When I had the amazing Iron Cream Mask facial treatment at Ildi Pekar's salon in NYC, the treatment included a little eye massage with Dermophisiologique's Optyma eye cream ($88 in the TIA shop). Ildi generously sent me away with some samples and, oh boy, this is some eye cream. Actually, being English, I rarely use terms such as oh boy, or (god forbid) awesome, no matter how over-excited I am. But I am somewhat at a loss for words. And oh-my-goodness in my best Helen Mirren voice doesn't seem to cut it. Anyway, to get to the point: this eye cream could give my wonderful Your Best Face Correct a run for its money. And regular TIA readers know that I can't possibly mean that lightly.

At first blush I was not particularly impressed. The first raft of ingredients are mostly emollients and emulsifiers and it doesn't get interesting until you get to magnesium sulfate, which has anti-inflammatory properties. From there on in, Dermophisiologique Optyma  has many plant-derived antioxidants (yeast extract), green tea and vitamin B in the form of panthenol. But in their midst is a mystery.

And it is one that has flummoxed my detective skills. I think (and stress the word think) that poiesis factor has something to do with human growth factor. Poiesis is Greek for 'growth' or 'to make' and there seems to be various poietins - haematopoietic, grythropoietin, and thrombopoietin - that all faciliate cell proliferation in the blood. We have emailed Dermophisiologique for more information, but if anyone out there can shed some light I would be grateful.

Some of the botanicals worth a shout out include sylibum marianarum (linden) anti-inflammatory. There is also vaccinium myrtillusanthocyanosides is bilberry, the focus of recent research in Europe. Bilberry extract has been evaluated for efficacy as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering agent. Although pre-clinical studies have been promising, according to Medline Plus, the human data are limited and largely of poor quality. Sadly for those of us who knew that RAF pilots were given bilberries to improve their night vision, the evidence suggests a lack of benefit in this regard.

I particularly like the use of escin, which is a saponin found in horse chesnut and is responsible for extracts of that plant being able to mend broken capillaries. It is also a collagen booster. Then there is hypericum perforatum, St John's Wort, has a medical history associated with the treatment of depression and, more recently, has been discovered to have antioxidant properties, as well as being an anti-inflammatory and wound healer.

Whilst waiting to get to the bottom of poietins, what I can tell you is that the effects of this eye cream are really good. Wrinkles are smoothed away, skin looks plumper and feels much, much firmer. I have a caveat, I don't know what the long-term effects are (this review comes after three weeks of sampling) either on prolonged wrinkle reduction or whether there is a possible side effect of milia (this is a very thick cream). But in the short term, I coudn't have had a pleasenter surprise.


Water, PEG-30 dipolyhdroxystearate, dicapryl ether, zea mays oil, glycerin, caprilyc/capric triglyceride, cetearyl ethylhexanoate, sweet almond oil, beeswax, triethylhexanoin, aluminum starch, octenyl succinate, capryloyl glycine, olive fruit oil, silica, propylene glycol, magnesium stearate, magnesium sulfate, tocopheryl acetate, yeast extract, panthenol, wheat germ oil, coconut oil, poiesis factor, sylibum marianarum extract, lilium candidum extract, vaccinium myrtillus extract, malllow extract, helycrisum extract, centella asiatica extract, echinacea extract, hypericum perforatum extract, fragrance, linseed oil, hyaluronic acid, hydrolized glycosaminoglycans, glycine, escin, hexamidine disethionate, decyl oleate, sodium benzotriazoyl, butyphenol sulfonate, buteth-3, tributyl citrate, lecithin, ascorbyl palmitate, tetradibutyl pentaerithyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, citric acid.