Many women have wished for a miracle product that would get rid of dark circles, puffiness, and make us look instantly awake. Although First Aid Beauty's Eye Duty Triple Remedy AM Gel Cream isn't that product (let's open our eyes to the truth, it doesn't exist, at least not the way the claims make it sound) but it is still a very good, lightweight eye cream.
We love that this eye cream's opaque, plastic container with a pump will keep its good ingredients stable. The pump also ensures more precise dispensing of the product so you don't waste any (always good).
Inside is a lightweight gel that feels cooling and soothing to the eye area. We should note that while this is free of fragrance ingredients, it does have a light cucumber scent, the result of the inclusion of cucumber extract (which is not a skin-aggravating plant extract).
This product's gel texture sinks into skin quickly without leaving a sticky or tacky feel. Its lightweight texture does feel hydrating but if you have very dry skin around the eyes and wrinkles this formula will likely not be enough. It sets quickly, so it works well both under other skincare products and makeup (but you still need a sunscreen around the eye so keep that in mind).
This contains a number of beneficial ingredients for skin (and those ingredients are helpful for more than just the skin around the eye area; see More Info for details on why you might not need an eye cream). Among the good stuff are skin-replenishing ingredients, skin-restoring ingredients, antioxidants, and peptides.
What is disheartening is that this gel/cream for daytime doesn't contain sunscreen. While those beneficial ingredients we mentioned above are indeed impressive, without daily sun protection premature aging, dark circles, and sagging for the entire face including the eye area is inevitable. So will they get rid of dark circles and puffy eyes? They will help but not without a sunscreen. Plus you might not need an eye cream in general and given the lack of sun protection you really need to think twice about any day time eye products. (See More Info for the causes of dark circles and puffy eyes and what you can do to improve their appearance). All these ingredients can contribute to an overall more youthful, smoother appearance if the skin around your eye isn't too dry or wrinkled and that's always a positive!
- Lightweight gel texture doesn't feel sticky or tacky.
- Works well under other skincare products and makeup.
- Contains a number of beneficial ingredients for skin.
- Packaged to keep light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use.
- Fragrance free.
- Benefits for dark circles and puffiness are overstated.
- Doesn't contain sunscreen and given this is a daytime eye cream that's a serious problem.
Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream: There is so much you can do to address the signs of aging around your eyes, but it's not mandatory to use a product that claims to be specifically for the eye area. Any product loaded with antioxidants, emollients, skin-restoring, skin-brightening agents, and skin-soothing ingredients will work well around the eye area. Those ingredients don't have to come in a product labeled as eye cream, eye gel, eye serum, or eye balm—they can be present in any well-formulated moisturizer or serum.
Most eye-area products aren't necessary because many are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that doesn't maintain the effectiveness of their key ingredients.
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.
The number of eye-area products that lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye-area products don't contain sunscreen, which is a serious problem if you aren't wearing the product under a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30. That's because it leaves skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage—and that absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and visible signs of aging worse! Of course, for nighttime use, eye-area products without sun protection are just fine.
Whatever product you use in your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, it must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes. You may prefer to use a specially labeled eye cream, but you might do just as well by applying your regular facial moisturizer and/or serum around your eyes.
Dark Circles: Several factors can cause dark circles, and, unfortunately, there aren't any skincare products in the world that can tackle all or even most of the causes. There are, however, definitely things you can do to improve the look of dark circles as well as keep them from getting worse, but you won't find your solution in a specialty product with miraculous claims on the label or a "miracle" ingredient.
The major causes of dark circles include sun damage from unprotected sun exposure, thin skin, shadows from deep set eyes, inherited traits, and buildup of dry skin around the eyes causing light to reflect poorly.
The most important thing you can do is use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater every day, rain or shine. Sunscreen reduces the risk of early signs of aging and keeps them from getting worse. Sun protection is as significant for the eye area as it is for the rest of the face.
For the eye area we suggest using a sunscreen with only zinc oxide or/and titanium dioxide as the active ingredients. For some, sunscreen ingredients other than zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can be sensitizing around the eye, and that can make dark circles worse. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are known to be extra-gentle.
A well-formulated emollient moisturizer filled with skin-restoring and skin-replenishing ingredients can make a huge difference. Also consider using a brightening product that contains soothing and skin enhancing ingredients that can increase radiance and luminosity around the eyes. Vitamin C and niacinamide are good ingredients to look for in brightening products.
While it isn't skincare, a great concealer can make all the difference in the world and picks up where skincare products leave off.
References for this information:
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2007, issue 3, pages 211–215
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, April 2004, issue 2, pages 73–75
Puffy Eyes: Nearly everyone has woken up with swollen, puffy eyes, with the puffiness slowly diminishing as the morning wears on. For some, their puffy eyes last all day and night. Given how common the problem is, nearly every skincare company sells products claiming to address puffy eyes.
Can an eye cream, gel, or serum really eliminate puffy eyes? Regrettably, for the most part, the answer is no. The type of puffy eyes most people want to get rid of are those that result from the fat pads beneath their skin becoming loose and slipping from their normal position; this slippage causes undereye puffiness (also known as undereye bags) and occurs for many as we age.
Puffiness can also result from other factors, such as sun damage from unprotected sun exposure and traits we inherited from our parents. If fat pads and traits you inherited are the problem, skincare products aren't going to be much help but great skincare products can minimize the problem.
If your puffy eyes are due to things like fluid retention, sleeping in makeup (which increases puffiness), using skincare products with sensitizing ingredients around the eyes, and not wearing sunglasses you can truly change the appearance of this puffiness by taking better care of the skin around your eyes.
References for this information:
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, March 2014, issue 2, pages 348-351
Seminars in Plastic Surgery, February 2007, issue 1, pages 24-31
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, January 1995, issue 1, pages 37-42
First Aid Beauty At-A-Glance
Strengths: Several fragrance-free products; relatively reasonable pricing; sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; wonderful fragrance-free body wash.
Weaknesses: AHA pads contain a low amount of glycolic and lactic acids; some products contain fragrant plant extracts; every product contains feverfew extract, which has benefits, but also can be an irritant; jar packaging; for a line meant for sensitive skin, their use of common irritants is disappointing.
With a name like First Aid Beauty (FAB for short), it's obvious this line is meant to rescue your skin from distress, and, indeed, these products are targeted toward those who have sensitive, easily irritated skin, but who still want an elegant, department-store flair. Ironically, FAB falls short on both ends of the spectrum.
Despite the company's claims of providing "therapeutic action" for "tough skin conditions," some of the products contain irritating ingredients that are extremely problematic for any skin type, especially for those with sensitive or compromised skin. It was disappointing to see known irritants like sulfur, balsam resin, and witch hazel in products claiming to calm your skin and reduce redness. "What were they thinking?" was a question that came up more than once while reviewing this line!
On the bright side, First Aid Beauty does have a very good fragrance-free body wash. There are also a few products that omit the fragrance, which is a definite must for sensitive skin, although, in fact, all skin types do best with fragrance-free products. Unfortunately, the fragrance-free formulas in this line come up short on important ingredients, like antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
It is best to avoid their Ultra Repair Cream, the SPF 30 sunscreen, Detox Eye Roller, Blemish Eraser, and the Anti-Redness Serum because they all contain enough irritating ingredients to make conditions like acne, redness, and sensitivity worse.
For more information about First Aid Beauty, visit your local Sephora or Ulta or call (800) 322-3619 or visit www.firstaidbeauty.com.
About the Experts
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.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!