Kate Somerville

CytoCell Dark Circle Corrective Eye Cream

0.50 fl. oz. for $ 75.00
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Brand Overview

Add this to the thousands of useless eye creams claiming to reduce dark circles and puffiness. Although this fragrance-free formula has a smooth, lightweight cream texture, it is a completely ordinary combination of fatty acids and water. It has no discernible ability to reduce the appearance of dark circles other than the strictly cosmetic effect from mineral pigments, such as titanium dioxide, and "optical brighteners," like mica. These mineral ingredients add a reflective, shiny finish on the skin around the eyes, making dark circles somewhat less obvious, but they don't treat or lighten dark circles, they simply make them less apparent. You'll get better results using a full-coverage concealer.

As for treating age-related puffiness, this doesn't work. Skin-care products are not the solution, no matter their cost or what they claim. Puffiness around the eyes results primarily from fat pads shifting—there are no skin-care creams that can address this, which is why surgery is preferred. However, not using products that contain irritating ingredients, like this one does, would be a good place to start (along with not sleeping in your makeup). Plus, you do not need a separate eye cream (see More Info to find out why).

This eye cream also contains two preservatives—methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone (known as Kathon CG)—known to be sensitizing (it stung our skin on contact) and not recommended for use in leave-on products. Given that the eye area can be more sensitive anyway, it doesn't make sense to use products that contain sensitizing preservatives in this area. See More Info for further details on these preservatives.

  • Lightweight, smoothing texture.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Only improvement in the appearance of dark circles comes from cosmetic "brightening" pigments that add shine to reflect light.
  • Contains a preservative blend (Kathon CG) known to be sensitizing when used in leave-on products.

More Info:

Sensitizing Preservatives/Kathon CG
Introduced into cosmetics in the mid-1970s, Kathon CG elicited a great number of sensitizations in consumers. This led to it not being included in cosmetics other than rinse-off products (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, November 2001, pages 257–264; and European Journal of Dermatology, March 1999, pages 144–160).

Methylchloroisothiazolinone, when combined with methylisothiazolinone, offers broad-spectrum activity against microorganisms. This blend is used in many products instead of parabens, despite the fact that parabens has a better safety track record and lower incidence of causing a sensitized reaction. Along with methylisothiazolinone, this preservative has maintained its reputation as a frequent allergen in leave-on products, particularly hair-care and feminine hygiene products (Source: Contact Dermatitis, November 2011, pages 276–285).

Why You Don't Need an Eye Cream
We know it's hard to believe, but the truth is you don't need a special product for the eye area, whether labeled eye cream or something else, even if dark circles or puffiness are your concerns. Although there is much you can do to improve the skin around your eyes, the ingredients capable of doing that don't need to come from, and often aren't even included in, an eye cream. For example, most eye creams (such as this one) don't contain sunscreen, and that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage, which will make dark circles and wrinkling worse!

You can save money and take superior care of your eye area by using your face product, if it is well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes!

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

CytoCell Dark Circle Corrective Eye Cream combines years of research and cutting-edge technology to reduce the visible signs of aging around the delicate eye area. This results-oriented formulation instantly alleviates the appearance of puffiness, diminishes dark circles, and dramatically reduces the appearance of fine lines.

Water, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Cetyl Esters, Behenyl Alcohol, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Arachidyl Alcohol, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tetrahydroxypropyl, Ethylenediamine, Arachidyl Glucoside, Carbomer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Whey Protein, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Silica , Tin Oxide, Pyridoxine Tris-Hexyldecanoate, Methylisothiazolinone, Tropolone, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Polypeptide-72, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Mica, Titanium Dioxide

Kate Somerville At-A-Glance

Strengths: Provides complete ingredient lists on their website; effective Anti Bac Clearing Lotion for acne; good eczema cream; some fantastic serums and moisturizers chock-full of beneficial ingredients.

Weaknesses: Expensive; irritating cleansers and scrubs; several products contain irritating ingredients with no proven benefit for skin; disappointing CC cream.

The woman behind this line is a Los Angelesbased aesthetician who owns her own clinic, which specializes not only in aesthetic services but also in cosmetic corrective procedures involving injections (dermal fillers), lasers, Botox, and the like. The clinic is staffed with a doctor and nurses, which is definitely what you want if you're considering services beyond a facial or a massage.

The selling points of this line are Somerville's years of experience in the aesthetics industry and her allegedly devoted celebrity clientele. As such, her products and famous clientele get press in the pages of fashion magazines, which explains why we routinely get asked about this skin-care line. Somerville herself is every bit as attractive as her star clients, and the information on her Web site is presented in such a way that you sincerely believe she has your skin's best interests in mind. And wouldn't you want to trust your skin's needs to a professional who also tends to celebrities?

Knowing all these details, we were anticipating that most of the products bearing Somerville's name would be state-of-the-art slam dunks. Alas, many of them are far afield from that level of formulation. When it comes to giving skin what it needs to function as healthily and normally as possible (and, at these prices, that's what you should expect), this line is, unfortunately, hit or miss. What Somerville knows about giving an amazing facial is one thing, but she clearly missed the research that proves how problematic several of the plant oils that she uses can be. A professional concerned with the health of her clients' skin shouldn't be formulating products with cinnamon, grapefruit, and lavender oils, among others.

If we were one of Somerville's clients, we'd certainly take her to task for that oversight, but we'd also want to know why she offers only one sunscreen and doesn't offer any effective AHA or BHA exfoliants. A discussion of advanced skin science and state-of-the-art ingredients is not sufficient if your product line has gaps: limited sun protection options, no reliable exfoliants, no non-drying cleansers, and a complete lack of options to treat skin discolorations (pigment irregularities, unlike blackheads, cannot be manually extracted, which makes the absence of a skin lightening product an issue).

This product line may not be the one you want to build your skin-care routine around, but there are some exceptional products. Of all the aesthetician-backed lines we've reviewed, none come as close to providing the level of formulary excellence of many of Somerville's moisturizers and serums. They're pricey, but if you're going to spend in excess for skin-care products, you should be doing so on products that stand a very good chance of markedly improving your skins appearance. We are curious to see how this product line will expand and (hopefully) improve over the years. The current mishmash of awesome and awful products makes it risky to shop this line blindly (or on the sole rationale of a celebrity endorsement), but with careful consideration to avoid irritants you can find some products of value. Hopefully, she will expand the line to fill in the current gaps (especially for sun protection) and eliminate the irritants.

For more information about Kate Somerville, now owned by Unilever, call (800) 984-5283 or visit www.katesomerville.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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