Can a Snake Venom Cream Get Rid of Under-Eye Bags? I Tried It.

Writer Erin Jahns photo

By now, I kind of just think I should have a running eye cream review column on Byrdie. 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. 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 cream" graced my inbox. 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.

Read on for more about my experience with Eighth Day's snake venom cream—and what it did for my skin.

Pros + Cons

Pros:

  • Blurred fine lines
  • Fewer visible wrinkles
  • Decreased appearance of dark circles
  • Decreased puffiness

Cons:

  • Price per ounce is quite high
  • Subtle stinging upon application

The Bottom Line: Botox in a bottle

Eighth Day's Eye Renewal Cream is incredibly effective—it blurs fine lines and gets rid of those pesky, dark circles almost immediately. Yes, the price tag is hefty, but you're paying for high-quality, effective, and clean ingredients that are backed by science and research.

Eighth Day's Eye Renewal Cream

Best for: All skin types

Uses: Brighten dark circles, treat fine lines and wrinkles

Star rating: 5/5

Potential allergens: None

Active ingredients: Bio-identical snake venom, peptides, kojic acid

Clean?: Yes

Price: $225

About the brand: Developed by reconstructive skin cancer surgeon Dr. Tony Nakhla, Eighth Day delivers clinical-strength skincare products that are backed by science.

Bottle of Eighth Day Eye Renewal Serum
Eighth Day Eye Renewal Cream $225
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About My Skin: Dark shadows

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.

Ingredient Quality: Backed by science

After obtaining a few more important details from the brand, I discovered Eight Day's covetable Eye Renewal Cream (the venom-infused product in question) contains dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate aka DDBD (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. Eighth Day's renewing eye cream also 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 crepey fine lines.

I know what you're thinking: don't all eye creams claim to do that? Well, unlike other eye products on the market, Eighth Day has conducted clinical studies that have proven "up to 52 percent reduction of wrinkles in 28 days, up to 19 percent decrease in the appearance of dark circles in 56 days, up to 25 percent decrease in capillary permeability, and up to 85 percent increases in lymphatic circulation." In other words, in just under two months, there's a big chance you'll be beaming at the appearance of your under-eye area. "Think of this like a topical version of injectable muscle relaxers to help smooth and soften wrinkles," says Tony Nakhla, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Eighth Day.

Think of this like a topical version of injectable muscle relaxers to help smooth and soften wrinkles.

The real draw, of course, is the venom-mimicking dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate. "It is a synthetic, bio-identical peptide designed after snake venom," explains Nakhla. "It mimics the actions of a muscle relaxer to temporarily smooth wrinkles. As a reconstructive skin cancer surgeon, I use Botox while wounds are healing to help relax the muscles around the wound. This is especially true around the eyes. This was the inspiration behind this product."'

According to 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.

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.

Erin Jahns after using snake venom cream.
Erin Jahns

The Scent: A bit botanical

According to Nakhla, there are no side effects from using the snake venom cream, and it can be mixed with pretty much anything. That being said, 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.

The Feel: A slight sting

After 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.

Like most eye creams, once you apply this snake venom cream, you can pretty much forget about it. The only instance where aftercare is necessary is if you accidentally get any in your eyes or if you find it's causing an allergic reaction. If that's the case, flush your eyes with cool water and seek medical advice.

The Results: Instant gratification

Erin Jahns after using snake venom cream.
Erin Jahns

All 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 since any kind of venom will automatically enhance circulation, 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.

I love and appreciate the integrity of the formula and the entire Eighth Day product line in general. It's dermatologist-developed, clean, non-toxic, 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 by 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.

The Value: Pricey, but worth it

This snake venom cream is priced at a steep $225 for half an ounce. 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.

Similar Products: You have options

iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex: Looking for another clinical strength formula, without the venom? at $105, this option from iS Clinical's got you covered. It's formulated with a stabilized Vitamin C that brightens your delicate under eye area while fighting free radical damage. Fruit acids offer gentle exfoliation and a whopping 15 percent of hyaluronic acid plumps up your fine lines.

Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream: For $65, this more wallet-friendly eye cream targets puffiness, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and loss of elasticity with a blend of caffeine, black cumin seed oil, Brazilian ginseng root extract, and horse chestnut extract.

Our Verdict: We love it

Eye creams come a dime a dozen, but the Eighth Day Eye Renewal Cream is super special, thanks to active ingredients (hi, DDBD) and its silky, easy-to-apply texture. And the best part? It visibly delivers on its promises—you can wave bye-bye to dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles.

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