You may be drawn to this eye cream by the claim of it being "inspired by Ava Gardner," but this association with a celebrity doesn't tell you anything about what you're getting. Gardner may have been one of Dr. Laszlo's famous patients, but that doesn't mean that either of them knew what they were doing when it comes to great skin care. Besides, think of what we've learned about skin care since Gardner's heyday in the 1940s and 50s! Think of what was not known about antioxidants and the need for sunscreen back then. (Indeed, in the 1950s, it was the norm to get a tan in the summer and more than half the U.S. population smoked cigarettes!)
Since the doctor has passed on, the owners of the Erno Laszlo line haven't added much to the product lineup, and they certainly haven't learned about the issues jar packaging presents (this eye cream is packaged in a jar) or the skin's need for skin-repairing ingredients or antioxidants. There's also the fact that most eye creams aren't necessary (Surprised? See More Info to learn more), although this one contains many good ingredients for dry skin, whether around the eyes or elsewhere on the face.
Although this is a tough sell due to its high price and its problematic packaging, the formula is fragrance-free, which is nice, albeit not enough to help your skin. The usual claims of getting rid of dark circles and puffy eyes adorn this eye cream, but none of the ingredients it contains will make those concerns go away.
Why Jar Packaging is a Problem: The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
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.
Inspired by Ava Gardner, this nourishing cream hydrates and firms the eye area for a smooth, refreshed appearance. Natural brightening and firming properties ease puffiness, fill lines and reduce dark circles for vibrant, film-ready eyes.
Aqua (Water/Eau), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Acrylate / Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate-80, Coco-Glucoside, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Dimethicone, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Zinc Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, O-Cymen-5-Ol, Yellow 5, Blue 1.
Erno Laszlo At-A-Glance
Strengths: One good toner; some good moisturizers; pH-correct AHA product; tinted moisturizer with sunscreen; workable concealer, powders, and powder blush.
Weaknesses: Expensive; the majority of products contain one or more considerably irritating ingredients; basic skin-care regimen revolves around using drying bar soap and alcohol-laden toners; the TranspHuse line; jar packaging.
According to the company's brochure, Dr. Erno Laszlo, a Hungarian dermatologist, was "the first to combine the exact science of his profession with the art of cosmetology" using "precisely diagnosed treatments dispensed with a doctor's touch." He treated Hungarian royalty, women whose lack of beautiful skin was apparently enough to get them shot in the face by potential suitors (no kidding)—until Laszlo saved the day with his revolutionary products. We admit that that's great copy, but there are rumors that he was never a medical doctor in Hungary or anywhere else in Europe, and he was certainly never licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Medical status aside, the claims and "story" behind these products are just another verse in the litany of hyperbole the cosmetics industry is famous for.
In his time (1920s through the 1930s), Laszlo's notoriety was built on "prescribing" skin-care regimens for wealthy women who could afford to "succumb to the 'Laszlo Ritual' of daily skin care." The ritual included regimented splashing of the face with extremely hot water before and after washing with bar soap. Today's Laszlo ritual talks of harnessing the power of water not only to cleanse skin but also to tone, firm, hydrate, clear, and energize skin. Amazing isn't it? If water alone and a certain splashing technique with traditional bar soap can take care of skin, then what's the point of Laszlo's profusion of (mostly poor) products? Why not just offer some soap and a tip sheet on how to splash most effectively, and let the water perform the miracles the company claims it can? If you think this sounds as ridiculous as we do, imagine trying to explain it to customers without backing away sheepishly. While neighboring cosmetics counters extol advanced formulas claiming to work like Botox or speak of their potent, patented cosmeceutical ingredients, Laszlo's team is going on and on about splashing skin with water and the "clocking system" they use to determine your skin type (a system that is more complicated than helpful).
Looking at historical background is one thing, but the real problem with legendary or ancient skin-care routines is that new research more often than not negates what we once thought to be true. After all, in Laszlo's heyday, no one knew about sun damage or the need for exfoliation, or that hot water can hurt skin and cause surfaced capillaries. Water-soluble cleansers weren't around, no one knew the connection between antioxidants and skin care, elegant sunscreens didn't exist, and Laszlo clearly didn't know that soap is too irritating and that irritation is a problem for skin (it's one of the major causes of collagen destruction). Plus, alkaline substances (that's what soap contains) have research showing they can increase the bacterial content in skin and damage the skin's healing process. With today's gentle cleansing options, there is no need to subject skin to the harshness of soap, regardless of how oily it is.
Further, anyone with any skin type who adheres to routine use of Laszlo's products is only setting themselves up for trouble, whether it's persistent irritation or a dry, tight feeling that will have you reaching for a moisturizer in desperation (and possibly making oily or breakout-prone areas worse as a result). There are some reliable, well-formulated products in this line, but following Laszlo's regimented routine is a path to skin irritation and dryness—and that's not the way to "worship your skin."
For more information about Erno Laszlo, call (888) 352-7956 or visit www.ernolaszlo.com.
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