Perhaps Sephora's customers are devoted fans of Courtney Cox. Otherwise, I don't really understand why they would vote Kinerase Intensive Eye Cream ($59) a "2008 Winner". The only other explanation, is that they are big believers in the power of kinetin.

There is precious little else of interest in this Kinerase eye cream, so it behooves us to see if kinetin derserves to be a show stealer. N6-Furfuryladenine is the synthetic version of kinetin, a plant hormone (or cytokinin) that regulates cell growth. It is a relative newcomer to the cosmetic scene and there is scant research to prove that topical application has any effect.

There is one seemingly independent, 48-week clinical study, conducted in 1996 at the University of California at Irvine (until it becomes clear that it was under the direction of Gerald D. Weinstein, M.D., who happens to be on the advisory board of Senetec, the company that makes kinetin). Not surprisingly, N6-furfuryladenine was found to be safe and effective in partially reversing the clinical signs of photodamaged facial skin during extended use. It was was effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, blotchy hyperpigmentation, telangiectasia and tactile skin roughness.

In 2002, a researcher at the Department of Cellular Aging at the University of Denmark, wrote: "Although the exact mechanism of its action is not fully understood, kinetin appears to be a powerful natural antioxidant with pluripotent effects in protecting DNA and protein from oxidative and glyoxidative damage. Further applications of kinetin in health care and biomedicine need to be investigated thoroughly." Hmmm, I'm sure there's no connection to the fact that another Sentec advisory board member, Dr Brian Clark, hails from the University of Denmark.

A 1999 study concluded that it provided 50% protection against oxidative DNA damage at a concentration of 100 uM.

So far, not bad. But not spectacular. And what of the claims that kinetin is a viable alternative to retinol for those of sensitive skin? A study that compared kinetin - favorably - to Renova (a prescription retinol, or tretinoin cream) turned out to be funded by the manufacturer of N6-Furfuryladenine. The manufacturer also conducted a study in Taiwan that conluded that N6-Furfuryladenine works even better if combined with niacinamide. Kinerase has not followed this advice.

Kinetin may have some impact on aging skin. But compared to good peptides such as matrixyl 3000, it doesn't seem to have earned enough kudos to qualify for center stage.

Shop Skincare RX for Kinerase Intensive Eye Cream

Ingredients in Kinerase Intensive Eye Cream

Purified Water, Glyceryl Stearate And Laureth-23, Isopropyl Palmitate, Propylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Soya Sterol, Stearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Methylparaben, Soluble Collagen, Carbomer, N6-Furfuryladenine, Panthenol, Propylparaben, Triethanolamine, Ascorbic Acid, Hydrolyzed Elastin,  Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice.