A pricey but highly targeted treatment that gets results on undereye discolouration
Very effective brightening
Targets specific concerns only
By Fiona McKim
It doesn’t take a degree in cosmetic science to work out what beauty concern this might be the best eye cream for.
While many skincare brands go for a vague yet superlative-laden approach to naming their wares, you can count on legendary LA dermatologist Dr Howard Murad to spell out exactly what a product is for. You can also count on this brand to develop skincare that isn’t just packed with active ingredients, but ensures those ingredients are effective and get where they need to be.
Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector is all of the above – easy to understand and to use, potent and stable. The packaging is slick, the instant effects are tangible and the texture and smell are pleasant enough without feeling artificial.
The trick with eye cream is combining long-term skin improvements with some form of instant gratification, so you stick with it long enough to see results. This feels successful in both regards. By not trying to be everything to everyone, Vita-C Eyes succeeds in being an absolute godsend for some.
At a glance
Targets: Dark circles caused by poor circulation, sun damage and inflammation
Star ingredients: Vitamin C, niacinamide, algae, light-reflecting minerals
The key ingredient and building block of the whole product is vitamin C. This skincare-industry sweetheart is beloved by beauty editors and dermatologists alike and is one of the only skincare ingredients that has been consistently proven to brighten and improve skin clarity.
Vitamin C works in a number of ways, but primarily is an excellent antioxidant. This means it helps neutralise unstable molecules called free radicals and prevents them from causing UV and pollution-related damage in the skin. This in turn helps brighten the skin, can superficially fade pigmentation, prevents collagen breakdown and can refine skin texture – all the good stuff.
Vitamin C’s all-round good-egg status is only threatened by one annoying detail: its instability. This ingredient is highly sensitive to light and air, and must be carefully formulated at the right percentage in the right packaging to be able to do its job. Happily, Vita-C Eyes has this front of mind, so combines the most potent form of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) with another antioxidant called glutathione and a vitamin C derivative called tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, or THD. When this trio gets together, along with the stabilising properties of gold, you can be sure the whole shebang is powerful, stable and easily available for your body to work with.
This complex alone is a pretty compelling reason to give Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector a go, but there’s more. Red and brown algae, popular in eye creams, work to soothe and depuff, as does cucumber extract. An investigation of the ingredients list uncovered lots of pleasing little extras – brightening niacinamide, plumping hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich barley extract. Add to this a lack of artificial fragrance and you’ve got yourself an A+ formula for eyes.
It goes without saying that if dark circles are not an issue for you, then this probably isn’t the right eye cream to suit your needs, but I’m sure you didn’t need me to tell you that.
Texture and immediate effects
There is something unusual about the look and feel of this product. After pressing down the slick pump lid, I was surprised to see a little golden nugget appear, pearlised in tone and as firm as a blob of toothpaste. This might say more about my preconceptions of what a vitamin C product should feel like (they’re usually pretty watery) or also the type of liquid I expect from a pump (a clear serum), but either way it caught me off guard.
Another surprise was how easily it blended, considering its thick-looking texture – this is supremely spreadable and melts away into the skin in seconds. A little definitely goes a long way and I found one pump was easily enough to cover both undereye areas. After ten or so seconds, I really couldn’t feel anything, although I could see a change. Thanks to its golden tone and light-reflecting minerals, the reddish-purple tinge under my eyes had been mildly colour-corrected and a certain soft-focus deflection was hiding the bumpy texture there, too.
This instant brightening, plus hydration from hyaluronic acid, provides some quick bang for your buck to make sticking with daily use an easier prospect, as does the weightless feel of the product, so it sits very nicely under make-up. If you have incredibly dehydrated skin around the eyes, you may wish to layer up a more nourishing product on top. Likewise, sensitive types may want to start slowly and alternate Vita-C eyes with a simple hydrating eye cream at first, as vitamin C can sometimes be irritating if you go in too hard and fast.
Murad Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector clinical results
Murad is known for rigorous clinical testing and trials on Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector resulted in some very impressive stats, namely:
It’s also worth taking a look at Murad.co.uk for some very persuasive before and after photographs. All the images are unretouched and between the three sets show distinct improvements on every type of undereye circle: blue/purple, red and brown.
This is clinical-looking, in the best possible way. The sleek white design, air- and UV-proof packaging and common-sense product description are fitting for a brand born out of a doctor’s surgery.
As well as keeping that precious vitamin C complex stable, the snazzy air-proof pump is hygienic and dribble-free, dispenses the ideal amount for both eyes and ensures you’ll squeeze every last millilitre of that precious cream out before having to buy again.
Who should buy Murad Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector
Unsurprisingly, considering the name of the product, anyone who is concerned about discolouration around the eyes. This is not a generalised bit-of-everything moisturising eye cream – it is a highly specific treatment that goes in hard and fast, targeting dark circles. If those are your primary eye-related concern, then this product would be a very sensible investment in treating them.
Clearly, given its price there is no denying another requirement with Vita-C Eyes is having upwards of £50 to spend on skincare in the first place. In fact, this would require having £50-plus to spend on what’s probably not even your primary skincare product, which for most would be serum or moisturiser.
Having said that, if undereye discolouration is your chief bugbear, there is a strong case to be made for combining a pricier eye treatment like this with a more basic face cream, rather than vice versa.
As woman&home's Senior Beauty Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant beauty find on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair dye experiments and cute shih-tzus)
Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know about the industry (clue: learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism).
In a previous life, Fiona studied journalism back home in bonnie Scotland and honed her skills as a magazine features writer, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz gossip pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine if it’s all the rage in Japan, loves fragrance, has fun with makeup and never turns down the chance to test a new hair tool. Basically, she loves it all.
When not slathering herself in self tan or squinting at a tiny ingredients list on a moisturiser, you’ll probably find Fiona enjoying something to do with food - cooking it, eating it, cajoling her friends into trekking across London to try a hyped pop-up in a dirty car park.
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