As beauty editors, we get bombarded with a ton of new products every day (we know—tough life). Reviewed is a series where we report on some of the best products we’ve tried. Whether it’s a drugstore lipstick that lasted all day or a hand cream that saved us this winter, you’ll find all of our favorites in this column. Enjoy!
By now, I kind of just think I should have a running eye cream review column on Byrdie. (Editorial Director Faith, if you're reading, consider this my official pitch!) I try a handful of new ones every week—probably over 100 since I first moved to L.A.—and my current roster, don't gasp, sits at an expansive 20-plus. Eek. Some would say I have a problem, but I would say I just have a healthy passion for reducing the bruise-like shadows beneath my eyes while simultaneously crushing the inevitability of fine lines, wrinkles, and puffiness. The skincare market is extremely saturated with eye-care products, but I devotedly stand by all of my favorite elixirs and have been surprisingly impressed with the majority of formulas I've experimented with. That said, I hadn't come across a particular ingredient or formula makeup that truly intrigued me for a while. Until, that is, the words "snake venom" graced my inbox a couple weeks ago. Obviously, I clicked.
"'Snake Venom'—the New Skin Power Player," the email's subject line read. Hmm, I thought to myself. Am I willing to apply the venom of a reptile I despise with Indiana Jones–esque terror all over my face in the name of beauty? Yes, I thought to myself. Yes, I am. After obtaining a few more important details from the brand, I discovered EIGHTH DAY's covetable Eye Renewal Cream (the venom-infused product in question) contains dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate (dare you to say that 10 times fast), which is a protein bio-identical to one found in snake venom. According to both science and ancient folklore—snake venom has been used for both beauty and medicinal purposes in Eastern cultures for ages—the protein relaxes muscles in a similar way to Botox, temporarily blocking the uptake of sodium by underlying cells, which in effect causes a softening and smoothing effect on fine lines and wrinkles. Yep, dabbing a pea-size amount of the cream onto your eye area is pretty much the IRL equivalent to swooping your face with the smoothing tool on Facetune.
Thus, it goes without saying my excitement to try the pricey elixir was piqued, to say the least. The white-and–rose gold packaging in and of itself is dreamy.
Filled to the brim with the aforementioned venom, EIGHTH DAY's renewing eye cream features the brand's highly unique Active Placental Matrix, which targets the three main perps when it comes to less-than-bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed peepers: puffiness, circles, and those sneaky crepey fine lines. You'll also find designer eye peptides, vitamin C, arbutin, kojic acid, arnica montana, bilberry, and a host of brightening B vitamins in the ingredient mix as well.
But back to the snake venom because if you're a curious consumer like I am, I know that's the real reason you're here. According to board-certified dermatologist and founder of EIGHTH DAY Tony Nakhla, the Eye Renewal Cream only uses the venom protein that has an active effect on the muscle and in a small enough dose that the effect is immediate and temporary.
To get even more information on the topic of snake venom in skincare and its potential for any lasting effect, I conducted some additional research as well. "There's not a lot of evidence showing that venom actually does inhibit muscle activity long enough to work as well as an injectable neurotoxin, like Botox," Whitney Bowe, MD, explained in an article for Shape. "The effects of the venom are transient and weak, lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours, which won't permanently stop the muscle movement."
That said, I, for one, have personally been loving the instant gratification (and what I've felt like is almost a full-day effect) of the eye cream and think it's a great option for someone who has a fear of needles or is avoiding treatments like Botox. It's also not a bad idea preventatively speaking, and as Bowe also stated, any kind of venom will automatically enhance circulation, and the associated increase in blood flow will effortlessly leave the skin plumped, glowing, and deliciously dewy—all covetable perks I've definitely noticed around my eye area since I began using EIGHTH DAY's elixir!
The cream does have a little bit of a smell. I'm not sensitive to it, and it's more, hmm, botanical than anything else, but it's worth bringing up. Additionally, when I've applied it to my eye area, I've noticed a few seconds of subtle stinging, but nothing that's too intense, irritating to my sensitive eyes, or long-lasting. Additionally, I love and appreciate the integrity of the formula and the entire EIGHTH DAY product line in general. It's dermatologist-developed, clean, nontoxic, non-inflammatory, and contains pure and potent human-, marine-, and plant-based bioactives. In a nutshell, it's everything I want from an effective skincare product. Therefore, I'm not surprised how impressed I've been with the noticeable results. My under-eyes instantly look brighter and tauter after application, and I'm convinced the effect has lent a gradual improvement to the look and health of my under-eyes long-term, as well. Yes, this eye cream is definitely an investment, but if you're on the hunt for a truly effective formula, this one absolutely fits the bill.