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Though I remain skeptical about whether it should be a non-negotiable, I can’t deny the benefits of eye cream. Understandably so, the skin around the eye is thin and easily susceptible to dryness and irritation (especially if you’re not wearing sunscreen), as well as the stuff brought on by genetics. For instance, I have my parents to thank for dark under-eye circles that make it look as though I’m just one hour shy of a full night’s sleep. So when someone suggested I give retinol eye cream a shot, I figured yet another experiment couldn’t hurt since the ingredient has been a game-changer for the rest of my face. My wishful thinking has not gone in vain—so far.
One of my dark circles appears to be shrinking, but with just a few weeks use, it’ll be a few more before I can draw any conclusions (stay tuned). But given the widely-known benefits of retinol, I’m not surprised to see even the smallest change. When used correctly and with complementary products, the vitamin A derivative can give you silky smooth texture and ward off breakouts. Generally speaking, the directions on a lot of retinol night creams will advise against applying to the eye area since exfoliation can be irritating to thinner skin.
However, given the wide-ranging effects, a lot of brands have figured out how to formulate treatments that don’t harm that sensitive area without sacrificing moisture. With that being said, here are some of the best-reviewed options.
The one I’m currently using is a drugstore classic that’s been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness in just 4 weeks. As it turns out, the claim is accurate!
The “Plus” version of this hydrating eye cream contains Retinyl actives for smoothing out fine lines.
This rich, clean beauty eye cream is enriched with hyaluronic acid and microencapsulated retinol that is slowly released into the skin to stimulate collagen production and diminish the appearance of dark circles and fine lines.
This multitasking overnight mask depuffs and brightens the eye area using encapsulated retinol, avocado and coffeeberry.
In as little as two weeks, this eye cream promises to smooth and brighten the under-eye area, while also acting as a primer for concealer.
This organic oil treatment improves under-eye texture with Kahai Oil, a natural form of retinol.
A dermatologist-approved formula made with an exclusive Retinol Booster Complex that enhances the effectiveness of retinol without the irritating side effects.
This fragrance-free, dermatologist-approved option ensures those with sensitive skin can still experience the benefits of retinol.
Few eye creams (with and without retinol) include UV protection, making this treatment an automatic standout.
This affordable cream promises almost no irritation and 24 hours of hydration.
This tiny tube packs a heavy punch with retinol, four types of vitamin C, five types of ceramides and two peptides.
The microencapsulated retinol in this shea butter and caffeine-enriched treatment is released over a period of eight hours.
If you’ve had success with the brand’s best-selling Glow Tonic, you’ll likely get the same glowy results with this eye treatment.
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