Vibrant Eye Perfector had so much potential, and is actually one of Beautycounter's best-formulated products, but where it falls down it falls down hard, and, from our perspective, becomes a waste of money. More on that in a bit.
This eye cream feels moisturizing without being too thick, and is chock-full of beneficial ingredients. You've got emollients to help hydrate skin (which always improves the appearance of fine lines) and a host of antioxidants to fight free-radical damage. The algae extracts (Ascophyllum nodosum and Asparagopsis armata) included won't target dark circles as claimed, but can act as antioxidants. Plus, there are no fragrance ingredients that could cause eye-area irritation! Indeed, this is the only Beautycounter product that's fragrance-free. (Why this one is fragrance-free and not all their products are is a mystery the company doesn't explain.)
Unfortunately, the choice of jar packaging means this eye cream doesn't deserve a higher rating. All of the great antioxidants aren't going to remain stable for very long once you open the jar, and that's a shame. See More Info for why this type of packaging can render these ingredients ineffective.
Because of the packaging problem, we instead recommend one of the options on our list of Best Moisturizers. (Yes, any great moisturizer can be suitable for the eye area; see More Info for why you might not need an eye cream at all!)
One more comment: Most of this product's best ingredients are listed after the preservative, so you're not getting much of them for your money.
Jar Packaging: The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).
Antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients not only can help prevent free-radical damage, but also, to a fairly impressive extent, help repair that damage. Surprisingly, almost all of these ingredients are just as vulnerable to sun exposure, pollution, and cigarette smoke as your skin (Pharmacognosy Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)
Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream: There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes, but this doesn’t have to include using an eye-area product. Any product loaded with antioxidants, emollients, skin-repairing and anti-inflammatory ingredients will work wonders when used around the eye area. Those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye cream or gel or serum or balm—they can come from any well-formulated moisturizer or serum.
Most eye-area products aren't necessary because so many are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won't keep key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled as a special eye-area treatment doesn't mean it's good for the eye area or any part of the face; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.
You would be shocked how many eye-area products lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye-area products don't contain sunscreen. During the day, that is a serious problem if you aren’t wearing it under a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30+ as it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage—and that absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse. Of course, for nighttime use, eye-area products without sun protection are just fine.
Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type you have around your eyes. You may prefer using a specially labelled eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer and/or serum around your eyes.
Beautycounter is the brainchild of self-described “serial entrepreneur” Gregg Renfrew, a woman who is perhaps best known for serving on the board of Martha Stewart Living after selling her bridal registry company, The Wedding List, to Stewart’s media empire. Renfrew has worked as a consultant on cosmetics lines from celebrities like Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba.
Renfrew says she decided to start her own cosmetics line after learning that not all the ingredients used in cosmetics were safe, so Beautycounter was launched in 2013. The brand’s primary focus is provide what it calls “safe” skincare to consumers, with its website stating that a rigorous ingredient selection process is used to ensure nothing “harmful” is used.
For all the interest Beautycounter has stirred up, the line is by and large lackluster, and in many cases overpriced for what you get. Many of the formulas start out with potential, but are ultimately derailed by either the inclusion of potential skin irritants or the jar packaging, which will render many of their beneficial ingredients ineffective over time.
Beautycounter products can be purchased through its website or through product consultants who do home sales parties. For more information, visit www.beautycounter.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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