Instant Hydrogel Eye Mask Depuffing & Moisturizing
Sheet masks are becoming a trendy (though not particularly efficient or effective) way to add moisturizing ingredients to the face, and so it's not surprising to see Sephora jump on the bandwagon with its Instant Hydrogel Eye Mask Depuffing & Moisturizing. This is supposed to be a special mask just for eyes, but there's nothing that really makes it tailored or even preferred for the eye area (See More Info for details on why you might not even need an eye-area product).
So how does this mask work? It's a piece of fabric saturated in skincare ingredients that looks like a sleeping mask (meaning it doesn't go around your eyes, it goes directly over them). You lay it over the eye area for a period of time and then remove it, but there is nothing about this delivery system that's enhanced in comparison to a traditionally applied eye cream.
If there are any positives it does feel soothing going on, and unlike some other masks it isn't drippy or messy. Also the ingredient list reveals some good-for-skin components like skin-replenishing ingredients and antioxidants. However, it's not a truly impressive formula, and skin would be served far better with a more robust mix of beneficial ingredients.
Where this mask really sags is with its claims. Sephora says this mask can improve the appearance of both dark circles and puffiness, and the ingredients do not reflect that potential. None of the ingredients is known to work that way. Though you might see a temporary "toning" effect that appears to be the improvement of puffy eyes, it's the result of film-forming agents used in the formula, not any miracle ingredient. See More Info for what really is possible when it comes to taking care of dark circles and puffiness!
Because of its inability to live up to its claims, its overall lackluster formula, and the waste of time and money these masks end up being, we recommend giving this a pass and opt for products you leave on and contain robust skin improving formulas. See our list of Best Eye Creams or Best Moisturizers.
- Feels soothing on skin.
- Contains some skin-replenishing ingredients and antioxidants.
- Cannot improve the visible appearance of dark circles and puffiness as claimed.
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:
Dermatologic Surgery, August 2009, issue 8, pages 1163–1171
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2007, issue 3, pages 211–215
Aesthetic Surgery Journal, November–December 2005, issue 6, pages 618–624
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, April 2004, issue 2, pages 73–75
Dermatologic Surgery, June 1998, issue 6, pages 615–616
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:
Seminars in Plastic Surgery, February 2007, issue 1, pages 24-31
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, January 1995, issue 1, pages 37-42
This invigorating eye mask contains a combination of energizing and toning ingredients that work together to instantly reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles. Enriched with the ultra-moisturizing natural ingredient HydroSenn, this mask is a quick and easy way to look more awake, rested, and refreshed. Individually wrapped and perfect to use after a late night, you can conveniently take this with you on any overnight stay.
Strengths: Inexpensive; some good cleansers and makeup removers; the Blotting Papers; good powder foundation; impressive blush and shiny eyeshadow options; great metallic finish eyeliner; awesome brow kit; bountiful selection of lipsticks and lip glosses; a couple of very good mascaras; several outstanding makeup brushes; testers are available in-store for each product, and sales pressure is practically nonexistent.
Weaknesses: Mostly average to below-average toners, moisturizers, and sunscreens; no options for those dealing with acne or skin discolorations; some SPF-rated products (including foundations) lack sufficient UVA-protecting actives; the lip plumper is too irritating; too many disappointing eye-makeup products, including several disappointing eyeliners and brow pencils; unappealing shimmer powders.
Sephora's first foray into skin care was back in 1994, when they offered a colorful, artfully packaged selection of bath gels. Their facial skin-care came on the scene a few years later, but for the most part wasn't worth waiting for. Sephora must not have been too pleased with these earlier versions, because lots of retooling has been done, although, sad to say, that hasn't improved on the ordinary, mundane status their products have consistently shared. Makeup is what Sephora's house brand does best. The only reason to shop this inexpensive skin-care selection is for everyday basics or the occasional impulse buy you may or may not enjoy adding to your routine. Otherwise, most of the skin-careproducts can't compete with the other brands sold in Sephora boutiques worldwide.
Note: Sephora is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Sephora may 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 brands state that they dont 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 Research Team.
For more nformation about Sephora, call (877) 737-4672 or visit www.sephora.com.
Once an incomplete line lacking such basics as foundation and concealer, Sephora's color collection has blossomed into a comprehensive group of products, most of which are priced considerably lower than products from the many other lines sold intheir boutiques. Although the low price and the selection may draw you in, not everything is worth exploring; for example, some of the products (for example the inexpensive pencils, which are not worth considering) demonstrate the old adage that sometimes you really do get what you pay for. That's not to say you have to spend a lot of money for quality makeup, but it does seem that many of Sephora's potential bargains are below average in terms of performance.
What you really should pay attention to are the pressed-powder foundation, one of the concealers, the powder blush, the liquid shimmer, and a few of the mascaras. Of course, the hallmark of this line has always been an extensive selection of makeup brushes. That still holds true, and you'll find that in this case the prices are more than fair.
More than most other makeup lines, Sephora excels with their accessory offerings. From makeup bags to train cases and on to all manner of beauty tools (from tweezers to nail clippers and manicure aids), the selection means you will assuredly find something that meets your needs. It's easy to get caught up in the variety and scope of Sephora's makeup, and testers are readily available so you can play all you want. That's great, but it doesnt compensate for a line with more than its share of average to poor products (and they change frequently, often not for the better). However, if you pay attention to the favorably rated products, you're more than likely to be very pleased.
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.