Budget Eye Cream

Last week I wrote about how I was running low on some of my key morning and evening skincare products. As I mentioned, being currently unemployed it seems financially extravagant to just re-purchase my same-old-same-old products no matter how much I may love them.

If now isn’t a great time to take a more critical and money-conscious view of what I’m using every day, I don’t know when is? Of the four items I’m running out of, my morning eye cream was the first to go. Let’s start there.

It’s worth noting that I have some particularly challenging under-eye concerns. I truly believe I was born with bags under my eyes not to mention dark circles. They’re just part of my “unique” look. Don’t love them. Can’t change them. Not without medical intervention at least and I’m not mentally there; not sure I’ll ever be. So I pay a LOT of attention to my eye creams; they have a battle ahead of them and I want the best bang that I can get for over the counter magic potions.

What I Was Using

I have been happily relying on my Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream every morning for months. It is a remarkably rich eye cream that is so thick, I have to warm it between my fingers first to “loosen” it a little so as not to pull on that ever-so-delicate under-eye area. It feels amazing on, doesn’t irritate my eyes and at no point during the day after using it, does my under-eye area ever feel even a tiny bit dry. If I could give this product 10 thumbs up, I would.

Here’s the rub… it ain’t cheap. Fasten your sticker shock seat belts; it comes in at a whopping $105 CAD for 15ml. That’s some BIG coin for a little jar of eye cream. BUT (and it’s a big but), it lasts FOREVER. You know how I said I’ve been using it for months? I bought the jar mid May last year and JUST ran out of it last week. That’s 9 ½ months out of one jar. Yes, I used it faithfully every day; sometimes twice a day if I ran out of my evening eye cream. The kicker on this is, it’s so rich, it feels like you’re using a lot but you really aren’t. A little goes a very long way.  

It’s high on the cost scale but it’s equally high on the good ol’ return on investment scale (ROI from my old corporate days) too so I really think it evens out. It’s a big hurdle though, especially these days, to shuck out $100+ for anything, let alone a little jar of eye cream so out I went in search of alternatives.

Budget Eye Creams I Looked At

When choosing this or any skincare product, I do my research. Like, a LOT of research. This time around, I looked for “best drug store eye cream for over 50”. From there, I focus on articles that reference reviews by dermatologists rather than just magazine journalists… the cynic in me presumes those product placements are all bought in one way or another by advertising dollars so I don’t put a lot of weight on them.

My research led me to two eye creams that appeared over and over again in these articles.

I had heard a LOT about the Roc product for a long time. It’s pretty legendary when it comes to drug store products but sadly, around here, it’s hard to come by so I landed happily on the Neutrogena eye gel cream.


Other creams with multiple positive reviews and recommendations:

  • Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream
  • L’Oreal Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle & Firming Eye Cream
  • Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream
  • Olay Eyes Eye Lifting Serum
  • Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Eye Swirl

The Comparison

First off, this is a “gel cream” so it is far lighter in weight than the BB Extra Eye Repair. I have to admit, that made me nervous particularly since one of the things I like most about the BB product was that my under-eyes felt hydrated all day… it was just that rich.

The gel cream ranges in price around $25 for 14mL and is widely available at most drug stores. The key ingredient in the Neutrogena Hydro Boost is hyaluronic acid; it’s what allows the product to hydrate so well and yet still be so light. Hyaluronic acid, found naturally in skin, binds to water helping skin retain moisture. Applied topically it can reduce wrinkles and redness making skin appear smoother.

The BB cream doesn’t contain hyaluronic acid, rather peptides (amino acids) which can stimulate your skin to make collagen leading to a firmer appearance. From what I can see though, if you’re getting peptides in your skincare, you’re spending some big coin.

This gel cream comes in a tube and is really light weight. At this point I honestly think, despite my efforts not to, I’m using more per day than I was of the BB cream. We’ll have to see how long the tube lasts but I’d be very pleasantly surprised if it lasts more than 3 months. At that rate, and considering the price, I’ll have to buy ~3 tubes to take me as far as the BB cream did but that’s STILL $30 less than the more expensive cream!

The Review – Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel Cream

This stuff is good! As I mentioned, I do think I’m using slightly more of the gel cream than I previously did of the BB cream but my under-eye area feels GREAT all day. It doesn’t irritate my eyes at all nor does it interfere with any makeup applied on top. I’ve been using the gel cream for about a week now and notice no “ill effects” of breaking with a more luxurious product. I’m loving it so far; can’t imagine why I wouldn’t re-purchase when it runs out.

Two happy thumbs up!

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