time in a bottle for eyes 100% in-control
With a futuristic-sounding claim of acting "on all dimensions of time", philosophy's time in a bottle for eyes 100% in-control aims to be the anti-aging eye cream to "repair damage at its source". Unfortunately, this fragrance-free eye serum cannot repair much damage. In fact, compared to today's best eye creams, its mix of anti-aging ingredients comes up short. And without sunscreen, no eye-area product can act on all dimensions of time!
It's worth noting that this contains a good mix of ingredients to hydrate skin and help it feel smoother, plus cosmetic pigments to visibly brighten the eye area. But these traits apply to many eye-area products (including many that cost less than this one) and besides, not everyone needs an eye serum, as we explain in the More Info section.
The chief anti-aging ingredient is a newer, stable form of vitamin C know as 3-O ethyl ascorbic acid. The research is intriguing but most of what's known comes from the ingredient supplier rather than substantiated scientific studies. Still, it appears promising.
Unfortunately, especially for an eye serum that purports to be so reparative, the other anti-aging ingredients don't make much of a showing. There are several antioxidants and skin-restoring carnosine, so perhaps philosophy took a strength-in-numbers approach; however, that doesn't excuse the presence of problematic plant extracts like angelica and bitter orange.
Ultimately, this isn't an eye serum to get very excited about. The claims are overstated (that's putting it mildly) and although it will hydrate and brighten, its overall mix of anti-aging ingredients cannot deliver repaired time-damaged skin or prevent future damage.
Note: This eye serum contains a moderate amount of the sunscreen ingredient benzophenone-4. Because this product doesn't have an SPF rating, the inclusion of this ingredient is most likely to protect the other ingredients from UV light exposure; however, some people may find it sensitizing to apply around the eyes—and this type of ingredient certainly isn't needed at night. Interestingly, the opaque, pump-bottle packaging of this eye serum already protects the air- and light-sensitive ingredients it contains, making benzophenone-4 an unnecessary addition.
- Able to hydrate skin and help it look and feel smoother.
- Visibly brightens the undereye area.
- Fragrance free.
- Contains a handful of potentially irritating plant extracts.
- Some of the plant extracts lack research proving their benefit when applied to skin.
- Overstated anti-aging claims.
Why You May Not Need an Eye Serum: 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 serum, eye gel, eye cream, 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 is staggering; 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.
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.