15 Best Retinol Eye Creams For Dark Circles and Fine Lines – 2020

by Ramona Sinha
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Retinol is your skin’s BFF. This vitamin A derivative boosts collagen production and helps your skin say goodbye to wrinkles and fine lines. A retinol eye cream can help firm the delicate skin under your eye and fight all signs of aging. If you are ready to make those dark circles and wrinkles a distant memory, scroll down and check out our list of best retinol eye creams.

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RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream
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Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair – Best For Dry Skin
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Olay Eyes Pro Retinol Eye Cream Treatment
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Murad Essential-C Eye Cream – Best Eye Cream With SPF
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Avène RetrinAL EYES – Best For Sensitive Skin
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Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream
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Kate Somerville + Retinol Eye Cream
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Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Eye Cream
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Dr. Brandt Skincare 24/7 Retinol Eye Cream
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First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Retinol Eye Cream
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The 15 Best Retinol Eye Creams of 2020

1. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream – Best Drugstore Anti-Aging Eye Cream 

The ROC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream claims to be effective on three signs of eye aging, including puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles. It can be used in the morning and at night. This eye cream is clinically proven to reduce the signs of aging and rejuvenate the delicate skin around your eyes. It claims to reduce crow’s feet in 4 weeks, smoothen under eye wrinkles in 8 weeks, and deep wrinkles in 12 weeks.

Pros

  • Contains pure RoC Retinol and exclusive mineral complex
  • Clinically proven formula
  • Non-greasy
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Reduces puffiness and dark circles
  • Lightweight
  • Gets absorbed quickly
  • Winner of 2018 Good Housekeeping Beauty Lab Awards

Cons

  • Might cause a burning sensation in super-sensitive eyes.

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2. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair – Best For Dry Skin

This eye cream gives you visibly younger and smoother looking eyes. It has a unique blend of Retinol SA, Glucose Complex, and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients help renew the look of skin around the eyes. This retinol eye cream helps reduce fine lines, age spots, wrinkles, dark circles, and crow’s feet. It gives you visible results in just one week.

Note: You might experience a warm, tingling sensation, mild redness, or flaking. It is normal and means that the formula is working.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Clinically proven
  • Non-irritating
  • Moisturizes the skin
  • A little goes a long way
  • Reduces puffiness

Cons

  • May feel a bit greasy.

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3. Olay Eyes Pro Retinol Eye Cream Treatment – Best For Treating Crow’s Feet 

The Olay Eyes Pro Retinol Eye Cream claims to treat crow’s feet and smooth the skin to reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles. It has a potent formula that includes Pro-Retinol. This helps to increase the rate of cell turnover and makes the eye area smooth and firm. It also helps to improve the natural moisture barrier of your skin.

Pros

  • Dermatologically tested
  • Contains niacinamide and vitamin B5
  • Hydrating and moisturizing
  • Non-greasy
  • Doesn’t have a strong fragrance
  • Works on puffiness

Cons

  • Expensive (compared to the quantity)

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4. Murad Essential-C Eye Cream – Best Eye Cream With SPF 

This is a patented anti-aging eye cream. It provides UV protection to the under-eye area to brighten and renew the delicate skin. It protects the eye area from the aging effects of UV rays and keeps it hydrated, soft, and smooth. It contains shorea stenoptera butter and avocado oil that condition and hydrate the skin under your eyes. The caffeine extracts and retinol in this eye cream reduce puffiness, while the light diffusers reduce dark circles.

Pros

  • SPF 15
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Scientifically proven
  • Developed by dermatologists
  • Patent-pending technology
  • Tested on humans and not on animals

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Takes time to show results.

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5. Avène RetrinAL EYES – Best For Sensitive Skin

This nourishing 3-in-1 eye cream minimizes the appearance of fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. It has an innovative texture that prevents the formula from getting into your eye. It contains retinaldehyde, a very potent form of retinol that helps diminish the fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which keeps the under-eye area hydrated.

Pros

  • Tested on sensitive skin
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Soap-free
  • Oil-free
  • Soy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • No irritation

Cons

  • The pump packaging can be problematic.

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6. Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream

This is a nourishing eye cream that makes the under-eye area smooth over time. It makes the skin firmer and brighter to give you younger-looking eyes. It contains ferulic acid and retinol and is powered by a potent ECG Complex and anti-aging oils to keep the under-eye area nourished.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Reduces crow’s feet and fine lines
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Reduces dark spots and puffiness

Cons

  • Might feel a bit drying

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7. Kate Somerville + Retinol Eye Cream

This retinol eye cream has a silky and weightless formula. It visibly firms, brightens, and hydrates the under-eye area. It helps to repair and rejuvenate the skin and gives it a more youthful appearance. It contains BioRetinols and natural ingredients that mimic the effects that retinol has on your skin, but with less sensitivity. It has a unique gold applicator tip that makes the application and massaging easier.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Hygienic application
  • Clinically tested and proven (independent study)
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive for the quantity provided.

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8. Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Eye Cream

This eye cream has a potent formula containing microencapsulated retinol complex at 1% that helps to give a youthful appearance to your delicate eye area. The brand promises “maximum results, minimal irritation.” This eye cream is infused with nourishing shea butter and vitamins C and E to provide the delicate eye area with some antioxidant benefits. It contains caffeine that helps reduce puffiness.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Reduces puffiness effectively
  • Non-irritating
  • Softens and hydrates the skin
  • Gets absorbed fast

Cons

  • May not go well with all face creams (tends to accumulate in one place).

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9. Dr. Brandt Skincare 24/7 Retinol Eye Cream – Best Skin-Friendly Eye Cream

This eye cream has an extremely gentle formula containing time-release retinol and ruby crystal complex. It smoothens the eye area, illuminates it, and reduces the appearance of lines. It also contains olive fruit pulp that reduces redness and protects your skin against all environmental stressors.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • SLS and SLES-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • No formaldehyde-releasing agent
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Less than 1% of synthetic fragrance
  • Clinically tested
  • Not greasy

Cons

None

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10. First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Retinol Eye Cream – Best Clean Eye Cream

This eye cream has a gentle and rejuvenating formula. It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and makes the eye area look smoother and firmer. It contains microencapsulated retinol that supports natural collagen production and increases cell turnover to minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet. It also contains hyaluronic acid that boosts the skin’s moisture levels and keeps it plump.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Contains colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera, ceramides
  • Clinically tested
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • No formaldehyde-releasing agents
  • Phthalate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Less than 1% of synthetic fragrance

Cons

  • Might cause an allergic reaction. Check the ingredients before buying.

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11. The INKEY List Retinol Eye Cream 

This eye cream helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It contains Vitalease, which is a stabilized retinoid compound. It has a slow-release formula that helps to avoid irritation that is usually caused by retinol. It also helps to brighten the skin and supports natural collagen production.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • No formaldehyde-releasing agents
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Squeezing the product out of the tube properly is tough.

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12. La Roche-Posay Redermic R Eyes Retinol Eye Cream

This anti-aging retinol eye cream contains pure retinol. It claims to visibly reduce fine lines, wrinkles, the appearance of crow’s feet, and dark circles. It has an instant visible lifting effect and a gel-like texture. It is easy to apply and does not irritate the delicate eye area. It contains vitamin C that brightens the skin and hyaluronic acid that keeps it plump and moisturized.

Note: This is a high-concentration retinol eye cream. Retinol usually irritates the skin a bit, but that’s normal.

Pros

  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Developed by dermatologists
  • Works on dark circles
  • Contains vitamin C and hyaluronic acid
  • Contains caffeine (works for puffy eyes)

Cons

  • The cap is tough to open without spilling a bit.

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13. Eve Lom Time Retreat Eye Treatment

This product has a highly concentrated formula that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and brightens and improves the skin tone. It contains liposome encapsulated retinol and is absorbed deeply into the skin to make the eye area firm and plump. This makes your eyes look fresh and smooth. It also contains oat kernel extract that helps improve elasticity, soy isoflavones that lift and tighten the skin, and vitamin C that brightens it.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free

Cons

  • The packaging is cheap (the bottle might break).

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14. Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Retinol Eye Cream

This retinol eye cream claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It makes the skin look firmer. Its unique formula contains a highly effective concentration of retinol, along with resveratrol and hyaluronic acid, which makes the skin feel smoother and improves radiance. It also supports skin health by reducing the effects of environmental stressors and protects the natural moisture barrier.

Note: Due to the presence of natural antioxidants, the product may change color over time.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Not tested on animals
  • Ophthalmologist-tested
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • Less quantity
  • Expensive

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15. Kiehl’s Youth Dose Eye Treatment 

This eye cream has a unique formula. It is illuminating and acts as a primer for concealer. This is to help in makeup application. The formula is infused with pro-retinol, red grapeseed extract, and vitamin C that brightens the eye area, keeps it soft and smooth, and also reduces fine lines. It is like a true “youth-dose” for your eyes. It also helps puffiness and dark circles within two weeks.

Pros

  • Natural ingredients
  • Lightweight
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Contains mica
  • Contains PEG
  • Peels under makeup
  • Not a moisturizing formula
  • Cakes up under the eye

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This is our list of the best 15 retinol eye creams. Now, before you pick one, consider these few points.

How To Pick The Right Retinol Eye Cream For You

  • The concentration of retinol matters.

Usually, retinol is available in 1%, 0.5%, 0.3%, and 0.25% concentrations. Usually, products specify if they have a high concentration of retinol. If they have not mentioned anything, it means the concentration is around 0.25%.

  • Not all can tolerate retinol.

If you are a first-timer, start with the lowest concentration. Also, your skin type matters. If you have oily skin, you may try a high concentration of retinol. For any other skin type, it is best to start with the lowest concentration.

Remember that if you are applying the eye cream during the daytime, apply a sunscreen over it. Retinol makes the skin sensitive to sun damage and

tends to irritate the skin a bit. You might see a bit of dryness and flaking initially. However, do not discontinue using the cream as these are the signs that the product is working. Do not misread the signs and continue with your product for at least two months to show results.

Go ahead and grab your eye cream now and say goodbye to dark circles and fine lines.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Is retinol eye cream safe?

Retinol is a strong ingredient. It is definitely safe, but you have to be cautious while using it. Use a lower concentration of the product if you are using it for the first time.

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Ramona Sinha

Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.
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