For $500 you can rid yourself of under-eye bags — for a day. The latest beauty industry candidate for Dept of Daft comes from Jennifer Aniston and her co-owned company, Living Proof.
Neotensil is Living Proof’s new eye treatment, and it boasts a technology that's described as an “invisible shapewear film.” It activates within three hours and reduces bags under the eyes for up to 16 hours.
So, how can Living Proof justify $500 for a seven-week supply of a treatment that lasts a day? To find the answer, I looked more closely at Neotensil’s secret sauce, Strateris. It turns out to be a high tech version of the old egg white trick — an invisible film that temporarily tightens the skin.
According to Living Proof, Strateris is a “cross-linking polymeric film,” and it “works by adhering to the skin and then begins to shrink, smooth and become flat, reshaping and recontouring the appearance of lax skin and bulges.”
Basically, the active ingredient is a polymer, a string of very many molecules that form a long chain. The cosmetic industry has been busy with polymers since the invention of a “bimodal polymer” that can form a film that is flexible, humidity resistant and with good adhesion to the skin. The instant tightening effect meets consumer demands for immediate gratification.
Living Proof has always been partial to polymers. Its original anti-frizz hair care line is based on polyfluoroester (octafluoropentyl methacrylate), a polymer with a polyester backbone. Instant results with no long-term benefits are not unusual in beauty products. You can look out for ingredients such as polyacrylates or acrylates/dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate copolymer.
I’m not a quick-fix person when it comes to beauty. I know that eye bags and wrinkles that took years to develop cannot be treated in a few hours. In any case, I don’t want to wear something that makes me feel as if I’ve got Spandex under my eyes. Despite the celebrity halo of Jennifer Aniston and the aura of quasi science from the former MIT Living Proof founder, I wouldn’t spend $50 — let alone $500 — on Neotensil.