The aspect of my face that most troubles me (and at 57, it’s a real horse race) is probably my eyes. The area beneath them tends toward puffy and baggy, my upper lids sometimes sag, and of course I’ve got the usual under-eye wrinkling and crinkling. Truth in Aging introduced me to Your Best Face Correct ($150 in the TIA shop), which is still the product I gratefully rely on for overall eye treatment, as well as the terrific Sen Zen Double Dose ($84 in the TIA shop), which I often use under makeup or when I need more hydration. These are two winners, and I can’t say I was looking for an alternative when team TIA offered me the chance to test the appealingly named Societe Clinical Skincare Ultimate Eye Lift System. But I was definitely game and hoped for further improvement.

I learned that Societe is a brand that sells products and treatments (peels) only to clinicians. The website makes a very clear and appealing presentation of the company’s philosophy, stressing the use of ingredients (each product has a simple graphic that conveys how many antioxidants, acids, proteins, plant sources, and vitamins are in it), and the focus on science as well as “green” practices.

Ultimate Eye Lift actually consists of two component products, packaged with clear instructions for their use. “Lift & Fill” is used morning only (“hydrates, firms, and plumps”); “Firm & Brighten” is applied both morning and night (“reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles… Helps lighten the appearance of dark circles”). Interestingly, “Lift & Fill,” a fluid, comes in a little bottle (10ml/. 33 oz) with a roller ball – clever! Per the instructions, I applied it first on the lower lid, from inner to outer corner, and continued around below the brow bone. The “Firm & Brighten” serum (15 ml/. 5 oz) is dispensed from a typical airless pump and is then used similarly – the company suggests any residue can be used between the eyebrows and around the mouth, too. As promised, potion #1, “Lift & Fill,” actually leaves a tingling sensation on application; “Firm & Brighten” is a creamier, soothing lotion.

Here’s what the site says about Ultimate Eye Lift: “A two-step age reversal regimen that firms and plumps the delicate skin surrounding the eye, producing immediate and long-term improvements. Continued use lightens the appearance of dark circles, reduces puffiness and lessens fine lines and wrinkles. A hydrating hyaluronic acid serum plumps and tightens. Collagen activators provide a cooling sensation and stimulate the skin’s daily repair via a bioactive peptide complex, which mimics cytokines produced during wound healing, in a nanosomal (ultra-small liposome) delivery vehicle.”

I’ve used them now for just about a month and I have to say that I think they’ve helped. In particular, Ultimate Eye Lift has reduced puffiness, dark circles, and sagginess; it’s light but moisturizing; and I do see a firming effect. I’m not sure it’s actually reduced wrinkles, at least not yet, but I do think my eyes overall look somewhat better – not quite as tired.

Societe provides good information about ingredients. Ultimate Eye Lift boasts five antioxidants, three vitamins, six proteins, and 14 plant sources. The packaging identifies which benefits are attributed to each ingredient – peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamins A, E, and B5, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and something called Gotu Kola/Centella Asiatica (“Asiatic Acid”). This last is the fourth ingredient in Lift & Fill, and is, according to Wikipedia “a small, herbaceous, annual plant of the family Mackinlayaceae or subfamily Mackinlayoideae of family Apiaceae, and is native to India, Sri Lanka, northern Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea, and other parts of Asia.” The article cites a variety of medicinal as well as culinary uses. I was glad to see that the many medical uses claimed included memory enhancement! Presumably its inclusion in Ultimate Eye Lift is due to its function as an anti-inflammatory and widespread use in wound healing.

The only thing that caught my eye in reviewing the full list of ingredients was that N-hydroxysuccinimide – presumably used to address dark circles – is, according to the TIA Ingredients database, a potential skin irritant.

I’m certainly going to use up the sample package. Since it’s sold at physicians’ offices, it’s unlikely I’d have the chance to buy it. But would I? I’m not sure. I do think it’s a potentially effective treatment. But doctors’ office products tend to be very expensive, so I’d have to know how it stacks up in terms of value as well to really judge its benefits vis-à-vis my tried and true. That said, I’d certainly encourage TIA readers whose doctors offer it to give it a try and see what they think.

[Editor’s note: the Societe Clinical Skincare Ultimate Eye Lift System currently sells on Amazon for $105]

Ingredients in “Lift & Fill”: Water, Sodium Hyalauronate, Menthyl Lactate, Asiatic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Panthanol, Glycerin, Lysolecithin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol

Ingredients in “Firm & Brighten”: Water, Cocoglycerides, Glcyeryl Stearate, Glycerin, DEA Cetyl Phosphate, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth 7, Carbomer, Steareth-20, N-hyroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Palmityol Oligopeptide, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Palmityl Tetrapeptide-7, Cetearyl Glucoside, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Palmityl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hesperdin Methyl Chalcone, Dipeptide-2, Tromethamine