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Is It Safe to Use Retin A Under the Eyes?

I am 38 and have small wrinkles and lines under my eyes. I have been using Retin A 0.05% on my face for 6 months with very good results but I have never used it under the eyes. I heard that Retin A thins the skin if used near the eye area and thus causing more wrinkles. Is this true? If not, which strength can I use to remove the undereye lines. Is there any other cream better than Retin A at removing lines and wrinkles around the eyes? Please Help!! Thanks, Zara

Doctor Answers 10

You can use Retin A sparingly under the eyes without too much concern

Thanks for your question. You can use Retin A sparingly under the eyes without too much concern. Many
would recommend you starting it on an every other night basis until your skin is used to it but you should
be able to use it every night, without concern, if needed.


Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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Retin-A Under the Eyes for Fine Lines

Retin-A has numerous concentrations and can be used effectively every other night. A small amount under the eyes, well away from the lower lid margin may help with fine lines. This can be done twice a week to start and increased to every other night if tolerated. A retinol product may be easier to use and easier to tolerate and combined with an anti-oxidant or growth factor eye preparation, the fine lines will improve. 

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Yes, but go SLOW and combine with a moisturiser

The eyelid skin is super super sensitive and v v v v thin. I use retinin a under my eyes and advise patients to use it as well.... the trick is 

1. use sparingly
2. use 2-3 nites a week
3. Combine with s super hydrating moisturiser...eg, Obaji Hydrate
4. Always use sunscreen during the day
5. avoid other irritating eye creams. 

Not a miracle treatment, but it does work

Dr Davin Lim
Cosmetic Dermatologist
Brisbane,
Australia

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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RR Retinoid Repair under the eyes - use sparingly - Buffalo Niagara NY

I recommend that you use it sparingly several times a week in conjunction with sunscreen as the skin here is very thin. 

You will get great benefits from using it under the eyes. 

Recommend RR Retinoid Repair Cream, see on link below. 

Use Retin-A under the eyes

Retin-A is perfect for under the eyes.  In fact, the thinner lower lid skin does very well.  Because the skin is thin and sensitive, you need to start out a bit slowly - use it a couple of times a week at first and gradually increase, as tolerated.  The increased skin cell turnover will tend to make the epidermis accumulate and the skin will look "dry" (actually dry dead skin cells) and fine lines may look worse at first (dry skin cracks), so you may need to add a moisturizer to your routine (apply afterwards or mix with the Retin-a) until it adjusts.  The addition of topical vitamin C will further improve your skin.  Be sure to continue your use of sunscreen!

Randy J. Buckspan, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Renova is better

Because Renova is prescription strength (and FDA approved) Retin A with hydrators, it is much better for fine eye lines. Be sure to use up to the eyelash margin, but DO NOT get into the eyes to prevent eye irritation.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Retin A for wrinkles around the eyes

Retin-A is great for facial fine wrinkles, including areas around the eyes. As long as you do not get it into the eyelid margin, it is safe. However, since the eyelid skin is very thin and sensitive, you need to start slow to minimize irritation and dryness of the treatment area. Otherwise, the dryness and irritation will make the wrinkles more obvious. Try to start 2-3 times per week and put simple moisturizer on top of it. Once you get used to it, you can use every night. I will suggest that you start with lower strength of Retin-A, such as 0.01% or 0.025%. 

Sherry Li, MD, PhD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Retin A around the eyes

Retin A is great for using on the skin around the eyes without getting too close to the eyes. You must be careful to not get Retin A on or near the eyelid margin, the conjunctival margin, or in the eyes or near the eyelashes. The best strength to start with is .05% and make sure you tolerate that without irritation. I would suggest this treatment under physician supervision.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Is It Safe to Use Retin A Under the Eyes?

VItamin A is the main ingredient in Retin-A. It does migrate under the skin when it is applied. When you apply only rub to the orbital rim. You will be surprised of the increased cell turn over rate around the eye. Rubbing it closer will make it hypersensitive.

Brian C. Reuben, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

RR Retinoid Repair Cream from Kare

Our office recommends retinoids for premature aging and skin wrinkles. We have switched from retin A products to Kare RR Retinoid Repair Cream because of increased compliance with the creams and less redness an irritation.  The RR cream is ideal for around the eyes. 

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.