My Skin Loves This Pink Algae Eye Cream Even More Than I Love the Color Pink (Which Is a Lot)

Hi, my name is Erin and my favorite color is pink. I have pink notebooks, pink throw pillows, and pink water bottles. And now, thanks to a renewed focus on my skin-care routine over the last year, I have a wall of color-coordinated blush beauty products as well—with a certain hot pink jar earning prime real estate in my vanity cabinet.

And that hot pink jar is Josie Maran's Argan Pro-Retinol Eye Cream.  Now before you think, 'She's just picking products based on the packaging, not whether they actually work,' let me stop you. The only things that make the cut in my daily routine are ones my skin actually approves of—and this stuff is legit, with an ultra-creamy texture that made me (and my skin) instantly fall in love.

Swiping on the super smooth cream for the first time was a pampering experience in and of itself. My skin drank up the rich hydration, and it felt super nourishing while still retaining that signature Josie Maran light-as-air feel.

Beyond the dreamy consistency, the star ingredient is pro-retinol from pink algae—fun fact: it's the same pink algae that gives flamingos their color—which is rich in the vitamin A that makes retinol the stalwart of any anti-aging routine.

pro-retinol definition

I wasn't schooled on what, exactly, the difference was between retinol and pro-retinol, so I asked board-certified dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD to give me the scoop.

"Pro-retinols are essentially the precursor to retinol," Dr. Nazarian says. "The benefits are that they are gentler and better tolerated than retinoids, especially in sensitive skin."

Since some of my previous experiences with retinol have left my face red, dry, and sensitive, I was overly giddy to discover that this eye cream had the opposite effect. My eye area felt hydrated and smooth, thanks to the gentleness of pro-retinol and the addition of Josie Maran's famous 100% Pure Argan Oil, along with botanical hydrators like horse chestnut extract and hyaluronic acid. Plus, green coffee extract acts like a double shot of espresso for your eyes, making them feel wide awake while also nourishing and firming the skin.

Those moisturizing ingredients also covered off on Dr. Nazarian's recommendation to use pro-retinol in conjunction with a gentle cleanser and hyaluronic acid and/or ceramides, especially if your skin typically doesn't react well to traditional retinoids.

"Pro-retinols...are better-tolerated than some retinols and retinoids, so they are often easier to incorporate into a nightly regimen," she says. "If you have dry or sensitive skin, or inflammatory conditions such as rosacea, pro-retinols may be a gentler way to begin."

josie maran eye cream ingredients

As for who should use pro-retinol, Dr. Nazarian says you should add in a form of it as soon as you notice signs of aging. "Enlarging pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and uneven skin tone are great reasons to initiate a pro-retinol in your skin-care regimen," she says.

Noticing my first fine lines form around my eyes made me hop on the pro-retinol train, but the fact that the Argan Pro-Retinol Eye Cream also helps depuff and diminish the appearance of dark circles was an added bonus.

Scooping the rosy-hued cream out of its bright pink pot—and seeing said pot in my rosy-colored skin-care lineup—is a daily thrill, and that's on top of the major self-care vibes I get whenever I pat the product onto my face. Fact: Color-coordinating your skin-care products makes you happier (especially when they're this good).

Images: Josie Maran/W+G Creative

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