Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream is, unfortunately, much ado about (almost) nothing. Despite the marketing claims that this will smooth fine lines and “provide your eyes with a younger, fresher outlook,” it lacks the ingredients necessary to make such improvements.
Packaged in a pump-style container, this lightweight fragrance-free lotion adds a sheer amount of moisture to skin, making it suitable for any skin type experiencing slight dryness around the eyes—if you’re hoping for a rich, “restorative” cream, you’ll be disappointed. (In fact, you’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting anything beyond basic moisturizing—read on to find out why.)
We should note that a special eye-area treatment like this might also be an unnecessary addition to your skincare routine—check the More Info section for the reasons why.
Moving beyond the aesthetics and looking to the ingredients, Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream contains mostly thickeners, glycol, and glycerin. These are all fine ingredients to serve as a foundation for a great moisturizer, but this lacks additional ingredients to help reduce signs of aging, soothe irritation, and repair dry skin. There is a sugar extract, saccharide isomerate, that functions as a basic moisturizing ingredient, but this shows up in lots of other products without this one’s price.
If you’re in search of the ingredients called out by Neocutis—caffeine, hyaluronic acid, and bisabolol—you’ll find them listed after the preservative phenoxyethanol. This is important to note, as phenoxyethanol is limited to 1% in cosmetics; thus, all of the special anti-aging ingredients that follow it make up less than 1%. Sometimes that can be fine, as some ingredients need be present in only a tiny amount to be effective, but you should expect more if you’re going to pay nearly $100 for an eye cream.
Their PSP, or “Processed Skin Proteins,” blend is in that group that makes up less than 1%, but even if it were present in greater amounts, PSP isn’t the miracle Neocutis makes it out to be (for additional details on PSP, check out the More Info section).
Ultimately, whether you’re searching for a simple or potent anti-aging eye treatment, we recommend skipping Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream. It earned its AVERAGE rating because it’s easily outperformed by products from drugstore brands like CeraVe and by any of the well-formulated alternatives our list of Best Eye Moisturizers in Beautypedia.
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, 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 as 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 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+ as 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 labelled eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer and/or serum around your eyes.
Processed Skin Proteins: Processed Skin Proteins, or PSP, is a blend of peptides, proteins, and other substances featured in many Neocutis products that they claim “….harnesses the power of human growth factors and cytokines.” You may have also heard that a component of this anti-aging blend is human fetal cell tissue—which is correct.
In 2006, a Swiss study published in Cell Transplantation found that biopsied fetal cell tissue could be used for tissue engineering—replacing elements of damaged tissue to aid in the healing process of injuries (Cell Transplantation, 2006). Those biopsied cells were stored in a cell bank, and today, Neocutis uses cell tissue grown from that original cell line; that is, no other fetuses have been biopsied for cells that are destined for use in the PSP blend in Neocutis products. Rather, they continue to grow cells in the lab from the original cell line.
Cellular reengineering of wounds does not translate into how Neocutis’ PSP blend is used in their skincare products—and there isn’t much research on this proprietary blend. What does exist regarding skincare application of the Neocutis PSP blend was conducted on a small group of 12 patients, and only four showed improvement (8% or less is hardly impressive) in collagen production (Journal of the Academy of Dermatology, 2008). There was no comparative data on how PSP performed against other well-researched ingredients such as vitamin C, green tea extract, resveratrol, retinol, or niacinamide.
The bottom line: While some of the proteins and amino acids that make up PSP do have some benefit for skin, it’s minor in comparison to the benefits of well-researched alternatives that you’ll find in abundance in some products from other brands. There isn’t any reason to buy into the belief that PSP is the “miracle” ingredient you’ve been waiting for, and the research certainly doesn’t support the claims made around its use in Neocutis skincare products. Remember, skincare is never as simple as one ingredient, however great (or seemingly great) it may be.
LUMIÈRE is powered by 30% more1 PSP® to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Other key ingredients include caffeine, hyaluronic acid and bisabolol. This powerful combination of energizers, nourishers and moisturizers helps provide your eyes with a younger, fresher outlook!
Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C12-20 Acid PEG-8 Ester, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Saccharide Isomerate, PEG-8, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Carbomer, Bisabolol, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Caffeine, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Phospholipids, Butylparaben, Processed Skin Proteins (PSP®), Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Ethylparaben, Citric Acid, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Tocopherol, Beech Tree Bud Extract (Fagus Sylvatica Extract), Palm Oil (Elaeis Guineensis), Tocotrienols, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Squalene, Ascorbic Acid, Phytosterols.
Strengths: Fragrance-free products; use of pump or tube packaging protects the light- and air-sensitive ingredients; excellent vitamin C serum and retinol product.
Weaknesses: Many of the anti-aging moisturizers and treatments are disappointingly simple formulas; expensive; some products rely on unproven ingredients.
If you’ve heard of the Neocutis brand, it’s likely because a dermatologist or aesthetician recommended one of their moisturizers or treatments. Like many skincare brands catering to patients of dermatologists and so-called “medi spas,” the claims associated with their products play off the perception of “prescription results” via ingredients that have medicinal-sounding names such as “Processed Skin Proteins” and “Melaplex.” It’s all designed to make you think you’re getting something special along with the pedigree of the doctor or spa retailing this line. As you’ll see from the reviews, that’s not true, although there are some good products to be found here.
Now headquartered in San Francisco, California, Neocutis was founded in Switzerland in 2003 by a group of physicians and biologists who realized the [marketing] potential of human cells in skincare products—specifically, amino acids and proteins (which is where their trademarked ingredients with exotic-sounding names come into play).
Despite their beginnings and their initial exclusivity to dermatologists’ offices, today you can order Neocutis products from beauty sites and other online retailers. Their line includes a range of products that caters to those whose foremost concerns are treating and preventing signs of aging. As a result, you’ll find Neocutis offers moisturizers, eye creams, and targeted treatments, many of which are themed around their trademarked “PSP,” or “Processed Skin Proteins.” Note: They claim this blend of peptides, proteins, and other substances “harnesses the power of human-cell derived growth factors and cytokines.”
What Neocutis isn’t telling you is that this blend of cytokines and human-cell derived growth factors has little research demonstrating any benefit for skin, and certainly not in comparison to the numerous well-researched antioxidants and cell-communicating agents used in so many of today’s best anti-aging products (see the More Info section of the products reviewed here for more details on PSP).
We should also note that, at the time of this review, Neocutis does not universally adhere to cosmetics ingredient labeling regulations on some of their products. In some cases, they do not list individually the proteins and amino acids that make up their PSP blend, which violates International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) and
Unfortunately, despite the pomp and circumstance surrounding these products, most are extraordinarily overpriced and contain a surprisingly bland mix of basic moisturizing ingredients with a dusting of antioxidants. When we say “dusting” of beneficial ingredients, we really mean just that; in fact, one of their “remarkable” moisturizers is little more than a mix of glycerin, glycol, and thickeners, with a price tag topping $160!
On a positive note, Neocutis does have two outstanding products—one vitamin C serum and a retinol product—that are (like all of their formulas) fragrance-free and packaged to protect their light- and air-sensitive ingredients. What’s certain is that Neocutis doesn’t have enough going for it to make putting together an entire anti-aging skincare routine from their products a good idea, for your skin or for your budget!
For more information on Neocutis, call 1-866-636-2884 or visit http://www.neocutis.com/.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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