Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream

Clinique just launches this February 2016 a new eye cream in a flashy orange new pack : Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream.

Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream

General Conclusion

Clinique built a nice product, with a fresh texture, consistant blend of active ingredients and not overpromising claims (instant brightening and moisture) for an eye cream. Clinique is clearly within the trend of the “small funny cosmetic products for your purse” initiated by EOS. The young women target will certainly like this small funny packaging with its flashy color.

Communication & Claims

This product is sold as an instant brightening and hydrating eye cream, making you look “refresh and awake in 3 seconds”.

Based on the composition of the formula, the hydrating properties are clearly supported with the amount of humectants it contains. As claimed, the formula is a blend of peptides (Matrixyl 3000, Biopeptide EL, Progeline, Argireline), all of them claimed to have anti-ageing properties, plus other active ingredients including caffeine (very classic in eye cream for its supposed effect on microcirculation), anti-oxidants, skin brightenets. There is thus a rational between the claim “brightening” and these actives, as they are consistant with the benefits of the product.

The texture by itself participate to the effectiveness of the product : an emulsified gel provide more freshness than a true emulsion.

The real novelty of the product are its packaging : a tube with an round-shaped applicator, and its color : flashy orange. Clinique did not fall into the well-known roll-on applicator with a steel ball. The applicator is part of the pack, and can be used to massage the area around the eye to apply the product. However, it provides less instant freshness than a steel ball. The flashy orange color is breaking the design codes of the Clinique skincare range : we are used to see pale green packs with grey / white / pale color jars / pumps. It is a first step toward a new design of the Clinique range ?

Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream applicator

Formula Structure

Emulsified gel, built on Lubrizol’s Pemulen polymeric emulsifier (Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer), with Sucrose Stearate (like Evonik’s TEGOSOFT PSE 141 G) as co-emulsifier, claimed to have moisturizing co-emulsifier for O/W creams and lotions with refatting properties.

The oil phase is made of (in the order of the INCI list) : Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)), Squalane, Cetyl Esters, Dimethicone (a linear silicone oil), Polybutene (like Vantage’s Indopol) and Simethicone (a blend of Dimethicone and Silica).

The aqueous phase contains a lot of various humectants (hygroscopic substance used to keep skin moist) : glycols (glycerin, butylene glycol, hexylene glycol), Methyl Gluceth-20 (Lubrizol’s Glucam E20, an ether of glucose, to retard excess water loss, with a a light, satin-like feel), Glycereth-26 (Lonza’s Ethosperse G-26, an ether of glycerin), and Sucrose.

The formula also contains a polyethylene powder (Polyethylene) to provide an improved skin feel to the formula.

Active Ingredients

As usual in Estée Lauder Companies skincare products, the formula contains a huge number of active ingredients :

  • Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract : sold for example by Premier Specialties under the tradename Magnolia Super Extract. It is claimed to contain Magnolol and Honokiol as well as Magnone A and B-lignans, and to provide an Antioxidant/Free Radical Scavenging protection of skin cells and help reduce dark circles by inhibiting Platelet Aggregation Factor responsible for clumping of blood platelets under the surface of the skin.
  • Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract : sold by Sederma under the tradename Siegesbeckia™ PH, it has already been used in other Clinique products studied on Cosmetoscope. It is claimed to be titrated in Darutoside, a healing, anti-inflammatory active ingredient. It helps fight against cutaneous inflammatory processes. It is recommended to be used in soothing emulsions and gels.
  • Algae Extract : multi-benefit cosmetic ingredient, mainly antioxidant and emollient
  • Molasses Extract/Saccharum Officinarum/Extrait de Mélasse : sold by Dr Straetmans as Molasses Liquid, it would have skin lightening properties
  • Energen, sold by Provital (INCI name : Sapindus Mukorossi Fruit Extract (and) Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum) : it is a is a galactomannan (from Caesalpinia spinosa) three-dimensional matrix that contains 0.1 – 0.25% of saponins (from Sapindus mukorossi) obtained from the fruit of Sapindus mukorossi. It is claimed to prevent and reverse the symptoms of tired skin, leaving it better toned, and because the galactomannans cannot  penetrate skin, they form a film on its surface, making it feel smoother and moisturised.
  • Matrixyl 3000 by Sederma (INCI name : Glycerin (and) Aqua (and) Butylene Glycol (and) Carbomer (and) Polysorbate 20 (and) Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (and) Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7) : synergy of two matrikines, Pal-GHK and Pal-GQPR, that repair the cutaneous damages of age. This product is used in anti-wrinkle applications. It contains matrikines which are messengers of cutaneous restructuration and repair. They activate the neosynthesis of extracellular matrix macromecules providing this product with a visible anti-wrinkle efficacy.
  • MPC – Milk Peptide Complex by CLR (INCI name : Whey Protein/Lactis Protein/Protéine du Petit-Lait) : it contains a complex of activated natural signaling molecules derived from milk, such as TGF-β. It is claimed to reduce the visible signs of aging by inducing the production of extracellular matrix molecules in the dermis, such as collagen type 1, making the skin firmer and improving its elasticity, and to reduce the wrinkle depth and enhances the overall structure of the skin.
  • Biopeptide EL by Sederma (INCI name :Glyceryl Polymethacrylate (and) PEG-8 (and) Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12) : claimed to stimulate fibroblasts mobility and act on skin suppleness, providing firmness and tone improvement.
  • Progeline by Lucas Meyer (INCI name : Glycerin (and) Aqua (and) Dextran (and) Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2) : it is a 3 amino acids peptide biomimetic of elafin that has a mechanism of action on progerin synthesis modulation. It is claimed to clinically reduce signs of aging: sagging and wrinkles, improve firmness, elasticity and the jaw line contour.
  • Caffeine : a xanthine alkaloid compound, powerful antioxidant when used on the skin. It can be used in combination with other antioxidants for an even greater effect. Caffeine is a known diuretic and can be used to reduce swelling and influence microcirculation. Formulated into eye creams, hair care products and anti-cellulite creams.
  • Phytosphingosine : claimed to improve the appearance of red, inflamed and blemished skin by soothing the skin and balancing its microflora.
  • Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 : sold by Lipotec under the tradename Argireline, it is claimed to relax of the muscles responsible for the formation of expression lines, mimicing the N-terminal end of SNAP-25 and competing with this natural protein for a position in the SNARE complex. As a result, neurotransmitters are note released efficiently and facial contractions are weakened and muscles relaxed, thus inhibiting the formation of wrinkles.
  • Yeast Extract/Faex/Extrait de Levure : Yeasts are fungi that grow as single cells, producing new cells either by budding or fission (splitting). Because it reproduces well, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the organism that is most widely used in biotechnology. In the cosmetic industry, yeast extract is used in skin conditioning applications.
  • Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein : probably Vegeseryl HGP by BASF, native botanical proteins extracted from the seed of a renewing leguminous, glycine soya. May be used in a wide range of cosmetic applications such as anti-age, anti-wrinkle and smoothing care products.

Preservative System

The formula is protected against microbiological development by Phenoxyethanol and Caprylyl Glycol, helped by all the hygroscopic ingredients used as humectants in this formula.

The formula also contains Sodium Citrate and Sodium Hydroxyde as pH adjusters / buffers.


Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Squalane, Cetyl Esters, Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Polyethylene, Glycereth-26, Polybutene, Sucrose, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Algae Extract, Molasses Extract/Saccharum Officinarum/Extrait de Mélasse, Sapindus Mukuorssi Fruit Extract, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Whey Protein/Lactis Protein/Protéine du Petit-Lait, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2, Caffeine, Phytosphingosine, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Yeast Extract/Faex/Extrait de Levure, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Sucrose Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-8, Sodium Hyaluronate, Simethicone, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Dextran, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI77891).

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By A.B.

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