One of the most delicate areas of the face is the skin around your eyes. The eye area will usually show signs of aging first compared to other areas, and that’s why we have to start looking after them and keeping them moisturized even in our twenties. SkinCeuticals have developed different eye creams and gels to combat fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness. In this article, I’ll compare two eye creams: A.G.E Eye Complex and SkinCeuticals Eye Balm.
It wasn’t until my early 30s that I started using eye creams. My eyes have always been pretty good, I never have bags or dark circles, and don’t suffer from any puffiness either. Still, I started to worry about getting lines and crows feet.
Whether you’re squinting, sleeping, being out in the sun, all contribute to the appearance of these signs of aging. Over decades the effects of aging will become more apparent and it can become difficult to reverse. As always, it’s better to prevent these signs of aging by taking proper care of the eyes early on rather than trying to repair the damage later.
Which SkinCeuticals Eye Cream is best?
For one year I’ve been using A.G.E Eye Complex and an Eye Balm by SkinCeuticals. I’ve also briefly used SkinCeuticals A.G.E Interrupter for 2 months, so I’ll also talk a little bit about that.
SkinCeuticals is a brand that I trust and have found great results from. They consistently deliver high-grade cosmetic products that never irritate my skin and also work as designed. No, they aren’t miracle cures for skin aging, but they certainly give some good results when used for many months.
One of the things I love most about SkinCeuticals is the way the products are formulated, the use of scientifically-backed ingredients, and the fact that I can see visible improvements when using the products.
The only catch is that it can become a little bit expensive compared to store brand products. You’ll have to judge whether the extra cost is worth it or not, but as someone who’ve used the brand for almost a decade, I don’t feel comfortable in switching when I know something is working well for me.
So let’s get to it! First I’ll review the product and tell you a little bit about it, and then I’ll share with you my thoughts and which eye cream I prefer.
SkinCeuticals Eye Balm
If you’ve just woken up from poor night’s sleep, using this eye cream in the morning can help brighten up your eyes and make you look a little more awake.
It contains several plant-based compounds which have been studied and shown to have anti-aging effects and help relieve dry skin, something that the eye area is more prone to than the rest of the skin.
Isoflavones such as genistein have been shown to improve and even reverse signs of skin aging in animals. It’s thought to be useful in halting signs of aging, especially for women who are postmenopausal. This is due to the fact that isoflavones are phytoestrogens and mimic the effects of estrogen in the skin .
In 2009, a study was conducted on giving 30 postmenopausal women 100 mg/day of isoflavones and then measuring the effects of the supplement on skin quality.
After treatment, women saw on average a 9.46% increase in the thickness in the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis. But more importantly, they also saw an increase in collagen for the dermis in 86.2% of women, an increase in elastic fibers in 75.8% of women, and an increase in the number of blood vessels. 
In another study where a topical isoflavone cream was used, researchers saw improvements in various aspects of skin aging. They noted a 20% increase in epidermal thickness and a 36% increase in blood vessels. Although there were beneficial effects from soy isoflavones, topical estrogen was more effective. 
A popular plant that is often used for sunburns has soothing and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.
Most people probably haven’t heard of this ingredient, but it does feature in some skincare products because of it’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown that it is able to prevent lipid peroxidation, and block pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-a and IL-6. 
This ingredient in the eye balm helps increase the antioxidant capacity of skin cells to resist damage from hydrogen peroxide damage and also provide anti-inflammatory effects and photoprotection against UVB rays when applied to the skin. 
As with most well-rounded skin moisturizers, SkinCeuticals eye creams also includes alpha-tocopherol to help combat oxidative stress from free radicals and also replenish lipids in the skin.
Main reasons for using the eye balm
- It helps prevent and treat damage from the environment and aging and improves the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines under the eyes.
- Helps cool the skin and provides a refreshing feel when applied to the eyes
- Moisturizes the eyes to relieve dry skin
- Restores lipids in the skin so the skin appears less fatigued and dry
- Reduces puffiness
SkinCeuticals A.G.E Eye Complex
This cream is a little bit thicker than the eye balm, so I prefer to use it at night. That being said, it’s still perfectly suitable for use in the daytime as well!
This cream was formulated to help deal with dark circles (primarily), but the ingredients contained in the cream can help fight crows feet and puffiness around the eyes.
The way it helps the eyes is by preventing and breaking glycation in the skin. These Advanced glycation end-products are a major cause of skin aging that is overlooked by many.
Although this cream doesn’t have the same ‘cooling effect’ that the eye balm does, it feels nourishing to the skin and resolves any dryness right away.
The antioxidants contained in blueberries known as anthocyanins have been shown to be able to help protect the skin’s collagen matrix and restore its integrity. This is important for helping keep the skin firm and prevent the formation of wrinkles by maintaining an orderly collagen matrix.
Studies have shown that blueberry extract is a potent AGE inhibitor and also promotes the synthesis of GAG, which improves the skin’s moisture.
In a study conducted on females with diabetes, a product containing blueberry extract was able to help improve fine lines, skin firmness, radiance and skin tone. It significantly improved the overall appearance when used for 12 weeks. 
The antioxidants in blueberry extract also appear to be photoprotective and protect against oxidative damage.
Proxylane is taken from beech wood and incorporated into A.G.E Complex to help support the collagen matrix of the skin and help retain water.
In a randomized, investigator-blind, multicentre study, researchers looked at 240 postmenopausal women and studied the effects of 3% Proxylane serum on the skin.
Women were either given the skin care complex containing Proxylane or the moisturizer cream alone.
By the end of the study, there were significant improvements in multiple aspects of skin aging. 
Titanium dioxide is a gentle sunscreen that is great for sensitive areas of the skin such as the eyes. The eye area is most prone to UV rays because it is much thinner than the rest of the face. So it's great that they've also included this ingredient!
A flavonoid which is found in plants and honey can help protect the skin against inflammation, block apoptosis and reduce reactive oxygen species that can damage skin. Studies have also found that Chrysin is able to protect skin cells against both UVA and UVB damage.
There are many ingredients in this product which act synergistically to protect and repair aging skin. SkinCeuticals mention on their website that the product also contains 'optical diffusers' which help disperse light and minimize the appearance of dark circles from tired eyes.
Results from a 12-week clinical study using A.G.E Eye Complex twice daily.
On the SkinCeuticals website, they share the results of a study involving 50 subjects who were aged between 50-65. The results of the study are summarized below:
- 29% improvement in eye puffiness
- 27% improvement in dark circles
- 33% improvement in skin firmness
Which skin cream is better?
I've been using both of these products for close to a year, so I feel that I can give an opinion on how well they work.
Given that I am only 34 years old, my skin is still quite good, I didn't really have a lot to fix. But due to squinting over the years, there were some very faint fine lines under my eyes.
The fine lines were not obvious until I went up close to the mirror, but I thought it was time that I did something about it.
My thoughts on the Eye Balm
- It feels very nice when applied. It instantly cools the skin and makes it feel very refreshed, even if you've not had much sleep.
- It has a very soft and almost buttery-like texture that glides across the skin. It isn't too thick or greasy like some eye products.
- It absorbs rapidly in the skin and is great to use even with other skin products like CE Ferulic.
- It lasts between 4-6 months if used once a day
- Over time the product changes color when not stored in the fridge. This can change the appearance of how your eyes look if the product is too old. Storing the product in the fridge mostly prevents the change in color from oxidation.
- It's a bit on the pricey side for what the product actually contains. Although people who buy SkinCeuticals products have come to expect this, you might wonder if you're really getting what you pay for.
- It doesn't have as much science behind it compared with AGE Eye Complex
My thoughts on A.G.E Eye Complex
- The thick consistency of the product really feels nourishing, especially when applied at night after doing a good cleanse that removed much of the oils in the skin.
- The product is long-lasting and may last between 4-6 months when used on a daily basis.
- The product holds up well even when not stored in a cool place and doesn't need to be stored in a refrigerator.
- It has more science behind it compared with the eye balm. This includes a clinical study that was performed which shows the effectiveness of the cream for signs of aging.
- The thick consistency might be too much for some people and cause clogged pores. However, most reviews are positive and few people experience this.
- It might be too thick if you're applying other products to your eyes.
- It's quite expensive and the results can take months before you see any real difference. You don't get the same immediate effect as do with the eye balm.
The evidence points to A.G.E Eye Complex being the eye cream which has the best evidence behind it, to support its role in an anti-aging skincare routine. That being said, SkinCeuticals Eye Balm also provides its own unique benefits and can provide more instant relief for tired eyes.
In my own skincare routine, I have decided to keep both and use the eye balm in the morning and then the A.G.E Eye Complex at night.
Although both are quite expensive, they do last almost half a year, so although it's a lot to splurge out in one go, the cost over the months is a bit more reasonable in my eyes.
Since the eye area is the part of the face which is most prone to early signs of aging, it's important to use products actually work. At the very least, keep them moisturized. But if you need correct and not simply prevent damage, both of these eye creams are moderately effective.