Beautisol is best known for its self-tanning products, and Max recently tried the popular Need I Glow More Self Tanner ($26 in the TIA shop), which gave his skin a “healthy sun-kissed radiance.” All-Seasons Glow received a favorable review as well. While Beautisol started out in the sunless-tanning business, its product offering expanded in 2010 to address anti-aging needs with lots of peptides. After a great deal of reading about the properties of peptides, I jumped on the bandwagon and tried Beautisol’s 99% Pure Peptide Serum. I subsequently became a fan and found I was not alone. Moreover, the serum exceeded Copley’s expectations and was granted the honor of inclusion on TIA’s prestigious Five Best with Peptides earlier in the year.

Alas, while Beautisol’s peptide serum has basked in the spotlight, it appears it is not exceptional. Marta’s popular “product twins” discoveries may have found Beautisol’s identical siblings. I was already a few weeks into testing Beautisol’s Bright Eyed eye cream (from $39) when I learned of this. Nonetheless, my objective remains to deliver an unbiased viewpoint of the product.

Beautisol’s Bright Eyed eye cream boldly claims “No More Needles” right on the packaging. The before and after pictures on Beautisol’s website boast “Crow’s feet be gone!” Personally, I didn’t find the before and after photos of “Marcia,” who is “60ish” to be that impressive. But who am I to judge? I’ll be entering my fourth decade this year end and have managed to keep crow’s feet at bay thus far. Some may wonder why I was even testing this eye cream.

A few years ago, I was leaving a dermatologist’s office after having a professional peel treatment when the dermatologist remarked on how lovely my skin looked. I was about to thank him when he offered me “free” Botox! My first thought was if my skin looked so great, why would I need Botox? I’ve taken a preventive approach to skincare most of the last two decades in order to avoid it. Never mind that it’s derived from THE most lethal neurotoxin on the planet and that I have a deep-seated aversion to needles; the thought of combining the two made me want run for the door. The doctor assured me it was completely safe, stating that even women in their 20s were having Botox injections to prevent crow’s feet from forming in the first place. I passed on the free Botox, but I admit I found the doctor’s words to be intriguing.

I was loathe to give up YBF Correct ($150 in the TIA shop), but I was excited to try out a no-needles approach to crow’s feet. Bright Eyed claims to provide a Botox-like effect via rapid penetration and muscular relaxation. It’s to be used day or night with the recommendation to pair it with Beautisol’s Eye Want eye product at night. I believe an eye cream should be good enough to deliver results on its own, and I haven’t used the Eye Want product. The ingredients in Bright Eyed are mostly impressive.

Bright Eyed contains a few expression line inhibitors, including two peptides, Argireline (acetyl hexapeptide-8) and Leuphasyl (pentapeptide-18) as well as plant-derived Acmella Oleracea Extract, which has a numbing effect on facial muscles. An interesting inclusion is Fi-Flow BTX, a trio of perfluorocarbons (PFCs): Perfluorodecalin, Perfluoroperhydrophenanthrene, and Perfluorohexane. In cosmetic formulations, PFCs aid in carrying gases, notably oxygen, to the skin (I won’t go there). In the atmosphere, PFCs are known as greenhouse gases.

There are a bevy of other active ingredients, synthetic and botanical (some even certified organic), including ChroNOline (caprooyl tetrapeptide‐3 ), a peptide derived from a growth factor that prevents collagen loss and firms skin; Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, extracted from the seeds of the Indian Senna plant, a botanical alternative to hyaluronic acid; as well as Borage Oil, which contains a high source of gamma-linolenic acid, which aids in increasing cell resilience.

Personally, I didn’t find this eye cream hydrating enough and am surprised that it is intended for mature skin, which would benefit from more humectants in the formulation. There are more ingredients in Bright Eyed to slow water loss than to hydrate, and I personally found the cream to be drying, especially toward the end of the day. I suspect the ingredients, which account for quick absorption (i.e. Fi-Flow BTX) are likely responsible for that. The most substantial difference the eye cream made was when I first applied it in the morning. It definitely tightened skin, alleviating under-eye puffiness. However, the effect diminished throughout the day and I didn’t necessarily want to put more of this eye cream on at night.

If the formula included more wrinkle-relaxing peptides, such as SNAP-8 (which may be considered superior to Argireline and certainly complements it), or Myoxinol (a botanical with Botox-like properties), I’d be more inclined to consider this a Botox alternative. After all, if it claims to be better than Botox, shouldn’t it contain the most (effective) ingredients with proven Botox-like properties? Further, I inherently don’t trust the Fi-Flow BTX technology, and I couldn’t find any studies backing that it’s actually good for my skin. It appears my search for a Botox alternative is not over.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin*, Squalane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate (L), Caprooyl Tetrapeptide‐3, Acetyl Hexapeptide‐8, Pentapeptide‐18, Acmella Oleracea Extract, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Perfluorodecalin, Perfluoroperhydrophenanthrene, Perfluorohexane, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Tocotrienols, Tocopherol (D‐alpha), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Potassium Sorbate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Dextran, Citric Acid, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Alcohol Denat., Xanthan Gum, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol

*Certified Organic