be applied in the morning and the Marine Algae Eye Cream in the evening.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Squalane, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Panthenol, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Tocopherol, Pentylene Glycol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Fruit Extract, Lycopene, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Skin Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caffeine, Acacia Senegal Gum, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Ethyl Lauroyl Arginate HCL, Lecithin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol *Organic

Going over some ingredients – Niacinamide is the fourth ingredient; this is vitamin B3 that, among other functions, can improve fine lines and wrinkles. Chondrus crispus extract is a seaweed extract full of vitamins and minerals used for skin conditioning and has the ability to protect against UV rays. Malus Domestica fruit cell culture extract, also known as Swiss apple stem cell extract, can protect the longevity of skin stem cells. Acetyl tetrapeptide-5 (Eyeseryl) is a humectant that can improve elasticity and smoothness and reduce puffiness. Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 (Argireline) is a neuropeptide claimed to relax muscles thus reducing expression lines. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is a form of vitamin C. This eye cream contains caffeine (just over halfway down the ingredient list) that can reduce puffiness.

Directions state to gently dab around upper and lower eye area with fingertip, morning and night. Allow to absorb 1 to 2 minutes before applying makeup to avoid pilling.

I have fine lines under my eyes (luckily not much in the way of crow’s feet yet), dark circles and puffy eyes that generally make me look tired. I have used the Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel for 3 months now, morning and evening, dabbing around the entire eye area up to the brow bone. This feels like a mix of gel and light cream. It is lightweight, goes on smoothly and the under-eye feels smooth and moisturized to the touch all day. Makeup applies nicely over this eye cream.

The below photos were taken at the same time of day (a couple hours after waking up).

Above, looking at the dark circles and puffiness, I don’t notice a reduction in either. Depending on the cause of the dark circles, particularly if genetic, an eye cream may not help. I don’t notice any immediate or longer term well-rested look to the eye.

Above, looking at the fine lines, there is a bit of reduction on the lower outer side of the eye and perhaps toward the inner eye area; not so much under the eye. After a couple weeks’ use, I noticed, in the mirror, some reduction in fine lines, but on further use, they seemed to come back and did not reduce further. The puffiness toward the lower eye area is still visible. I don’t see any improvement in puffiness or dark circles in the mirror.

While Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel is a nice moisturizing product that makes the under-eye feel smooth and hydrated to the touch, I’m not seeing results in lines, puffiness or dark circles and would not repurchase. This might be good for those looking for a first eye cream who need hydration and moisture. I have since ordered Your Best Face Skincare’s Refresh Eye Cream.

Thank you for reading.

Cocoon Apothecary Eyewaken Eye Cream Review

Cocoon Apothecary is a Canadian company that creates plant-based skin care from ethically sourced ingredients in small batches. I purchased the Eyewaken Eye Cream, looking for something to help with my dark circles and puffy under-eyes.

Eyewaken

Ingredients: Cornflower hydrosol*, rose hydrosol*, argan oil*, grapeseed oil*, sweet almond oil*, cetearyl alcohol (wax from coconut), stearic acid, cocoa butter*, vegetable glycerin, sodium cetearyl sulfate (from coconut), tocopherol, sodium anisate (derived from fennel), sodium levulinate (derived from corn), glyceryl caprylate. *certified organic

Cornflower hydrosol is said to reduce eye puffiness and fine wrinkles. Rose hydrosol can calm irritation and hydrate. These hydrosols are said to give a cooling astringent effect. This product contains a few oils and moisturizing ingredients. Sodium anisate can soothe irritated skin and is used as a natural preservative. Sodium levulinate can be used as a preservative and conditioning agent. Glyceryl capraylate is used as an emulsifier and emollient.

This product claims to soothe tired eyes, combat fine lines and wrinkles, firm the skin and reduce puffiness and dark circles.

I used this morning and night, dabbing on the lower eyelid up to the brow bone for 4 months. It is light weight and absorbs fast leaving a silky feeling on the skin. It has a light herbal scent with a hint of rose.

incollage_20180731_1406599688485427491817600729.jpg

While I like the ingredients and this feels silky on the skin, I feel like it does a better job moisturizing and protecting than anything else, so might be a better preventative rather than for someone with already quite puffy, dark eye circles. In looking at the photos, I see some reduced puffiness (my eyes look the same to me in the mirror though), but no reduced color or fine lines. In fact, the 4-month photo seems to have more fine lines towards the outer eye (because of the reduced puffiness, or some other variable?) On application, I’m not sure I felt a cooling effect.

I will not be repurchasing this, but may take another look at Your Best Face Skincare’s Correct eye cream.

Prairie Bliss Botanicals Caffeine Fix Eye Serum Review

The skin around the eye is thin and the first place to show signs of aging. After finishing YBF Skincare’s Correct Eye Cream, I was looking for an eye treatment that wasn’t such a heavy hitter, as my eyes are pretty good – a few fine lines and can look tired in the mornings with a bit of discoloration and a bit of puffiness especially after too little sleep.

Prairie Bliss Botanicals is a small Canadian spa company based in Saskatoon, SK that makes a number of all natural and organic skin care products. After reading the description of the Caffeine Fix Eye Serum, I wasn’t sure what the texture was going to be like. It’s called an eye serum, but the description says it is a “rich eye cream.” When I bought this serum, there was no ingredient list on the website or on the bottle I received, so I emailed the company asking for the ingredients. They responded to my email within the hour saying they couldn’t provide me with ingredients as it was propriety information. I see that the website now lists the ingredients; however, it is a hover list and has a copyright label, so I’m not sure I’d be allowed to list it fully here. Please see their website for a full list of ingredients. I’ll go through the primary ingredients though.

bliss caffeine fix

Primary ingredients: Organic coffee, vitamin E, grape seed oil

I’m not sure if the company uses coffee, coffee bean oil, coffee extract and/or caffeine. Depending on what is used, there are lesser or greater amounts of caffeine and fatty acids. For example, coffee bean oil has a small amount of caffeine, but is rich in fatty acids, and smells like coffee. Caffeine on its own has no smell. Caffeine can help reduce eye puffiness as it enhances circulation. Caffeine is an antioxidant and helps protect the skin against UV radiation.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, fighting free radicals and helping prevent wrinkles. It is a good moisturizer for the skin.

Grape seed oil is an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. It has fatty acids, helping improve wrinkles and may improve scars and marks. It contains vitamins C, D and E.

Directions say to apply a small amount after moisturizing – after moisturizing the eye or face I’m not sure. It seems a bit redundant to use two eye products as the Caffeine Fix is plenty moisturizing.

The serum is packaged in a dark blue bottle, protecting it from light. It uses a pump which could have been better. I found that the pump was not very easy to push down smoothly, and way too much product would very suddenly come out as the pump eventually was able to be pushed down. It is very light yellow in color and is an oil serum, not a rich cream. It smells amazing; just like a cup of freshly roasted coffee. I didn’t really like to use it in the morning as it took a few minutes to absorb fully and if I got too much (which was easy to do with the pump) I found it could be a bit irritating if it got too close to my eye and just looked too oily, so I ended up just using it at night. I’ve used it so far for about 3 months. In the morning my eyes look less tired, less puffy and feel so moisturized, soft and smooth to the touch. I didn’t find too much difference in fine lines or under-eye darkness (may need to use it longer to see these results).

I don’t think I’d buy this again, as I much prefer an eye cream to an oil serum, but Caffeine Fix is very moisturizing and helps the eyes look more awake. This will last a long time as such a small amount is needed and it is very fluid (however the pump is not as smooth as it should be which leads to wasted product).

Your Best Face Skincare Correct Eye Cream Review

I have now finished using Olluminate Intense Eye Repair and started Correct on September 14, 2015. Correct, from Your Best Face (YBF) Skincare, is an eye cream that can be used day and/or night and comes in an airless pump. The company came out with a new formula in the fall of 2014. This is a cream that contains antioxidants and peptides and, according to the YBF website, is the “end-all-be-all” of eye creams. This claims to reduce dark circles, brighten, moisturize, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, combat sagging skin, reduce puffiness and lift sagging lids.

Your Best Face (YBF) Correct Eye Cream
Your Best Face (YBF) Correct Eye Cream

Ingredients: reverse osmosis water, cetearyl olivate (and) sorbitan olivate, Eyeseryl® (water, acetyl tetrapeptide-5), ceteareth-6 olivate, Haloxyl® (hydroxysuccinimide, chrysin, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3), Leucidal® (leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate), licorice root extract, Syn®-Hycan (tetradecyl aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric urea trifluoroacetate, magnesium chloride, glycerin), Uplevity™(water, acetyl tetrapeptide-2, caprylyl glycol), ethylhexyl palmitate, Syn®-Tacks (glycerin, palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminobutyroyl hydroxythreonine, palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminohydroxybutyrate), Matrixyl® synthe’6™ (glycerin, water, hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin, palmitoyl tripeptide-38), Tego® Pep 4-17 (tetrapeptide-21, glycerin, butylene glycol, water), dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer (and) silica, ethoxydiglycol, alpha arbutin, Matrixyl™ 3000 (glycerin, butylene glycol, carbomer, polysorbate-20, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tripeptide-3), Renovage (triglyceride, teprenone), olive leaf extract, Relistase™(glycerin, acetylarginyltryptophyl diphenylglycine), polyquaternium-10, caffeine, cupuacu butter, aspen bark extract, spin trap (phenyl butyl nitrone), Homeostatine® (enteromorpha compressa extract, caesalpina gum), sorbitan olivate, trans resveratrol, tetrahydrodiferyloylmethane, Sepilift DPHP (dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline), vitamin e, lipochroman-6 (dimethylmethoxy chromanol), dimethyl isosorbide, coenzyme Q10, vitamin B5, quercetin dihydrate, alpha bisabolol, alpha lipoic acid (R-lipoic acid), violet leaf absolute, oakmoss absolute 

Eyeseryl is a tetrapeptide said to reduce puffy eyes due to loss of elasticity and water accumulation in just 15 days (according to the manufacturer’s studies). It reduces the puffiness by inhibiting glycation. Glycation is the process that causes collagen and elastin to lose elasticity. Water accumulation is usually due to two things; poor lymphatic circulation and increased capillary permeability (ability of large molecules to pass out of the capillaries into the surrounding tissues; when this increases, it causes swelling). Eyeseryl works by decreasing the permeability of the blood vessels thus decreasing the amount of fluid accumulation. Haloxyl is designed to reduce dark circles caused by pigmentation and broken capillaries. It helps to thicken the skin, boost circulation and remove accumulated hemoglobin to lighten the dark circles. Leucidal is a natural preservative made from the radish root. Syn-Hycan is a tripeptide that lifts sagging skin by stimulating hyaluronic acid in the skin, increasing decorin and lumica (involved in the regulation of collagen assembly). Uplevity is a tetrapeptide that fights sagginess by over-expressing genes involved in cellular adhesion thereby enhancing collagen and elastin. Syn-Tacks is a combination of two peptides that interact with protein structures at the dermal-epidermal junction and stimulates laminin (a protein), collagen and integrin (cell adhesion receptors). Matrixyl Synthe 6 stimulates six major constituents of the skin matrix and dermal-epidermal junction including collagen, hyaluronic acid and laminin. Tego Pep 417 is said to boost the activity of collagen, hyaluronic acid and fibronectin (glycoprotein that binds to integrins). Dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer (and) silica increases viscosity and acts as a stabilizer. Alpha arbutin promotes lightening and whitening of the skin and promotes even skin tone. Matrixyl 3000 is made of two peptides that mimic the appearance of broken down collagen causing the skin to produce more collagen and elastin. Renovage, also known as Teprenone, is said to stabilize telomere length. Telomeres allow cells to distinguish chromosome ends from broken DNA. Telomeres shorten when a cell divides. When they become very short they trigger cell death. Cells can only replicate a limited number of times (this is called the Hayflick limit). So maintaining the telomere length could extend the Hayflick limit and delay cell death. While finding more information about Renovage (Teprenone), I found out that Trepenone is the brand name for a drug called geranylgeranylacetone used to treat gastric ulcers. It appears that geranylgeranylacetone  works by influencing heat shock proteins. Heat shock proteins are a family of proteins that are produced by cells in response to exposure to stressful conditions. When heat shock proteins are reduced cells appear to live longer. So it seems that cosmetic companies have the theory that Teprenone may be helpful when applied to the skin. This is a bit confusing; does this work in the skin by maintaining telomere length or by influencing heat shock proteins. I found an article better explaining this here. Relistase is a peptide used to increase skin firmness and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Polyquaternium-10 is widely used in hair care because of its antistatic and moisturizing properties. It is also used as a film former, giving sheen and coating to hair strands. This ingredient can be seen in skincare as well. Caffeine has been shown to constrict blood vessels and can temporarily reduce swelling and contribute to less puffy under-eyes. Cupuacu butter comes from the cupuacu tree. It is related to the cacao tree, and used as a moisturizer. It has beneficial fatty acids. Aspen bark is an anti-inflammatory. Spin-trap is an antioxidant. Homeostatine acts as an anti-inflammatory and is said to prevent and reduce wrinkles. Tetrahydrodiferyloylmethane is a derivative of turmeric used as a skin whitening ingredient and is sometimes seen as an antioxidant. Sepilift DPHP works by firming tissues in the skin by stimulating the contraction of collagen fibers and protecting the skin fibers. This smooths wrinkles. Lipochroman-6 is a scavenger of free radicals. Dimethyl isosorbide works as a solvent and reduces the thickness of products.

This product has a lot of ingredients including many actives and peptides. Peptides are relatively new in skincare and many of these peptides do not have independent studies done on them, but rather studies done by the company that manufactures the peptides.

My eyes look okay for my age. I have dark circles and a couple fine lines. My eyes can sometimes look a bit puffy in the mornings. I probably didn’t need to buy this eye cream; for something like this to work, it needs something to repair. However, I get pretty excited by new skincare ingredients and sometimes can’t help purchasing new items. So, I got my husband to help with the review of YBF Correct. He’s a year older than me and has puffy eyes, dark circles, crow’s feet and wrinkles. He often gets comments that he looks really tired. I was surprised that he agreed to try the eye cream; I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m crazy for all the skincare products I have and he just splashes his face with cold water and uses bar soap for cleansing.

One-Month Results:

My husband and I have been using YBF (Your Best Face) Correct eye cream for one month four days (September 14 to October 18). This cream comes in an airless pump and has a thin consistency that spreads around easily. It has the almond-nutmeg smell similar to other YBF products. We used this every morning and evening around the whole eye area up to the brow bone. The first few times I used this it had a sticky feeling that lasted about 5 minutes. My husband said he felt that there was a film on his eyelids. Once we started using less at a time it was only slightly sticky as it was absorbing, only for about 30 seconds. A little goes a long way; about a quarter pump covers both eyes. The eyelids felt moisturized to the touch for hours after application, not a sticky or heavy feeling, but a silky moisturized feeling.

The top and left photos are from September 14 and the bottom/right photos are from October 18.

In looking at the before and after above, I notice a very subtle difference in the larger crease on the under eye and a bit less puffiness. It’s hard to tell a difference in the color as the lighting is unfortunately not the same (used a smart phone camera and a flashlight app). I was hoping that the freckles around my eyes would begin fading, but not the case yet. It looks like the after photo had better focus so I see more fine lines, but the bottom eyelid definitely has less of that larger crease and the overall color looks more uniform.

I’m not sure my eyes are “old” enough to warrant the full benefit of this eye cream (which is why I got my husband’s help), but I see a subtle difference in my under eye color and fine line on the lower lids.

I’m pretty impressed by my husband’s after photos. There is definitely less puffiness and there is a reduction in the dark under eye circles. The eyes looks brighter and less tired.

A close look at the above photos shows reduction in some of the smaller wrinkles and lines.

We are going to use this for another 2 months and will post another review. The results thus far are definitely promising.

Three-Month Reults:

My husband and I have now been using Your Best Face Correct Eye Cream for three months, September 14 to December 19, 2015, morning and evening.

I don’t really notice much more of a difference between one month (September 14 to October 18) of use and two further months (October 18 to December 19) of use in the above pictures. There is perhaps a bit more reduction in a couple fine lines.

Above, the eyes are a bit more discolored in the after photos, but there is further reduction in the fine lines and wrinkles. I think with continued use the wrinkles will smooth out even further. I am disappointed that the yellowish under eye color seemed to come back (though could be due a number of variables).

When my eyes need it, this will be the eye cream I would try again. It is expensive but there’s still some left in the bottle after two of us using it twice a day for three months (six months for one person).

ZO Skin Health Olluminate Intense Eye Repair Review

ZO Skin Health Olluminate Intense Eye Repair
ZO Skin Health Olluminate Intense Eye Repair

This product claims to strengthen skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles by using stabilized retinol and peptides. It also claims to reduce puffiness and dark circles with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients. This also contains diffusers to highlight the eye area to reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Nylon-12 Fluorescent Brightener 230 Salt, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Caprylyl Esters, Glycerin, Glycosaminoglycans, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Lavandula Stoechas Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Carbomer, Cetearyl Glucoside, Linoleic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Mica, Polyvinylalcohol Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

Just to go through some ingredients – cetearyl alcohol is used as an emolliant, thickener and carrying agent for other ingredients. Unlike denatured alcohol or ethanol, this is not drying. The nylon-12 fluorescent brightener 230 salt emits and diffuses light to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections. Glycosaminogycans is a family of carbohydrates that maintain and support collagen and elastin. Retinol is the thirteenth ingredient. I couldn’t find the actual percentage of retinol in this product. I believe my skin specialist said it was 3%; maybe 4%. Lavandula stoechas extract is lavender. While this can be an irritant to some, especially in larger amounts, it can be beneficial as an antimicrobial and helping heal skin infections. Palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 are the active ingredients in Matrixyl 3000 which mimic the skin’s broken down collagen, causing the skin to produce more collagen and elastin. Mica gives products shine. Polyvinyl alcohol crosspolymer  is polyvinyl alcohol linked with glyoxal. Looking at these ingredients separately, polyvinyl alcohol is a gel based thickener, film-forming and binding agent. According to EWG, “Glyoxal is an antimicrobial preservative that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. People exposed to such formaldehyde-releasing ingredients may develop a formaldehyde allergy or an allergy to the ingredient itself.” Glyoxal is restricted to use in cosmetics at certain concentrations. Looking at these ingredients together as they are, I couldn’t find any warnings, but using a formaldehyde-releasing ingredient on my skin, by my eyes, makes me a little worried. Phenoxyethanol worries some people. It is used as a preservative as alternative to parabens. In high concentrations it can be everything from an allergen, skin irritant (even at low doses), damaging to the brain and nervous system and a carcinogen. In skincare this is generally used at 0.5-1% concentration.

As for how it worked for me – My eyes are pretty good for my age I have been told. Unfortunately, I didn’t take before and after pictures. I have a couple fine lines on the lower lids, no crow’s feet, but I do have dark circles. This eye cream felt nice to apply, thicker than some eye creams I’ve seen, but went on smoothly and absorbed nicely. I used this on my lower lids, my upper lids and to the brow bone. Hours later I still felt the eye cream on my eyelids with my fingers. It wasn’t an annoying feeling though and it didn’t feel heavy on my eyelids; they felt moisturized. The fine lines on my lower lids were reduced, not gone, and after applying, my eyes did appear brighter. It also probably helped prevent further fine lines to my eyelids. I thought a retinol product might be irritating so close to the eyes, but it wasn’t. I’m a couple weeks  away from finishing this product and likely won’t buy it again. While it does have some good repairing and active ingredients including retinol, Matrixyl 3000 and glycosaminogycans, some ingredients I could do without. I have seen other retinol eye creams with better ingredients that are less expensive. This product comes in a jar and it can be difficult to keep bacteria out of a jar. After I’m done with this eye cream, I will be moving onto Your Best Face Correct from YBF Skincare.