Smart Custom-Repair Eye Treatment has a lot in common with its counterpart for the face: Smart Custom-Repair Serum. We'll begin with this tip: You can get double the amount of product for roughly $10 more by going with the "Serum" as opposed to the "Eye Treatment". But of course, the bigger question is, is the formula worth buying at all? The answer is yes, although we wish they would have left out the grapefruit peel extract for reasons we explain below.
Let's start with the positives. Smart Custom-Repair Eye Treatment contains a good blend of antioxidant-rich plant extracts, barrier-repair ingredients, and cell-communicating peptides. Together these ingredients have a positive impact on skin's defenses as they reduce inflammation, help repair signs of sun damage, and to a certain extent, help stimulate healthy collagen production. You aren't going to see crow's feet disappear altogether, but the overall formula can help minimize wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Despite claims, however, this won't re-contour sagging skin around the eye. This sign of aging is one skincare simply cannot address, but there are non-surgical and surgical procedures that step in to (literally) pick up the slack!
Unlike countless eye treatments packaged in jars, we love that this beneficial formula is packaged in an opaque bottle with an air-restrictive pump. Such packaging keeps its superstar ingredients as stable and potent as possible for the duration of use.
The silky texture feels like a lightweight hybrid of a serum and a lotion, and the subtly radiant finish features "brightening" mineral pigments to add a hint of luminosity to the eye area. Those with very dry skin around the eye area won't find this moisturizing enough on its own, but for other skin types the light hydration is a nice touch.
Our only cause for concern is that Smart Custom-Repair Eye Treatment contains a higher-than-usual amount of grapefruit peel extract. Appearing as Citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel extract on the ingredient list, the peel is loaded with a class of ingredients known as furanocoumarins and coumarins which are primarily responsible for what's known as a phototoxic reaction when skin is exposed to the sun—the result can leave skin discolored (Journal of Food and Agriculture, 2013). Suffice to say, if you opt to use this product, please make sure you're protecting your skin from UV light exposure every day, rain or shine. Forgoing this important step can make the grapefruit peel extract a potential problem that gets in the way of this eye-area serum being able to produce good results.
Otherwise, this fragrance-free eye treatment boasts of an overall beneficial formula, though it bears repeating you could simply use its facial counterpart and get the same results for less money. See More Info for the full scoop on why you don't necessarily need a different product for the eye area.
One final comment: Clinique maintains this product is smart because it's said to target areas that need repair, "as needed, where needed'. The implication is that this treatment knows where skin is damaged and can deposit a payload of ingredients just in those areas. It doesn't work that way. While it's true skin sends out "distress signals" that certain ingredients can "sense" and respond to, those ingredients go wherever you apply them. They're not held back from areas not needing as much help, only to be saved for the areas showing signs of aging.
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.
Strengths: A few excellent moisturizers and serums; excellent sunscreens; very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; unique mattifying products; impressive selection of foundations, good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows, lip colors and blush formulas.
Weaknesses: Bar soaps (which can clog pores and dull skin); alcohol-based toners; unfortunate choice of jar packaging for antioxidant-loaded moisturizers.
Estee Lauder-owned Clinique launched the concept of cosmetics being "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "100% fragrance-free," and "dermatologist tested." Of those marketing claims, the only one with significance is "100% fragrance-free," which, for the most part, Clinique maintains (although it does add some fragrant extracts to a few products). Unfortunately, terms like “hypoallergenic” and “dermatologist tested” aren’t regulated by the FDA and can mean anything—thus, you still need to rely on the ingredient list to tell you whether their product contains any ingredients with the potential to irritate skin.
That inconvenient fact aside, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup and more than a few excellent sunscreens. While Clinique has some products that we see as missteps for reasons discussed in their reviews, more than ever, what they offer is quite good (just have realistic expectations, as some of their claims go beyond what their products are capable of).
Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially with their enormous selection of foundations—many of which feature effective sunscreens. Without a doubt, the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color—though the blushes, eye makeup and lip colors are frequently not pigmented enough for deeper skin tones.
The bottom line is that, despite a few shortcomings, Clinique is one of the most comprehensive (and comparably affordable) department-store makeup lines, and it is completely understandable why they enjoy such broad appeal.
Note: Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.
For more information about Clinique, call (800) 419-4041 or visit www.clinique.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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