111 Skin's Best-Selling "Eye Lift" Gel Contains a Powerful Botox Alternative

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bottle of purple 111 skin eye cream on linen background

Holly Rhue

What We Like
  • Absorbs quickly

  • Doesn't pill under makeup

  • All-day hydration

  • Researched-backed ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Fragrance may be bothersome to some

111 Skin's newly reformulated Eye Lift Gel containing proprietary NAC Y2 is an efficacious, research-forward formula that delivers clinical power through a luxe, sensorial experience.



bottle of purple 111 skin eye cream on linen background

Holly Rhue

We received a complimentary sample of 111 Skin's Eye Lift Gel NAC Y2 so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.

111 Skin is well-known for its spa presence (it's the in-house brand for luxury hotels like The Four Seasons Resort Anguilla and Bvlgari Hotel London) and A-list following (First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Demi Moore are fans). But it's the brand's clinical solutions that should take center stage. The London-based brand, which was co-founded by board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides—has clinical studies and cutting-edge innovations at the center of its ethos.

The result is disruptive skincare technology packaged in a luxe, sensorial experience. And one such innovation is the brand's best-selling Space Defense Eye Lift Gel, a first-of-its-kind formula containing antioxidant-stimulating NAC Y2 and Botox-mimicking Argireline. And despite all of the success around the product, 111 Skin recently opted for a reformulation when it discovered a way to make the formula even more powerful. "Thanks to advanced encapsulation technology, the new, groundbreaking formula boasts four times more NAC—the highest clinically-tested level—to supercharge benefits and yield truly transformative results," says Alexandrides. And the fancy new formula comes with a fancy new name: Eye Lift Gel NAC Y2.

So, does the innovation live up to the hype? Ahead, read my full review of what 111 Skin calls an "eye lift in a bottle"—the Eye Lift Gel NAC Y2.

111 Skin Eye Lift Gel NAC Y2

BEST FOR: Dry under-eyes, wrinkle prevention

USES: Targets fine lines, dryness, and puffiness

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: NAC Y2, caffeine, Argireline



PRICE: $190

ABOUT THE BRAND: 111 Skin is a London-based skincare brand (located at 111 Harley Street, hence the brand name) founded by Eva Alexandroides and her partner, plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandroides.

About My Skin: Dry, textured under-eyes

I'm fortunate to have skin that's balanced for the most part. But like most people, my under-eyes are the exception. My entire under-eye area is chronically dry, and the inner corners are textured with little milia bumps that can make it difficult to achieve smooth concealer application. And because thick creams can contribute to milia, I tend to opt for lightweight eye serums and gels vs the traditional, goopier creams. It keeps my milia at bay, but the downside of those lighter-weight eye treatments is that they typically aren't moisturizing enough for the surrounding dryness I experience.

woman applying eye gel to under-eye area

Holly Rhue

The Ingredients: Industry-disrupting formula

  • Encapsulated NAC Y2: "NAC Y2 helps promote the production of glutathione—the body’s master antioxidant for skin," says Alexandrides. And while the original formula contained this proprietary blend as well, it's now encapsulated in the new formula, which makes it four times as powerful. "The latest Niosome encapsulation technology has been harnessed to enhance the delivery of NAC Y2, allowing it to penetrate the stratum corneum and reach deeper into the epidermis, where it reaches live cells," says Dr. Alexandrides. "This new delivery system not only enables deeper penetration but also allows for a more potent dose of the reparative NAC core ingredient and slow release of the active complex to work within the skin for up to eight hours." Having this slow release of antioxidant protection helps protect the skin from free-radical damage, one of the largest contributors to visible skin aging.
  • Argireline: Argireline is a type of peptide that prevents fine lines from forming in the first place. Often referred to as a Botox alternative, it works by reacting with the protein receptor complex that's responsible for muscle contractions, limiting muscle movement (and subsequently the skin movement associated with wrinkle formation) in the under-eye area. One study found that daily application of Argireline-containing formulas resulted in a 48.9% reduction in wrinkle formation compared to a control group that did not use Argireline. “Everyone is trying to mimic Botox, and so far, Argireline is one of the best contenders,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rita Linker.
  • Caffeine: Much like a cup of coffee can perk you up in the morning, applying topical, caffeine-containing skincare products can result in a noticeable awakening effect. Studies have found that caffeine-infused eye creams are particularly effective in terms of treating puffiness and the fine lines along the outer corners of the eyes that are often referred to as "crow's feet."

The Feel: Lightweight and cooling

If—like me—you are not a morning person, this will become your new favorite part of your a.m. routine (perhaps only second to that first sip of coffee). This is a true, watery-gel texture that feels cool and refreshing on the skin. It's also a very wet formula—there's enough slip that you can use this with a gua sha stone for extra de-puffing, but all that moisture also means you want to make sure you let the gel absorb into the skin before you go in with any makeup. (Otherwise, you could experience pilling or separating with your makeup.) It's exactly what you want in the morning—lightweight, no fuss, and a little taste of luxury that reminds you some things are worth getting out of bed for.

woman using gua sha on under-eye area

Holly Rhue

How I Tested It: One pump, twice a day


I tested 111 Skin's Eye Lift Gel by applying the product twice a day for three months: once in the morning, and once at night. (I definitely missed a few nights here and there when I was traveling, but I applied twice a day for the majority of the time during this testing period.)


I found that a full pump of the product was the perfect amount to treat under, around, and above both eyes—what's referred to anatomically as the "orbital" area. I applied the product with my ring finger (it's the weakest finger for most people, which means minimal tugging and pulling on your eye area) and let the product absorb for a full five minutes before I applied any other products. During my morning application, I used the product in conjunction with a gua sha when I was feeling extra puffy, and always applied the product after my targeted treatment and before moisturizers or sunscreen.

My Skincare Routine During Testing

My skincare routine remained almost identical during the testing period, with the only change being the addition of the 111 Skin Eye Lift Gel instead of my usual eye cream. This is the routine I followed;


  1. Cleanser
  2. Vitamin C serum
  3. 111 Skin Eye Lift Gel (let absorb for five minutes)
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Makeup


  1. Micellar water to remove makeup
  2. Cleanser
  3. Rx Retinoid
  4. 111 Skin Eye Lift Gel (let absorb for five minutes)
  5. Moisturizer

The Results: Plump, hydrated under-eyes

Do I miraculously have perfect little doll under-eyes? No. But 111 Skin's Eye Lift Gel has definitely earned a permanent place in my eye-care rotation. Not only do the caffeine and Argireline produce an immediate improvement in puffiness and creasing, but over the course of the three-month testing period, my once crepey eye area has actually become smoother, plumper, and softer.

And while my milia haven't completely disappeared, this formula definitely hasn't made it any worse (as so many other eye creams have). After a month of using this product, my concealer started to go on much smoother, resulting in a much more natural appearance that used to look a bit cakey on top of all that skin texture. I'm very pleased with the results and can't wait to see what a difference six months can make.

woman with eyes closed as sunshine comes through window

Holly Rhue

Who Can Use It?

"All skin types can benefit from this formula," says Alexandrides. "The formula provides the optimum conditions for enhanced elastin and hyaluronic acid production—which benefits all skin types and ages." Alexandrides does note, however, that the product can't formally be considered non-comedogenic, so those concerned about breakouts in the eye area should consult their dermatologist. "We do not test for comedogenic ingredients in products, therefore, we do not claim that our products are non-comedogenic," he says. "However, acne-prone skin types shouldn’t have a problem with this formula." None of the ingredients present in the Eye Lift Gel appear on the American Academy of Dermatology's clinical guidelines for acne as ingredients to avoid. However, the product does have a light fragrance; I personally find it enjoyable, but if you have a skin type that's sensitive to fragrance, you may want to skip this one.

Similar Products: You have options

Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Eye Concentrate: Peter Thomas Roth's Unwrinkle Eye Concentrate ($200) also contains Argireline, but doesn't have 111 Skin's proprietary NAC Y2 complex. The formula is also a bit thicker in viscosity, which may or may not be your preference.

Estee Lauder Perfectionist Pro Instant Wrinkle Filler: Much like Peter Thomas Roth's concentrate, Estee Lauder's Perfectionist Pro Instant Wrinkle Filler ($50) contains Argireline, but lacks the antioxidant-stimulating effects of 111 Skin's formula. At $50, it's also a much more cost-effective option.

The Final Verdict

111 Skin's Eye Lift Gel NAC Y2 is an investment at $190, but considering its cutting edge, antioxidant-stimulating complex and Botox-mimicking ingredients, I consider it well worth the splurge. If you're nervous around needles or are trying to delay the desire for Botox, this is an excellent, topical treatment formulated by a board-certified plastic surgeon.


  • Product Name EYE LIFT GEL NAC Y²
  • Product Brand 111 Skin
  • SKU Eye Lift Gel NAC Y2
  • Price $190.00
  • Amount of Product 15 mL
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Addor FAS. Antioxidants in dermatology. An Bras Dermatol. 2017;92(3):356-362.

  2. Lim SH, Sun Y, Thiruvallur Madanagopal T, Rosa V, Kang L. Enhanced skin permeation of anti-wrinkle peptides via molecular modification. Sci Rep. 2018;8:1596.

  3. Wang Y, Wang M, Xiao S, Pan P, Li P, Huo J. The anti-wrinkle efficacy of argireline, a synthetic hexapeptide, in Chinese subjects: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2013;14(2):147-153.

  4. Ahmadraji F, Shatalebi MA. Evaluation of the clinical efficacy and safety of an eye counter pad containing caffeine and vitamin K in emulsified Emu oil base. Adv Biomed Res. 2015;4:10.

  5. https://www.aad.org/member/clinical-quality/guidelines/acne

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