Aphelia Fusion Dark Circle Treatment 0.3 oz
As an adult, I’ve been cursed with dark under eye circles... and what they say is true: they really do make you look like you’re always tired. I am in my early 60s and have noticed that now not only do I have dark circles, but my under eye is also often puffy! My major quest lately has been to find a solution for this challenging problem.

For the last 30-plus days, I have been using an eye product by Aphelia called Fusion Dark Circle Treatment ($59). I am assuming that this is an Asian company based on the writing on the Aphelia website and the packaging... The package label says the product was manufactured in Taiwan, but Aphelia has three locations (Australia, London and Wilmington, Delaware). Another clue is that all of the brand’s product information has been awkwardly translated to English.

Aside from this trivia, my first impression was favorable. The Dark Circle Treatment is a clear liquid that comes in a long thin metal tube, with a wonderful roller ball at the tip. The roller ball happens to be very cooling and gives an excellent massage when applied to the eyes. The directions instruct you to use it twice a day after massaging your eye area with your fingers – very nice feeling! My results came slower than other products that I’ve tried but, yes, at the end of my trial time, I did notice some reduction in dark circles (though not significant). I didn’t, however, notice any brightness, and saw very little decrease in puffiness.

The ingredients are mostly herbal. These herbs are very common in Asia and the company states that these herbs are “hand selected natural ingredients, and then expressed and percolated into [their] own concentrated extracts.” My only problem with the ingredients is the use of Methylparaben (a preservative). A few years ago we didn’t know it was a problem but now we have research that associates this chemical with cases of breast cancer.

In general, the ingredients offer a lot of moisture, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity:

Lonicera Joponica flower extract (honeysuckle) is used as natural preservative similar to Methylparaben and an anti-inflammatory.

Butylene glycol is used as a solvent and has viscosity-decreasing agents.

Chrysanthemum morifolium flower extract contains significant amounts of flavonoids, and is an antioxidant and skin brightener.

Caviar extract, an extract of the eggs of sturgeon, is one of the world’s richest sources of omega 3 fatty acids and other minerals and nutrients. It provides prolonged deep moisturizing and emollient properties. Caviar stimulates the regeneration of the skin, has antioxidants and protects against harmful UV damage. So not only is it good to eat, but also great on your skin!

Laminaria digitata (kelp extract) is an extract of sea algae. It increases hydration and forms a protective moisturizing complex, thereby maintaining and improving the skin’s elasticity.

Poria cocos extract is derived from a mushroom and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Sodium hyaluronate is a moisture-retaining ingredient and humectant that keeps the skin under the eye well hydrated, plump, smooth and tightened.

Malpighia glabra fruit, also known as acerola or Barbados cherry, is a skin brightener and has hydrating qualities.Within this formulation it defends against free-radical damage, eases the visible effects of photo-aging and reduces dullness resulting from pollutants.

Alisma orientale tuber extract is a diuretic and is used to rid the body of excess water, which would help in reduction of puffiness.

Elastin and collagen: Together, collagen (the scaffold) and hyaluronic acid (for moisture retention) and elastin (for elasticity) completes the trio of molecules associated with youthful skin. It comes primarily from cows and birds and also from plant tissues. In this case, the ingredient collagen is from fish. Everything I have read online about elastin deny any anti-wrinkle, anti-sagging – and anti-anything benefits. Most dermatologists are quite clear that when applied topically,  elastin cannot replace what has been lost from the skin. Some products containing it may temporarily cause the skin to appear younger due to the skin being properly moisturized. The fish collagen, however, does keep skin moisturized and help prevent wrinkles.

Glycyrrhiza glabra rhizome (licorice root extract) is widely accepted as having anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. In cosmetics, it is commonly used to reduce inflammation, soothe skin irritation and contribute strong antioxidative properties. It can have a positive effect on hyperpigmentation. It is frequently used in formulations designed to soothe, clarify, brighten and improve skin tone.

And finally Methylparaben... the last ingredient listed, is an antifungal and preservative that is widely used in cosmetics. It is easily absorbed through the skin. However, as I mentioned previously, it is found to be an unhealthy ingredient.

My conclusion is that I would not use this product again with the number one reason being the inclusion of Methylparaben. I was very disappointed to see that the company promotes all-natural ingredients, but continues to include this controversial ingredient. Secondly… I have used products in the past that worked faster and produced a more significant reduction in puffiness and dark circles in this time frame and produced an obvious brightening effect. The pros are that cool metal roller ball that felt so good on my eyes and the cost of $59. It seems to be lasting a very long time. After 30 days, I have at least three-quarters of this 10 ml tube left.

I am a strong believer in herbs and products that use herbal formulas. It’s nice to see the usage of these natural ingredients that have been used successfully in the Orient for hundreds of years finally offered and accepted in the West. This company has great formulas but should not ignore medical research and offer the public the safe and honest products that we want.

Ingredients: Aqua, Lonicera Japonica flower extract (honeysuckle), Butylene glycol, Chrysanthemum morifolium flower extract, Magnolia biondii flower extract, Caviar extract, Laminaria digitata extract, Poria cocos extract, Sodium hyaluronate, Malpighia glabra (acerola) fruit, Alisma orientale tuber extract, Elastin, Collagen (fish), Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) rhizome/root extract, Methylparaben