I’m a skincare minimalist.
I like to strip down my skincare routine to the essentials. That’s why I don’t usually bother with eye care. Why pay twice when my face moisturizer does the job just as well?
But when I found out The Ordinary had an eye serum, I just had to try it. Because, why not?
- It’s cheap
- The Ordinary products are packed with actives that work
- I’m a The Ordinary fan girl
If someone can do eye care right, it’s them. But, then, how many eye products do you know that can really reduce eye puffiness? The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG may be the dud in the line after all (they must have one, surely?).
I put it to the test. Here’s what happened:
Let’s do a quiz! Are your eye puffiness and dark circles due to:
A. Fat deposits under the eye contour
B. Hollowness in the eye contour
C. Leaky blood vessels (vasodilation)
If you’ve answered A or B, hard luck. Caffeine (or any other skincare products, for that matter) won’t do anything for you.
Answered C? Let’s talk:
Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, so putting it on your skin may reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffy eyes – when they are caused by leaky blood vessels.
Then, again, it may not. Science doesn’t have a clear answer yet. For example, this study showed that a gel with caffeine did reduce puffy eyes. BUT, the scientists weren’t sure if it was caffeine or the cooling effects of the hydrophilic gel that did the trick.
There’s a much better reason to use caffeine. It has powerful antioxidant properties. It fights free radicals, protects skin from UV damage and prevents premature wrinkles.
The catch? High concentrations of caffeine can be irritating. The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is loaded with it. 5% instead of the 3% found in most eye creams. I didn’t have a problem with it, but if your eye area is super sensitive, it may not like so much caffeine.
EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside)
EGCG is a cute acronym for the unpronounceable Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside (cos who would remember that?).
If you’re a skincare nerd, you’ve probably noticed its similarity to Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, the key antioxidant in green tea. This one is a godsend for your skin:
- It fights free radicals (it’s 200 times more effective than Vitamin E)
- It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe inflammation (one of the main causes of premature aging)
- It protects skin from sun damage
Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside does the same thing. The only difference is that this one is upgraded with a glucoside group to make it more stable (and last long).
If your eye area feels a little dry, it’s probably begging for hyaluronic acid. This humectant draws water from the environment into the skin and binds it in.
It works so well, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water! You’re basically bathing your skin in moisture.
You know what else this moisture does? It plumps up your crow’s feet so they don’t look so noticeable anymore.
Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG has a lightweight texture that absorbs fairly quickly into my skin (unless I apply too much… ahem…).
Here’s what I noticed:
- It helps depuff my eyes a little bit
- It does nothing for my dark circles
- It’s fairly hydrating, but if your eye area is dry, you still need a moisturizer on top
For an eye serum, it’s not too bad. I didn’t expect it to help with dark circles, but I was positively surprised it does something for puffiness. And, it’s a serum, so you expect to have to use it with a moisturizer (i just use my face cream).
I’m more impressed by its antioxidant content. Antioxidants are preventative, so it takes a LOT longer than a month to see some noticeable improvement. But, the science here is solid.
If you want to up your anti-aging eye game and kick puffiness away, I think you will like it. Unless you have sensitive skin. This may be caffeine overdose for you.