Here's yet another eye-area product that offers an "innovative" formula that will fix fine lines and puffiness, but it just doesn't live up to the hype!
Benefit describes Puff Off! as a gel, but it's more like a light lotion with a salmon-pink tint. If you have deep wrinkles around your eyes, this light lotion will seep into them, and although the tint fades for the most part once it dries, there's enough color that it will emphasize those wrinkles.
As for the formula itself, "lackluster" is the best word to describe it. There is only a single antioxidant and a single peptide present, so the anti-aging benefit is practically nil (see More Info for why you might not even need an eye-area product). This lotion is also quite drying; if you're familiar with calamine lotion, that's what this feels like when it sets! If you have normal, dry, or dry-to-combination skin this will likely emphasize wrinkles, not smooth them out.
The packaging is definitely clever; it's housed in a tube with a metal applicator, but the applicator is formed in the shape of a clothing iron to "iron out" wrinkles. While cute, it doesn't add any benefit to this product; it's just the same as any other skincare product that has a metal tip. The metal tip can feel cool on skin, but that's an aesthetic quality, not one that affects how the product actually works on skin. (Needless to say, you can't "iron" out wrinkles!)
Then there's the issue of the potential irritants present, which include alcohol, the menthol-derivative menthoxypropanediol, and fragrance ingredients like geraniol. They're not present in abundant amounts, but they shouldn't be here at all, especially considering that you're going to be putting this near your eyes! Definitely give this one a pass, and look instead into one of the much better options on our list of Best Eye Moisturizers.
- Salmon-pink color settles into deep lines.
- Contains a paltry amount of anti-aging ingredients; this simply can't treat wrinkles.
- Formula can emphasize wrinkles on dry skin types.
- Contains potential irritants that shouldn't be used around the eyes.
Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream: There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes, but this doesn't have to include using an eye-area product. Any product loaded with antioxidants, emollients, and skin-repairing and anti-inflammatory ingredients will work wonders when used around the eye area. Those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled an eye cream or gel or serum or balm—they can come from any well-formulated moisturizer or serum.
Most eye-area products aren't necessary because so many 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 a special eye-area treatment doesn't mean it's good for the eye area or for any part of the face; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.
You would be shocked how many eye-area products lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye-area products don't contain sunscreen. During the day, that is a serious problem if you aren't wearing it under a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30+ because it leaves the 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.
Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type you have around your eyes. You may prefer using a specially labeled eye cream, but you might also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer and/or serum around your eyes.
Benefit was developed by twins Jean Danielson and Jane Blackford, whose initial claim to fame was a stint as the Calgon twins back in 1960s television commercials. They opened their first cosmetics store, The Face Place, in San Francisco, circa 1976, and then, perhaps recognizing the need for a name with more impact, The Face Place became Benefit in 1990. From there the line took off and expanded its presence beyond the Bay Area to include national department stores and, eventually, Sephora boutiques.
Benefit's makeup philosophy is outrageously fun and its product arsenal is centered on impossibly cute names and a lexicon that aims to make beauty enjoyable. Benefit single-handedly started the trend of selling makeup and skincare products with ultra-cute appellations for less than ultra-fancy prices. As with most lines, there are enough missteps and problem products to shop carefully, but Benefit shines in several categories, including foundation, bronzing powder, blush, and shimmer products.
Unfortunately, some of the products simply can't live up to their promises. This is mostly true of their skincare formulas, where the showcased ingredients are either present in itsy-bitsy amounts or the claims attributed to them are very exaggerated. Despite this, if you're in the mood for a fun experience and can manage to choose products wisely while enjoying the whimsy, Benefit deserves a look.
For more information about Benefit, visit www.Benefitcosmetics.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.