Many of us now know that the skin microbiome needs to be in a state of harmony for healthy skin to occur – an imbalance leads to skin issues. French skincare brand Lancome has gone further and found that the eye contour has its own specific microbiome, which is more diverse than the cheek area.

Dr Annie Black, Lancome’s international scientific director, says that eye-area microbiome is rich in diversity, but the number of bacterial species is relatively low. This causes it to be fragile, since it doesn’t take much to unsettle these minor species, which then leads to an imbalance.

The constant rubbing of your mask against the lower eye area, the build-up of warm air from the mask, pollution and UV damage, ageing and genetics, as well as harsh makeup removers, further disrupt the balance.

The updated Lancome Advanced Genifique Yeux eye cream ($110), the result of more than 60 formulation trials over 11 months, targets the eye-area microbiome, and dark circles and fine lines.

At its heart is a unique complex of seven pre- and probiotic fractions – prebiotics, bacteria and yeast that feed the microbiome, build strong barrier function, and ensure a good balance of antimicrobial peptides.

The formula also targets dark circles with buckwheat seed extract to depuff, hyaluronic acid to plump the eye area, chlorella vulgaris to boost luminosity and reduce the appearance of blood vessels that give dark circles their blue-purple hue, and a plant-based vitamin C derivative to brighten skin.

Dr Black says the improved Advanced Genifique Yeux boasts more instant results too. “A lot of the new formulation work was to improve this,” she says.

The results after one use: a 39.6 per cent increase in hydration within one hour, and up to 42.7 per cent after six hours. In four weeks, tests show an increase in radiance and smoothness, and a reduction of lines, wrinkle visibility under the eye, and dark circles.

The result: The eye contour is stronger, recovers faster from internal and environmental stress, is visibly brighter and more youthful-looking.

Our review of the Lancome Advanced Genifique Yeux eye cream

Lancome Advanced Genifique Yeux

The velvety-soft gel-cream has a slight iridescent sheen. The texture is a little richer than it looks, and I like that it melts instantly into my skin; the scent is subtle.

Right after applying the cream at bedtime, my eye area looks smoother. My lower lid feels slightly tighter too. When I wake up, my eyes look less tired – I’m impressed as this is after just one application.

After using it for a week, my eye area is looking pretty good. Dark circles are still obvious (the brand says to expect significant improvements in dark circles after one jar), but the area looks less tired and lined.

And if you’re already a fan of Lancome Advanced Genifique Light Pearl, Dr Black says it’s fine to use both, starting with Light Pearl.

The Lancome Advanced Genifique Yeux eye cream ($110) is available at Isetan, Metro, OG and Tangs.

This article was first published in the July 2021 issue of Her World.