In a previous blog post I mentioned that I was trialling a few products from new Chinese/French skincare brand Lu Ming Tang. I discovered this brand at an expat expo and whilst I was partially a little bit skeptical at first, as I had never heard of the brand but the other part was very curious as the packaging was so cute. I thought I would give it a go as the brand representative was so lovely and passionate about the products and took her time to explain everything to me - from the concept to each of the products. I am so glad the Mr pushed me to try the products as I actually quite like a few of them so far (I have been testing these on and off for the last week). One product in particular is a stand out in the range for me.
As mentioned here, Lu Ming Tang is the creation of French expat, Marie Amiand who lived in Shanghai for 10 years. Her story is that she was a beauty consultant for many international luxury skincare brands and whilst in Shanghai, her skin started to feel the effects of the pollution and the environmental stress around her. With these concerns in mind, she did some research, discovered the amazing benefits of tea and Lu Ming Tang was born.
Well I am pleased to say I have been playing around with the products for about a week now, and the eye concentrate in particular has been such a pleasant surprise. I really, really enjoy using it and out of the all the products in my discovery box that I purchased, this is the one I have been using the most and often reach for. I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I have as I already have two other eye treatments. I haven't really toyed around with eye creams so much as I am finding them very hard to use up (you just need the smallest amount!). I am however, really happy to now have this on my rotation.
What Is It:
The Lu Ming Tang Elixir de Vie Bio Shield Eye Concentrate is such a handful to say, but it is quite simply an eye cream/treatment. It is a bit more thicker in consistency than the eye creams that I own (Sunday Riley Start Over and Verso Skincare The Super Eye Concentrate) but a bit thinner than that of the La Mer Eye Concentrate if that gives you an idea of the viscosity.
What Does it Do:
The Elixir de Vie is one of those eye creams that seem to do a bit of everything - minimises fine lines, diminish the appearance of dark circles, protect the eye area from the effects of pollution using powerful antioxidants and be a anti-ageing work horse. It uses the intense power of Black Pu'Er Tea sourced from the Xishuangbanna Mountains in the Yunnan Province. The tea trees here are apparently more than 1000 years old. The eye concentrate also uses other forms of antioxidants in their formula to fight free radicals in pollution such as Genetian Flowers from France, Acerola berries and Yarrow extract.
The description from Lu Ming Tang website is the following:
Our concentrate reduces the look of visible signs of eye ageing, helps iron-out fine lines and wrinkles, fights uneven skin tone.
This powerhouse of Yunnan Pu’Er Tea with revitalising vitamins and anti-oxidants stimulates exceptional rejuvenation.
The eye contour looks fresh, more rested, more radiant and youthful-looking
It also claims to be suitable for all skin types.
The ingredients listing for this is not online (which is what I seem to find quite common on many of the Asian websites, its so annoying when I need to decipher whether or not I should buy something!). They do however have a full ingredient listing on the box of the product:
Water, Triethlyhexanoin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Pentelene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Strearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Kou-Cha Ekisu (Pu'Er Tea), Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Malpighia Emarginata (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract (Neurobiox), Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extract (Green Tea), Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (Chlorophyll), Hyrdoxypropylcycodexterin, Ferulic Acid, Tocopherol, Beeswax, Bisabolol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkylacrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Xantham Gum, Disodiem EDTA, Ethylhexyglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol.
I had a quick look at the ingredients on CosDNA and all in all, the ingredients listing looks okay for me, nothing too alarming. There are a few acne triggers such as the Olive Oil, Beeswax and the Shea Butter. PEG 100, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (a colour additive) and Sodium Hydroxide all rate 3 and Fragrance is rated 1-4 for safety.
I am however quite impressed with the amount of different antioxidants in this ingredient list!
Earlier on, I did mention how pleasantly surprised I am with this product. The main reason being is that I found that it really did diminish the look of dark circles around my eye area. Most of my other eye creams I have purchased, I have been using as a preventative measure as ageing around the eye area isn't a huge concern for me as of yet - I am 27. Dark circles and puffiness around the eyes are probably my main concerns and whilst those eye creams that I do already own do help a bit (more so the puffiness), the results I got from the Lu Ming Tang Elixir de Vie were much more noticeable - especially in the area of dark circles.
The Elixir de Vie consistency is a little bit more thicker than I am generally use to, but I do know that some eye creams are this sort of texture. I find that the tiniest bit does go a very long way (3/4 a grain of rice) and I do need to 'massage' the cream in for it to absorb. It also does take a little longer for the cream to sink in which is fine for the evening but a bit of a pain in the morning if you are in a rush. I would love to use this in some mornings as the effect it has underneath my eyes is noticeable and the wait and the process is something I am willing to forfeit as I am much better applying eye creams than I am at concealer (haha). I was also quite worried when using this at first due to the thickness of the product and the use of shea butter in the eye area - mainly because I have heard horror stories about using heavy products and millia. I am happy to say I have been using this on and off for about a week now and there are no signs as of yet (and touch wood it stays like that!)
In terms of wrinkles and fine lines, I do have some smaller lines underneath my eyes, the plumping action from this eye cream does help minimise the tiny lines. I can't however comment on wrinkles due to the fact I don't really have any and if I did I haven't been using this product long enough to gauge a difference. As mentioned before, my main concerns are really just puffiness and the dark circles...I am so sorry!
As mentioned in the ingredients section, I am really quite impressed with the different types of antioxidants that this eye concentrate uses. Pu'Er Black tea is actually a form of fermented tea and is quite unique to the Yunnan province in China, drinking the tea is said to have lots of different health benefits and one of these is to detoxify the system and it is also a very powerful inflammatory. The Elixir de Vie also uses green tea extract, the Acerola Berry extract, Ferulic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) and Genetian flower extract all which do have antioxidant free radical fighting effects and also serve as anti-inflammatories. The company does put their money where their mouth is when it talks about the use of antioxidants and fighting off the effects of pollution which is nice to see. The brand also uses some ingredients like the Neurobiox which natural active that is developed from the yarrow plant, this ingredient helps with resurfacing the skin, anti-ageing and minimising pore size. It is nice to see that the product does include the best of both the Eastern and Western worlds in its creation.
My only other gripe with this product (other than consistency) is the packaging - it is partially due to the fact I am quite spoilt though, in that both of my other eye treatments are of the pump variety. The packaging of this product is in a jar and due to hygiene reasons I do need to scoop out the tiniest amount with a spatula. I wish jar packaging was banned sometimes haha. In a jar you do get 15ml of product which is standard for most eye creams and a little goes a long way as you just need the smallest amount.
Repurchase YAY or NAY:
At this point in time, I have two other eye creams which I am struggling to use up in my rotation, so a repurchase wouldn't be anytime soon. If I did have to choose what to repurchase in the eye creams I own, this would most likely be one of them due to the amazing effect it does have on my dark circles, especially considering the price point of Chinese RMB $350 (AUD$73) which isn't too bad in comparison to some other eye cream out there. It find that it really does make me look less like a Panda from the Chengdu region of China (this province is renowned for their pandas) and just a bit more human.
How Do I Get This:
This brand is relatively quite new, so I do think it is harder to obtain than most of the other brands I use/have spoken about. This is only available in China as far as I am concerned via the Lu Ming Tang website but I do think if you email the ladies directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org they may be able to help you ship overseas! Let me know how you go!