I’ve been waiting for Spring to spring for a month. Lately, the weather has been a huge tease – looking bright and sunny with a fresh breeze in the morning, then following with cloudy skies, a biting wind, and snow in the afternoon. Then I have to drag on my winter boots again and clomp through the slush. Ick.
In the spirit of welcoming a new month and hopefully ushering Spring in, I want to share this eye cream: Clarins’ Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care with SPF 30.
During my skincare rampage back in 2010 when I read anything and everything about skincare, I combed the market for eye creams. What didn’t make sense to me was how almost every line of skincare had an eye cream – but none of them had sun protection! If the area around your eye is sensitive and delicate enough to supposedly need a specially formulated cream, why shouldn’t it need sun protection as well?
At the time, Clarins’ Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care was one of the few with such a high SPF. There a few more on the market now, but I distinctly remember there being some silly eye creams with an SPF of 8. Eight! Why even bother? If it is recommended for a face moisturizer to have at least an SPF of 15, and ideally SPF30 for decent sun protection, why would an SPF of 8 be of any use around the eye area?! I tried to look it up for reference, but it seems like Sephora no longer sells it. Good riddance.
This eye cream is reasonably priced in comparison with other eye creams, especially those with SPF. It is a mineral sunblock, which means that the titanium dioxide in the cream physically acts as a barrier against the sun’s rays. A chemical sunscreen is where the active ingredients absorb the sun’s rays instead (which inevitably leads to a chemical reaction). There is much controversy as to whether or not chemical sunscreen is linked to detrimental health effects (i.e. cancer, mostly) and whether or not you should even be using sunscreens at all: are the sun’s rays more harmful to your skin, or are the chemicals in sunscreens more harmful to your health? However, there seems to be some consensus that physical sunblocks using titanium oxide or zinc oxide are 1) a better choice than chemical sunscreens; and 2) better for those with sensitive skin or allergic reactions, as they cause less irritation.
Clarins’ Sun Wrinkle Control eye cream also claims to prevent lines and wrinkles. I can’t confirm this, as I’m not at the age where I develop wrinkles (but honestly, how would you know if something is really slowing down wrinkle production? It’s impossible – maybe I’ll save this rant for another time). But it is oil-free, and claims not to sting or irritate sensitive eyes.
And it’s true – I have really sensitive eyes, but this eye cream doesn’t really bother me. A little goes a long way, so this 20 mL bottle will last me a long, long time. Plus, it’s easy, and it’s clean – I can control exactly how much product to squeeze out, and I don’t have to dip my fingers into a jar. After application, there is a very slight and subtle brightening of the eye area, probably due to the sunblock in the cream reflecting light. It absorbs quickly and applies easily, as it’s light and fluid. There is a scent to it, however – I’m not a big fan but I don’t hate it either. The smell fades quickly enough.
I wouldn’t recommend this to be your sole eye cream, though. Because its texture is so light, I don’t feel it would be moisturizing enough to deeply hydrate your eye area, especially at night time when your skin needs the most replenishment. Also, it’s not ideal to wear SPF products all the time anyway – I can’t remember where I read this, but I guess you want your skin to be able to breathe without the added chemicals anyway. And of course, you don’t want to be wearing SPF for flash photography to avoid a ghostly white cast.
My point: I love this eye cream because it has a sufficient SPF of 30, it does not irritate my sensitive eyes, and is the least expensive eye cream that contains sun protection.
Here are the other eye creams with SPF currently available at Sephora:
The first two are available online for Canadians, the others might be available for Canadians in-store:
- Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care SPF 30 (0.7 oz): $30 CAD
- Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15 (0.5 oz): $67 CAD
- DDF Protective Eye Cream SPF Plus with CoQ1O (0.5 oz): $50 USD
- Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream 32 PA+++ (0.507 oz): $32.50 USD
- Ole Henriksen Total Truth Eye Creme SPF 15 (0.5 oz): $45 USD
- Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Eye SPF 28 Sunscreen (0.5 oz): $38.00 USD
The Clarins picture on Sephora.com is the old packaging – the new is the orange-yellow tube I own. The DDF eye cream is SPF 15 (they should put that in the name).
The Clarins, Shiseido, and Lancome eye creams do not have ingredients listed on Sephora. But I can tell you that the only active ingredient on the Clarins eye cream is titanium dioxide – this is a physical sunblock.
The Murad, DDF, and Ole Henriksen eye creams are all chemical sunscreens, with Homosalate, Octinoxate, Octisalate, and Avobenzone listed in their ingredients.
For more about physical vs chemical sunscreens, see this website.
Note: A lot of my blurb about physical sunblocks and chemical sunscreens was purely from memory of my (somewhat fanatical) research done a year or two ago. I don’t remember the multitudes of sources I looked over, and I didn’t want to look it all up again. But the above link seems thorough enough after a cursory glance.
(Image compilation source: http://www.sephora.com)