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 12

Retin A for wrinkles around the eyes

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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%. 

New York Dermatologist

Yes, but go SLOW and combine with a moisturiser

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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, 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

Retin-A Under the Eyes for Fine Lines

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Renova is better

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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 18 reviews

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

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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.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Use Retin-A under the eyes

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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
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Is It Safe to Use Retin A Under the Eyes?

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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 37 reviews

Retin A around the eyes

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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

Under eyes

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Thanks for your question, Retin A can be used under the eyes. If you are unsure test a small area first.

Kind regards

Chien C. Kat, FRCS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Its safe but you have to work up to it

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You won't be able to tolerate retin-A under the eyes at the first several weeks of application. However, you can gradually work up to it over the course of several months. 

Sameer Bashey, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.