Thursday, August 20, 2009

Expensive eye creams slammed by Which?

Eye creams have again been slammed in a study conducted by Which? Magazine.

The test set out to determine if 13 eye products, ranging from a £3.21 Simple moisturiser used as a control to mass market and luxury brands, such as StriVectin-SD Eye-Cream (£47 for 40ml) to Clarins Advanced Extra-Firming Eye Contour Cream (£31.33 for 20ml) really worked on lines.

Testers were aged 35 to 65, and each cream was tested on between nine and 11 people during a six-week period.High-definition photographs were taken in laboratory conditions before use, an hour afterwards and six weeks later.

Five expert panellists evaluated the photographs and judged if there had been any visible improvement in wrinkle depth or length. Neither testers nor panellists knew which cream was being used.While some creams did convince their testers that the skin was softer and smoother, generally the report found that none of the creams worked on all the testers, and that often their comments did not tally with the panel’s findings. On the whole, the panel judged that Simple moisturiser worked just as well as more expensive creams, including the most expensive StriVectin offer.

Tracy Tamaris, Environ’s UK and Ireland training director said:”It doesn’t matter how much an eye cream costs, what is important is the formulation. There are ingredients with a sound scientific basis that can show dramatic improvements in skin, such as vitamin A, pentapeptides and growth factors."One or some of these may be included in both cheap and expensive eye creams but not necessarily in effective levels or combinations.

If the focus of ingredients is on simple hydration to smooth out wrinkles, then results will appear good but these are temporary. Products contain certain ingredients in effective concentrations could show better long term effects that reduce wrinkles and stimulate skin thickening with consistent use over time.”Dr Tamara Griffiths of the British Skin Foundation says the best laboratory evidence of deeper skin repair of coarser wrinkles has been associated with longer-term use of treatments containing retinoids, or vitamin A derivatives. Although they do say this is an expensive option and can irritate skin, and don’t necessarily offer the results “we are led to believe”.She says that consumers need to have realistic expectations, even with prescription products.

Philippa Canty, marketing manager for Thalgo, Terrake and Ella Bache, denies the claims that eye creams are style over substance. “When it comes to eye creams, as with other skincare products, you get what you pay for. Although lower-priced eye creams cited by Which? may claim to contain the same ingredients, this doesn't mean they contain the optimum concentration of those ingredients. What you're paying for with a higher priced eye cream from a brand like Thalgo, for example, is quality ingredients, a greater concentration of actives, and consequently better results.

Ultimately the consumer is concerned with results, especially if they are looking for an eye cream with anti-ageing benefits. There also tends to be less chance of irritation for the sensitive eye area with a higher-quality (and therefore higher priced) product.”Dr Patrick Bowler, cosmetic doctor and medical director of Court House Clinics disagrees: “Low-cost moisturisers will have an effect on wrinkles but only last hours. As soon as consumers stop using the product the wrinkles reappear. Retinoid creams and other cosmeceutical products induce long-term changes in the skin, not permanent of course, but last months not hours. Retinoids have a huge amount of data showing they work. Of course I agree that expectations have to be realistic…creams can only produce mild effects…don’t expect a cream facelift!”

19 Aug 2009, Jenni Middleton

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