The best retinol eye creams to add to your skincare arsenal

The best retinol eye creams to add to your skincare arsenal

If you’re looking to switch up your skincare ritual, consider retinol eye creams. Contrary to popular belief, you certainly don’t need to wait until you hit a certain age in order to start using retinol-based products. In fact, the sooner you start, the more benefits you’re likely to see. And given how thin the skin around our eyes is and how closely it’s positioned to our blood vessels, retinol eye creams are gentle enough to take care of this delicate area and effective enough for us to see long-term results.

“You’re never too young for eye cream because that will be the first area to show wrinkl es”, explains Dr Dendy Engelman, top skincare specialist and Elizabeth Arden’s consulting New York dermatologist. “I would definitely recommend the extra step of an eye cream because a) you need something that’s specifically formulated to not be too irritating and b) you want something extra nourishing and hydrating because the area is naturally more dry.”

Now, if there’s one ingredient that eclipses all others when it comes to smoothing your skin, it’s retinol. ““As a board-certified dermatologist, retinol derivatives and vitamin A still holds the highest tier of benefits for helping with fine lines and wrinkles, for building collagen and elastin and for improving skin texture and reversing sun damage. There’s so many benefits to that ingredient,” Dr Dendy explains.

Best retinol eye creams at a glance:

  1. Best retinol eye cream overall: Medik8 Crystal Retinal Ceramide Eye, £70, Medik8
  2. Best plumping retinol eye cream: Kate Somerville + Retinol Firming Eye Cream, £82, Cult Beauty
  3. Best retinol eye cream for sensitive skin: La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] Retinol Eye Cream, £30, LookFantastic
  4. Best retinol eye cream for dark circles: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue, £49, Charlotte Tilbury

Medik8 Crystal Retinal Ceramide Eye

Kate Somerville + Retinol Firming Eye Cream

La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] Retinol Eye Cream

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue

As a vitamin A derivative, retinol is a type of retinoid that’s used as an active ingredient in beauty to brighten dull skin, prevent wrinkles and reverse the appearance of blemishes and dark spots. It achieves this by penetrating your skin and stimulating your natural collagen production and promoting faster cell turnover.

Magic, right? Absolutely. However, remember that retinol can be a rather potent ingredient. In other words, if you have sensitive skin, you might want to start off with a product that contains a small dosage. You may notice that some products often pair it with ingredients such as vitamin E and aloe vera to make the eye cream more gentle and hydrating.

Make sure to combine it with a quality SPF cream, since retinol can make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage. As for how best to apply your eye cream, Dr Dendy notes that as is the case with all products applied in the under-eye area, it’s best to “use your ring finger to minimise the amount of pressure used.”

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