As the, ahem, elder stateswoman of the Birchbox editorial team, it seemed only appropriate that I act as the designated test driver for the latest eye cream to land in our office: StriVectin-SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles. I’m staring 40 in the face, and it’s time to get serious about what’s staring back at me in the mirror (truth be told, I should have started getting serious 10 years ago).
The eye concentrate targets the major signs of aging: fine lines, crow’s feet, puffiness, and dark undereye circles—all of which I struggle with. A regular award winner since its release about three years ago and newly updated for 2013, the formula features NIA-114, a proprietary niacin molecule and form of vitamin B3 that stimulates DNA repair, strengthens the skin barrier, boosts cell turnover, and regulates melanin levels. Plus, the molecule enhances the effect of other key ingredients, like peptides, which boost collagen formation to plump up fine lines. After four weeks of religious use morning and night, I called on the folks at Strivectin to find out more about the science of antiaging. Read on to find out what I uncovered.
1. Dark undereye circles are often genetic.
I should have known: Mom and Dad are to blame for my dark circles. Ok, not really, but dark undereyes do run in the family—in addition to being caused by aging, sleep, and stress. Other fascinating insights: Bluish dark circles are often due to poor microcirculation, while brown ones are most likely the result of hyperpigmentation (which can be caused sun damage) or genetics, and yellow can be traced to thinning skin. Since I’m probably suffering from a mix of thinning skin and genes, I can definitely benefit from the NIA-114 in Strivectin’s eye cream.
2. You shouldn’t use regular antiaging products around the eyes.
Despite knowing better, I’m totally guilty of using my usual antiaging moisturizer around my eyes. Major mistake: Eyes have different concerns than the rest of the face (puffiness, for example, and dark circles that aren’t due to hyperpigmentation), and many face creams aren’t tested for use around the eye. Lesson learned: Always look for an ophthalmologist-tested eye cream for use around the eye.
3. More isn’t always better.
When StriVectin’s trio of eye helpers—Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles, Get Even Dark Circle Corrector, and 360° Tightening Eye Serum—landed on my desk, I went to town with all three. Not so fast: Skin can only handle so much of these concentrated ingredients. Better to pick the one eye cream that targets your main concern. I went with the wrinkle-busting eye concentrate, which also offers the positive corollary benefits of light-diffusing mica to camouflage dark circles and caffeine to reduce puffiness. In another 10 years, I might switch to the serum, which tightens already droopy, lax skin.
4. To get results, you need to stick with it.
While it would be amazing to get immediate gratification from just one application, patience is essential. For example, you need to use StriVectin twice a day for two weeks to see early results—though the really dramatic stuff comes after eight weeks. Even when the people using the eye creams don’t notice a difference immediately (you’re your own worst critic, after all), others do. I can attest that three people in the past two weeks have commented on my skin—and I’ve definitely noticed a younger-looking eye area.