When an eye cream claims to do five things in one single application, that raises eyebrows, even if it doesn’t necessarily, well, lift any eyebrows. So imagine my surprise when I found First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream ($28.00, Sephora.com). The cream claims to “smooth, firm, brighten, and nourish,” plus provide a “natural glow” to the skin. But does it work?
The Ingredients: In Need of a Little First Aid
Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream contains some of my all-time favorite ingredients: retinyl palmitate; green tea; arbutin; niacinamide. Together, that means you have a gentle form of the gold-standard in anti-aging; a potent soothing antioxidant; a brightening agent; and a hydrating pigmentation-fighting wrinkle reducer. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that most of these ingredients are found in relatively low concentrations. The first ingredient after silicone and other fillers is silica, which reflects the light, making skin appear brighter and smoother after just one use. Which is fine, but does not have much of a lasting impact.
The next semi-active ingredient is Enteromorpha compressa extract, a form of algae that botanists classify somewhere between sea and land plants, as the algae has properties of each. Two very small studies on Enteromorpha compressa, each with just ten volunteers, have shown that the algae reduces atopy and hypersensitivity (i.e., allergic reactions in the skin) when found in just 2% concentration. The effect on skin dryness was also deemed highly significant, which makes me wish the study could be repeated with a larger sample set, and also in patients with eczema and/or psoriasis. It also brings on the question why this cream is not marked for dryness and irritation rather than “smoothing, firming, brightening, and nourishing,” but I digress.
The next ingredient on the list is hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate, which has been found in AAPS Pharm Tech to make the eye cream more stable, as it has gelling and thickening properties, as well as the ability to liquefy oily phases. Not a selling point, but I thought I’d point it out as an interesting ingredient you don’t often see yet in skin care formulations.
Bottom Line: Excellent Formulation for Tired Eyes
Here’s the thing. If you’re tired, then it’s likely you have dry or irritated skin under your eyes, and the high concentration of algae (Enteromorpha compressa) in First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream may help soothe and hydrate the skin. It’s also great for tired eyes because the high concentration of silica will brighten the undereye area instantly, reflecting the light.
There also may be enough retinyl palmitate in this product to make it suitable for mild wrinkle fighting over time, but the amounts of niacinamide and vitamin E are downright negligible. At any rate, I’d recommend First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream to my friends to combat tired eyes before a big night out (after all, it doesn’t contain sunscreen for the day)! As for it being a 5-in-1 remedy, I’m not feeling it, but that’s just my own personal opinion. Product Rating: 7/10 (Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3. High concentration of proven effective ingredients: 2/3. Value for the money: 2/3. Sunscreen: 0/1).
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Ingredients in First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Caprylyl Methicone, Sodium PCA, Phenoxyethanol, Phenyl Methicone, Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Retinyl Palmitate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Polysilicone-11, Alpha-Arbutin, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Bisabolol, Niacinamide, Tocopherol.