Product Review: GinZing™ Refreshing Eye Cream

Reviews, Skin Care
GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream contains antioxidant, UVB-protection boosting ginseng, green tea, and caffeine. Now, if only it could get drinks for me too…

Sometimes in the summer, I leave work and I’m so exhausted I wish I could just rub an ice cube over my entire face.  Or at least around my eyes, which feel pretty tired.

Thankfully, to get the cooling sensation, I don’t have to rub off my makeup and skin care products with ice cubes; there’s GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream ($29.00,, with ginseng and caffeine for a refreshing, depuffing sensation, and chamomile and green tea for a soothing, calming effect.  Overall, its a perfect eye cream for women in their teens, 20s, or early 30s who are not overly concerned about fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, or lack of undereye firmness.


The term “ginseng” can refer to any of 22 related plants, but it is generally associated with P ginseng. It is widely used in contemporary Chinese medicine as a stimulant to increase metabolism and to regulate blood pressure and blood glucose, but the only recognized medical use in the United States is as a demulcent (soothing agent) in skin ointments (JAMA, 1979).

Ginseng is a rather rare ingredient in skin care, but it shouldn’t be.  Ginseng extract significantly decreased wrinkle formation in rat skin after exposure to UVB light (Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2008).  In the same study, it has also been shown to decrease MMP-1, an enzyme that degrades collagen.

Ginseng is also believed to prevent cancer.  A potent antioxidant, ginseng may upregulate the immune system when taken as a supplement or food, and protect cells from UV radiation as a topical treatment (Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2010).  In a product like GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, it will provide some antioxidant and UV-boosting protection, but you need to apply a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen over it for the best effect.  I recommend using a physical sunscreen with zinc or titanium oxide around the eyes, as there is less irritant potential than with chemical sunscreens.


Anhydrous USP grade Caffeine Photographer: Wil...
Little-known fact: Caffeine contains theophyllines that can, in certain delivery systems, help to get rid of fat cells. However, in a product like an eye cream, caffeine can dehydrate skin cells, making them look less puffy. Unfortunately, it also thins skin over time – so use it sparingly! Photographer: William Rafti of the William Rafti Institute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Caffeine around the eyes is a mixed bag.  On the one hand, the benefits are aplenty:  Topical application of caffeine has been shown by Lu et. al in 2007 to have a mild sunscreen effect and to inhibit UVB-induced cancer in mice.  It has also been found that caffeine in certain delivery systems can diffuse the active ingredient, theophylline, through the skin and reduce the subcutaneous fat somewhat.  Around the eyes, it will temporarily dehydrate the skin cells, resulting in a “depuffed” appearance.

On the other hand, caffeine use over time can thin the skin (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 1998).  While agents like retinoids and glycolic acid also thin the skin, these simultaneously increase collagen production, so the thinning effect is negated over time.  With caffeine, not so much.  So my recommendation is to use products with caffeine, like GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, as necessary.  (Wake up with puffy eyes?  Use it. Wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?  Skip it.)

Green Tea

500 year old green tea fields, Boseong, Jeolla...
Green tea fields in Korea. As far as skin care ingredients go, green tea is one of my favorites, proven to do everything from fighting signs of aging to increasing UV protection.

Loooooove the use of green tea in skin care products.  Like ginseng and caffeine, green tea has been found to protect the skin from UVB radiation (Molecular Epidemiology and Cancer, 2003).

Green tea also prevents advanced glycation endproduct (AGE) formation, which is responsible for the hardened, rough state of collagen in old age.  Unfortunately, this effect is more documented from drinking green tea, not topically applying it (Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics,

Lastly, green tea is a soothing agent, demonstrated to help 70% of the signs of rosacea in  a 2003 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.  My only caveat?  Not all green tea extracts in beauty products are created equal:  The best have the active component, EGCG, isolated from the green tea plant and concentrated in the lotion.  One great line, Topix Replenix, is known for concentrated EGCG.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7


English: Peptide bond Polski: Wiązanie peptydowe
Not all peptides are created equal. Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 (found in GinZing) is better for fighting cumulative stress over time, whereas peptides like palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 fight existing fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production.


Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 is the new name for palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, not to be confused with palmitoyl pentapeptide-3.  Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 reduces inflammatory cytokines, known as interleukins (Clinics in Dermatology, 1999).  By reducing inflammation, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 may potentially reduce the cumulative amount of damage that occurs following exposure to UV light, pollution, internal stress, and other pro-inflammatory factors.  Cells exposed to UV radiation and then treated with Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 saw an 86% reduction of interleukin production.

There are very few studies that report the topical effects of palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 on its own.  Despite this, it is included in a number of skin care creams, including Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Night and Avon Anew Rejuvenating Night Cream.  [Read more:  What are the Differences Between Peptides?]

Bottom Line

GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream is great for teens, 20-somethings, and those in their early 30’s who are looking to stave off signs of aging, but not necessarily treat many of them.  Ginseng, green tea, and caffeine all are antioxidants that increase UVB protection, but it is still necessary to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen around the eyes when using this product.  As I said earlier, I recommend zinc or titanium oxide rather than chemical sunscreens around the eyes, as there’s a lower risk of irritation.

Because this product contains caffeine, which can thin the skin over time, I would use GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream only at those moments I had puffy eyes.  That said, GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream is a very solid product – it could only be made better with the addition of a physical sunscreen and removal of the caffeine if marketed instead as an “everyday” rather than a “treatment” product.

Product Rating:  8/10

  • High or optimized concentration of proven ingredients:  3/3
  • Unique formulation or new technology:  2.5/3
  • Value:  2.5/3
  • Sunscreen: 0/1

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  • @Melissa – I should totally look into the VitaZing SPF 15. If only it was SPF 30 *le sigh*. But still, I’m really liking the use of ginseng in skin care products!

  • @Jessica – Muhaha! I should do a post on “morning after” treatments.

  • @Janessa – So glad you like them! I was going to ask for feedback about the pictures, but I forgot. I’m so happy you mentioned them!

  • @Jestkaa – Yeah, it’s really not a superior anti-wrinkle treatment. Definitely more of an “age prevention” type of thing.

  • Melissa

    Great review! Very informative. I use this daily & really like it. I have dark under eye circles & the little bit of mica really helps my concealer hide the dark areas. There is another product by Origins called VitaZing SPF 15 that has similar ingredients, but it is for the face. I’m thinking that because it has the SPF, it must be even better!

  • This sounds like the perfect “after-party” eye treatment. I may have to get a jar to stick in my fridge for the morning after 😉

  • Janessa

    What an amazing review! I never knew that caffeine boosted metabolism and reduce water content on the skin. Thanks so much for this! :] I like that you put the shorthand structure too. I like reading those.

  • Jestkaa

    I have been using this eye cream since the beginning of April and I do like it but I don’t think I will repurchase. The first few weeks I used it it was really drying to the outer corner of my eye creating crows feet that were not even there before and causing a lot of redness in that area. I continued using it though knowing that as the weather warmed it would subside but even now although I no longer find it drying it is not moisturizing or hydrating at all.
    The good things about it are that it is cooling, you can tell it has some depuffing effect and it offers a slight cooling sensation- and this is what gets me the bottle is adorable.

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