miracle worker miraculous anti-aging retinoid eye repair

0.50 fl. oz. for $ 68.00
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Brand Overview

This eye cream has a very silky, somewhat thick texture owing to the amount of silicones it contains. It also treats skin to an efficacious amount of stabilized vitamin C (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate). Although vitamin C is a very good ingredient for all skin types, it isn't unique for the eye area and has no special benefit for undereye bags or dark circles. Countless eye creams claim to reduce puffiness (bags) and dark circles but if any of them worked as well as claimed, who would have these common eye-area concerns?

The truth is, most eye creams aren't necessary (see More Info to learn why) but if you decide to use one anyway, this is a good option that has a couple of concerns. No, it won't make undereye bags or circles go away but its formula can moisturize (though not well enough if eye-area skin is very dry) and contains plenty of ingredients that can stimulate collagen production for firmer, smoother skin.

Although that's great, we must point out that this eye cream also contains a potentially problematic amount of barium sulfate. This mineral is used as a whitening agent in cosmetics (think whitening as in brightening, not as in making dark spots fade). Although not considered a primary irritant, this ingredient can be poisonous if ingested and is noted for the way it frequently causes skin reactions. This same ingredient is consumed orally before having certain types of X-rays taken; it is believed that barium sulfate's low solubility and the body's ability to excrete it both help promote its negligible bioavailability. Still, it's not the best ingredient to see so prominently in a skin-care product designed to be used around the eyes (Source: British Journal of Dermatology, September 2004, pages 357–364).

This came close to earning a higher rating but missed due to the aforementioned inclusion of barium sulfate and the fragrance ingredient farnesol. As a fragrance ingredient, farnesol poses a risk of irritation that isn't ideal for the eye area or skin anywhere on the face (Sources: Dermatitis, March 2012, pages 71–74; and Contact Dermatitis, August 2002, pages 78–85). Even if you insist on using eye cream, you can find others that don't contain questionable ingredients for the eye area.

Note that the titanium dioxide this contains can have a subtle brightening effect on skin, and this can make dark circles less apparent—but it's not permanent and is no substitute for what a good concealer can do.

One more comment: This product contains type of retinol philosophy refers to as HPR, an acronym for hydroxypinacolone retinoate. The company maintains that this form of retinol boosts surface cell turnover rate without irritation. The lack of irritation is the big sell here; lots of consumers concerned with mitigating signs of aging know that a retinoid (e.g., topical prescription drug Renova) is a better option than a cosmetic, but that tolerance is an issue for many, and for some it means that retinoids are best avoided. There is no substantiated research proving that hydroxypinacolone retinoate is a viable option for treating wrinkled, sun-damaged skin so you'll have to take philosophy's word for it. The only information pertaining to its efficacy comes from Grant Industries, the company that sells this ingredient to cosmetics brands. Their sole study on the effectiveness and claims for this retinoid involved five people, which is not nearly a large enough sample to declare that this retinoid is the one to beat (Source: http://grantinc.com/cosmetics/active_series/granactive_rd-101.php). It's a leap of faith (a lo-o-o-ong leap) that the retinoid in miracle worker is going to work as claimed.

  • Very silky, smoothing texture.
  • Contains an impressive amount of stabilized vitamin C.
  • Very good mix of anti-aging ingredients, though none are unique for the eye area.
  • Amount of barium sulfate poses a risk of irritation.
  • Contains fragrance ingredient farnesol, yet at the very least eye-area products should be fragrance-free.
  • Type of retinol doesn't have independent research proving it's the preferred form.

More Info:

Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream

Most eye creams aren't necessary. That's either because they are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won't keep key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled as an eye cream doesn't mean it's good for your eye area; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.

There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes. Any product loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, skin-lightening ingredients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and effective emollients will work wonders and those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye cream.

You would be shocked how many eye creams lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye creams don't contain sunscreen. During the day that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage and this absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse!

Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes! That may mean you need an eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer around your eyes.

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Helps speed surface cell turnover and support natural collagen to dramatically improve the look wrinkles and discoloration, as targeted peptides reduce under-eye bags and dark circles.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Aqua/Water/Eau, Squalane, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Polysilicone-11, Ethoxydiglyol, Hexyldecanol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Aminobutyric Acid, Barium Sulfate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Dimethiconol, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Alumina, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cocoyl Pentapeptide-9, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-9, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Phospholipids, Bisabolol, Simethicone, Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide, Lysolecithin, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Stearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Farnesol, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

philosophy At-A-Glance

Strengths: Relatively inexpensive;some of the best products are fragrance-free; very good retinol products; selection of state-of-the-art moisturizers; innovative skin-brightening product.

Weaknesses: Irritating and/or drying cleansers; average to problematic scrubs; at-home peel kits far more gimmicky than helpful; several products contain lavender oil; several products include irritating essential oils;the majority of makeup items do not rise above average status.

Believe in miracles. That's the "lifestyle" branding statement philosophy makes, which is an approach that is decidedly different from their former positioning, which encompassed family values and spirituality along with a dash of department-store lan and endearingly clever quips. The miracle angle may grab your attention, but the company is also quick to point out that its history is steeped in providing products to dermatologists and plastic surgeons worldwide (so, in addition to miracles, philosophy has a serious side, too). Although its heritage may have included providing clinically oriented products to doctors,we have yet to see or hear of any medical professional retailing philosophy products. And that's a good thing because, by and large, most of philosophy products are resounding disappointments. Moreover, several products, including almost all of their sunscreens, contain one or more known skin irritants. We would be extremely suspicious of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who recommended such products to their patients, and even more so if they actually believed some of the more farfetched claims philosophy makes.

Interestingly, when you shop this line at department stores or at the cosmetics boutique Sephora, what you'll notice is the preponderance of food- and drink-scented bath products, all in vivid colors or cutely boxed for gift-giving. It seems that somewhere along the way, the company decided to promote these nose-appeal products while downplaying their more serious-minded, simply packaged skin care. Perhaps the body lotions and bubble baths have become philosophy's bread and butter. Given the hit-or-miss nature of their facial-care products, that's not surprising. Then again, they've also heavily promoted their anti-aging-themed Miracle Worker products...

So what's to like if you're into the vibe philosophy puts out? Well, this is still a line with some well-formulated staples, including an AHA product, some retinol options, and a handful of state-of-the-art moisturizers. The products that get the most promotion at the counter are the ones you should avoid, such as the at-home peels, scrubs, pads, and anti-acne products. However, the somewhat confusing, conflicting image philosophy presents shouldn't keep you from considering their best products, but it's not a lifestyle brand in the sense that using the entire line will somehow bring you a more joyful existence, or significantly improved skin. The philosophy line is now owned by Coty, a cosmetics brand primarily known for their fragrances. Their acquisition of philosophy is their first major foray into a widely-distributed skin care brand.

For more information about philosophy, call (800) 568-3151 or visit www.philosophy.com.

Note: philosophy opts to use lowercase letters for every product they sell, so the listings below are simply following suit.

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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