I’ve been battling genetic dark undereye circles my whole life. (Thanks, Mom!) Photos of my 5-year-old self either suggest I went to a kindergarten with the most exhausting curriculum there is or that I worked a full-time job on top of going to said kindergarten. In the years since, I’ve tried just about everything to brighten those circles. I had thought I had found my holy grail in Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme (beloved by many, including, at one point, Rio). After years of using it, though, I realized that Ole Henriksen was like my seventh-grade boyfriend: Someone I stuck with because I didn’t think there was a better option out there. But just as I was wrong about that boyfriend, I was also wrong about that eye cream.
Back in June, I wrote about how I had fallen in love with a vitamin C serum from BeautyStat in our list of Black-owned businesses, where I also said my love for that serum had me itching to try BeautyStat’s vitamin-C-infused eye cream. Like its serum, the eye cream uses the same patented, encapsulated-vitamin-C formulation to stabilize the notoriously finicky ingredient and prevent it from oxidizing prematurely. After I wrote about wanting to try it, BeautyStat founder Ron Robinson — a cosmetic chemist who has worked for everyone from Lancôme to Estée Lauder — was kind enough to send me a bottle. Almost two months later, that bottle is about to be replaced, because the cream has been so effective that I’ve been using it twice a day.
The first — and somewhat big — difference between BeautyStat’s Universal C Eye Perfector and Ole Henriksen’s eye creme is that the former actually states its concentration of L-ascorbic acid (or vitamin C) on the bottle. The Eye Perfector’s formula includes 5 percent L-ascorbic acid and hyaluronic acid to brighten and hydrate under-eye skin, as well as anti-inflammatory green tea extract and CBD. The reason this transparency matters is because too much of the active ingredient could lead to irritation, while too little of it may not yield any results. (Anyone who has searched for the percentage of active ingredient in the Banana Bright Eye Creme knows it is nowhere to be found on the packaging.) Another difference between the two formulas: BeautyStat’s Eye Perfector is free of fragrance, something the Banana Bright is not (which could be a reason that some of its users report it has caused irritation and allergic reactions). But even though the Eye Perfector is fragrance-free, it still manages to have a very pleasant, almost citrusy smell (a rarity, I’ve found, for vitamin-C-infused products).
Unlike many eye creams, which are often packaged in messy jars, BeautyStat’s comes in an opaque bottle with a pump. Not only does this keep the precious vitamin C within it safe from air, light, and bacteria, but it also means a perfect amount of product gets doled out every time. The lightweight cream initially has a slightly sandy texture — thanks to the encapsulated vitamin C — but instantly sinks into the skin and leaves a velvety finish. Past eye creams, including the Banana Bright, have left behind a greasy residue that I almost always rub into my eyes, leading to frantic contact lens flushing. The BeautyStat eye cream also seems to stay put during workouts, making it even more effective and worth its slightly higher price tag. After close to two months of consistent use, I can honestly say that the product has made my eyes look closer to perfect — brighter, a lot less tired — which is a small miracle considering how exhausting life in quarantine can be.
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