Product Review: The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

Big fan of The Ordinary here! Who doesn't love effective products at affordable prices, am I right?!

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution in a bottle and product box

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I've been using several of their products the past few months, and today, I'm talking about my experience with their Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG serum...
(Full disclosure: I'm not affiliated with The Ordinary or the parent company, Deciem, and I have purchased all products myself. All opinions are 100% mine.)

I'm sure just about everyone knows or can guess why caffeine is used in skin care products - it can reduce the appearance of cellulite - or in the case of the eye area, puffiness. EGCG is Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside, which comes from green tea, and can help reduce puffiness and dark circles.

First, let's talk a little about puffiness and dark circles. These can be caused by a lot of different things, which means certain products may not work for everyone. For instance, as we age, we lose fat (which in this case isn't a good thing!), bone, and collagen under our eyes. This can result in "tear troughs" or a hollow look under the inner corners of the eyes. Shadows make these sunken areas look dark. So a topical product won't fix those dark circles. If you suffer from allergies or sleep on your stomach/side, the blood vessels become congested, causing (you guessed it) puffiness and dark circles. It's entirely possible that a topical product, along with allergy pills and a change in sleeping position will reduce the appearance of these bags and dark circles. Other causes of dark circles can be genetics (Gus has these), stress, and insomnia. Fat deposits under the eyes can make that area puffy. You can see why eye products don't work for everyone!

I never had dark circles or puffiness until I started having menopausal symptoms - hot flashes, insomnia, etc. I have allergies for which I take an antihistamine tablet daily, and two nasal sprays and eye drops as needed. Due to back problems, I tend to end up on my right side at night, which makes the area under my right eye darker and puffier than the left. Since my circles and puffiness seem to be at least partly related to things that respond to a topical product, I decided to give the Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG serum a try. I do have "tear troughs", too, which I know are due to aging and won't be fixed by a topical serum.

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG in a clear dropper

The Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG serum comes packaged in a one ounce amber glass bottle with a dropper top. The serum has a transparent yellowish color, with a lightweight consistency that absorbs well. If you've used their Buffet or Niacinamide serums, this one is slightly more viscous. It is alcohol-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan, and cruelty-free. It played well with all of my other skincare and makeup products.

Ingredients: Aqua (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.

The directions say to massage a small amount onto the eye contour in the morning and evening. I followed the directions, and used the product for four months. Unfortunately, I didn't see any change in the puffiness or dark circles. Actually, I feel that the dark circles got worse, and I noticed that my undereye area was always flaky when I applied concealer. I originally thought it was the migration of tretinoin (Retin A) that was causing the dryness, but once I stopped using the caffeine serum, the flakiness/dryness went away. When I started to work on this post, I looked at the ingredient list again, and saw lactic acid. I don't know how I missed that when I purchased the product. My skin does NOT like lactic or glycolic acid - even in small amounts. So I'm sure that was causing the dryness.

I feel that my dark circles are largely due to aging - and there just isn't any product out there that will fill in those tear troughs. I've considered fillers, but I don't think I'm quite to that point yet. I'm not sure why the serum didn't help the puffiness, because other caffeine products have helped, and this one has a fairly high concentration at 5%. Maybe it was the lactic acid irritating the area? Whatever the reason, this product just didn't work for me. And that happens sometimes.

If you have dark circles that are not genetic or related to loss of fat/collagen or puffiness that is due to an accumulation of fluid and you don't have an issue with lactic acid, then this product may very well work for you. It's priced affordably at $6.70 (USD) for one ounce.

Have you tried the Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG serum? 


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