March 2016 Boxycharm Review #5: Clark’s Botanicals Anti-Puff Eye Cream

When a product arrives just in time.

Sometimes my subscription boxes will coincide with one of my daily routine products running out. I love when this happens, because I can use a product without feeling bad about having two similar ones open at the same time. For some reason, this really gets to my inner (and outer) organization freak. I hate opening a product before I finish another one.

It so happened that I had finished up the Purlisse eye cream I was using during the day and had yet to open up my go-to Cerave eye cream when this bad boy arrived. Hooray for perfect timing! This is also a pretty sizable product, so if I liked it I knew it would last me a while.

Some people don’t like it when Boxycharm or subscription services send eye creams or skincare products, but I love it. While I’m a stickler when it comes to my routine, I do like seeing what else is out there. I’ve found some pretty great hidden gems (and some duds to avoid) through my subscriptions.

This time around, I would be playing with Clark’s Botanicals Anti-Puff Eye Cream (USD $87.00 for 0.5 oz, full size pictured). Yes, you read right this is an $87 eye cream. At these high price points, my expectations are through the roof, especially since Cerave has a great eye cream for $12. Now, according to the brand, what makes this eye cream so special? “Anti-Puff Eye Cream specifically targets stubborn puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines with a concentration of active botanicals and vitamins. The texture of the skin will be softened and smoothed, and dark circles will be brightened.”

Like I’ve stated in the past, I’m always skeptical of products that claim to “de-puff”. Puffiness around the eye isn’t really something you can cure instantly with a cream. The real solution (besides more invasive dermatological interventions) is getting plenty of good quality sleep, staying hydrated, and keeping the skin around your eyes moisturized. The older we get, the more important these steps are. No short cuts here!

However, a good eye cream with proper ingredients can help keep the eye area hydrated, which in turn will make it look brighter, younger, and keep the puffiness at bay. Thus, like all skincare it’s important to take a good look at the ingredients. I turned to my trusty ingredient encyclopedia over at Paula’s Choice to closely look at all of the ingredients in this eye cream.

The good news is that the $87 price tag isn’t all talk. There are some stellar ingredients that really do bump up the value. These include:

  • Vitamin K gives fair to moderate improvement with dark circles with use over time.
  • Caffeine is a good antioxidant though there is no research showing that it does affect eye puffiness.
  • Hyaluronic Acid and Sodium Hyaluronate (same thing, different form), which everyone should have regularly as a part of their skincare routine because it’s a cell communicating agent that helps repair skin cells, retain moisture, and is anti-inflammatory. I’ve heard of some people claiming to have sensitivities to hyaluronic acid, but I think it may be something else in the products they are using as this is naturally found in skin tissue.
  • Vitamin E, a great antioxidant that helps the skin repair itself.
  • Retinyl Palmitate, aka retinol (Vitamin A) with palmitic acid. This dynamic duo are excellent in helping skin cells repair themselves so skin looks and feels a softer and smoother.
  • Phospholipids, which help protect cell membranes.
  • Ascorbyl Palmitate, aka Vitamin C with palmitic acid, is a moisturizing antioxidant.
  • Sodium PCA, a skin repairing agent.
  • Peptides are proteins that also help repair skin.

As you can see, these are some stellar ingredients that can absolutely help the under eye area improve in appearance over time. Now, this doesn’t mean I didn’t find some potentially problematic ingredients. These are also worth noting:

  • Dimethicone isn’t really problematic, but it’s worth noting if you want to avoid it. It is a very safe and skin friendly silicone. However, I do know that some people don’t do well with this ingredient. My skin is fine with it in moisturizers and I prefer it for my combination skin.
  • Methylisothiazolinone is a preservative that can cause an increase in skin sensitivity in leave-in products like moisturizers. Personally, I didn’t experience this but I did notice that some people on the Boxycharm website complained that their skin felt sensitive and burned after several uses. This could be what was setting off that sensitivity. The good news is that this ingredient is at the very bottom of the list, meaning it’s in a low concentration that may not cause the skin to irritate. I do wish this wasn’t in here, because this eye cream is going on the most sensitive skin on your face.
  • Jasmine Extract can be a skin conditioning agent. However, it is also used as a fragrance. When a fragrant ingredient in skin care, this can cause irritation to the skin. However, I couldn’t fully figure out if this was being used in its fragrant oil state or in another state where it acts solely as a skin conditioning agent. Still, since it’s high on the ingredient list I would avoid this if you know you don’t react well to floral fragrance ingredients in cosmetics.

The overall stellar ingredients did shine through my using this eye cream. The skin around my eyes is incredibly hydrated and looks smoother because of it. I have also noticed a slight brightening effect. So on those fronts, it does deliver.

Packaging wise, this is solid. The cream comes in an opaque pump bottle, which is ideal for protecting the delicate ingredients in skin care products. I would prefer a squeeze tube just because I’m getting towards the end of the bottle and the pump can no longer get out the product that’s left on the walls and very bottom of the bottle. But that’s a fairly minor complaint. I can get the top off and get to the rest of the product just fine.

Will I repurchase this after I finish the bottle? Honestly, no. While this does have some awesome ingredients, so does the Cerave Eye Repair Cream at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, it doesn’t have the potential irritants that Clark’s Botanicals uses. Also, I’m 28. While I do need to use an eye cream, I’m not really at the $80 eye cream life stage yet. If a few years down the line I need something a bit more powerful than my current eye cream and Clark’s Botanicals moves way from that potentially harmful preservative, I would highly reconsider them.

Rating: 3/5. For the high price tag, the good news is you’ve getting an array of amazing ingredients that actually do contribute to keeping the skin around your eye area looking great. The packaging also does a good job of protecting the delicate ingredients and the 0.5 oz will last you quite a while. However, the inclusion of that worrisome preservative and the possibly irritating jasmine extract make me dock two stars.

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