I've always thought that hydro-gel patches were pretty gimmicky as far as skincare is concerned. All the patches I had ever tried never seemed to do anything positive – they either never stayed put, caused my eyes to water, or stung my skin due to whatever was in the serum the patch was soaked in. I had given up trying them, convinced that they just weren't for me.
After a long flight for a 4 day jaunt to Seattle, my friend pulled a little jar from her suitcase, opened the lid and offered them up to me. I almost passed but after taking one look in the mirror and noticing the puffy dry mess that was my under eye area, I went for 'em.
As soon as I got home, I ordered all 3 versions of the Koelf Hydro Gel Eye Patches...and omg, am I hooked!
What are They?
Koelf, a subsidiary brand of Petitfee Cosmetics, is a K-Beauty brand that calls their patches the “eyepatch of elves”. I wasn't aware elves use skincare products at all so this was a shocking revelation, but it makes perfect sense considering elves have flawless skin. I mean, if they're good enough for Galadriel they've gotta be pretty great for us mere mortals as well, right?
Koelf offers 3 different patches at $12.98 per jar:
Ruby - Bulgarian Rose: Contains Damask Rose water from Bulgaria which is rich in vitamins that brighten dull or darkened under eye areas, Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and smooth puffiness, Ruby powder, Camellia leaf extract, and Grapefruit Seed extract. These patches are translucent pink with gold shimmer that make them a beautiful rose gold color.
Pearl - Shea Butter: Contains Pearl powder which contains minerals and amino acids that brighten and illuminate the skin, shea butter which deeply nourishes and moisturizes reducing the look of lines and puffiness. These patches are opaque white.
Gold - Royal Jelly: Contains Royal Jelly to firm and improve elasticity, hydrate and decrease puffiness, and Gold powder to improve circulation and fight signs of aging. These patches are translucent gold with gold shimmer.
Each jar contains 60 gel patches that do need to be used within 2 months from the moment you open them. It is a pretty short shelf life but honestly, it's not that big of a deal...you'll WANT to use them every day anyway.
The patches come housed in sturdy plastic jars that I absolutely love. Not only do they close tightly to keep your patches safe and fresh, they're perfect for reuse! You can use them to hold jewelry, fill with stuff you want to travel with, fill them with homemade masks...the possibilities are truly endless! They're really handy jars to keep around.
The boxes are super cute and have iridescent labeling on the top. I like them so much that I actually keep my open jars within the boxes for what it's worth.
Each box comes with a little spatula that you can use to lift up the patches. They are quite slippery and jiggly (it took me awhile to get used to holding them), and the spatula is meant to lessen the difficulty in removing them from the jar in a hygienic way.
Personally, I don't use the spatula. I always lose them because they're clear, and when I use these patches my hands are clean anyway. I feel like the spatula might actually have more germs on it than my hands from being stored in a drawer. It's a personal preference, but I just find it easier to grab 'em now that I've become used to them.
Aplication and Use
Koelf recommends applying the patches to cleansed and toned skin for 30-40 minutes before removing and tapping in any excess serum.
If you're not used to applying patches like these, it can take some practice to get your positioning spot on without getting gel patch to the eyeball. Personally, I position them so that the smaller end is toward the inner corner of the eye. I've seen them applied the other way too, but I feel like this positioning benefits me the most. My puffiness starts pretty high up and if I were to position them the other way, the wider side would end up missing a pretty good portion of my under eye area.
They stick to the skin effortlessly. They're not too goopy or wet that anything drips or causes runoff into your eye (unless you've already poked your eye during application).
When I apply these patches to my under eye area I'm immediately jolted by a shock of chill that quickly changes to refreshingly cool. They feel absolutely phenomenal on and you can almost feel your skin becoming calm and rejuvenated. I've never put cucumber slices on my eyes, but I would assume its a similar experience except that I can still see when I use these.
These patches don't budge unless you want them to. You can carry on with life while wearing them and they go with the flow. Watch TV, write articles about hydro-gel eye patches, cook, do laundry...you get my drift.
Honestly, I don't even time them anymore. When they've become just as warm as my skin and they no longer feel wet, that's when I remove them. You simply peel them off and toss.
These patches aren't magic wands. Results do take consistent use. However, you WILL notice decreased puffiness and more hydration immediately.
With consistent use of all 3 types I have noticed a pretty drastic difference in the overall firmness of my under eye area. What's more they seem to be helping soften the appearance of pesky milia that can make the texture of my skin look more aged.
My bags seem to be less pronounced (especially when I use after not getting much sleep) and I THINK I notice a difference in the purple hues that sometimes pop up.
If I had to pick a favorite it would be the Ruby Bulgarian Rose. I have a thing for roses and the scent is divine. My under eye area always looks bright and refreshed after using them and I love the color. The Pearl is more hydrating though, so it's a tough call. The Royal Jelly is nice, but I already use a royal jelly sheet mask twice a week so...that one I keep around for the benefits of the gold powder.
Not once have they irritated my skin, caused my eyes to tear up or stung. I do however recommend taking a look at the full list of ingredients as they do contain alcohol and some other ingredients that may cause sensitivity, just on the off chance they may not be right for you.
I feel like my skin has become a lot more sensitive over the past 3 years so the fact that these don't irritate the most sensitive place on my face is kind of a big deal. They feel SO relaxing and luxurious and every time I use them I feel pampered.
They have improved the moisture retention and smoothness of my under eyes so well that I regard them as a holy grail product.
I highly recommend checking out these patches if you're in the market for some elven under eyes.
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Brigid Anderson has been a makeup addict for over 15 years and has worked as a freelance makeup artist and stylist for fashion labels and music videos. When she isn't writing about and using beauty products, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog Ivan, hoarding vintage clothing and vinyl records, and binge watching 'Game of Thrones'...repeatedly.