What can I do to keep my eye area including upper eyelids looking youthful?

I know that the upper eyelid skin is some of the thinnest on the body, and sensitive to creams such as retinols,bBut this is the skin that needs the most help to stay thick and not succumb to the effects of aging. Can I use a retinol on my upper eyelids, taking the time to let them adjust, maybe every third night with obagi 0.05 renova? It seems like retinols and retin a are the only creams that can help thicken skin and build collagen.

Doctor Answers 4

Eyelid Surgery

Thank you for your question. Please consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon to discuss a treatment plan revolving around retinol. There are additional options to improve your eyelid, including surgical and non-surgical options.

Eyelid surgery is usually performed under twilight anesthesia, on an outpatient basis and can rejuvenate the eye region by removing excess skin contained in the upper eyelid. Without a picture in your post, it is difficult to say whether surgery would be beneficial.

Chemical peel is a phenomenal option for removing wrinkling in the eyelid area to provide an additional tightening effect to the skin.

Always consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,


Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Youthful Upper Eyelids

Thanks for this great question. Moisturizing creams are always a good idea.  You can use retinols, but must be VERY careful to not get them in the eye itself.  Some creams have lactic or glycolic acids in them which can help with mild resurfacing of that skin. Most importantly, always remember to use sunscreen on this very vulnerable area. Best of luck.

Non surgical upper eyelid treatment

The short answer is that you can use creams with glycolic acid or retinol on your upper eyelids. However, you have to be extremely careful to not get any of the cream into your eyes themselves. It may help some unfortunately gravity and the aging process and heredity play bigger factors in the upper eyelids as we age and you may need a procedure in the future to remove the excess upper eyelid skin.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Upper eyelids

You can try creams on the upper lids such as renova.  Some people get too irritated with these, so may need to use a lower strength.  This skin is very thin, and may have limited new production of collagen.  Very important to use sun protection - sunglasses - and not smoke.  Also - moisturizer.  Studies have shown that just increased hydration can improve the appearance of this skin.  You can also do some light laser resurfacing if you do start to get some wrinkles.    

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.