Avon had sent me the Anew Genics Eye Treatment ($36) prior to its launch on March 9 and I’ve been testing the eye cream for just over 30 days. The eye treatment is new to the Anew Genics line, launched in 2011. The Genics line features a patented YouthGen Technology revolving around a “youth gene,” or rather a formulation that supposedly stimulates it. Avon collaborated with Italian academic researchers who had discovered a town in Italy whose locals had strikingly longer life spans. This is not news to me, and anyone who watched the Oprah show knows these types of towns exist worldwide, known as Blue Zones. The Italian researches targeted an active youth gene linked to longevity. I’m not a scientist, but as an esthetician, I know that several different genes trigger the attributes that make one look young – namely, smooth, even toned, firm, wrinkle-free skin. However, the research behind the patented YouthGen is unpublished.

Avon claims the YouthGen science helps skin cells act younger and can undo up to 10 years of visible aging. I’m aware that the Genics Treatment Cream contains a healthy dose of glycolic acid (fifth ingredient), which, with regular use, will reveal smoother, fresh skin. Yet the eye treatment lacks glycolic. What I did find in the eye cream was palmitoyl tetrapeptide-10, a pro-sirtuin peptide that works topically by extending skin cells’ life span; however, there’s not very much of it based on where it stands on the ingredients list, and I can’t say whether it’s stable (more on that later). The cream also contains some excellent moisturizers and anti-aging botanicals and peptides. There is also malus domestica fruit fell culture extract, harvested from the stem cells of rare apples known for their long storage life. There is palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 as well as palmitoyl oligopeptide, which make up Matrixyl 3000. Melicope hayesii leaf extract, patented by Avon, is developed from the essential oil of Melicope Hayseii, native to Australia. The product also contains neopentyl glycol diheptanoate, a good alternative to silicones; however, some may not like the inclusion of petrolatum.

I’m guessing the “youth gene” is Mesyloxybenzyl Isobutylbenzenesulfonamide, as there is extremely limited information available on the ingredient. It was only added to Health Canada’s non-homeopathic ingredients list in Febrary 2012 and is “used to create special effects on skin to maintain the skin in good condition. This group includes substances believed to enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin and substantive materials which adhere to the skin to reduce flaking and restore suppleness.” That exhausts my knowledge on the ingredient.

I didn’t have any problems using this eye cream and found it to be moisturizing (which I loved) without being overly heavy. I doubt that it would cause milia, which often happens with rich eye creams. However, I didn’t see any visible changes within the 30-plus days I used it, and it didn’t improve my under-eye circles. Per the Avon press release, the Genics eye treatment has been clinically shown to improve brightness and the look of fine line and wrinkles in four weeks – based on a dermatologist assessment in a clinical study of women ages 45 to 59. In all fairness, I’m 39, but the eye cream is marketed to all age groups. Still, I can’t attest that it’s capable of undoing ten years’ worth of visible aging.

My one gripe with this eye cream is the packaging. It comes in a jar and is not even accompanied by an applicator. Moreover, constantly sticking one’s fingers into the jar is not hygienic. I suggest applying this eye cream with a cotton swab. It surprises me that Avon invests a fortune in research and development but doesn’t bother to improve the packaging in order to protect the integrity of its ingredients.

Overall, I think this is a good starter eye cream and would be suitable for someone in her 20s or early 30s. With a few exceptions, it contains excellent moisturizing and anti-aging ingredients that will maintain the delicate skin around the eye – once they improve the packaging!

FYI: As I wrote this article, CNBC announced that Avon was getting a makeover (cute), appointing a new CEO (former Johnson & Johnson executive Sherilyn McCoy) to replace Andrea Jung, who will remain executive chairman (sounds uncomfortable). The company has been in turmoil and McCoy has a known turnaround record of accomplishment. Expect some changes in future Avon catalogs….

Ingredients: Water/eau, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, alcohol, butylene glycol, neopentyl glycol diheptanoate, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, hydrogenated polyisobutene, petrolatum, dilauryl thiodipropionate, perilla ocymoides seed oil, polymethyl methacrylate, melicope hayesii leaf extract, malus domestica fruit cell culture extract, mesyloxybenzyl isobutylbenzenesulfonamide, thiazolylalanine, saccharomyces ferment lysate filtrate, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-10, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, palmitoyl oligopeptide foeniculum vulgare (fennel) fruit extract, coffea Arabica (coffee) seed oil, coffea Arabica (coffee) seed extract, ilex paraguariensis leaf extract, ceramide 2, crataegus monogyna fruit extract, phytol, tocopherol, cetearyl glucoside, behenyl alcohol,ceteareth-20, diazolidinyl urea, ozokerite, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, carbomer, isohexadecane, potassium hydroxide, disodium edta, thiodipropionic acid, polysorbate 60, glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, tribehenin, xanthan gum, caprylyl glycol, PEG-60 almond glycerides, PEG-10 rapeseed sterol, cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose, lecithin, steareth-20, caramel, yellow 5/CI19140