Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème
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Ole Henriksen

Banana Bright Eye Crème

0.50 fl. oz. for $ 46.00
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Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Eye Crème receives a lot of fanfare, and with its beautiful aesthetics, we can see why. Unfortunately, potentially irritating fragrance and jar packaging crash the party and put a damper on things.

We’ll tackle the packaging issue first. Upon opening, this eye cream’s jar steadily renders this formula’s light- and air-sensitive ingredients unstable (we explain this in-depth in the More Info section). That means its superstar ingredients like vitamin C and other antioxidants will break down prematurely.

Strike two: This eye cream contains skin-sensitizing fragrance ingredients, some of which are citrus-based, lending to this product’s creamsicle scent. As we explain in the More Info section, you might not necessarily feel or see the irritation in the moment, but fragrance’s inflammatory effects wreak havoc on skin over time. Luckily the aroma isn’t overpowering, but still, fragrance-free eye creams are a much safer bet for skin.

What a shame, considering Banana Bright Eye Crème otherwise contains a nice mix of ingredients that offer a wide breadth of anti-aging properties. Skin is treated to beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants, and emollients that rejuvenate dry skin. Multiple forms of vitamin C are on hand to back up the skin-brightening claims. This also contains mineral pigments to lend a subtle luminous finish.

More to love, the cream texture strikes a nice balance of dense dewy emollience that melts into skin without being overly slick. And true to claim, it layers well under concealer.

In case you’re wondering, this eye cream doesn't actually contain any banana-based ingredients. Instead, its name was inspired by the yellow-tinted “banana” powders that many makeup artists use to color-correct the under-eye area. Similar to those kinds of powder, Banana Bright Eye Crème has a subtle golden hue, which delivers a sheer glow.

Pros:
  • Treats skin to beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants, and emollients that rejuvenate dry skin.
  • Contains multiple forms of vitamin C to back up the skin-brightening claims.
  • Densely emollient texture melts into skin without being overly slick.
  • Lightly illuminating finish perks up a fatigued-looking eye area.
Cons:
  • Fragranced formula poses a risk to skin.
  • Jar packaging compromises the benefits of key antioxidants.

More Info:

Jar Packaging & Anti-Aging Moisturizers: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight is also problematic for these ingredients.

Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, especially in water-based formulas, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.

Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin.

References for this information:
Molecules, July 2018, ePublication
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10

Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:
Toxicology In Vitro, February 2018, pages 237-245
Toxicological Sciences, January 2018, pages 139-148

Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: No

Brightens, firms, improves concealer wear and instantly reduces look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Isododecane, Coconut Alkanes, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Polyglyceryl-3 Rice Branate, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Cetearyl Alcohol, 3-0-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Dilinoleic Acid/Propanediol Copolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Cocoyl Proline, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polyacrylate-13, Mica, Polysorbate 20, Caprylyl Glycol, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Polyglyceryl-6 Ricinoleate, Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Polyglyceryl-3 Cocoate, Phenoxyethanol, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Polyisobutene, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Parfum/Fragrance, Tamarindus Indica Seed Polysaccharide, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbic Acid, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Silica, Sodium Benzoate, Propanediol, Collagen, Aroma/Flavor, Ascorbic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Pullulan, Nannochloropsis Oculata Extract, Linolenic Acid, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol, Citral, Limonene, Linalool.

Ole Henriksen At-A-Glance

Strengths: The Protect the Truth SPF 50+ Sunscreen is good.

Weaknesses: Expensive; not all-natural as claimed; jar packaging for antioxidant-rich products is pervasive; terribly irritating toners; several average serums and moisturizers, including eye creams; lip balm that contains irritating ingredients.

"Facialist to the stars," L.A.'s "number one face man," and "one of Hollywood's hottest facialists" are but a few of the accolades Denmark-born Ole Henriksen has garnered since he first made a name for himself in Los Angeles back in 1974. Henriksen's skin-care philosophy was, and still is, a mix of holistic teachings, common sense, and, as seen in countless other cosmetic lines (though Henriksen was somewhat of a trailblazer when he started), an affinity for Mother Nature and all she has to offer the skin.

We agree with Henriksen's philosophy that feeling good from the inside can manifest itself on the outside, and we applaud the fact that he admonishes his clients for being too hard on themselves when it comes to their complexions. That bromide loses some of its believability, however, when you realize that Henriksen's products are all about fixing the outside of you, especially the parts with wrinkles, puffy eyes, skin discolorations, and on and on.

For example, all the self-confidence in the world won't change the need for sunscreen or change your genetic propensity for certain skin conditions. Clearly, Henriksen believes that, too, because his skin-care products are meant to help his devotees put their best faces forward. He maintains that his products are different because they are "pure," "natural," and "high performance" productsnow really, how often have we heard that? Way too many times, and as is often the case, the products aren't pure or all natural in the least. It turns out that Henriksen's products aren't anywhere close to being all natural. Every product is rife with plenty of unnatural ingredients, most of which are used industry-wide. (That doesn't make them bad, but marketing hype and distortion should not be the basis for making decisions about what skin-care products you use.) In essence, the only unique aspect of this line is Henriksen's ability to charm his clients into thinking that his products are in some way unique and worth the money, when they absolutely are not. A quick review of the ingredient label reveals far more problems than is acceptable for anyone's skin.

Stepping away from the marketing aspect, this product line has way too many missteps to make it interesting or beneficial. While it does contain helpful plant extracts and oils, it is certainly not the only line that includes those ingredients. Sadly, the potency, and yes, even the purity, of many of the good plant extracts are compromised due to his tendency to use jar packaging rather than more stable, airtight options (all plant extracts deteriorate when exposed to air or light). And the amount of irritating plant extracts makes some of his products just hurtful for skin.

Perhaps the saddest part is that a so-called skin-care expert can't even get sun protection right. You place all that trust in someone's expertise and they don't even have the basics down! Henriksen's Herbal Day Creme SPF 15 lacks titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, Mexoryl, or Tinosorb. All the ballyhooed "calming extracts" and "pure botanicals" in the world cannot stave off one wrinkle if your sunscreen lacks sufficient UVA protection. A few of the sunscreens that do provide adequate UVA protection contain skin celldamaging lavender oil. Sigh. It's not fun when you consistently run into examples in line after line that prove that natural ingredients are not inherently better for skin! Given how many consumers want to use such products, we'd love to offer them some slam-dunk options.

This aesthetician-created line has a few reasonably decent options to consider, but overall the line is not on par with many others. The overwhelming emphasis on "natural skincare" (which, we repeat, this line definitely is not) might sound like it will be good for you, but that is not what you will find here. A company's apparent blindness to the published evidence that many of the natural extracts as well as many of the synthetic ingredients they include are potent skin irritants means you don't want to shop this line through rose-colored glasses.

For more information about Ole Henriksen, call (800) 327-0331 or visit www.olehenriksen.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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