Although there is a sea of products out there claiming to reduce under-eye puffiness and dark circles, I’ve had bad luck with any of them actually working, or at least working well enough that I could see a difference. Not so with Reviva Labs Collagen-Fibre Eye Pad kit. To be fair to some of those other ‘dark-circle’ creams, the collagen-fibre kit is a bit more involved that just applying a cream, but after a 20-min treatment with the eye pads and the accompanying Skin Energizing Gel, my poor eye bags were sent packing, my dark circles diminished, my under-eye skin smoother, and I could convince myself some of my thin wrinkles might be a little bit finer.
The Eye Pad kit has two components: the freeze-dried collagen-fibre pads with Myoxinol and the Skin Energizing Gel. You apply the gel to the under eye area, and overlay the pad, and leave it in place about 20 minutes. Reviva Labs says that the skin energizing gel is “an almost 100% concentrate of a special species of Hawaiian seaweed” that “provides almost ‘electric’ energy”. I would describe this sensation more as, well… stinging. The first time I tried out the pads, it felt almost like spritzing alcohol on a wound! The second time, it was a bit tingly and not as acute (there would not have been a second time if I hadn’t seen good results the first time!).
So how does it work?
Reviva labs advertises this skin care kit as having “Quick BOTOX-like benefits” with “Myoxinol” infused into the collagen pads, which honestly made me a little nervous to try the kit (the numerous typos and spelling mistakes on the Reviva labs website didn’t exactly inspire confidence, either). Botox is, after all, a neurotoxin, and presumably the ‘BOTOX-like’ Myoxinol is as well. If you are unlucky enough to encounter Botox in its natural source–from botulinum bacteria–you would be greeted by waves of paralysis starting with the cranio-facial nerves, and if you were really unlucky, proceeding to the nerves that control breathing. Botox / botulinum toxin works by blocking the signal (the molecule acetylcholine) sent by motor neurons to muscles that causes muscles to contract. Small doses of botulinum toxin, as used in cosmetic treatments, force tiny facial muscles to relax, reducing “expression line” wrinkles (like the forehead lines that appear after a frustrating day at work, and disappear after a good night’s sleep). Botox is also used to treat individuals who have clinical conditions caused by the inability of muscles to relax properly. Okay, that’s Botox – what is Myoxinol?
Myoxinol is made from proteins extracted from Hibiscus Esculentus (okra) seeds. Despite the drug-sounding name, it isn’t approved as a pharmaceutical, but rather a botanical ingredient. Its manufacturer, Laboratoires Sérobiologiques Cognis, did perform some in vitro tests that showed Myoxinol reduced muscle contractions in cultures of neurons with muscle cells, and that applying a Myoxinol cream twice daily for 3 weeks reduced the depth of wrinkles in test subjects (they did not show, though, how and if Myoxinol penetrates into the skin, or whether it actually affects the nerve-muscle signaling in facial tissues, and these results were published in a trade journal, not a peer-reviewed scientific journal). Since Myoxinol inhibited muscle contractions in the neuron and muscle cell culture, the manufacturers compare it to Botox, although much less is known about how Myoxinol affects neurons than Botox. It’s also hard to relate these results to the Reviva Labs eye pads, since the amount of Myoxinol in the product isn’t revealed on the ingredients label.
What about the Collagen Fibre Pads? Collagen molecules are too large to penetrate beneath the outer surface of the skin, but it seems that applying the collagen pads in conjuction with the Skin Energizing Gel quickly moisturizes and fills out the surface tissue, noticeably softening and smoothing the under eye skin. It’s likely the pad helps hold the gel close to the skin during the 20 min application. I wondered how much of the eye bagginess and dark circle reduction was due to the Skin Energizing Gel versus the Myoxinol-infused pads themselves, so I also tried the pad with water alone on one side and gel on the other. My skin was noticeably smoother on the gel side than the water side. Taking it one step further, I tried just the gel without the pad. After about 20 minutes, the gel seemed to contract, pulling my skin tighter and making it smoother. To me it seems like the gel was doing more than the collagen and Myoxinol pad! As the energizing gel is just seaweed extract with a few preservatives, it’s not really clear what it’s doing on the skin – whether it’s just mechanical contraction of long molecules in the gel as it dries, or if there are some unknown bioactive ingredients in there!
The effects of the Collagen Fibre Eye Pad Kit only last for a few hours, but long enough for a night out on the town, or to hide the effects of that night out on the town from your coworkers the next morning : ) Reviva labs suggest that there would be cumulative benefits with repeated use, but offers no evidence supporting that claim (in the Myoxinol report, the manufacturers reported wrinkle reduction with 1% cream twice daily, but the amount of Myoxinol in the Reviva Labs Collagen Fibre Pads is not listed, and they are only recommended for weekly use).
Looking for some defense against dark baggy, puffy eyes? You can get the Collagen Fibre Eye Pad Kit directly from Reviva Labs or many health food stores and online retailers. Since the kit comes with much more skin energizing gel than you will use with the 4 sets of included pads, you can also buy more pads separately from the same retailers mentioned above.