Intensive Organic Cream Eye Treatment is not organic (it contains multiple synthetic ingredients) and the only thing really intensive comes from the numerous irritating ingredients, including fragrant extracts like lavender, and alcohol-steeped extracts. Although this eye cream also contains beneficial moisturizing ingredients (olive and jojoba oils, as well as palm oil) and antioxidants, the shocking amount of lavender makes it absolutely unsuitable for the eye area (or skin in general). See More Info for details on why fragrance is such a problem for skin.
Michael Todd True Organics hypes two trade-name ingredients, Haloxyl and Eyeliss, with the claim they treat dark circles, puffiness, and undereye bags. However, neither is capable of doing so, and there is no published research to demonstrate the benefits of each where undereye bags and circles are concerned.
The trademark ingredients Haloxyl and Eyeliss are both blends of synthetic peptides and moisturizing agents—none of which are unique or in any way special for the eye area. These aren't harmful by any means, but their benefit is exaggerated to a significant degree with this product.
Michael Todd calls out Rhodiola rosea root extract as a "clinically-proven herb" that is "new to the West." This is a seemingly random ingredient to make much ado of, as there are few data, anywhere in the world, demonstrating that rhodiola extract has any topical benefit. This extract it does include chemicals that provide antioxidant benefit (www.naturaldatabase.com), but no more so than other plant extracts like green tea or dozens of other antioxidants.
It's interesting to note that this product specifically showcases the fact that it doesn't contain retinol because "Retinol … can be harsh and irritating to delicate eye skin." We find that comment strange because research shows retinol is not irritating for most people, and, clearly, Michael Todd True Organics agrees because they include retinol in their Rooibos Tea Gel Eye Treatment. We know, we're confused, too, we wish they would make up their minds.
Despite the few beneficial ingredients for dry skin, the amount of irritants (primarily the dose of lavender) present in this product makes it one to skip in lieu of the many better alternatives on the market. You can see our top picks in our list of Best Eye Moisturizers.
One last thing: Michael Todd claims this product's applicator tip breaks up puffiness, which is possible only if your puffiness is a result of fluid retention. If that's the case, using your finger to apply any well-formulated moisturizer will be just as effective as using this "special applicator." Such a method of application isn't helpful for bags caused by sagging or fat pad redistribution around the eyes—regrettably, both issues are corrected only by cosmetic procedures.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
INTENSIVE Organic Cream Eye Treatment is a cutting edge advanced treatment for the care of the delicate skin of the under eye areas and eye lids. Ninety percent organic, INTENSIVE treats each and every aspect of eye aging and does so with only the best of ingredients. Whether you are looking to remove fine lines and wrinkles, reduce dark circles, eliminate puffiness or regenerate skin cells to keep yourself looking your best for years to come, INTENSIVE does it all. Comes with a new soothing, gentle massage tip applicator to break up puffiness.
Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Olea Europaea (Organic Olive) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Distillate, Emulsifying Wax, Palm Stearic Acid, Lavandula X Intermida ‘Super’ Extract, Aspalathus Lineans (Organic Rooibos Tea) Tincture, , Oenotheris Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Punica Granatum (Organic Pomegranate) Tincture, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Fruit) Pulp Powder, Hyaluronic Acid, Eyeliss® (3%), Haloxyl® (3%), Copper Peptide GHK-Cu (Copper Tripeptide-1), Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Calendula Officinalis (Organic Calendula) Extract, Aphanizomenon Flos-Aqua (Blue Green Algae) Tincture, Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide Gum), Citric Acid.
Several products contain a good range of anti-aging ingredients; products are packaged to keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use; good moisturizing mask.
Many of the products are highly fragrant and/or contain fragrant plant extracts or oils known to be irritating; several of the serums contain the exact same ingredients, just listed in a different order, which makes things needlessly confusing; in a line full of anti-aging lotions and potions; no options with reliable amounts of ingredients proven to treat dark spots, red marks from acne, or breakouts; the claim of aloe being special for skin is overinflated.
What do the popular hair accessory line called SCUNCI (aka "scrunchy") and the natural-themed skin-care brand Michael Todd True Organics have in common? Both are associated with a man named Lewis Hendler. Hendler founded SCUNCI in the early '90s and sold the company to Conair in 2005. Then, in 2008, Hendler acquired the little-known Michael Todd True Organics skin-care brand.
As we understand it, there really was someone named Michael Todd who played a role in the brand's history, but there's no mention of the real Michael Todd to be found on the company's website. We did find a press release explaining that he is or was a model and actor, but that's about it. Hendler is the brand's public face, along with a few lesser known celebrities.
This Florida-based company has captured the attention of many consumers due to its claims of using natural and organic ingredients coupled with active anti-aging and anti-acne ingredients (all of which, by the way, are synthetic, which is just fine for skin, just not as "all natural" as the company wants you to believe).
Like many natural-themed lines, Michael Todd True Organics promotes some of the most absurd and misleading information imaginable about skin and skin care. A big one—directly from the owner himself—is that everything we put on our skin is absorbed into the body … cosmetic ingredients go right past the skin and into the bloodstream. If that were true (it isn't, thank goodness, but we'll get to that shortly), then moisturizers couldn't moisturize, exfoliants couldn't remove the top layers of dead, dried skin, and sunscreens would not prevent sunburns or tanning. Most skin-care ingredients do their job by staying on top (or at least in the top layers) of the skin, not by being absorbed into the body.
In essence, if absorption into the body were true, then even Hendler would have to admit that his own products (many of which contain problematic ingredients like neem oil and/or lavender oil, which are toxic when ingested) would do little for the skin because as soon as you apply them—poof! They're in the body, just like as soon as you swallow food it's on its way to your digestive system.
The truth is that skin is a very good barrier, and that it's difficult to get cosmetic ingredients to penetrate much past the uppermost layers, much less into the bloodstream, as almost all cosmetics chemists will tell you. The good news is that keeping skin-care ingredients, such as moisturizing agents, skin-repairing ingredients, sunscreen actives, and antioxidants, in the skin's outermost layers is really helpful—it means that the skin's surface (its first line of defense) has a better chance of remaining healthy, smooth, and better able to protect itself against environmental damage. But assuming everything we put on our skin did get into the body, thinking that natural ingredients are safer is wrong; there are hundreds of problematic natural ingredients that could cause serious health problems if they routinely got into the body.
Michael Todd True Organics is big on promoting what their products don't contain, including water, which is bizarre given that water is one of the most natural ingredients on earth. But, more to the point, these products absolutely do contain water in the form of aloe juice; aloe is 99.5% water (Sources: Indian Journal of Dermatology, volume 53, issue 4, 2008, pages 163–166; and http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js2200e/6.html#Js2200e.6). You're not really getting a more concentrated product simply because it's based on aloe rather than pure water.
What's important to know is that there are good and bad natural ingredients, as well as good and bad synthetic ingredients. Seeing a preponderance of natural ingredients on a skin-care label is no guarantee the product you're considering is better or safer than one that contains natural and synthetic ingredients.
The Michael Todd brand also avoids the usual group of ingredients that have been given an undeserved bad rap, such as parabens, sulfates, triclosan, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrances, all of which we discuss elsewhere on our website (A quick summary: None of the aforementioned ingredients are dangerous for skin. If you still are concerned, don't think for a minute that this is the only line that leaves them out!)
What Michael Todd's product information doesn't tell you about is the extensive amount of research that shows how problematic the fragrant oils and plant extracts that they include in their products are. The irony is that the ingredients they brag about not using are comparably better and, yes, safer for your skin! That's not to say that this brand's products are unsafe; rather, it's to illustrate the point that synthetic ingredients aren't automatically evil, and that all-natural ingredients are not angelic.
The company definitely ups the beneficial ante with ingredients like retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and vitamins (all synthetic by the way), but these great ingredients are surrounded by not-so-great ingredients, many of which are overly fragrant—and the research is clear: Fragrance isn't skin-caring in the least.
Sadly, what you get with almost the entire Michael Todd line is a mixed bag. Product after product contains a frustrating mix of beneficial and problematic ingredients—and many of the products pose a strong risk of irritation, especially those with numerous citrus oils, and irritation is always bad for skin, whether the source is synthetic or natural.
For more information on Michael Todd True Organics, call 772-343-0222 or visit www.michaeltoddtrueorganics.com .
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