I haven’t really focused on eye gels before now. I’m not sure why not, but I have some innate bias towards creams. Recently, though, I got into an email exchange with a reader, a meandering path that ultimately led to eye gels and piqued my interest in them. My correspondent, ‘K”, started out looking for an eye cream to treat dryness and dark circles (wrinkles are, happily, not yet an issue for this 20-something). Unfortunately, my recommended eye cream resulted in milia-like spots and so, after some back and forth, an eye gel seemed like the way to go.
K deserves the kudos for hauling in this selection of eye gels. Together we analyzed the ingredients and their potential pros and cons. I haven’t personally tried any of them, but thought the list would be worth sharing. Obviously, K and I would love to hear from anyone who has tried them.
Goddess Garden Rejuvenating Eye Gel
($24.99 for 0.5 oz). This claims to have 95% organic ingredients. This looks as if it will be well-tolerated by someone prone to milia as it has base that is aloe gel. It has the added advantage of having Haloxyl for dark under eye circles and Eyeliss for puffiness. The only thing that concerns me (apart from the potentially irritating preservative phenoxyethanol) is retinol palmitate. This ingredient can be very drying and could be a little too harsh for the delicate eye area. Plus it may be carcinogenic in sunlight.
Novena Organic Cucumber Cranberry Eye Gel
($22). At first glance, this eye gel looks good. Novena focuses on cosmetics for pregnant women and this eye gel is a favorite of Fit Pregnancy Magazine. On the other hand, there is nothing in it that stands out as an active, although the aloe juice, soothing cucumber and antioxidant cranberry look good. The gel consistency is likely achieved by vegetable glycerinOptiphen might sound like something to do with eyes but it is actually the preservative phenoxyethanol. So I would pass on this.
Avalon Organics Revitalizing Eye Gel, Lavender
($20.95). I was pleasantly surprised by this one, although the way that Avalon has listed the ingredients is confusing. Lavender comes first even though it can’t really be the dominant ingredient. I am guessing that the base is vegetable glycerin and this may, or may not, be of good quality and could conceivably make matters worse for the milia prone. That aside, it has a peptide and hyaluronic acid as well as some botanical antioxidants. Worth checking out at the very least.
Clarins Eye Contour Gel Dark Circle Treatment
($38 for 0.7oz ). This is the most disappointing of all the eye gels we looked at. As with many of Clarins’ formulations, there seems to be a bacteria phobic chemist behind it. There are many harsh preservatives and some are high up the ingredients list. It has aloe and ginko biloba and some flower waters. But they are almost outnumbered by the preservatives. Definitely one to pass.
Madara Ecocosmetics Firming Eye Contour Gel ($50 ). I like many of the ingredients here including horse chestnut and skin tightening parsley is a very nice and unusual touch. I am put off though by the alcohol – two types – right near the top of the ingredients list. These could make Madara’s gel too drying for the delicate eye area. Compared to the others, it looks pricey for what it is.
Ingredients in Goddess Garden Rejuvenating Eye Gel: Organic Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Leaf) Gel, Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) Distillate, Vegetable Glycerin, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel), Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Soy Peptides, Menadione (Vitamin K), and Retinol Palmitate (Vitamin A), Retinol Palmitate (Vitamin A), Haloxyl (for dark circles), Eyeliss (for puffiness), Phenoxyethanol.
Ingredients in Novena Organic Cucumber Cranberry Eye Gel: Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose; Optiphen, Cucumis sativus (Cucumber)Distillate Vegetable Glycerin, Hamamelis virginiana(Witch Hazel) Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry)Seed
Ingredients in Avalon: Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower (Organic) (lavender), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract, Arnica Montana (Montana Flower) Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Peptide Complex (Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide 3, Hyaluronic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root) (licorice root), Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), Sodium PCA, Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) Flower Extract (willow bark), Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice (1 see product details), Allantoin (Comfrey Root), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Polyphenols (grape seed), Laminaria Digitata (Kelp) Extract (kelp), Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract (willow bark), Curcuma Longa Extract (Organic) (turmeric - 1), Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol
Ingredients in Clarins: Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Citrus Aurantium Amara (bitter Orange) Flower Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Caffeine, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, PEG-8, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, PEG-32, Citric Acid, Benzyl Acohol, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Methylisothiazolinone, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Dehydroacetic Acid, CI 42090/Blue 1.
Ingredients in Madar: Aqua, Rosa Damascena Flower Water*, Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Lecithin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Glycerin*, Decyl Cocoate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice*, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract*, Betain, Cetearyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Xantan gum, Glyceryl Stearate, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, Titanium Dioxide***, CI77019 (Mica)***, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactic acid, Aroma