Is Retin-A safe to use under eyes?

I'm extremely discouraged about conflicting information in regards to Retin-A. I have received mixed reviews on whether or not it can be successfully applied on fine lines and wrinkles below the eyes. A nurse at a dermatology clinic today warned me to definitely not apply it in under my eyes. I haven't yet started Retin-A and I'm wondering if I avoid the eye area altogether? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Doctor Answers 1

Retina-A under eyes

I often recommend retina A in the form of medical grade tretinoin 0.05% or 0.025% on the face and a little only under the eyes. However there are important provisos for safety in the eye area:

  1. do not go lower than 5mm below the eye brow lower border
  2. apply at night 
  3. only three times a week 
  4. clean dry skin 
  5. stay 5mm away from the lash line lower eyelids
  6. do not risk touching the eyelids with fingers that applied the tretinoin
  7. keep in the tear trough area and then round under the eyes towards high cheek bones
  8. use on the tear trough cheek junction and all around the H zone plus forehead and nose
  9. avoid around the mouth 
  10. absolutely sparingly on the chin

The risk is that rent A if it gets into the eyes can make them sting and feel very dry so for that safety reason alone you cannot put too close to the eyes.

Fine lines and melasmas improve with regular use tretinoin but often other treatments are also required

The above is written as an ophthalmologist who cares for peoples face and around the eyes skin quality


London Oculoplastic Surgeon
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