My feelings about Perricone MD lurch between admiration and despair. This is the suntanned doctor who has made a small fortune selling sane women on the notion of eating salmon for breakfast – everyday.  His diet is positively goofy and his skincare line in the past relied on a small number of well-chosen actives – astaxanthin and DMAE - to give credibility to what would otherwise be over-priced department store potions and lotions. But at least Perricone MD’s products had some hard-hitting actives. Unfortunately in his newest, Hypoallergenic Firming Eye Cream ($65), they seem to be buried beneath a sea of mediocrity.

Apart from squalane, you have to go 15 ingredients in before reaching panthenol, a B vitamin that, though respectable, isn’t going to set the world on fire. Admittedly  though, there are some interesting things going on if you poke around and persevere to the  end of the ingredients list.  For example, I do rather like that there is ectoin, an ingredient that isn’t all that common but which protects the skin from the effects of UVA-induced cell damage.

I had to remind myself why phosphatidylcholine is here because I remembered it to be mostly used in cellulite treatments because it can break down fat cells. It can also assist in manufacturing and repairing cell membranes because of the fatty acids it contains.

But the most impressive anti-agers are hidden right at the end of the formula and are unlikely to be in amounts that will have much if any effect. The last two ingredients are peptides that combine to make Matrixyl 3000. In clinical trials run by the company that makes it, this collagen booster is effective at concentrations of 4% or so. These lagards are almost certainly a lot less than that here.

Perricone MD's new packaging is attractive and gives his brand a clean, modern feel. But the formulas are still the same mixed bag. Given that the only other things of interest are antioxidant olive leaf, vitamin E and sodium hyaluronate, Perricone has once more left me feeling ambivalent. And, ultimately, ambivalence isn’t a strong motivation to buy.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Dimethicone, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-75 Stearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Panthenol, Steareth-20, Ectoin, Ceteth-20, Xanthan Gum, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Tocotrienols, Tocopherol, Phosphatidylcholine, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Hydrolyzed Sericin, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7