I first bought Bioderma’s Sensibio Eye Contour Gel a few years ago in Paris; I had forgotten to pack my beloved Pai Echium Eye Cream and so I hot-footed it to the nearest Pharmacie to find something similar. I was in Paris for a cosmetics shoot and my call sheet indicated that there were over ten makeup tweaks and changes, most of them involving the eyes; my eyes are particularly irritable and I knew that my skin would be sore and red by the end of the day. Boo hoo.
As a rule, makeup artists in France tend to carry excellent skincare in their kits (it was through working in Paris as a model that I first discovered brands like Bioderma and Embryolisse and Vichy) but I wasn’t going to risk being left high and dry if my options turned out to be a baby wipe and a sachet of scented hand cream. (Has happened.)
So off I went to the Pharmacie. I actually sauntered in looking for the DioptiCalm eye cream from a brand called Lierac, but they didn’t have it. Diopticalm is an amazing eyelid balm that really has quite a profound soothing, refreshing effect if you’re knackered and your eyeballs feel like hot coals. But it was nowhere to be seen and so I asked the assistant for something similar, in my best Del Boy French.
After some bad miming involving eye-rubbing and streaming tears and an alarming reenactment of a skin inflammation episode, during which I grasped desperately at my face as though it was on fire, we finally settled on Sensibio Eye Gel as a good alternative. It was pleasingly inexpensive, so much so that I fetched a basket and did what every visitor from abroad does at a French Pharmacie – supermarket skincare sweep. Gallon bottles of micellar cleansers, clay masks that never get used, intriguing pH-balanced washes for the nether-regions…
But the eye cream turned out to be a sensible and solid choice. I was put off by the “gel” aspect, but it’s not actually a gel at all. It’s a light cream. It’s not the thickest, creamiest cream in the world but neither does it have that refreshing, tightening effect that is the sworn enemy of dry, sensitive undereye skin – if you tend to give eye gels a wide berth, make an exception for this one.
Calming on irritated skin, the formula (like many of the French sensitive skin formulas) helps to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory molecules so that skin is less reactive. In short, it stops tetchy, itchy skin from becoming more tetchy and itchy every time something upsets it – gives it a bit of an anger management course.
That’s perhaps one of my dicier analogies, but hopefully you know what I mean – if you have skin that sometimes (or often) feels dry, tight and irritated and everything you throw at it makes it worse, you need products that help the skin to protect itself. Stay hydrated, supple and calm.
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On that note, I can highly recommend the Toleriane range from La Roche-Posay if you’re looking for full-face calming – the creams contain Neurosensine, which again helps to puts a dampener on irritation before it can get into the swing of things. I’ve reviewed the night cream before here.
Another great cream – though far, far pricier – is La Solution 10 de Chanel. I actually have a full review of this waiting to be edited and published, but to give you a precis, it’s a very simple but cleverly formulated cream with just ten ingredients. No fragrance, no mineral oil and carefully chosen emollients and antioxidants to help strengthen the skin’s barrier. I love it, but I also think that Toleriane is equally effective and a fraction of the price. If you want to find out more on the Solution 10 prior to my review going up, it’s here* at Boots. The Toleriane range is here* at Escentual.com.
You can find the excellent Bioderma Sensibio Eye Gel at Escentual.com here* – at the time of writing it’s 1/3 off at £9.86. It’s perfect underneath makeup, not too slidey or bouncy, and suitable for day or nighttime use.
Full ingredients list: AQUA/WATER/EAU, GLYCERIN, DIMETHICONE, POLYETHYLENE, TRIDECYL TRIMELLITATE, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, ISOSTEARYL ALCOHOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL COCOATE, FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES, MANNITOL, XYLITOL, ACRYLATES/ C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, DISODIUM EDTA, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, CAFFEINE, LAMINARIA OCHROLEUCA EXTRACT, RHAMNOSE, ETHYLCELLULOSE, SODIUM HYALURONATE, GLYCYRRHETINIC ACID. [BI 484]