This week's Toss it Tuesday is eye creams! While they range in price from anywhere as low as $20 up to over $400 a pop, most eye creams don't vary that greatly in formula, and effectiveness of ingredients. Before you reach for your eye cream and start vigorously massaging gently patting it into your delicate eye area, take a moment to check up on the ingredients. Sure, it might have amazing packaging, but does your $269 eye cream really contain anything that is actually going to combat fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness or dark circles? (One I looked at contains Orchid Extract as a 'miracle' ingredient, which has no evidence as being beneficial applied topically to the skin) 

Most also contain water as the first ingredient. Whilst completely harmless, the inclusion of water not only bulks-up a formula (making it a cheap "filler" ingredient), but also requires a heavier dose of preservatives to ensure the shelf-life. 

Effectiveness and results aren't my only concern, however. Many eye creams also contain synthetic fragrance (which can be harsh, irritating or drying to the skin), petroleum by-products and harsh or toxic preservatives. 

Here's a quick look at what you'll find in most eye creams - from top-shelf products worth over $400, to entry-level creams at around $25 - 

- Polysorbates
Petroleum by-product. Contamination concerns with Ethylene Oxide (known human carcinogen) and 1,4 Dioxane (shown to contaminate up to 46% of cosmetics, strong evidence as a human carcinogen)

- Propylene Glycol (PEG)
This is a synthetic petro-chemical mix. It is also made from the same chemical that is used to create anti-freeze, hydraulic fluids, placticizers and solvents. PEG facilitates penetration of formulation deeper into the skin, thereby allowing increasing amounts of other chemicals and toxins to reach the bloodstream. Being a petroleum by-product, PEG's also have the same contamination concerns as above (Ethylene Oxide and 1,4 Dioxane)

- Alcohol
Whilst not a toxic ingredient, many alcohols are drying to the skin, and cause premature ageing with prolonged use. Not exactly something you want in an eye cream. I tend to avoid all except organic grain alcohols - especially when it comes to eye creams. 

Preservative. Allergen and and immuno-toxicity concerns. BHT is a toluene-based ingredient. There is strong evidence toluene is a human developmental toxin, is a suspected environmental toxin and known human respiratory toxin. 

- Parfum/Fragrance
Irritant, allergen. Can be a synthetic chemical cocktail of up to 3000 ingredients. Also has little to no use in an eye cream. 

 x x x x x 

So, what are the alternatives, and do they work? Well, yes. 
And you might be surprised by the results.

La Mav Anti-Dark Circle Eye Gel
This La Mav eye gel is a good mid-range option, and being certified organic,the ingredients are as clean as you can get. La Mav products aren't simply certified organic and 'clean', however - they also incorporate ingredients scientifically-proven to combat and reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of ageing. Formulated to reduce puffiness and dark circles for a smoother, brighter eye contour. 
I've actually been using this for a number of weeks now, and have a review coming up. 
La Mav also have a Firming Eye Lotion if fine lines and wrinkles are your main concern, or you can pair them together!
Weleda Pomegranate Firming Eye Cream
Weleda is another pure, biodynamic and certified organic brand, that also incorporates scientifically-proven ingredients into their formulas. Their products are some of the purest I've found, and they are truly wonderful on the skin. The Pomegranate Firming Eye Cream is rich in antioxidants and smoothes, softens and hydrates the delicate eye-area and is fragrance free. 
Note - the alcohol included in this formula is an organic grain alcohol and is used a preservative/carrier for botanical extracts. You won't have any issues with drying or chemicals. 

Yet another highly effective, absolutely 100% natural and certified organic brand, Edible Beauty is one of my top recommendations for effective skincare. Everything I've ever tried from Edible Beauty has been amazingly effective and beautiful on the skin (search for my reviews!)

The Edible Beauty & Gold Rush Eye Balm contains Coffee Extract, Cucumber and Horsetail Extract to provide further de-puffing action and promote the radiance and vitality of the eye area. Edible gold leaf imparts radiance, enhances de-puffing and smoothing of the eye area.

Not a synthetic preservative or chemical in sight - just pure, edible goodness for your skin. 

100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

Rich in caffeine and the anti-inflammatory properties of Organic Green Coffee Beans, Green Tea and Rosehip oil to help improve the appearance of puffy eyes, wrinkles and dark circles, the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream is yet again another highly-effective, 100% natural eye cream.

Don't believe me how good it is? Just check out the reviews.

If you still want the luxury of something higher-end, there are still plenty of natural options. The Josh Rosebrook Oculus Formula is an amazingly powerful oil and herbal blend formulated specifically for the eye area. Specific active herbs work powerfully together releasing potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant synergy, boosting collagen, firming skin and resetting skin’s natural regeneration process. Rich fatty acids and phytonutrients smooth fine lines, brighten, reduce puffiness and protect.

This is another of those products that has a cult-following!

Tata Harper Restorative Eye Creme

Another option for those who want a more luxurious product, Tata Harper uses scientifically-proven, highly potent and pure natural ingredients to ensure the maximum benefit for the skin. With botanicals to de-puff, firm and brighten the eye area, the silky, ultra-hydrating formula protects the eyes’ delicate skin from dehydration and helps visually reduce under-eye bags and dark shadows for a revitalized, lifted look. Minimizes expression lines and deep wrinkles, helps to firm appearance of the eyelid, and reduces signs of fatigue and stress. 

Tata Harper is a brand popular among green and 'conventional' beauties alike - give the line a whirl and you'll understand why!
x x x x x 

There are of course many. many more options available - these are just a handful of my top recommendations, covering all price points and concerns. Share your recommendations or what you're using below - I'd love to know!
Kelsey xx
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