Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Liz Earle Eyebright soothing eye lotion

I received the Liz Earle Eyebright soothing eye lotion when I first ordered from Liz Earle about a year ago. It was part of their spring offer last year, when you purchased their cleanser, toner and moisturiser you could choose a full size Daily eye repair, Smoothing line serum or Eyebright. I chose the Eyebright mainly because I don't have fine lines under my eyes and also because I thought that way I'd get more product as the other two products are rather small. Having said that though, Eyebright was the cheapest of the three. I'm glad I chose it though and I thought I'd share my thoughts with you.

For £10.25 you get a 150ml bottle. The packaging is nice, it's a light yellow (the picture doesn't capture the colour very well, sorry) bottle with a twist up cap just like their Skin Tonic, which means that you're less likely to loose a lot of product if you happen to knock it over (I have done that a couple of times) and bacteria is less likely to get into the bottle, though having said that it's more likely to collect around the opening. The smell is very pleasant, I can't quite place it but it smells slightly herbal and very calming somehow. At first I thought it smelled like chamomile but I compared it to some chamomile tea we had and it wasn't the same smell at all. Anyway it smells good, is what I'm trying to say. Very non offensive.

Here's what is says on the back of the bottle.
A gentle herbal lotion to soothe and refresh tired, puffy eyes and remove light eye make-up. Naturally active ingredients include; the herb eyebright, witch hazel, aloe vera and cornflower to cool, soothe and revitalise tired eyes.
Twist up cap. Apply to a cotton wool pad, sweep over eyelids and lashes to clean and wake up your eyes first thing. For a revitalising, soothing compress soak 2 cotton wool pads, place over your eyes and relax for 5-10 minutes. Eyebright is light, non-oily and suitable for contact lens wearers.

I generally use this in the evenings after I've cleansed and toned my skin, according to the instructions. It removes any residue eye makeup but it's not good at removing makeup firsthand, you need to use a cleanser or eye makeup remover for that. It feels very nice and cool on your eyes and doesn't irritate my eye area at all (I wear contacts). In fact this brings me to the reason I love this product so much.

I frequently get blocked glands around my eyelids resulting in a bit of swelling and discomfort. It's not terrible or anything, just a bit of a bother and not very pretty to look at. About a year ago I had a blocked gland on my upper lash line and I decided to put a bit of the Eyebright onto a cotton wool pad and press it to my eye for a bit. If felt good and I noticed that the blocked gland cleared up a lot faster than normal. So now, whenever I get a blocked gland (like today, for example) I use the Eyebright and it clears up pretty quickly. 

Let's have a look at the ingredients shall we?
Listed in order of quantity:

✦ Aqua (water) - Distilled/purified water is used as a solvent in products, meaning that it dissolves the other ingredients, allowing them to disperse equally in the container.
✦ Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water - acts as a lubricant on the skin's surface, making it appear soft and smooth. Enhances the appearance of dry or damaged skin and helps to reduce flaking.
✦ PEG-60 almond glycerides - acts as a lubricant on the skin's surface, making it appear soft and smooth. Helps two substances that would not normally mix together become dissolved. 
✦ Glycerin - a humectant, meaning that it increases the water content on the top layers of the skin by drawing out moisture from air around the skin. This helps to moisturise your skin.
✦ Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice - Enhances the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness.
✦ Decyl glucoside - Keeps two substances that would not normally mix from separating.
✦ Panthenol - Derived from vitamin B5, it acts as a lubricant on the skin's surface, making it appear soft and smooth.
✦ Centaurea cyanus (cornflower) extract - An astringent, it makes the skin harden to prevent infection. It also makes the skin appear soft and smooth.✦ Euphrasia officinalis (eyebright) extract - Antimicrobial (prevents bacteria from growing), an astringent, and makes the skin appear soft and smooth.
✦ Potassium sorbate - Kills micro organisms (such as bacteria) or keeps them from growing.
✦ Phenoxyethanol - Prevents or slows down microbial (often fungal) growth, acts as a preservative. 
✦ Benzoic acid - pH adjuster (adjusts the acidity), preservative and adds fragrance.
✦ Dehydroacetic acid - Kills microorganisms (bacteria) and prevents the growth, thereby acting as a preservative.
✦ Polyaminopropyl biguanide - a preservative. 
✦ Ethylhexylglycerin - a preservative, often used instead of parabens. 
✦ Sodium methylparaben - Acts as a preservative. It prevents or slows down growth of yeast and mold and some types of bacteria.
✦ Sodium propylparaben - Acts as a preservative. It prevents or slows down growth of yeast and mold and some types of bacteria.

Cosmetic Info
EWG's Skin Deep

As you can see this product contains parabens. Parabens are very controversial these days, lots of companies are proud to be 'paraben free' and many people avoid using them.
To be honest I haven't researched parabens enough to make up my mind on the matter. I don't trust the studies the media quotes as the media often gets things wrong or leaves important bits out. I do need to read some studies about it though, but from what I can see there are very mixed results.

Something interesting I saw when I was googling the eyebright extract; eyebright has been found to help with eye allergies, like hay fever for example, as a complementary treatment. Here is the abstract I found from a study.

All in all I really like the Eyebright soothing eye lotion (why do all Liz Earle products have such long names?), especially as it helps with my eye infections. I don't think I would ever have purchased it just to try it out though, so I'm very glad I got it free with the spring offer. I will be repurchasing it now though and I need to as I ran out of mine a few months ago and have been stealing my sisters every now and again. I was actually trying to use my bottle really sparingly as ordering a new one is a bit of a hassle as I don't live in the UK and I'd had it about eight months when I looked on the back and say you're meant to use it up in six months (oopsie).

Hope you found this helpful/interesting, feel free to leave any questions below! :)