Sunday Riley’s Start Over Active Eye Cream is a product that seems to be causing somewhat of a stir in the beauty world! With excellent reviews by online beauty bloggers and makeup artists alike (check out Lisa Eldridge’s current skincare regime for a start!), this product has been praised for its provision of anti-wrinkle, anti-oxidant and anti-pollution protection. Anything which claims to protect such a sensitive area of skin with some solid science sounds good to us – so let’s get demystifying!

The Science Behind the Bottle

Vitamin C

First up on their ingredients list is vitamin C. Also known as L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C is naturally unstable, becoming potentially harmful to skin when oxidised by reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon encounters with UV radiation, pollutants and similar environmental stressors. Sunday Riley’s addition of this ingredient in a photostable form, however, allows vitamin C to carry out its beneficial roles around the eye area where in this form it actually acts as an anti-oxidant to buffer the effects of harmful free radicals and prevent further UV damage in this sensitive area. Not only this, but scientific studies have also shown that vitamin C has a tightening effect on the skin, improving elasticity by boosting the production of the major skin proteins collagen and keratin. With added algae extract packing a strong punch of nutrients and silica that help to replace diminished minerals, the skin’s structural network of proteins is supported, allowing for further increases in production of collagen and elastin – cya later crow’s feet!

Yeast Extract

Sunday Riley also claim that the inclusion of yeast extract in their product ‘induces collagen and elastin production’ leading to an acceleration of healthy skin growth. Combining this with those effects of stabilised vitamin C sounds like they’d be onto a winner, but a little further reading found that scientific studies into these supposed collagen-boosting effects discovered yeast extract only to have a significant influence when combined with metal ions such as zinc. Here the combined roles of these two components caused both a decrease in melanin synthesis (reducing the appearance of pigmentation) and inhibition of the pathways involved in collagen breakdown. We’ve taken a look at the extensive ingredients list, but failed to find such a merry little metal ion to back this effect, so we’ll have to leave the jury out on that one for now.

Antioxidants

If you’re a regular reader then you’ll notice that many cosmetics nowadays include anti-oxidants in abundance and the inclusion of lutein in this product makes it one of the many that boast protective roles – but is the science strong enough? Sunday Riley say that this carotenoid is here to ‘help prevent and repair UV damage’. It does so in a similar way to the vitamin C and other anti-oxidants that are currently making names for themselves in the beauty world. Found naturally at high quantities in foods such as egg yolk and maize, as well as your fruits and veggies like kiwi fruits and spinach, administration of lutein both orally and topically has been shown in experiments to provide significant photoprotective activity within skin exposed to UV light irradiation. However, its protective effects were most significant when this anti-oxidant was administered by a combination of oral and topical routes, with carotenoids such as this helping to defend the eyes against UV-induced damage when used as a nutritional supplement. So to keep your peepers protected make sure you get some lutein in your diet – who said that corn had no nutritional value?!

Liquorice

Liquorice in this eye cream has been shown to dull the appearance of skin pigmentation that could contribute to the formation of dark circles whilst also providing anti-inflammatory actions to blast away puffy eye bags. Squalene is an oily liquid hydrocarbon found naturally within shark liver and olive oil as well as at low levels within the human body. As a strong natural anti-oxidant and a rich source of omega 2 fatty acids, addition of squalene to Sunday Riley’s formula provides further protection whilst also sealing moisture into the skin to prevent a process known as Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL). TEWL is simply the loss of water from the outer layers of the skin to the environment, and the reason that skin can appear cracked and dull when dry, making inclusion of squalene essential to provide some much-needed moisture when battling the drying effects of winter weather! Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCT as Sunday Riley refer to them, provide a mixture of triglycerides and saturated fatty acids to give further moisturising properties and keep skin soft and super-hydrated.

The Verdict

Although we’ve questioned some of the science behind this product (we can’t help it – sorry!), it would seem that this product could indeed be the skincare warrior you need to protect those peepers. The process of stabilising vitamin C for inclusion in products such as this is a costly one however, and can be party blamed for the hefty price tag ($85.00 or around £54.00 for 30ml bottle!), so if you like the sound of this one then it could be time to raid the piggy bank!

To purchase Sunday Riley Start Over Eye Cream, click HERE.

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NV-5 AGELESS COMPLEX (OPUNTIA TUNA FRUIT (PRICKLY PEAR) EXTRACT, AGAVE TEQUILANA LEAF (BLUE AGAVE) EXTRACT, CYPRIPEDIUM PUBESCENS (LADY’S SLIPPER ORCHID) EXTRACT, OPUNTIA TUNA FRUIT, OPUNTIA VULGARIS (CACTUS) EXTRACT, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT & SACCHARMYCES CEREVISIAE (YEAST) EXTRACT), SQUALENE AND OLEA EUROPEA (OLIVE) FRUIT EXTRACT, ROSA RUBIGINOSA (ROSEHIP) SEED OIL, PUNICA GRANATAUM (POMEGRANATE) SEED OIL, METHYSILANOL CARBOXYMETHYL THEOPHYLLINE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, PEG-75 MEADOWSOL, AMMONIUM POLYACRYLATE, ISOHEXADECANE, PEG-40 CASTOR OIL, HYDROXYETHYL, ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER, TETRAHEXYLDECYL ASCORBATE (VITAMIN C ESTER) GLUCOSAMINE HCL & ALGAE EXTRACT & YEAST EXTRACT & UREA, ALGAE EXTRACT, ARTEMISIA VULGARIS (MUGWORT) EXTRACT, GLABRIDINE (LICORICE) EXTRACT, LECITHIN, CHOLESTEROL OLEYL CARBONATE & CHOLESTERYL NANOATE & CHOLESTERYL CHLORIDE, PUNICA GRANATUM (POMEGRANATE) SEED OIL & ASTAXANTHIN & LYCOPENE & ALPHA D-TOCOPHEROL, METHYL PARABEN, PROPYL PARABEN, DMDM HYDANTOIN