Eye Dew Plus
Arcona

Eye Dew Plus

This ultra-corrective anti-aging formula by ARCONA offers intensified concentrations of cutting-edge actives Dermaxyl® and Cavamax® to reverse visible signs of aging.

A cholesterol based ester molecule (cholesterol + oleyl alcohol with carbonic acid) whose unique thing is that it's neither solid nor liquid but something in between called liquid crystals.

Multiple cholesteric esters are often mixed togeather to form a "cholesteric liquid crystal" structure that can reflect visible light to produce beautiful iridescent colors

What-it-does: emollient

A cholesteric ester (cholesterol + nonanoic acid) that has a unique liquid crystal structure (in between solid and liquid state). Mixed with other cholesteric esters, it can produce beautiful iridescent colors

A cholesterol ester (cholesterol + stearic acid) that has a unique liquid crystal structure (in between solid and liquid state). Mixed with other cholesteric esters, it can produce beautiful iridescent colors

Also-called: Form of Vitamin C, Ascorbyl Isotetrapalmitate, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, ATIP | What-it-does: antioxidant, vitamins, skin brightening

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a stable, oil-soluble form of skincare big shot Vitamin C. If you do not know why Vitamin C is such a big deal in skincare, click here and read all about it. We are massive vitamin C fans and wrote about it in excruciating details.

So now you know that Vitamin C is great and all but it's really unstable and gives a lot of headache to cosmetic companies. To solve the problem they come up with vitamin C derivatives, and one of them is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (let's call it ATIP in short).

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It's a really promising candidate (see below), but while reading all the goodness about it in a minute, do not forget that derivatives not only have to absorb into the skin but also have to be converted to pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid or AA) and the efficacy of the conversion is often not known. Also, vitamin C's three magic properties (antioxidant, collagen booster, skin brightener) are all properly proven in-vivo (on real people), but for the derivatives, it's mostly in-vitro studies or in the case of ATIP, it's in-vitro and done by an ingredient supplier.

With this right context in mind let's see what ATIP might be able to do: First, it is stable (if pH < 5), easy to formulate and a joy to work with for the cosmetic chemist.

Second, because it's oil-soluble, its skin penetration abilities seem to be great. So great in fact, that it surpasses the penetration of pure vitamin C by threefold at the same concentration and it penetrates successfully into the deeper layers of the skin (that is usually important to do some anti-aging job). There is also in-vitro data showing that it converts to AA in the skin. 

Third, ATIP seems to have all three magic abilities of pure vitamin C: it gives antioxidant protection from both UVB and UVA rays, it increases collagen synthesis (even more than AA) and it also has skin brightening effect by reducing melanogenesis by more than 80% in human melanoma cell cultures.

So this all sounds really great, but these are only in-vitro results at this point. We could find Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate mentioned only in one published in-vivo study that examined the anti-aging properties of a silicone formula containing 10% AA and 7%  ATIP. The authors theorized that the 10% AA is released slowly from the silicon delivery system and probably stays in the upper layer of the skin to give antioxidant benefit, while ATIP penetrates more rapidly and deeply and gives some wrinkle-reducing benefits. The study was small (10 patients), but double blind, and  the formula did give some measurable anti-aging results. However, it is hard to know how much the results can be thanked to pure vitamin C or to ATIP.

Bottom line: a really promising, but not well-proven vitamin C derivative that can be worth a try especially if you like experimenting (but if you like the tried and true, pure vitamin C will be your thing).

Also-called: Biopeptide El, pal-VGVAPG, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (old name) | What-it-does: cell-communicating ingredient

A six amino acid peptide that is claimed to improve firmness and skin tone. Its amino acid sequence is Val-Gly-Val-Ala-Pro-Gly that is also called the "spring fragment" and is repeated six times in the important skin protein, elastin molecule.

The manufacturer made a double-blind, one-month long clinical study on 10 women and found that twice a day application of 4%  Biopeptide El improved skin firmness by 33% and skin tone by 20%. 

Ceramide Ng - goodie
Also-called: Ceramide 2, Ceramide NG | What-it-does: skin-identical ingredient

One of the 9 types of ceramides that can be found naturally in the upper layer of the skin. Ceramides make up a big part (about 50%) of the goopy stuff that's between our skin cells (called extracellular matrix) and play a super important role in having a healthy skin barrier and keeping the skin hydrated

We wrote way more about ceramides at ceramide 1, so click here to know more.

Retinol (Cavamax®) - superstar
Also-called: Vitamin A, Form of Retinoids | What-it-does: cell-communicating ingredient
  • Retinol (pure Vitamin A itself) is probably the most proven anti-aging ingredient available OTC
  • Retinol is not itself active, it has to be converted in the skin to retinoic acid to actually do something
  • Once converted it theoretically has the same effect as all-trans-retinoic acid, aka tretinoin
  • A generally accepted ballpark number is that retinol is 10 times less potent than retinoic acid
  • It makes skin less wrinkled, smoother, firmer and tighter
  • It might also be helpful for acne prone skin as it normalizes keratinization and makes the pores produce less sebum
  • Possible side effects and irritation are also much less than with retinoic acid
  • Do not use whilst pregnant
Read all the geeky details about Retinol here >>

Also-called: Rice Bran Oil | What-it-does: antioxidant, emollient

The oil coming from the bran of rice. Similar to many other emollient plant oils, it contains several skin-goodies: nourishing and moisturizing fatty acids (oleic acid:  40%, linoleic acid: 30%, linolenic acid:1-2%), antioxidant vitamin E, emollient sterols and potent antioxidant gamma-oryzanol

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

What-it-does: antioxidant

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

What-it-does: emollient

An often used emollient with a light and silky feel. It's very mild to both skin and eyes and spreads nicely and easily. It's often used in sunscreens as it's also an excellent solvent for sunscreen agents. 

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

Also-called: Lavender Essential Oil | What-it-does: antimicrobial/antibacterial, perfuming

We have to start by writing how fascinated we are by the amazing lavender fields of Provance and we do love pretty much everything about lavender: its look, its color, its scent.... But, when it comes to skincare, lavender is a questionable ingredient that you probably do not want in your skincare products.

First, let's start with the pros: it has a lovely scent, so no wonder it's popular as a fragrance ingredient in natural products wanting to be free from synthetic fragrances but still wanting to smell nice. The scent of lavender is famous for having calming and relaxing properties and some smallish scientific studies do support that. Inhaled volatile compounds seem to have a soothing effect on the central nervous system and studies show that lavender aromatherapy can improve patient's anxiety and experience in hospitals.   

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Another pro is that lavender oil has some nice antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It also has some local pain-relieving and smooth muscle relaxing magic powers. Lavender oil is also often claimed to have anti-inflammatory properties. We did find a study confirming that but it was the essential oil of the leaves and not the much more commonly used flowers and the two differ in their main chemical compounds very much (the main components of the flower essential oil are linalyl acetate and linalool [around 80% the two together] while it is 1,8-Cineole [around 65%] in the essential oil of the leaves).

Now, let's see the cons: similar to a bunch of other essential oils, the main components of lavender oil are potentially irritating fragrant components. The two main components are linalyl acetate (about 50%) and linalool (about 35%) and both autoxidises on air exposure forming strong contact allergens. To make things even worse, lavender oil seems to be cytotoxic from concentrations as low as 0.25% (concentration up to 0.125% were kind of ok). 

There is also an often cited Japanese study that made patch tests with lavender oil for 9 years and found a huge increase in lavender oil sensitivity in 1997 (from 1.1% in 1990 to 8.7% in 1997 and 13.9% in 1998). This was the year when using dried lavender flower in pillows, wardrobes and everywhere became fashionable in Japan, so it seems that increased exposure to lavender results in increased risk of sensitivity.

All in all, it makes us sad to write bad things about such a lovely plant, but when it comes to skincare, you will be better off without lavender. 

Also-called: Ho Wood Oil

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

What-it-does: emollient

It's the triglyceride of behenic acid that works as a thickening or gelling agent, as a compacting agent for pressed powders, and improves heat stability of emulsions. 

We don't have description for this ingredient yet.

It's a common little helper ingredient that helps water and oil to mix together. Also, it can help to increase the solubility of some other ingredients in the formula. 

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