Perhaps me and Yum Gourmet Skincare's marketing people just don't see eye to eye on what sells an eye cream. I've been testing Yum's 23 Karat Intensive Eye Cream and I don't quite get it. Although there are plenty of organic goodies, there isn't really a stand out, some of the ingredients are downright run of the mill and I'm not keen on rubbing sodium benzoate, a DNA zapper, on my eyes. And the ingredients that look interesting to me are downplayed by Yum, while the ones they have chosen to push just perplex me.

High on the list of ingredients and the best thing about Yum's eye cream is avocado oil. Avocados are still the unsung heroes amongst superfoods. They are packed with more than enough oleic acid to get your omega fix and the oleic helps other ingredients penetrate the skin because it is so similar to the skin's sebum. Avos are also a great source of vitamin E and folate, essential for dividing skin cells.

Mind you, macadamia could give avocado a run for its money as it is 60% oleic acid and like avocados, or indeed olive oil, it has a great affinity with our skin. There is also gluconolactone, which seems to be useful in many ways - from inhibiting UV rays, adding hydration, to minimizing wrinkles.

With these three ingredients, it beats me why Yum is intent on playing up the inclusion of mica, marshmallow and calendula.

Marshmallow is billed as an ingredient for increasing circulation and inhibiting dark circles. I now know more about althaea officinalis than I could ever wish for. But I haven't been able to substantiate those claims. What I can tell you is that research in Japan suggests that it could be a skin whitener (like alpha arbutin) as it inhibits melanocytes. This isn't the cause of dark under eye circles though. The primary cause of dark circles is a blocked nose. According to the Mayo Clinic, when your nose is congested, veins that usually drain from your eyes into your nose become widened (dilated) and darker. Doctors often regard dark circles as an indication of allergies. Yum doesn't specify which part of the marshmallow is used. However, the flowers have been shown in tests to be antioxidant. Marshmallows are full of a kind of gluey stuff called mucilage. It created the gloopy texture of the original marshmallow candy (although these days gelatin is used). Because mucilage forms a film or membrane, marshmallow used to be used as a cough lozenge. Mucilage helps plants store water, so it may play some kind of humectant role when applied topically.

Yum tells us that we will also benefit from the micronized 23 karat mica, which will minimize the effects of the sun. Would that be the plain old mica listed at the end of the ingredients? A light reflector at best. And why single this out when we have gluconolatone doing a far better job of getting in between us and the sun.

As far as performance goes, I found it OK, but not outstanding. Despite its very thick texture, the cream goes on easily and it does seem to moisturize well. I would recommend this for someone younger, without wrinkles who is looking for a hydrating product. However, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone with sensitive skin - over the last few weeks, I found my self rubbing itchy eyelids several times a day.


Purified water, organic sunflower seed oil, extra virgin cold pressed avocado oil, organic sweet almond oil, vegetable glycerine, stearic acid, palmitic acid, vegetable emulsifying wax, beeswax, organic shea butter, glyceryl monostearate, organic jojoba oil, mango butter, macadamia nut oil, PEG-15 soyamine, hydroxymethyl glycinate, salicylic acid, sodium benzoate, gluconolactone, apricot fragrance, organic marshamallow, organic calendula, irish moss (carrageenan), seabuckthorn oil, iron oxides, mica.