Derma-E Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream

I guess I lied about needing an Epiduo-induced skincare break — this reliable little eye cream was worth a post. Now, I know what you’re saying, “eye creams are a scam, they’re just up-marketed moisturizers/retinoids!”, which is probably true. But I still LIKE this thing.

This was a relatively inexpensive buy at $14-$15 that I picked up at a local natural foods store, I think they’re also available at various vitamin shops. The tube is only half an ounce, but a little goes a long way.

This comes out as a white cream that you lightly apply under your eye and near the corners. Obviously be careful not to get too close to your waterline, or you’re going to get a bit of stinging. It’s easy to oversaturate this product, so in that instance it take a bit longer to rub into the skin, but otherwise, it absorbs very well and quickly, without being heavy. Even if you do oversaturate, you won’t experience that stinging sensation that retinol products sometimes cause when you overdo it.

Speaking of retinol, that’s in here, so apply this at night. There’s also a bunch of plant-based ingredients in here, which I like. No drying alcohols. There’s also “bakuchiol”, a retinol alternative, that I’d never heard of before today, so it looks like I have something new to research.

Now, I’m sure some of this could be placebo effect, but when I woke up the next morning after using it, I swore my natural and normally very pronounced under-eye circles were slightly diminished, a feat no other product has ever accomplished. A few fine lines had also decreased as well. I don’t really think the effects carry beyond an entire day, but I’m convinced it does work relatively quickly, with noticeable results.

What I love about the product (well, on the packaging I have, at least), it specifies that the user “dabs around the eye area with your ring finger”, because they darn well know if you use your pointer finger, you’re going to put way too much on. Anyway — I’ll definitely rebuy this after I run out. Call me a sucker for buying into the eye-cream scheme… ~A

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5

Longevity: 1.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes

Reviva Labs Vitamin E Stick

I impulsively picked this up at Fresh Market for… way more expensive than it normally retails, $8, compared to the going rate on Amazon, $4. I don’t know a whole ton about Reviva Labs so this was my first glance into the brand, although apparently they’ve been around for at least 20 years. Reviva touts themselves as all natural, and while the meaning of “all natural” tends to… vary… A LOT, from brand to brand, I tend to give reverence to brands that use safer ingredients.

This can be used as lip protection/”chapstick” for your lips, or directly applied to the skin around your eye. Ingredient listing has some pretty standard chapstick-like ingredients, like lanolin oil, olive oil, canola oil, beeswax and seed butter. The added bonuses are octyl methoxycinnamate/SPF 15, and Vitamin E for scar healing.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Great in theory, bad in practice. This definitely dried out the skin around my eye. Maybe not “burning” level of dry, but it was definitely tighter. I noticed “cracking” in that area with makeup, and cracking without. As a chapstick, this won’t last for more than five minutes on your lips. It’s not hydrating or occlusive whatsoever. I didn’t use this long enough to see if it was going to make any headway on scar healing, but, I mean, if it can’t even keep my lips hydrated for more than five minutes, then how is this going to be conducive to scar healing?

The only benefit I can see to this is the ability to apply SPF near the very thin skin around the eye. Normal sunscreens can be incredibly irritating if they get in, or around the eye, but that won’t happen with this stick. Still, SPF 15 is only going to block out 93% of UVB rays — you might as well opt for something in the market that’s at least SPF 30.

In short, I don’t get the point of this. It won’t keep your lips hydrated, and there are better options in the skincare world for applying sunscreen around your eyes. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 2.5/5

Longevity: 1/5

How much I actually like this product: 1.5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Maybe (fatty-oil sensitive users, beware)

THE ORDINARY Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

I think my skin has an “eject” button when it comes to TO’s products. I’d say about 50% of the products I’ve tried from them end in a terrifying amount of drying and peeling, with nothing to show for it.

The packaging is standard fare for TO: dropper bottle and dark packaging, to prevent light from affecting the structural integrity of the product (I think? Or did I make that up?). Sephora’s website says that the serum inside is “lightweight”, but I beg to differ. It’s pretty heavy and slow-moving — the dropper will likely take in way more than you need for both eyes. The serum itself is a light brown color, but that color is not noticeable once you apply it to your skin.

You really don’t need too much to spread under your eye. The formula is incredibly thick, but it’s fairly easy to push around. And for being so thick, it dries relatively quickly and fully, although you might feel that area of skin is a bit heavy for up to ten minutes. I can’t speak to stacking products over top of this one, since I think it’s overkill for such a thin layer of skin, but my next paragraph will explain this product’s time-delayed destruction of eye makeup!

Even if you’re careful to apply very little to the skin, within two to three hours you may notice your skin is starting to slough off, regardless of time you apply it. While initially playing well with eye makeup (assuming you’ve waited the dry time), it’ll start to crack any concealer, eye shadow or powder you’ve applied. This made me think “perhaps I should only apply this at night!”. In theory, this should be fine, since there’s no makeup around to break down at that point, but I still woke up with tons of rolling pills of skin and product under my eye.

Even after washing all of that… lovely mess off of my face, there wasn’t much to show for it, even after three weeks of use. I have noticeably recessed skin between my lower eyelid and cheek, so any dark circles or wrinkles that come into my life are on full display to the world. I didn’t feel like I was experiencing any brightening or decreasing of either. On the plus side, besides the crazy pilling skin, I didn’t experience any other irritation, not even in the instance it touched my waterline.

Another swing and a miss for me with TO products, although the low price tag of $8 doesn’t make me feel too guilty. I had a similar pilling issue with their Niacinamide and Buffet products, but those are HG’s for a lot of other people. So, as always, YMMV. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1/5

Longevity: 1.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 1.5/5