Since 2000, REN’s aim has been to help extend the youthful appearance of their customers’ skin. REN’s Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift is part of the Keep Young & Beautiful range, which, as the name suggests, claims to keep your skin looking younger for longer.

The Claims

The Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift is a gel-serum designed to improve the appearance of the skin surrounding the eyes. The product claims to brighten and tighten, resulting in a plumped, more youthful look. Dark circles and puffiness are said to be reduced thanks to the Glycine Betaine Complex, while Hyaluronans instantly lift and smooth the skin and phycocolloids supposedly leave our skin feeling comfortably hydrated.

The Science behind the Bottle

Glycine Betaine Complex and the Polianthes tuberosa Callus Extract

Glycine Betaine, otherwise known as trimethylglycine, has been found to be a very effective humectant: a molecule that is fantastic at clinging onto water, drawing it in either from deeper layers of the skin or even the air to hydrate skin and even plump out the appearance of some of those fine lines and wrinkles. REN claim that Tuberose Active Shells from the polianthes tuberosa plant can act like a ‘protective bubble’ and help deliver the active ingredients into the skin more effectively.

Unfortunately, we Geeks could find little research specifically surrounding the Polianthes tuberosa Callus Extract. There is a suggestion that polysaccharides extracted from the callus cells of Polianthes tuberosa form a smooth film on the skin’s surface locking in hydration, similar to the action of betaine. However, we couldn’t find anything about this ingredient ridding us of our dreaded dark circles and puffiness.

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate

Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (a mouthful, we know!) is the likely source of glycine in the mysterious Glycine Betaine Complex. Unfortunately, as with the Polianthes tuberosa Callus Extract, the details are fuzzy and we couldn’t find any solid evidence of this ingredient being used beyond its capabilities as a preservative.

With the bold statements made by REN about their Eye Lift, this first ingredient is a little disappointing to say the least. However, there is still hope that our skin will appear plump, smooth and hydrated with help from the other key ingredients.


Hyaluronan is the natural salt form of wonder ingredient Hyaluronic acid (HA). It exists within REN’s Eye Lift as Sodium Hyaluronate, but basically has the same effects as HA. Hyaluronan provides structural support to our skin cells, but as we age it is lost, taking our skin’s elasticity with it. This is because of its ability to – when existing as a gel – hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it vital for skin hydration. Luckily for us, we can use products containing hyaluronans to help delay those dreaded changes to our skin and maintain a smooth, plump and youthful look for longer! We can tick the box for smooth and lifted skin thanks to the amazing hydrating effects of HA – check! If the product is used regularly, it certainly seems plausible that this appearance will be preserved, as we continue to replenish our hyaluronan stores with the Sodium hyauronate in REN’s Eye Lift. Despite the disappointing start, this product is beginning to sound promising!

Porphyridium Cruentum Extract

Porphyridium cruentum is a type of red algae found within the formulation for REN’s Eye Lift and is likely to be the source of the phycocolloids. There are numerous types of phycocolloids and the only information we could find on the use of Porphyridium cruentum in cosmetics is that they are a natural source of anti-oxidants. This means that they could help slow the ageing process by attacking those nasty DNA-damaging free radicals we often hear about! Additionally, red algae extracts are added to cosmetics for a soothing feeling, which could be responsible for the comfort REN claims their Eye Lift provides.

Red algae is also full of minerals and polysaccharides (sugar chains) which have both moisturising and therapeutic effects. Components from red algae called “carrageenans” are large and flexible helix-like molecules, which have moisturising properties and can hydrate the skin around our eyes.

The Verdict

REN’s Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift claims to reduce dark circles and puffiness, to firm, lift and smooth the skin – both instantly and over time – and to leave the skin feeling hydrated and comfortable. While it certainly seems the product may fulfil some of its promises, the details surrounding several of the key ingredients are a little fuzzy.

That being said, us Geeks have confidence in the anti-ageing effects of hyaluronan and this ingredient alone may well perform some of the benefits it claims. So if you’re after an eye cream that will hydrate, smooth and comfortably tighten, we believe this could just be the product for you. However, it is pretty pricey at £30 a bottle, particularly when Clinique’s Pep-Start Eye Cream contains a handful of the same actives and costs only £22. Additionally, there are a number of hyaluronic acid-containing eye creams available on the high street for a fraction of the cost, such as the Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Eye Cream, which is much less of a risk with a price tag of just £6.99!

Click here to get hold of REN Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot.

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Water, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Glycerin, Pullulan, Carbomer, Mica, CI77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Polianthes Tuberosa Callus Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Porphyridium Cruentum Extract, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena Extract, Citronellol, Geraniol.