Eye Cream Firm + Brighten
Follain’s Eye Cream Firm + Brighten some potential as a beneficial eye cream for all skin types, but ultimately falls short of that promise because of one not good-for-skin ingredient.
Packaged in an opaque bottle with a pump dispenser, this has an elegant gel-cream texture that absorbs into skin quickly, leaving no greasiness after. It’s hydrating without being heavy, so skin looks softer and smoother instantly.
For the most part, this eye cream’s ingredient list is promising. There’s bakuchiol, a plant-based ingredient that shares some attributes with retinol (in that it can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and fight discolorations), a wrinkle-fighting peptide, a few non-fragrant antioxidant plant oils, and antioxidant and fatty-acid rich squalane.
Unfortunately, every single one of these ingredients follows the second ingredient listed, rose flower water. While rose water isn’t as potent as rose oil, it still contains irritating fragrance compounds that are an especially a bad idea to use around the delicate eye area.
Because of this, we recommend giving this a pass and choosing a better selection from our list of best eye creams or even Follain’s own Moisturizer Replenish + Protect, which is slightly less fragrant, has many of the same beneficial ingredients as this eye cream and is more cost effective (check out More Info below to see why many people can use a facial moisturizer in place of an additional eye cream).
- Lightweight gel-cream texture works for all skin types.
- Leaves skin feeling immediately softer and smoother.
- Includes wrinkle-fighting bakuchiol and a peptide.
- Contains non-fragrant antioxidant plant oils.
- Packaged to protect is light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
- Contains more fragrant rose flower water than beneficial ingredients.
Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream: There’s much you can do to address signs of aging around your eyes, but it’s not mandatory to use a product that’s marketed specifically for the eye area. Any product loaded with antioxidants, emollients, skin-repairing and skin-brightening agents, and skin-soothing ingredients will also work well in the eye area. Those ingredients don’t have to come in a product labeled eye cream, eye gel, eye serum, or eye balm—they can be present in any well-formulated moisturizer or serum.
Most of the products designated as exclusively for the eye area are not really necessary because they contain nothing special for the eye area, they come in packaging that will not maintain the effectiveness of their key ingredients, and/or they are poorly formulated with fragrance or other irritants.
Just because a product is labeled as a special eye-area treatment does not mean it’s good for the eye area, or for any part of the face; in fact, many can make matters worse.
It’s staggering how many eye-area products lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye-area products don’t contain sunscreen, which is a serious problem because it leaves 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. If you opt to apply an eye cream without sunscreen during the day, be sure to apply a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater over it.
Any product you use in the eye area must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes. You might prefer to use a product specially labeled as an eye cream, but you might do just as well by applying your regular facial moisturizer and/or serum around your eyes. Experiment to see what combination of products gives you the best results.
The thin skin around your eyes is quick to show signs of fatigue, so when it comes to treating it, any old product won’t do. Our silky-smooth, cushiony gel cream is specifically formulated for the delicate eye area, so it seamlessly targets under-eye concerns without feeling heavy, greasy, or cakey. Brighten, firm, depuff, hydrate, and smooth the appearance of fine lines with this fast-absorbing formula housed in an airless pump bottle.
Follain began as a retail and e-commerce venture focused on curating what they deemed to be the best “clean” beauty products from various brands. As their popularity grew, they decided to create their own line of products with the philosophy that “non-toxic is non-negotiable” when it comes to skin.
What qualifies as “clean” vs. “dirty” or “toxic” varies depending on you ask (clean beauty is an unregulated term so any company can create their own definition of what that means). Follain’s approach is to formulate their products to be free from ingredients that fall on their restricted list, which in their own words, “plays it safe” when it comes to cosmetic ingredients that could potentially be a red flag.
While some of their ingredient callouts are warranted and backed by research attesting to the problems they can cause for your skin, others on their restricted list get misbranded as bad based on outdated research, fallible studies, or simply anecdotal advice that doesn’t match up to current scientific literature.
That said, there’s no harm in playing it safe if the formulas are still effective and non-irritating. How does Follain fare in that regard? It’s hit-or-miss. Their products feature beneficial ingredients, but some are potently fragranced with essential oils proven to sensitize skin. (Essential oils are a classic example of how natural “clean” ingredients aren’t necessarily better for your skin.)
In the end, Follain’s collection does have some decent products—it’s just a matter of finding the right ones (hint, hint, our reviews do the detective work for you). Learn more about Follain at follain.com/collections/brand-follain.
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.