In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, deputy beauty editor Erin Lukas is testing the buzzy Glossier Full Orbit Eye Cream.
“Does eye cream really work?” A quick Google search will reassure you that you’re not alone in questioning the merits of the skin care product. But skimming through the dozens of online articles and the intense debates that go down in skin care Subreddits won’t result in a definitive answer on whether these creams live up to their claims. To put it plainly, opinions vary among experts and average skin enthusiasts. As for whether or not I’m team eye cream, I’ve taken the position of Switzerland. So while the product isn’t one of the ride or dies in my daily routine, I do dabble in it when a formula piques my interest. Glossier’s Full Orbit eye cream is the latest example.
The product is formulated to address the most common hangups that occur on the orbital area of the face, including dryness, uneven texture, and dark circles. It promises to provide all of the aforementioned benefits without any irritation or causing milia (some thicker formulas can clog pores, causing the white bumps). The brand even touts it as being safe to use on the upper eyelids, a rare feat among the countless options on the market.
The reality is the eye cream debate will go on as long we keep the skin care industry afloat by slathering products on our faces. However, you can find out if Full Orbit is one eye cream worth trying via my two-week long test drive. You’re welcome.
- Price: $28
- Size: .5 fl oz / 15ml
- Clean/Cruelty-Free: Yes/Yes
- Best For: Hydration; brightening the under eyes
- What We Like: Interesting ingredients; feels soothing; doesn’t pill under makeup
- What We Don’t Like: Haven’t experienced a true brightening effect
- Rating: 4/5
How TZR Keeps Score: 1/5: Making a return; 2/5: Keeping as a backup; 3/5: Finishing to the last drop; 4/5: Recommending to my group texts; 5/5: Already on auto-replenish
This isn’t Glossier’s first rodeo into eye cream. The Gen Z-favorite brand launched Bubblewrap in 2019, a multitasking cream designed to hydrate the lips and orbital area of the face. It’s since been discontinued (much to the dismay of many Redditers), but Full Orbit is a supercharged version that intends to reverse dehydration — and so much more.
Designed to be a true treatment for the eye area (aka don’t put it on your lips), Full Orbit is formulated with a bevy of active ingredients that are effective yet gentle enough so the formula suits an array of skin types and is suitable for contact lens-wearers. Included in the lineup is polyglutamic acid and hyaluronic acid, a brand exclusive complex that draws in moisture for instant hydration as well as prevents moisture loss throughout the day; niacinamide and arctic microalgae to de-puff the under eyes and minimize fine lines and wrinkles; and white hawthorne and jasmine flower, brightening extracts that minimize the look of dark circles.
I reached out to Scottsdale Ariz.-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal, M.D. to find out what makes the combination of polyglutamic (PGA) and hyaluronic acid (HA) so effective at reviving hydration. “Polyglutamic acid is not derived from hyaluronic acid, but it is a super humectant and it holds water up to 10x more than HA,” he tells me. “When used around the eyes, it really helps hydrate the eyelid skin, softening fine lines. It helps hold even more water when it’s used with HA.”
As for the texture, it’s rich yet lightweight. The brand describes it as a “gel-cream,” suggesting that one pea-sized drop is enough to cover both eyes. This includes the upper eyelids, an added benefit of Full Orbit. Many eye creams with active ingredients aren’t safe to use on the area. It also comes in a tube in lieu of a jar so it stays fresher longer — and you don’t waste any product.
My Typical Skin Care Routine
In 2024, my daily skin care routine has gotten even more minimal. While I’m using even less products, I’m not missing out on any required steps. Because we’re in peak winter, I’m hyper-focused on extra hydration and barrier protection on top of my year-round concerns of hormonal breakouts, dark spots, and preventing signs of aging. As far as my orbital area, it gets dry during the colder months and I’m puffy in the morning if I don’t get a good night’s sleep. The same goes for dark circles.
In the morning, I rinse my face with Sofie Pavitt Face’s Clean Clean Cleanser (a hydrating foaming cleanser that doesn’t make my skin feel tight and dry), pat BeautyStat’s Universal C Refiner Vitamin C Serum into my skin (essential for preventing and minimizing hyperpigmentation), slather on Dieux Skin’s Air Angel Gel Cream (a lightweight moisturizer that offers long-lasting hydration), and top it all off with Lightsaver’s Activated Mineral Sunscreen (SPF is the key for preventing skin cancer and signs of aging). At night, my routine is the same except I swap my vitamin C serum for Biologique’s exfoliating, dark spot-fading P50 PIGM 400, and Dieux Skin is switched out for Drunk Elephant’s thick barrier-strengthening Bora Barrier Repair Cream.
As for eye cream, I can take it or leave it. I’ll use one at night if I have one on hand or I’m specifically trying a new launch that’s captured my interest.
My Experience & Results
What first struck me about Full Orbit is its paradoxical texture — it’s a thick cream but it’s also a lightweight gel. As per the brand’s suggestion, I squeezed out a pea-sized amount and gently tapped it under my eyes and all over my eyelids. It felt soothing to the touch, and my skin instantly looked refreshed and dewy.
I followed this same routine morning and night for two weeks. Throughout this trial period, I didn’t experience any pilling of my sunscreen or makeup (score!). One factor that I should mention is I often can’t use many eye creams with active ingredients in them because they make my eyes water or sting my skin. Luckily, I didn’t have any irritation with this cream. In fact, I loved how effortlessly it fit the existing lineup of my skin routine.
The one caveat is while my eye area is definitely softer and smoother since I’ve started using Full Orbit, I haven’t seen a real difference in my dark circles. That said, discoloration and hyperpigmentation take time to treat, so perhaps I’m a few weeks away from turning a corner.
Dr. Lal confirmed the brightening conundrum with me. “It takes a very long time to notice brighter eyelid skin,” he says. Over time, niacinamide and various other extracts may improve skin quality and reduce hyperpigmentation.”
Is Glossier’s Full Orbit Eye Cream Worth It?
If you have dry under eyes like I do, Full Orbit makes for a great winter eye cream because it excels at restoring and retaining hydration. (Frankly, I plan on keeping it in my routine year-round.) Plus, you can’t beat the price. At $28 a tube, it’s dramatically more affordable than similar options on the market made with science-backed ingredients that have undergone clinical testing. While I wish I could give it my seal of approval on brightening, it might work for you. Because, hey, maybe my dark circles aren’t as bad as I think they are. After all, we’re all our own worst critics.