Peter Thomas Roth took the relaxing spa treatment concept to heart with their Cucumber De-Tox De-Puffing Eye Cubes. It's long been held that cucumber slices can help combat puffy eyes, but that's not the case and there is no research to support such claims.
This is how these "eye cubes" work: The cubes themselves come in liquid form in blister packs with a pull-back seal. You're supposed to freeze the liquid treatment, then pop them out and place them into gauze pouches that come with this kit. The cubes are then placed over the eyes, where they melt and then can be rubbed into the skin.
The problems with this product starts with its application. This method adds unnecessary steps to what is essentially the application of an eye gel, and it's messy. As the cubes melt, the liquid runs all over your eye area and into your eyes. Then there's the issue of applying these frozen cubes directly to your eyes (the gauze they are contained in is quite thin): Applying anything frozen directly onto your eyelids can cause inflammation in skin (Journal of Long-Term Effect of Medical Implants, 2005), and irritation goes hand-in-hand with puffiness! For more on the causes of puffy eyes and what you can do to treat them, see the More Info section below.
Getting past the chill is the formula itself, which is also problematic. While there are some good ingredients in here (such as sodium hyaluronate and antioxidants), there also some that should not be applied this close to the eye area because of the risk of irritation. Aside from the numerous fragrance ingredients, there's Arnica montana flower extract, which can cause skin sensitization in high amounts (Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain, 2014). Among the Beautypedia staffers who tried this out, the potential for irritation was readily apparent; as the cubes melted they stung our eyes badly enough that they began to turn red and water!
This earned its low rating due to its messy, cumbersome application and potentially irritating formula. We recommend you steer clear and look into one of the much better options on our list of Best Eye Moisturizers (and see More Info for why you might not need an eye area product at all).
Puffy Eyes: Nearly everyone has woken up with swollen, puffy eyes that diminish as the morning goes by. For an unlucky few, however, puffy eyes are worse in the morning, but never go away. Given how common the problem is, nearly every skin-care company sells products claiming to treat chronic or occasional puffy eyes.
But, can an eye cream, gel, or serum really eliminate puffy eyes? Sadly, no. The type of puffy eyes most people want to get rid of involve what happens when the fat pads beneath the skin become loose and slip from their normal position. This slippage causes undereye puffiness (also known as undereye bags) plus other factors that are part of sun damage and how we age occur, but none of these changes be affected by skincare (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2008 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007). The only fix? Cosmetic surgery, which anchors the fat pads back in place and can make your eye area look amazingly better
Temporary puffy eyes, like from too much salt or the morning after a late night typically resolve on their own, though you can certainly apply eye-area gels or creams to hasten this process---just don't expect them to work for age-related puffiness.
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.
Peter Thomas Roth At-A-Glance
Peter Thomas Roth is a large but straightforward line with mostly uncomplicated formulations that, for the most part, are quite good and state-of-the-art. Unlike many product lines, most of the acne, AHA, BHA, sunscreen, and moisturizing products contain what they should to be effective and helpful for skin.
Even more impressive are the well-formulated cleansers, sunscreens, AHA products, and skin lighteners. The moisturizers have improved somewhat, and most are now packaged so that the light- and air-sensitive ingredients remain stable. In fact, Roth's packaging deserves special mention because it is exceptionally utilitarian.
After all that glowing praise, what you should be aware of are the instances of products containing potential irritants (noted in their respective reviews) as well as the products in jar packaging that contain ingredients which are sensitive to air and light.
For more information about Peter Thomas Roth, call (800) PTR-SKIN or visit www.peterthomasroth.com.
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