Origins' GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream makes the claim that it can make under eye bags and eye-area puffiness disappear in an instant, which is a pretty tall order! While it can't quite do that, it does contain some great ingredients that can benefit skin in the eye area. Unfortunately, those great ingredients aren't supported by great packaging, which is why this earns only an average rating on Beautypedia.
GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream comes in a small, orange jar with a screw-top lid. That jar is the main drawback of this product, which we'll get to in a moment. As for the cream inside, it's a lightweight formula that feels silky-smooth, and absorbs easily into skin, making the eye area feel instantly moisturized.
That moisturization comes from a good blend of emollients, including olive oil and shea butter. Also included in the mix—and one of the main strengths of this eye cream—is the inclusion of an impressive area of antioxidants! The emollient olive oil mentioned above also acts as an antioxidant, and it's joined by others such as cucumber extract, ginseng extract, chestnut extract, apple extract, and skullcap extract. This also includes some skin-identical ingredients and even sodium hyaluronate to help give skin a moisture boost. The combined effect is a free radical-fighting formula that would be good all over the face, not just in the eye area (in fact, you might not even need an eye cream; see More Info for details).
So what about the claims that GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream's caffeine, ginseng extract, and magnolia extract can help wake up eyes? They're all good ingredients, but applied topically they're not going to have a big impact on puffiness, so that's something to keep in mind. As for the claims that this will reduce dark circles and add radiance, that's true—it's just that it's a temporary effect that comes from the cosmetic pigments (mica and titanium dioxide, listed in the claims as "natural optic brighteners") included in the formula, which help reflect light away from dark circles.
The problem with this eye cream, though, is that it's packaged in a jar. All those amazing ingredients we listed above won't remain stable in this packaging, meaning you're not getting the full benefit (or your money's worth) with GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. See More Info for details on why jar packaging is not the best for skincare products.
Were it not for this misstep, this certainly would have gotten a higher rating; with the packaging though, it only earns an average rating and does not get our enthusiastic recommendation. See our list of highest-rated Eye Moisturizers for options with more stable packaging.
Jar Packaging: The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, 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 that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).
Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)
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.
Late night? Long flight? Look tired all the time? Prepare to become one of the perky people! Nature's clinically-proven morning-after eye cream instantly reduces dark circles. Unsightly bags and puffiness virtually disappear. And Origins proprietary complex of Caffeine from Coffee bean, Panax Ginseng, Magnolia Extract and natural optic brighteners rapidly wakes up, refreshes and restores radiance to tired eyes.
Water\Aqua\Eau, Methyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Silica, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glycerin, Behenyl Alcohol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Root Extract, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cordyceps Sinensis Extract, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Pantethine, Panthenol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caffeine, Coleus Barbatus Extract, Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrait De Levure, Folic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Jojoba Wax PEG-120 Esters, Biotin, Tribehenin, Myristyl Alcohol, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Trehalose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, Steareth-20, Dipeptide-2, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.
Strengths: The makeup products fare best including liquid concealer, blush, brow enhancer, and lip liner; very good makeup brushes composed of synthetic hair.
Weaknesses: Almost every skincare product contains potent irritating ingredients; no products to effectively address needs of those with acne or skin discolorations; some of the makeup products contain irritating ingredients.
Started in 1990, Origins was Estee Lauder's contribution to the (still going strong) demand for natural products. Their approach and claims all hinge on the wonder of plants and the allegedly miraculous properties they offer for skin, whether it be dry, sensitive, oily, or simply showing the effects of time. Here's the issue: Just as there are good and bad synthetic ingredients, there are good and bad natural ones. Ironically, Origins isn't all that "natural" because it uses its share of synthetic ingredients, and the plant extracts they do use include some that are bad for skin.
We have never been opposed to using natural ingredients. However, it lacks integrity when a company throws in any plant ingredient with no proven benefit for skin beyond anecdotal information, and then boasts about all sorts of improbable results. It becomes a far more serious issue when the natural ingredients in question have published research showing that they are in fact irritating or damaging to skin. That's the predicament of reviewing Origins' skin care products: almost every product they sell contains several volatile oils (another term for essential oils), all of which have their share of negative qualities when used on skin. In their attempt to appear more natural, Origins uses quite a bit of these offending ingredients, and they're often listed before the much more beneficial additives, such as antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-identical ingredients.
You might be wondering why, if Origins has had such continued success, their products can be such a problem for skin? Can't women just use what they like? The answer is two-fold: yes women can use what they like, but often women like what isn't good for them. For example, smoking is bad for skin (and for your lungs), but lots of people smoke; getting a tan from the sun is bad for your skin, but lots of people spend time outdoors getting a tan; and using products that contain irritating ingredients is bad for your skin, and lots of products come to the table with these inconsistencies.
As we have explained in the introduction to the book, there is a litany of problems that take place when skin is irritated or inflamed, but fundamentally this results in the skin's immune system becoming impaired, collagenase (the breakdown of collagen) occurs, and the skin is stripped of its outer protective barrier. What is perhaps most shocking is that all of these damaging responses can be taking place underneath the skin and you won't even notice it on the surface. The clearest example of this is the significant and carcinogenic effect of the sun's "silent" UVA rays. You don't feel the penetration of these mutagenic rays, but they are taking a toll on your skin nonetheless (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2006, pages 30–38; International Journal of Toxicology, May-June 2006, pages 183–193;Skin Research and Technology; November 2001, pages 227–237; Dermatologic Therapy, January 2004, pages 16–25; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, May 2004, pages 327–337; Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, November 2003, pages 663–669; Drugs, 2003 volume 63, issue 15, pages 1579–1596; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, March 2002, pages 138–146; Cosmetics & Toiletries, November 2003, page 63; Global Cosmetics, February 2000, pages 46–49; and Contact Dermatitis, February 1995, pages 83–87).
Most of the Lauder companies really have their acts together when it comes to formulating state-of-the-art moisturizers, serums, and sunscreens that leave out the problematic plant extracts (and that represents a lot of products given the almost two dozen cosmetics companies under the Lauder corporate banner). Origins is the exception, and we encourage my readers who prefer to shop for skin care at the department store to explore the truly far better options from Clinique, Estee Lauder, Prescriptives, M.A.C., Bobbi Brown, or even La Mer. Even salon-styled Aveda, also owned by Lauder, with a natural theme similar to Origins, has less problematic formulas.
For more information about Origins, owned by Estee Lauder, call (800) 674-4467 or visit www.origins.com.
Compared to the makeup offered by almost all of the other Estee Lauder–owned lines, Origins falls short by virtue of including ingredients that align with its marketing image of offering natural ingredients that have the blessing of Mother Nature regardless of the risks they pose for skin. As omnipotent as Mom may be, this force of nature is a disaster waiting to happen. A secondary reason Origins isn't competing as well with its sister companies is that for many products (particularly the lipsticks, blush, and cleverly named but non-essential specialty products) the technology isn't as advanced. That lack of technological creativity combined with significant amounts of hostile essential oils will help you understand why we recommend exploring similar, but superior (and irritant-free), options from any of the other Lauder companies from Clinique to M.A.C.
If you're prone to being swayed by the promises of natural products (though Origins is not any more natural than many other lines, it just uses the most problematic plant extracts possible), there are a few outstanding gems to unearth here, and at prices that aren't unrealistic. Additionally, Origins' latest tester units, especially in their freestanding stores, are accessible and user-friendly. They include pull-out counters for added space and feature large mirrors. Combine this with a low-key yet helpful sales staff and knowing what to zero in on and you'll find shopping the best of Origins is a pleasure.
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.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!