Retin-A to Improve Loose, Crepey Eyelid Skin?

Can you use Retin A on your eyelids? Will it improve the texture of loose crepey eyelid skin? I use it on my face and tolerate it very well -- no irritation or redness and I love the healthy glow I have from it. Would love it to have the same effect on my eyelids which look very dull by comparison.

Doctor Answers 9

Retin A will work

We have been recommending the use of RetinA in the periporbital region for two decades. I is important to apply sparingly to prevent drip into the eyes, which would be irritating. It an option to improve fine periorbital lies and brown dicoloration. Be sure to use sunscreen during thr day for best results.

New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Retinol for crepe paper skin is good

Retin-A is a powerful medication so use around the thin eye lid skin should be monitored carefully.  Retinols (Retin-A) are a product that shortens the time it takes for the maturation of the skin cells.  It causes the skin to cycle through in 90 days instead of 120.  This increases the thickness of the alive skin layer skin by 25% while also decreasing the dead skin layer.  This shortened cell cycle causes the skin to peel more easily and break out initially as all the new cells push away the old.  It also makes the skin more vulnerable to the Sun.  Once the product has been used consistently for 6 weeks it begins to take on a new look.  It looks healthier with a glow, less breakouts, evener skin tones, and thicker skin which improves the very fine wrinkles and crepe paper appearance to he skin.  These products in a strength that actually works are only available by prescription.  I recommend the product we carry by Skin Medica which uses a patented micro-sponge delivery system.  This causes a lot less skin irritation and redness during the initial phase of use.  It is never too early to use retinols so I would recommend starting once Acne starts.  Also the precancerous skin cells can not respond to the demand to turn over more quickly and therefore can be sloughed before becoming cancer

Chad K. Wheeler, MD
Spokane Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Atralin most appropriate Retin-A for lower eyelid wrinkles

There is not a topical product, prescription-strength or OTC that has better science than topical retinoid in terms of reduction of fine lines, improvement of texture, and stimulation of collagen. Prescription-only Atralin (combination of topical tretinoin and hyaluronic acid) is a new generation of topical tretinoin that may be much better tolerated for lower eyelids than all prior predecessors. One should first allow the face get acclimated for a couple weeks prior to applying it to lower eyelids 2x/week and slowly increase the frequency to no more than once a day. It is critical that one wears sunglasses whenever engaging in outdoor activities. Moreover, those with lower eyelid wrinkle concerns should be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist as lower eyelid wrinkles may benefit from Botox or Dysport to address the dynamic nature of the wrinkle due to excessive contraction of orbicularis oculi muscles, hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm to address loss of volume, or referral to plastic surgeon for blepharoplasty if there is significant redundant lower eyelid skin.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Using Retin-A around the eyelids

If you have tolerated Retin A on your face then you will most likely tolerate around your eyelids. Remember the eyelid skin is thin and your eyes will be sensitive to products placed on the eyelid skin. Use only a small amount and you may want to start every other day rather then every day. Sunglasses should be worn to protect the eyes when you are outside during the day. Also remember that rubbing the eyes increases fine lines and discoloration around the eye.

Sharon Theresa McLaughlin MD
Long Island City Plastic Surgeon

Topic retin-A is an effective product to use on lower eyelid skin

Topic retin-A is an effective product to use on lower eyelid skin. Retin A or tretinoic acid containing products can be used on lower eyelid skin to help with skin texture and improvement. However, caution should be taken to not get it in the eyes and since the lower eyelid skin is thinner than the remaining face and typically more sensitive, one should use a lower strength and smaller amounts. In addition, retin-a can be drying to the lower eyelid skin which could result in irritation and consideration should be given to only using the product a couple of times a week. A moisturizer may also be used on the lower eyelids to help when using retin-a.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Retin-A for loose crepey skin on eyelids

Retin-A cream will improve the texture and crepiness of eyelid skin.  You should start by using a small amount every other night until your skin is used to it and then increase it to every night.  You must use moisturizers and sun protection. 

Retin-A will not improve loose skin.  Thermage skin tightening can help stimulate and tighten the eyelid skin, as can fractional CO2 laser.  If the looseness is advanced, surgery is the treatment of choice.  Retin-A cream complements these procedures. 

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Retin A

Retin A will help improve crepey skin of the eyelids.

It takes time.  Chemical peels will also help crepey eyelid skin.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Yes... but.....

That s what I ve been using for the past 2 decades, but the trick is to tittrate the dose, ie. mix it up with a moisuturiser. Everyone has different skin types and sensitivities, eg. I have eczema, and the max I can use is 2-3 applications per day alternating with Obaji skin hydrate (facial). 

Topical retin a and sunscreee= BEST way to prevent wrinkles. Most Dermatologists are on this regime. 


Dr Davin S. Lim
Cosmetic and laser dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia. 

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

RR Retinoid Repair Cream

I would combine the RR Retinoid Repair Cream with a CO2 laser to tighten the skin around the eyes. The RR cream works well and is well tolerated for sensitive areas of the face. 

Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 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.