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Review: L'Oreal Eye Defense

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


L'Oreal Eye Defense
Regular readers know that I'm always on the lookout for cheap eye creams that reduce puffiness. To me, puffy eyes are far more aging than fine lines or dark under-eye circles -- although, ideally, a cream would treat all three. Also, many of the more effective creams, like my favorite Clinique All About Eyes, are in the $30 or more range, which is pricy for us budget-minded folks.

L'Oreal Eye Defense is a cheap (under $15) eye cream available at any drugstore, and it promises to ease the signs of puffiness, fine lines, and under-eye circles. I decided to put it to the test, slathering it on my under-eye luggage during one of my busiest times of the year.

Does It Work?

I felt almost bad putting any product through this particular ringer. Over the weeks I tried Eye Defense, I had multiple deadline-induced late nights, and a fair bit of travel (some of it by plane). To top it off, it was winter, which means radiators on full blast and dehydration galore.

L'Oreal Eye Defense came through with flying colors. Not only did it reduce my eye bags more than some of my other favorite, far more expensive brands, but it did a number on my fine lines, as well. In general, I felt that I looked very fresh-faced while using this product, and was impressed with how quickly it absorbed into my skin.

Texture, Feel, and Smell:

A lot of great eye creams tend to be on the greasy side, which is essentially useless for daytime wear. (Even if you're not a makeup wearer, I'm willing to bet that you don't want to run around all day looking like you just applied your medicinal eye ointment.)

Eye Defense isn't greasy at all. Within seconds of applying it, I saw no trace of the cream on my skin, and makeup went right on with no trouble at all.

It's supposedly fragrance-free, but I could smell a very light scent. However, the scent was very light and innocuous, and didn't clash with any of my other 9000 products, and the feel was light and pleasant. I did see some online reviews from users who said that the product stung their eyes or skin, but I didn't have any issues. Given that this is far from an all-natural product, however, I'd say that it might not be the best choice for someone with chemical sensitivities or makeup allergies. (See below for ingredients.)


Water, Glycerin, Jojoba Oil, Cholesterol, Caffeine, Carbomer, Bisabolol (L-Alpha), Methylparaben, Xanthan Gum, Mica, Oat Protein, Dicetyl Phosphate, Propylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, FD&C Red 40 (CI 16035)

The good: caffeine, which shrinks tissue, and hyaluronic acid, which plumps skin. The (possibly) bad: parabens galore. As a reminder, the FDA still says parabens are safe, but some people are concerned by the possibility that they might mimic estrogen.

Bang for Your Buck:

This is a really good deal, so long as you don't mind a product with artificial ingredients in it. I found it to be just as effective as department store products that cost twice as much. I saw a definite improvement in the texture and quality of my skin during the weeks I tried this product, and it worked well alone or under makeup. I personally had no problem with allergies or stinging -- always a potential issue when a product is going right near your eye.

Price: $15 and under.

Is It Worth It?

Without a doubt. L'Oreal Eye Defense is cheap, effective, easy to find online or at the drugstore, and works just as well as a much more expensive product. What more can you ask for?

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