As of late, more mornings than not I’m waking up with puffy under-eyes: Either my 6-month-old didn’t sleep well, I didn’t sleep well (sometimes it feels impossible to shut down my mental to-do list), or perhaps I just ate too much salt the day before and I pay for it the next day. I’ve tried all the caffeinated eye creams, the cooling rollerballs and the skin-tightening TikTok sensations, but this new Instant Targeted Firming Gel from Rodan+Fields has become a fast fave. Here’s why.
My Skin Type:
Combination. I’m drier in the cold-weather months and oilier in the warm-weather ones thanks to the high humidity on the East Coast.
Inspired by social media trends touting temporary “instant fixes” for stubborn imperfections like under-eye puffiness, bags and crow’s-feet, the team at Rodan+Fields set out to create its own take on the category, and they nailed it. The lightweight gel contains the perfect ratio of film formers to botanicals and algae, which allows it to smooth grooves and lines without making the skin feel pulled too tight or uncomfortable, or leaving behind a film-like residue that flakes if you touch it (more on how to apply it properly and avoid this below). Additionally, not only does it work “instantly” (within five minutes), but if you use it regularly, it also provides long-term skin-smoothing benefits that typically become noticeable after four weeks.
I also like that it’s not meant to be restricted to the under-eye area, and it’s been clinically tested on other spots where we want smoothing, like expression lines between the brows (aka the 11’s), horizontal forehead lines and lines around the mouth called the nasolabial folds. You can apply eye cream and/or makeup on top of it, too, without worrying that it will disrupt the film-forming effects. Rodan+Fields actually did a round of clinical testing with eye cream layered over the dried gel and the results were the same.
There’s an eco-friendly component, too, as there should be with every beauty product created nowadays, in my personal opinion: The formula is refillable and easily pops out of the outer casing when you need to restock (pictured below).
RF Firming Complex (red microalgae, sea water, polysaccharides, hydrolyzed silk), hydrating polymer, and sea chamomile
What It’s Free From:
How to Use It:
First let me say, a little goes a long way—this is not a “more is better” product (if you use too much, you could be left with a residue; but if that happens, just wash it off and start over). Start by twisting the bottom to the unlocked position and then push the bottom (it functions like a syringe) to dispense one pump of product. One pump is enough to use under both of my eyes and on my 11’s, so sometimes I don’t even need a full pump and I’ll dispense just enough for my under-eyes only. Make sure you’re applying to clean skin (toner is fine, but no serum or moisturizer on), and use your ring finger to dab a very thin layer on the areas you want to smooth out (it’s not recommended for the eyelids, so avoid those, and it’s not intended for the whole face). It takes a few minutes to dry, during which you should try to minimize your facial expressions so it can settle into grooves and lines and work its magic.
What It Feels Like:
A super light gel that disappears quickly into skin with a bit of a cooling sensation. When I use it under my eyes, I do feel like slightest hint of a tightening effect, but it’s more comfortable than some of the other similar products I’ve tried.
What It Smells Like:
The Bottom Line:
When I first received this product to test, I was sure it wouldn’t be something I’d use everyday, but the instant satisfaction is too good to pass up. Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.
Price/Where to Buy:
$105 (refills are $87); rodanandfields.com