Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream
If Olay's Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream looks familiar, there's a reason: It's essentially the same product as the brand's former Regenerist Luminous Dark Circle Correcting Hydraswirl. The good news is the previous product was a great eye cream, and, thankfully so is this one.
It contains the core beneficial ingredients included in most of Olay's moisturizers (there's nothing about this product that makes it specific to the eye area; see More Info for details on why you might not need an eye cream).
Those ingredients include niacinamide, acetyl glucosamine, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), and palmitoyl pentapeptide-4. All of them serve to make skin appear more youthful, even, and healthier, and here they're packaged in a container that will keep them stable in the presence of light and air (which can break down antioxidants and other delicate ingredients).
Also positive: This eye cream is fragrance free. As far as its ability to make dark circles less apparent, it does contain light-diffusing mineral pigments (titanium dioxide and mica) that provide a "cosmetic" brightening effect; however, while some of the ingredients have the potential to brighten skin as well, one of the main causes of dark circles is genetics, and that's something even great skincare can't easily change especially not without daily use of a sunscreen!
Speaking of sunscreen, sun damage is also a cause of dark circles, so it's important that if you use this eye cream during the daytime that you apply a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or higher over it.
Still, even with these caveats this is a good eye cream option, but you would do just as well applying one of Olay's facial serums or moisturizers that contain a similar roster of ingredients around your eyes.
Note: Because this eye moisturizer's container is clear, we recommend storing it inside of a drawer or medicine cabinet so the light-sensitive ingredients remain stable.
- Contains a good mix of anti-aging ingredients.
- Mineral pigments serve to immediately brighten the eye area.
- Cannot impact all of the causes of dark circles (although no eye cream can).
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:
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
Starting decades ago with the now-classic Oil of Olay, this brand now offers an extensive range of skin-care products sold at drugstores and mass-market stores. Today's Olay lineup for those concerned about staving off the effects of aging skin is impressive, comprising their Regenerist, Pro X, and Total Effects lines. All of these (and several other Olay products) contain the B vitamin niacinamide. As you might expect, the claims made for it are inflated, but niacinamide is a very helpful ingredient for all skin types, capable of exerting multiple benefits.
In fact, perhaps the biggest complaint about Olay is that there are a number of repetitive formulas within and between the sub-brands make this line confusing and tricky to shop! Still, there is a lot to like about this drugstore stalwart, with its main drawback being a few formulas containing fragrance or other ingredients that have the potential to cause irritation.
For more information about Olay, owned by Procter & Gamble, call (800) 285-5170 or visit www.olay.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.