Have you ever forgotten about a favorite cosmetic? Perhaps something shiny and new took its place, or you just never got around to buying a replacement when it ran out. This happens to me all the time. I guess it’s an occupational hazard of regularly testing products for Truth in Aging. Over the years, I have been forced to forsake heaps of my favorite brands to make room in my routine for the next hopeful.

One such brand was Terralina. Roughly three years ago, I fell in love with Terralina’s Gentle Facial Cleanser, but I had to move on after finishing the bottle. Then, as fate would have it, I bumped into Terralina online just last month. Enticed by a “buy one get one free” promotion, I reunited with the Gentle Facial Cleanser and couldn’t resist tossing the Roseroot & Sugarbeet Eye Cream into my cart along with it. When my four products (for the price of two) arrived, I immediately set aside the eye cream I had been using for months and started a trial with Terralina’s newest addition.

The Roseroot & Sugarbeet eye cream comes in a diminutive tube, holding just 0.5 oz of cream. However, because of its light and airy texture, a tiny dab of the cream (roughly the size of half a pea) covers the entire under-eye area. It took a full month for me to reach the final squirts of my tube. The cream glides over the skin like silk and smells faintly herbal. Instead of leaving a greasy residue or (even worse) disappearing into the skin without a trace of moisture, the lightweight cream gets absorbed just enough to leave a smooth canvas for under-eye makeup.

Unless I’m doing a side-by-side comparison with something else, I typically test a new product by applying it to only one half of my face. I then either leave the other side nude or use a tried-and-tested product as my constant variable in the experiment. After patting the Roseroot & Sugarbeet cream under and around one eye with my fingertip, the other eye pleaded for the same treatment. It felt unfair to spoil one eye area with the softening and smoothing effects of Terralina while depriving the other. But I left one side bare, and a couple of hours later I checked for discrepancies in the mirror.

While there wasn’t a dramatic difference, the Terralina-coated skin looked noticeably healthier. It had a slight dewy sheen, which brightened the eye area and disguised fine lines. I wouldn’t say that one eye appeared older or younger than the other, but the naked eye looked like it had gotten less sleep. Over the past year, I have become more self-conscious of tiny under-eye ripples that have fanned out from my lower eyelids. I held out hope that after a month of continuous use, Terralina’s cream would magically make them recede. Alas, they are still etched into my skin. Though I didn’t see long-term results in removing bags and erasing wrinkles, the cream definitely nourished the thin under-eye skin and concealed dark circles.

It might not reverse the ravages of time, but Terralina’s eye cream makes up for what it lacks in anti-aging oomph with moisturizing goodness. The formula is positively brimming with antioxidants and emollients. The moisturizers run the gamut from the naturally-occurring fatty acid cetyl palmitate to the natural moisturizing factor shea butter. An unusual skin-conditioning component - baker’s yeast - is thought to help boost microcirculation and reduce dark circles. Terralina makes fruitful use of the olive plant, incorporating olive fruit oil, olive leaf extract, and squalane - believed to prevent UV damage and age spot formation once absorbed. The list of yummy extracts from nature goes on and on, including aloe, green tea, cucumber, oat, soybean, camomile, calendula, and algae. Granted, the strength of these botanicals is diluted by the formula’s first ingredient: water. There is also a smidge of salicylic acid, which gently exfoliates the outer layers of the skin. It would typically be a cause for concern in an eye cream but is present in such a slight amount that it can’t possibly do damage.

I didn’t put much stock into Terralina’s headliner ingredients. I figured roseroot and sugar beet were marketing gimmicks, crafted to sound nutritious but provide the nutritional equivalent of air, sort of like those boxes of sugar-laden children’s cereal that are now emblazoned with the buzzword “whole grain.” And I wasn’t entirely off base.

Roseroot, or rhodiola rosea, is classified as an adaptogen due to its ability to raise resistance toward physical, chemical, or biological stressors. A popular plant in traditional Eastern European and Asian medicine, roseroot has a reputation for numerous healing properties, particularly relieving stress. There is no evidence, however, that appearing as the eleventh ingredient in a skincare product would have a hint of the same effects as a dosage-specific herbal supplement. Rather than actual sugar beet (which sounds deliciously healthy), the formula contains the less exotic-sounding amino acid betaine, which is extracted from it. Besides its calming qualities, betaine functions mainly as a humectant, temporarily decreasing the depth of wrinkles by retaining moisture in the skin. The Roseroot & Sugarbeet eye cream’s subtle smoothing effect might be attributed to betaine.

One of my greatest pet peeves about many of the eye creams I have tried is that they don’t play nicely with my other products. I was pleasantly surprised to find that several different under-eye concealers I tried over Terralina’s eye cream did not pill, as often happens when a (usually greasy) cream is not compatible with makeup. There is nothing I hate more than getting delayed in the morning when my under-eye concealer refuses to blend in over my eye cream. I once tossed an eye cream into the trash in a moment of utter frustration, after wiping my face clean with makeup remover and starting from scratch...multiple times. Usually when this happens, I demote an eye cream to my nighttime routine, when it won’t interact with other products. But Terralina’s cream is innocuous enough for day and nourishing enough for night.

Another recurring complication for me with many eye creams is my sensitive skin. At a department store makeup consultation in the beginning of winter, I was told that I have dry eyelid skin, which can stem from allergies, dermatitis, or (of course) aging. Although I know it’s just as important to moisturize the fragile lids as the half-circles underneath, I have run into trouble with the chemicals and additives that are tucked into some eye creams. The corners of my eyes instantly turn red and inflamed if they don’t take to a particular ingredient. For the ultimate test, I dabbed the Roseroot & Sugarbeet cream all over my eye area, getting so close to the lid that it accidentally made contact with the eyeball, and my eye didn’t even tear up. Confronted with other creams, my eyes have burned to the point of becoming bloodshot.

With the Roseroot & Sugarbeet eye cream, I know that its 99% natural formula won’t irritate or harm my skin. I also know that in the long term it won’t perform any age-defying marvels. Nonetheless, it is rare for me to find a nearly all-natural eye cream that doesn’t sensitize my skin or interfere with my makeup. I’m satisfied with my purchase and will keep on nourishing my eye area with Terralina's cream until the next cosmetically chosen one catches my eye.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau , Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cetyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Glyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Squalane, Glycerin, Betaine, Cetearyl Glucoside, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis, Leaf Extract, Ceramide 2, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel, Extract, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Algae Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Bisabolol, Arginine Stearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Phytate, Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Sorbic Acid.