Sunday, 22 June 2014

Review: Balance Active Formula Snake Venom Eye Cream

I've got a couple of weeks usage left of my current eye cream so I figured I'd do a review of it! Please read on!
Brand: Balance
Name: Active Formula Snake Venom Eye Cream
Price: £1.99
Where to buy: Home Bargains, Savers, Bodycare, almost any discount drugstore in the UK or failing that, eBay UK or eBay worldwide.

I picked this eye cream up as I'd just ran out of Clinique's All About Eyes that I got during Bonus Time. I hadn't used eye creams at all until then but I've been converted as I like the extra moisture it gives my undereye area and if it can stave off wrinkles for any amount of time, all the better. I had just ordered Secret Key's Snail & EGF Repair Eye Cream so whilst waiting for that to arrive from Korea, I just wanted a cheap eye cream that would keep me going for the time being. Who knew that would lead me to what I just might call my Holy Grail eye cream?
Like I say, I only picked this up because it was the cheapest eye cream I could find. I figured that even if it just gave a bit extra moisture it'd do its job until my Secret Key one arrived. The packaging stands out a bit amongst other eye creams; it's interesting rather than cute or cool. It reminds me of bees though, which is strange as it's 'Snake Venom'. I guess it could be Mangrove Snakes though? Either way, I think it's supposed to look cool and advanced. I'd gone into Boots to check their cheaper eye creams and the cheapest I could find was Olay, I think, at £10 or £15. I was also interested in Holland & Barrett's Royal Jelly Eye Cream at £10 but I thought I'd try the cheapest first haha!

You've probably already noticed but this eye cream doesn't actually have snake venom in it. It has Syn-ake, a synthetic compound that mimics the paralysing effects of snake venom, effectively freezing wrinkles. I have no idea what 'Eyepro 3X' is though...a quick Google shows it's an active blend of ingredients meant to reduce puffiness, rejuvenate eyes, is anti aging and minimises dark circles. It contains an extract from a stressed yeast ferment, the adaptogen Rhodiola rosea and betaine isolated from sugar beets. To be honest, I never trust psuedo-scientific blends of ingredients with trademarks next to them but I appreciate they actually say what the blend consists of rather than just 'science and magic'.

This eye cream is dermatologically tested and even has clinical claims - it promises to reduce dark circles by 65% and reduce under-eye puffiness or bags by 60%. I'd just like to point out that a lot of mid to high end cosmetic brands like to reason that their items are expensive because they are dermatologically tested, fragrance free, clinically tested and include exclusive ingredients and active formulas that are top of the range and usually trademarked/patented...and this cream promises that all for the price of £1.99. Still, they're big claims to make for such a cheap item!
The cream itself is white, relatively fragrance-free and lightweight. I wouldn't quite say it's a gel-cream but it's definitely light, spreads and absorbs easily.

When I first bought this cream, I was hesitant to buy such a cheap cream as I was afraid it'd irritate my skin. My skin isn't sensitive 99% of the time but I didn't know with such 'cheap' ingredients. When I first applied this cream, it felt kind of...warm? Not stinging, but I did worry it was the start of an irritation. Nothing else came of it though and after a couple of days of using the cream, the initial warmness subsided.
In this case, 'Durability' will mean how well the cream actually works. This cream actually works pretty goddamn well. I expected barely anything from this cream and was amused to see how it worked compared to its clinical claims. In just 10 days (I wanna say between 1 or 2 weeks, I'm not quite sure), I could already tell my dark circles were significantly reduced! Like, I actually wish I had taken before and after photos as I'm 100% sure you would be able to see the difference.

I never considered that I get puffiness or undereye bags unless I don't get enough sleep so I can't comment on that claim. Again, I can't comment on how well it works against wrinkles or crows feet either. However, my undereye area looks significantly more fresh, bright and awake. When I wake up in the morning, my undereyes are almost the same colour as the rest of my facial skin.

I'd always considered my dark circles were pretty average but I can admit that they'd always show through concealer after a few hours due to the makeup fading and sometimes when I'd go to remove my makeup, they'd almost look like bruises in the shadows, with the amount of purple, yellow and green discolouration. I always chalked it up to having pale skin, since the blood raising to the surface, veins and fluid are seen more through paler skin. However, I can safely say I consider my undereye area improved at least 65%, if not more, so I am pleasantly surprised it holds up to its clinical claims. On the other hand, after using Clinique's All About Eyes (which I need to review), I didn't notice any difference to my eye area except maybe a bit more hydration, which is why I started to use eye creams.

I didn't expect any difference in my dark circles so this cream is pretty amazing, even more so for the price. There's brands that would charge £20-£30 for this eye cream and similarly, people would expect to pay that for these results. I can safely say I didn't expect such a great eye cream when I picked this up for £1.99 in Bodycare. My Secret Key eye cream has arrived and I'm equally eager to try that out when this one runs out but I'm also worried that if the results aren't as good for the Secret Key one, my dark circles will return. Unless the Secret Key one is as good or better, along with the eye cream samples I got in my work leaving gift (which I shall review as I use them), I will definitely continue buying this Balance one. I'd recommend this to anyone because for £1.99, what do you have to lose? 5 stars for me!


  1. Oh this sounds amazing! Unfortunately I have eye eczema so I don't let anything touch that area, but I will definitely recommend it to people based on your enthusiasm!

  2. Oooh, I really want to try this, but like you said, I can't find it anywhere in Canada. I'd love if you could send it to me and I pay for it. I hate my dark circles!

    1. Hi Leanna! I'd be more than happy to do that! Email me at and we can sort it out :)

  3. I would love to get this! I recently ordered a serum with syn-ake from Korea and this sounds like it would go wonderfully with it! Would it be OK to email you about a purchase?

    1. I'm sooooo sorry about the late reply! If you would still like the eye cream, feel free to message me about a purchase! I absolutely love it and think it'd go great with your item from Korea. What serum did you get? :D My email is

  4. Found this eye cream in Marshalls (Mt. Kisco, NY). I said, what hell...why not. I was very impressed. The dark circles disappeared, no kidding!! Been on a mission to find it for the price I bought it for the first time. Works way better than a Dr. Brandt eye cream I bought.

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