Can You Use Retinol Near Eyes?

Can You Use Retinol Near Eyes?

There really isn’t anything retinol can’t tackle. Blemishes? Not a problem, fine lines, and wrinkles? A thing of the past, dull and lack lustre complexion? Nothing to worry about. Yes, there’s no denying that retinol is a clever ingredient which explains why so many of us have introduced it into our everyday skincare routine.

The question we have, however, is there an area of the skin that we should avoid with this potent powerhouse? It is well known that the area around the eyes is the first to show signs of ageing, with fine lines and crow’s feet becoming more prominent over time. Other concerns, such as under-eye circles and eye bags are also something that can look worse due to the skin around the eye area being thinner, 40% thinner than the rest of the skin on the face to be exact. So, with this in mind, let’s investigate whether you can use retinol near your eyes and the results you can expect to see.

Can you use retinol around the eyes?

Yes, it is perfectly safe and effective to use retinol around the eyes, ensuring you are using the right products that can deliver results without causing any irritation or an allergic reaction.

Admittedly there are some outdated research still floating around suggesting that using eye cream formulas containing potent ingredients should be avoided, but that isn’t really the case anymore. In fact, what you’ll find is that retinol is the number one ingredient suggested by those in the know to help combat signs of ageing, dark circles, and under-eye bags.

Modern day eye cream formulas containing retinol will contain a lower percentage than those found in products used on the rest of the face. These formulas also usually are enriched with other hydrating actives, such as hyaluronic acid to counteract any drying side effects that are a common problem for those using retinol. Before you go throwing away the eye cream you already have, you can layer this with another retinol product, simply mix your eye cream and retinol together and apply under the eyes.

Is retinol good for under eye wrinkles?

Absolutely, as I have already mentioned, retinol is a favourite ingredient amongst skincare experts and dermatologists to help combat signs of ageing, dark circles, and under-eye bags. Retinol can work in the lower layers of the skin, reaching past the epidermis and work at boosting the production of collagen. With more collagen helping the skin appear plumped and more youthful you’ll find that the appearance fine lines and wrinkles are reduced significantly.

How close to eyes can you put retinol?

With the skin around the eye area being notably thinner than the rest of the face, you’ll find it is able to absorb into the skin quickly which can potentially lead to skin irritation which is why you need to remain mindful of how you apply retinol around the eyes. Here are some examples of how to apply retinol to the eyes whilst taking the proper precautions.

  • Start with a pea size amount of retinol product.
  • Ensure you are using product that has been formulated for application around the eyes.
  • Use your ring fingers to apply the product as you naturally apply the least pressure which avoids any skin tugging.
  • Gentle dab the product around the eye area starting under the eye and working up towards the outer corners, and up to the eyebrows.
  • Avoid taking the retinol up to the lash line as this can cause potential irritation.
  • Don’t forget to use your retinol eye cream in your evening routine as exposure to UV light will make retinol lose its potency.
  • Ensure you follow this with an SPF of 30 and higher in the morning.

Is retinol good for eye bags?

Yes, it is ideal for using to help combat eye bags, especially if the product has retinol combined with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or niacinamide. You’ll notice a difference after 3 to 4 weeks with eye bags significantly reduced and the area around the eyes are firmer and look brighter.

Retinol is particularly helpful for using around the eye area as the under-eyes can begin to look sunken with dark circles becoming more noticeable, for some these are signs of lack of sleep, or the position you sleep, others it’s connected to their heritage. Whichever the cause of these are they are combatted with the help of retinol.

Are retinol eye creams safe?

Yes, they are, even with retinol being so potent there is doubt whether it should be used on the delicate eye area. Not to worry, as retinol enriched eye creams often contain a lower percentage and blended with hyaluronic acid or another moisturising ingredient. The bonus that hyaluronic acid can deliver humectant traits meaning it is able to draw water and locking it into the surface layer of the skin and combat any potential sign of irritation and drying effects that occur.

Remember that if you are using retinol for the first time you should introduce into your routine slowly and in the correct way. This should be done after performing a patch test and consulting with your doctor to ensure retinol is the best ingredient for you and your skin.

Can retinol make dark circles worse?

Yes, long-term, and overzealous application of a retinol product around the eye area can make dark circles look worse. This is a result of the side effects that occur when applying retinol to the skin, which are often red, flaky rings around the eye area that once become healed will appear dark. To avoid this, try using retinol every other day, only apply it in the evenings, and don’t forget to use a daily SPF of 30 and above every day, even on a day that looks gloomy. 

What happens if you use retinol and go in the sun?

Retinol is highly sensitive to any exposure to sunlight making it lose its potency and effectiveness to deliver results on the skin. It is advised by all skin experts that retinol application should happen in the evening allowing the potent active to work undisturbed throughout the night whilst you get your beauty sleep.

I hope that you now have a better understanding of using retinol near the eyes, don’t forget we are over on Instagram if you have any skincare questions.


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