I have just come across a new brand, a new eye cream and a new antiaging ingredient. This all-too rare hat trick was achieved by a company called Chamonix, which has just sent me some samples of its products, including potions majoring on Matrixyl and vitamin C. It was the eye cream that grabbed my attention, however, with something called gynostemma.

Apart from the fact that it sounds more like a procedure than a cosmetic ingredient, gynostemma was completely new to me. I immediately went for a forage and discovered that it is a plant that looks like a vine, but is in actual fact a member of the cucumber family and it also answers to the name of jiaogulan. You can make a tea from its leaves and drinking enough of it, as do the people of Guizhou Province in China, will ensure that you live to a very ripe old age.

Unfortunately (unless, I suppose, if you grow the stuff), gynostemma is becoming a little burdened by hype, being heralded as a "miracle herb" and "southern ginseng", a cure all for everything from erectile disorders to altitude sickness. It is supposed to have the same saponins as ginseng and is attributed antioxidant powers. Fortunately, there is some research (although not a great deal of it that I could find) to back up that it is an antioxidant.

Gynostemma had better be good because there isn't much more to Chamonix Jeunesse Eye Creme and at $79 it is not inexpensive. Chamonix says that Jeunesse uses a patented Relaxoderm Technology and is the only product in the world proven to work in five minutes. The only ingredient that might qualify as "relaxoderm technology"is gamma aminobutyric acid. This goes by the name of GABA and is a muscle relaxer (it works in a different way to other ingredients that inhibit expression lines such as Argireline).

I'm not very keen on the presence of eugenol, which makes up 78% of clove oil and in an in vitro test on human fibroblasts was “highly cytoxic at concentrations as low as 0.03%”. On the other hand, there is antioixant sesame oil near the top of the list, rich in vitamins E and B1, manganese and copper.

I'll be giving this eye cream a try over the coming weeks and will let you know how it works out.


Water, glyceryl stearate, sesame oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, PEG-150, distearate, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, gynostemma, bismuth oxychoride, gamma amino butyric acid, ethoxydiglycol, eugenol, polysorbate 60, butylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, natural fragrance.