Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Riley Start Over Active Eye Cream Review

I have been using Start Over Active Eye Cream  daily for about 1 1/2 years, and am quite happy with it. It is a very lightweight eye cream that is thin enough to pump out of an airtight bottle. Not only does this maintain the potency of the ingredients, but it also protects the contents from the contamination born out of repeatedly sticking unsterilized fingers or spatulas into a jar.

This eye cream is formulated to nourish and repair while protecting the delicate eye area with its photostable anti-oxidant rich formula. It plumps up fine lines and also deflates puffy eyes like nothing that I have ever seen before. In fact, people who have puffy eyes (water retention in the periorbital area) will be surprised to find that this eye cream will cause their eyes to water for the first few minutes after application while it acts as a localized diuretic and purges the unwanted trapped fluid.

Sunday Riley states that this eye cream is:

Formulated with key ingredients which repair, protect, and nourish the delicate eye area while helping you appear more rested and alert. Immediately plumps up fine lines, and rapidly de-puffs the periorbital area. Provides anti-wrinkle, anti-oxidant, anti-aging,and anti-pollution protection. Instantly cooling and lifting.

Provides Photostable Antioxidants for Day Use, while helping to Renew, Strengthen, and Regenerate the periorbital tissues overnight.

Thick and rich eye creams quite often produce unwanted Milia under my eyes, and this eye cream is light enough that it absorbs quickly and therefore never causes Milia. After use the skin under my eyes is moistened, but not greasy in the slightest. While I don't often have puffy eyes, I do often have dark circles (a genetic misfortune), but the Licorice in Starting Over has definitely reduced their appearance. I also have noticed that it has softened my fine lines which is a definite perk!

I really love this eye cream and will continue using it, but I don't think that people who expect and prefer a heavyweight rich eye cream will be satisfied with this formula not because this formula doesn't deliver, but because they are looking for a more "traditional" consistency and assume that is the only way to address the needs of the delicate under eye area. I do not have dry skin under my eyes- so I cannot truthfully report how this eye cream would work for those who do, but I do think that most people would be surprised to learn that a lightweight eye cream can often be as, if not more, effective than their heavyweight counterparts.

Active ingredients:
-Vitamin C Ester (Collagen Synthesis, Photostable Anti-oxidant)
-Pomegranate Seed Oil (Collagen Synthesis, Ancient Anti-oxidant)
-Rosehip Seed Oil (A natural source of Trans-Retinoic Acid, Anti-Wrinkle)
-Astaxanthin (Wrinkle Reduction, Powerful Antioxidant, Moisturizes)
-Lutein (in Conjunction with Astaxanthin, helps Prevent + Repair DNA Damage)
-Alpha Lipoic Acid (Anti-Oxidant)
-Licorice (Skin Brightening, Decreases Dark Circles, Anti-inflammatory)
-Algae (Rich in Nutrients for the Skin, Cellular Renewal, Anti-Pollution)
-Yeast Extract (Induces Collagen and Elastin Production, Accelerates Healthy Skin Growth)
-NV-5 AGELESS COMPLEX (5 Native American Botanicals which Rejuvenate Damaged Skin, -Pro-Actively Fight Aging, Anti-Pollution, Detoxifying)

Ingredients (click to enlarge):

Overall assessment: A+ product. However, if you are not keen on lighter eye cream formulations I would suggest getting a sample and trying it first to see if it works for you. Also most eye creams weigh in at .50 oz., and this is 1 oz. instead- which makes it far more economical than most luxury eye creams.

1 oz. $85.00 Nordstrom, Sephora, Bloomingdale's, Beauty.comBarneys New York. (Affiliate links)


  1. Eye creams are essential for maintaining the beauty of your eyes. Good to know this valuable info. coming from you. Good job.

    1. Thanks! I completely agree with you about the importance of eye cream!

  2. i've only been using this for a few nights but already see a difference in my fine lines - glad to hear that the results have remained with you for so long!

    1. Hi there! I'm so glad to hear that it is working out so well for you so far. I actually only use it once in a while these days because I have been using other eye creams and products that I am really loving these days. I'm always on the lookout for great eye creams! Keep me posted. :-)

  3. This sounds nice but i am not so keen on some of the ingredients, such as the parabens, glycols and acrylates (plastic). Shame that these are in there.

    1. Yes, those ingredients are definitely included in this product. Lately I have been trying to find skincare products with far fewer chemical compounds that are found in so many skincare products.. Some of my very favorites to date are from The Organic Pharmacy-- their products are highly effective, and the ingredient lists do not include parabens etc.

  4. I'm here because I'm researching Sunday Riley products. I just recvd Good Genes and Start over but then I wanted to look closer at a few ingredients. You've got a great blog and the most extensive overview of her products which is greatly appreciated! This last statement about the ingredients is what has me looking further into her products before I commit to using and just what some of these ingredients actually are. After reading a fantastic sounding list of natural ingredients, you hit on some odd names of things I wanted to look further into. Have you ever Google her product ingredients-I mean the odd ones, not obviously found in nature? Now that I have, I feel kinda scared. DMDM Hydantoin..yikes!? I almost feel like writing the company to see what they have to say about a few ingredients used that have some very negative sounding qualities when looked at closer. Check out: where u can look up for ex., Good genes. Then look up the scary (red) ingredients such as, DMDM Hydantoin at and tell me your thoughts. Do you think you would be willing to check in with them and since you have a better repoire, maybe get a response?? Does this stuff concern you? Thanks so much for listening and sharing all your goodies and reviews..the blog is fantastic!?

    1. Hi bug pin,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Thank you, too, for your very kind and meaningful words about my blog-- that means a lot to me. I make an effort to post ingredients so that people can make informed decisions as to whether or not they want to try them. Sunday Riley products contain natural and chemical ingredients- the line is founded on the idea that perfect skincare formulas are created through a perfect balance of "pure botanicals and advanced chemistry." It really comes down to a matter of personal preference, and of course whether one has an aversion, allergy or sensitivity to certain ingredients (of course that can be said for natural as well as chemical ingredients). Many many people are moving away from products that contain any ingredients that databases like EWG's Skin Deep suggest that we should stay away from based upon the presence of higher toxicity levels, endocrine disruptors, known carcinogens etc. that are routinely used in skincare and makeup products. I used to routinely go through ingredients to check their safety on these databases, and now only do when I am rather unfamiliar with an ingredient or chemical compound. I wouldn't even know who to check in with at the company. I think that perhaps you could contact their customer service department that should be listed on their website, or even contact one of their store counters to talk to a rep. Ultimately if you are uncomfortable using any ingredients then you really shouldn't-- that way you won't be worried about your choice. I try out SO many skincare products and lines-- some are far more natural than others-- others less so. As you can probably tell, my greatest obsession is the whole world of beauty oils, and they tend to be far more natural than many of the other skincare products on the market. If you are really looking for products with far fewer chemicals- I have been thoroughly obsessed with products from The Organic Pharmacy, and have managed to amass quite a collection. The line features an impressive list of organic and natural ingredients, and has made miraculous strides in the realm of antioxidant rich anti-aging products. I really can't advise you on whether you should keep or return Good Genes and Start Over-- that is such a personal choice, but if your gut tells you that you are uncomfortable with any of the ingredients contained within either product- then there's your answer (I have learned to listen to my gut). For me, I know to keep away from heavily silicone-laden skincare products because my skin does not like them in high concentrations, and I would prefer more natural ingredients to those that are silicone based. That said, a few of my favorite moisturizers do contain some silicone- so I tend not to use them every day. I would also prefer to slather on a luxury face oil on instead. However, I have a ridiculously large stash of skincare and am always trying new things out-- so my use differs markedly from most peoples. I also have my personal core favorite products that I use that are antioxidant rich anti-aging products that work well for my combination skin. What works well for me may not for you. Tell me a little bit more about your skin and concerns, and what you really want out of the products that you introduce into your skincare routine. Have a lovely weekend, and thanks again for reaching out! :-)


I love reading all of your comments and interacting with you- so please do not hesitate to share your thoughts, and to ask questions. Remember that what you have to say is of interest to all of us! Always feel free to email me directly as well. SPAM and advertising links will not be published.

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