For our third edition of “does this product actually deliver results” we’re trying out The Ordinary Caffeine Solution with before and after pictures!
If you’re like me, and you find falling and staying asleep extremely difficult, you’ve probably come to terms with your perpetual under eye circles. I’d given up on fixing that long ago, knowing my sleep habits.
However, after the major success I saw using doing a 2 week before and after of the Ordinary Peeling Solution. Remembering how impressed I was with that product, I decided to give them a chance to fix my stubborn dark circles and try out the Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG.
I used this product every night as the second to last step in my PM routine. My skin type is combination and can be slightly sensitive to intense products.
My skincare routine was as follows: I cleansed with Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser, applied the Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum, applied the caffeine solution, and then moisturized with the Acure Ultra Hydrating 12 HR Moisturizer.
It’s important to know that dark circles and puffiness are caused by a few different things: lack of sleep, fat deposits under the eye, enlarged blood vessels, unhealthy lifestyle causing inflammation, and the list goes on.
Caffeine is effective if the dark circle driver is enlarged blood vessels, because caffeine is a vasoconstrictor. If the other factors are the reason behind your puffiness and dark circles you may not have very much luck with this product.
Check out my under eyes before the treatment.
About the The Ordinary Caffeine Solution
The solution comes in a small 30 mL glass vial with a built in dropper, the typical packaging for most of The Ordinary’s popular serums and solutions. I did a patch test before the PM application and didn’t have any adverse reaction.
Caffeine and Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG): Help to reduce the look of puffiness and dark circles underneath the eyes.
Hyaluronic Acid: One of the best moisturizing ingredients, hyaluronic acid attracts water into the upper layer of the skin and acts as a sponge to attract and retain skin’s water content. Fun fact: HA can bind 1000 times its own weight in water!
Full Ingredient List
Water, Caffeine, Maltodextrin, Glycerin, Propanediol, Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside, Gallyl Glucoside, Hyaluronic Acid, Oxidized Glutathione, Melanin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Urea, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Xanthan gum, Lactic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Propyl Gallate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Benzyl Alcohol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol
Fun fact: It’s often compared to the Perricone MD Essential Fx Acyl-Glutathione Eyelid Lift Serum as a much cheaper dupe.
When to use the ordinary caffeine solution in routine
Generally speaking, The Ordinary Caffeine Solution should be used before your moisturizer, after you use a cleanser, toner, and/or serum. In other words, apply it after your serum. While you could use it all over your face, the Caffeine Solution is meant to be gently patted in around your eyes. Make sure you are gentle upon application, because the eye area can be pretty sensitive!
If you are using a hyaluronic acid serum, apply The Ordinary Caffeine Solution after the hyaluronic acid serum.
The product has a pretty thick viscosity. I was able to use just a drop or two in the under eye area and cover the surface well. The treatment didn’t elicit any type of burn physical response, the application felt just like applying a normal moisturizing serum. I noticed though that getting too close to my waterline made the skin near the area tingle slightly. There was also no noticeable scent.
After about 5 minutes the area goes very tacky, almost like the feeling of a face mask beginning to dry.
Week 1 Thoughts
I woke up the next few days after PM application noticing no discernable difference in my undereyes. Since I don’t suffer from puffiness, I can’t speak to the product’s efficacy to de-puff in my own experience. It also felt fairly hydrating after sinking into the skin.
My eyes one week into the caffeine solution
Week 2 Thoughts
In the second week of treatment I noticed my dark circles appeared less pronounced. My dark circles seemed a little less deep but the actual coloring hadn’t changed. I wondered if this was more related to the de-puffing properties of the product since the pigmentation wasn’t impacted.
My eyes after two weeks of the caffeine solution
Conclusion: The Ordinary Caffeine Solution
Ultimately, I saw no major difference before and after using The Ordinary Caffeine Solution for two full weeks. My under eyes didn’t look at all different than when the treatment started. Looking back I might give this treatment another chance seeing that it can be used as frequently as twice a day.
The conclusion? A cautious fail.
I took a look at other reviews of the The Ordinary Caffeine Solution and I noticed that people had similar things to say. The treatment was generally more effective for those with puffiness as opposed to darkness.
For those who were using the product to combat darkness, it seems like most dramatic changes were seen in those using the treatment in both the AM and PM with the use on an eye cream too.