As a teen I often scoffed at the expensive creams and treatments designed specifically for the skin surrounding the eyes because I believed these products to be nothing but companies repackaging regular moisturizer into different containers to make more money. Some things never change (I still believe all shampoos are the same- but with different scents and advertising!), but my attitude towards eye care products has evolved significantly since joining the community of Asian skincare.
Among many other discoveries I’ve made, I have come to appreciate the gentle approach Asian skincare takes towards your face and body, and this is especially true in the range of eye creams available and suggested applications.
I became curious – is a cream intended for eyes alone a worthwhile investment? After doing some research and reading from both Western and Asian sources, I learned that the skin around the eyes is more fragile than the rest of the face in addition to being more prone to dryness. And, as Asian skincare promotes, it is the first place to show age and fatigue! It’s such a sensitive area that simple movements such as repeated eye squinting can hasten the appearance of lines and wrinkles!
Studies have shown that some eye creams can help address some of these issues. Since such a large part of Korean skincare is about prevention and taking care of the skin you have now to reap the benefits years later, it makes sense that your eyes would be grateful for extra care and repay you in better-looking skin.
For my first foray into the world of eye care, I chose to purchase Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick from the Korean brand Tonymoly.
About the ProductThis Tony Moly Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick is a portable eye serum in stick form that claims to moisturize and cool the delicate skin around the eyes while simultaneously smoothing the appearance of fine lines. It boasts cooling properties that can instantly reduce puffiness around tired eyes thanks to being infused with bamboo and seawater extracts that soothe and hydrate all skin types.
Plus, the adorable panda packaging makes your everyday eye boost add cuteness to your day! (According to TonyMoly’s website)
Where I Purchased ItThis eye cream is available through several different vendors, including Amazon, which is where I purchased it. Amazon offers a huge range of brands and products and almost always carries what I’m looking for, so it’s often my go-to for products shipped quickly at competitive prices.
I – unfortunately – don’t possess the patience to wait several weeks for an overseas shipment and prefer the modern day convenience of 2-day shipping. Modern 21st century, what have you done to me?!
After I got my package in the mail I excitedly opened it to find my little panda. TonyMoly is famous for its adorable packaging and they certainly delivered with the So Cool Eye Stick! The panda is about the size of a chubby lipstick and fits easily into your hand, pocket, makeup bag or even purse, and the cute factor is at an all-time high! Who doesn’t love pandas? (I just had to set it next to the matching TonyMoly Panda’s Dream Sleeping Pack to see how cute they are together!)
It easily opens with a plastic pop-off cap and then includes an extra safety lid over the actual stick itself, which I appreciate. If the top part of the panda accidentally came off the stick, you could rest assured that the product would be kept clean and remain hygienic thanks to the special cap.
Finally, the stick is revealed to look like a light blue lip balm which you can twist up as product is used. A light fragrance reminiscent of a minty sunscreen greets you- not unpleasant, and not too lingering.
How to Use Tonymoly Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye StickDirections for use are to apply to the eye area from the inner corner to the outer corner until an adequate amount of product is deposited. Gently tap in the product using your ring fingers to avoid overworking the sensitive skin. Usage is not limited to once a day either- accordingly to TonyMoly, the ingredients are gentle enough that whenever the eyes are feeling dry or fatigued you can give them a little “pick-me-up” throughout the day.
I prefer to use this stick in the middle of my skincare routines (morning and evening, but especially in the mornings!). By the middle of my routine I mean after I wash my face and apply toner but before the final steps of moisturizing and applying sunscreen.
I also like to give the Panda’s Dream Eye Stick a few minutes to sink in before moving on with my next steps. This gives it a chance to do its work and also prevents any product pilling which can happen if some products are layered on top of each other too quickly. I have never run into this problem, though it’s worth noting that other users have experienced this.
Ingredients Tonymoly Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick
Korean skincare places a large emphasis on ingredients, which is vital for figuring out individual product allergies, irritants, and even especially beneficial ingredients. So, let’s have a look at the ingredients in Tonymoly’s Eye Stick, shall we?
I am by no means a scientist or dermatologist and sometimes ingredient lists leave me feeling bewildered and with no comprehension of what’s actually in the product. Thankfully, the World Wide Web is beyond helpful for cases like this!
A quick search on Cosdna brings up the product with all ingredients and any possible acne, irritant, or safety triggers. Cosdna gives the values for acne and irritants on a scale from zero to five, and the safety index from one to nine- as one might expect, lower numbers equate to lower hazard levels. Unlike acne and irritation, which give information on symptoms that would undoubtedly spring up quickly, safety has a focus on long term usage, taking into account possible long term detriment to skin, cells or the human body.
I appreciate that Cosdna reminds all users that the skin condition of each person is different and constantly changing, and just because someone’s skin did not respond well to a certain product does not mean that it will not be a wonderful find for someone else. With that said, the actual possible triggers for the TonyMoly Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick are quite low.
Only three ingredients register on the acne/irritation trigger scale, and those include Butylene Glycol (solvent and moisturizer) at a 1, Dimethicone (an emollient) also at a 1, and Steareth-20 (surfactant and emulsifier) at a 2. These ingredients have been known to be irritants to some users, though not necessarily with this product as the concentrations are quite low.
For long-term safety, the biggest possible concern is the usage of the color dye Blue #1. I am slowly starting to adjust my thinking concerning colors on the skin however, as I do enjoy wearing makeup, which is often produced with chemically-derived colors, but for some reason would previously shy away from a moisturizer or cream that contained dyes. I am able to rest easy with this eye stick though because the color is in such low concentration and more likely to be better than my makeup!
After discussing possible triggers, let’s move on to the stellar ingredients and their benefits! Among the most beneficial ingredients, this eye stick contains Niacinamide, a known brightening agent that offers multiple benefits to aging skin. It also contains Sodium Citrate, an effective pH adjuster, Seawater extracts full of antioxidants, and Bambusa Vulgaris Shoort Extract (Bamboo extract) which functions as a moisturizer, antioxidant, emollient, and astringent.
PerformanceAlright, so the ingredient list looks impressive, the packaging is adorable and does add cuteness to the day, and the price is affordable- but does the product live up to the hype? In short answer, yes, yes it does.
As mentioned previously, I found my preferred time of application to be in the morning (especially after a short night) as this stick provides a nice cooling effect which helps to make me more alert and decreases both redness and puffiness beneath my eyes. The cooling effect does not last long, but it leaves behind a tight feeling that stays. I say tight, but mean it in a good way- my skin is not uncomfortably tight, only feeling a bit lifted and firmer.
The product goes on lightly which is a good thing, as heavy products around the eyes can cause milia, but TonyMoly’s Panda’s Dream Eye Stick is not too heavy for the delicate eye skin and did not give me any milia. Its consistency is also smooth and applies without any difficulties- and, despite the light blue color, the product goes on clear, so no need to worry about blue eye areas!
A feature that I really enjoy is the efficient dispenser due to a portable tube. I love it because it allows me to simply toss it in my bag when leaving the house in the morning and have it on hand for any time I might be feeling drowsy or need of some eye relief.
With continued use, I have seen subtle brightening effects and noticed that the skin around my eyes is softer and better moisturized.