If you’re an avid FutureDerm reader, you’re probably already aware of my love of MDSUN products. Thanks to its use of proven cutting-edge ingredients in high concentrations, MDSUN has long been one of my go-to brands when it comes to quality skincare. I’ve been a loyal user of many of their products for years, including their Skin Exfoliation Pads and Active Cleanser, so when I learned about the new MDSUN Intensive Eye Gel, I knew I had to get my hands on it!
At $115 a bottle, this product is definitely a higher-end purchase. However, after using it for several weeks, I can confidently say it’s well worth every penny. It’s a soothing and lightweight gel containing high concentrations of sodium hyaluronate, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, in addition to algae and avena sativa (oat) kernel extracts. It moisturizes; reduces puffiness and dark under-eye circles; and supports the skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin, leaving the skin around your eyes brighter, plumper, and more hydrated than before.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the unique blend of ingredients in the MDSUN Intensive Eye Gel, then read on!
Vitamin K has become more popular in dermatology because it helps maintain elasticity and vein integrity. Subsequently, it’s great for products like MDSUN Intensive Eye Gel for dark circles around the eyes. Research suggest that some dark circles may be caused by vitamin deficiencies and topically application of a blend of vitamins, including A, C, and K may help reduce them (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology). A 2004 8-week study found that an under eye gel developed with 2% vitamin K, plus vitamins C, E, and retinol, found that of 57 patients, more than 40 found the gel at least slightly effective (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology).
Another of vitamin K’s valuable features is that it is a coenzyme, which means that it speeds up a reaction without destroying itself. In this case, it works with a specific protein called the Matrix γ-carboxyglutamic acid protein (Ötles and Karaibrahimoglu). This protein inhibits the calcification (hardening, a part of the aging process) of elastin. This calcification leads to an inflammatory process (Cosmetics and Toiletries). Essentially, in this action as a coenzyme, vitamin K keeps the soft connective tissue from deterioration.
Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract
Oatmeal is one of the most effective ingredients to calm and soothe the skin. It improves the skin’s barrier function, moisturizes, cleanses, and contains the soothing antioxidant Vitamin E. Colloidal oatmeal (avena sativa) is also used as an anti-inflammatory and has been found effective in treating skin conditions such as rashes, burns, and eczema (J Drugs Dermatol, 2015). Avena sativa contains a high concentration of starches and beta-glucan, meaning that it both retains water and is highly protective. It also contains phenols that contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties, some of which even absorb ultraviolet (J Drugs Dermatol, 2007). These characteristics make oatmeal a highly hydrating and protective ingredient in skincare products.
Sodium hyaluronate is one of the main ingredients in MDSUN Intensive Eye Gel. This is a natural complex sugar that holds around 1,000 times its weight in water. It is extremely hydrating and will temporarily reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is a sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, but has a much smaller molecular size and increased stability than hyaluronic acid. This means it can penetrate the skin easily and is highly skin-permeable (Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces, 2015).
Sodium hyaluronate is also one of the skin’s NMFs (natural moisturizing factors), meaning that, when incorporated into skincare products, it draws water into the skin and thereby reduce trans-epidermal water loss. This causes a slight swelling of the skin that temporarily reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Additionally, NMFs in skincare products temporarily stabilize and maintain the intercellular-skin matrix — the glue holding the skin together — so giving the skin a smoother appearance (Begoun). You can read more about the effects of sodium hyaluronate in skincare products here. Although, like other NMFs, sodium hyaluronate only improves the appearance of the skin on a temporary basis, it may help to combat skin aging by enabling the skin to function at optimum capacity and providing protection against environmental assaults.
According to a 2017 report published in Algal Research, “algae are naturally exposed to oxidative stress and develop certain efficient protective systems against reactive oxygen species and free radicals.” This means that, in skin care, algae-derived products can help to protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Certain types of algae also contain antioxidant compounds; these help to combat skin aging by stimulating collagen production and improving water retention. Certain types of microalgae have also been found to heal damaged skin, prevent blemishes, and act as an anti-inflammatory (Free Radical Research, 2017).
Coenzyme Q-10 — also known as ubiquinone — is essential for the production of cells (Mayo Clinic). Coenzyme Q-10 levels are at their highest for the first 20 years of life and then subsequently decrease as we age. In skincare, Coenzyme Q-10 is considered a regenerative antioxidant (Journal of the American College of Nutrition). When applied to the skin, Coenzyme Q-10 has been shown to penetrate the skin layers and reduce the oxidation, reduce wrinkles, and prevent UVA-irradiation damage (Biofactors). It’s antioxidant and coenzyme effects may also help prevent cell death.
L-ascorbic acid is a naturally-derived form of Vitamin C that’s used in many skincare products. It works by inhibiting melanin production and so is an excellent ingredient for correcting hyperpigmentation. It also has many antioxidant properties that work against reactive oxygen species, meaning it protects against UV radiation. Lastly, it’s been found to stimulate collagen production by both increasing the transcription rate of the genes that code for procollagen and increasing procollagen mRNA levels.
Personal Use and Opinion
One of my favorite things about MDSUN’s products is the packaging they use. Yes, the airless pump bottle they use is sleek and will look great on any top shelf, but it’s also designed to maximize the effectiveness of the antioxidant ingredients it contains.
Because it’s an excellent antioxidant, ascorbic acid is notoriously difficult to stabilize. A product containing L-Ascorbic acid needs to be packaged in such a way that it won’t be exposed to the air — the MDSUN Intensive Eye Gel’s packaging does this perfectly. Additionally, the pump bottle is opaque, meaning that UV radiation from sunlight won’t degrade the antioxidants present in the gel.
MDSUN Intensive Eye Gel can be used both in the morning and at night. The texture is light and similar to water, and a little goes a long way, so one bottle should last you 1.5 to 2 months. The gel itself is odorless and applies smoothly and easily, leaving the skin feeling cool and refreshed. Because this product contains L-Ascorbic Acid, take care when combining it with products containing niacinamide. If you do combine such products, do so at nighttime and wait 30 minutes between applications so that the pH of your skin can return to its natural state.
For anyone in the market for a new eye cream, I highly recommend MDSUN Intensive Eye Gel. It’s an amazingly effective product for hydrating and brightening the eye area, and it has fantastic anti-aging properties. I’ll definitely be using this one for years to come!