Product Development: Eye Serum

Many people turn to eye and facial serums as the years begin to accumulate, in an attempt to fend off wrinkles. Really, though, we could all do with nourishing the delicate skin around our eyes to help protect it against sun, wind, and other environmental damage. To that end, I decided to turn my hand to developing something that would serve this purpose.

First, I need to establish the requirements of the product. It needs to be incredibly, deeply, richly moisturizing, though preferably not overwhelmingly greasy and also non-comedogenic. Oils that show sun protection tendencies are also good, though for FDA-related reasons this will not be something I can claim about the finished product. I also want to have lots of linoleic acid, essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and assorted antioxidants.

Well, that’s a pretty long list of parameters, but given the breadth of oils available, it’s actually harder to narrow down the choices than it is to come up with things to fit the above requirements in the first place! I’d like to start with sunflower oil due to my longstanding love of this oil and its high lineoleic acid and vitamin E content, which gets some of the requirements out of the way in the first place. Raspberry seed oil is fantastic for more vitamin E content as well as essential fatty acids, and may well serve the sun protective role that I’m looking for. Rose hip oil has antioxidants and essential fatty acids, and meadowfoam oil contains vitamin E and is very moisturizing. Ordinarily a serum of this sort would include some straight vitamin E, but honestly I think there’s enough E in the assorted component oils that it’s not necessary here.

I could go on and on; I’d love to use more oils: pomegranate, black currant, sea  buckthorn, cranberry seed, tamanu, wheat germ, argan, neem, borage, camelina, cherry, evening primrose – but really, the above is plenty, especially given there is one significant ingredient I haven’t listed yet: Squalane.

Squalane is a derivative of squalene, modified to give it a longer shelf life but still very beneficial to the skin. It is readily absorbed due to being a significant component of natural sebum, and is fantastic for extra-dry, chapped, or damaged skin.

So, having selected the components of the eye serum, it’s time to work out proportions. As a starting point, let’s go with:

  • 30% sunflower oil
  • 20% raspberry seed oil
  • 20% rose hip oil
  • 20% meadowfoam oil
  • 10% squalane

That looks like a good balance of oils to begin with, but that doesn’t include botanical extracts. Obviously only oil-soluble extracts can be used here, but there are a few good ones: Green tea, orchid, sea buckthorn (ah, now I feel better about having to cut that oil from the composition), and evening primrose (likewise). I’ll add these to the already-blended oils; maybe about 5% or so.

Do we want fragrance? I think it should have a slight scent of some sort, yes. If I were using tamanu or neem oils, they would determine the basic scent profile of the product, but with neither of those included, the field is wide open. I’m thinking lavender, for its soothing and relaxing properties; 0.5% or so.

Not pictured: Sunflower oil.

Time to bottle it up! This product should be used very sparingly; therefore it needs to be packaged either in a small bottle with a treatment pump or in a roller ball vial. I don’t happen to have the former on hand at the moment, so I’ll go with the latter. If it doesn’t seem like the right vehicle for the product during the testing phase, I’ll switch to the treatment pumps before the product goes on sale.

And that’s that! I now have a small batch of eye serum, ready to head out to my testing group. I’ve already put some on myself – on my right eye but not my left, for ease of comparison – and it feels luscious. I think I’m going to love this product!

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About Amy Young

Founder of Foam on the Range soaps. View all posts by Amy Young

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