Rooibos (pronounced "ROY-boss") Tea Gel Eye Treatment has a formula that's a mix of both impressive and disappointing qualities. Although there is a nice array of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients, the disappointment is a large amount of arnica extract, which if used daily is likely to cause skin sensitization—probably not the result you're looking for in a daily eye treatment.
It's too bad this beautiful formula is handicapped by the inclusion of arnica extract, as it's otherwise an excellent option for improving the appearance of signs of aging.
It is interesting that this product contains retinol, which research shows is a very good skin-care ingredient, because in advertising for another product Michael Todd True Organics sells, they say retinol is an irritating ingredient. Their INTENSIVE Organic Eye Cream information states, "INTENSIVE fights wrinkles without Retinol which can be harsh and irritating to delicate eye skin." We wish they would make up their minds.
Research has shown that retinol is a remarkable anti-aging ingredient, but the retinol in cosmetics isn't natural—it's synthetic (naturally derived retinol comes only from animal sources, and is too unstable for inclusion in skin-care formulas). So, Michael Todd True Organics isn't exactly being straightforward about using only naturally derived ingredients (certainly not organic) in this instance.
Aside from Michael Todd's wishy-washy statements on retinol, it's interesting to note that the brand includes multiple synthetic peptides (palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 [Matrixyl 3000], and dipeptide-20) in this eye treatment.
Don't get us wrong, beneficial ingredients are beneficial, whether their source is natural or synthetic, but if you're buying into the natural-themed marketing of Michael Todd True Organics, note that it seems even they don't believe natural ingredients are best, given their frequent use of synthetic ingredients.
Bottom line: The Rooibos Tea Gel Eye Treatment does contain a very good array of anti-aging ingredients like retinol and peptides, along with antioxidants and skin-repairing substances, all housed in packaging that protects them from air and light. However, this significant amount of arnica in a product intended for daily use around the eye area makes this a product we cannot recommend, especially given the numerous better choices on the market—check out our top picks on our list of Best Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime).
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 the key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled 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.
A cooling and refreshing eye gel rich in antioxidant Rooibos herbal tea, green tea, soothing aloe vera juice and fortified with vitamins to help soothe, hydrate and combat the visible signs of aging of the delicate skin in the eye area. A daily essential for all skin types.
Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycosaminoglycans, Retinol (Vitamin A), Palmitoyl Oligopeptide & Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (Matrixyl 3000), Dipeptide-2, Biosaccharide Gum -1, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract, Organic Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract , Organic Arnica Montana (Arnica) Flower Extract, Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Extract, Hypnea Musciformis (Hypneaceae) Extract, Gellidiela Acerosa Extract , Sargassum Filipendula (Sargassum Weed) Extract, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Extract , Lactobacillus/Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom) Extract, Lentinus Edodes (Shitake Mushroom) Extract Ferment Filtrate, Fucus Vesiculosus (Bladderwrack) Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Hippophae Rhamnoids (Sea Buckthorn) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Chrysin, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Cyclodextrin, Sorbitol, Xanthan Gum, Steareth-20, N-hydroxysuccinimide, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Sodium Benzoate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol.
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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