Are Retinoid Eye Creams Effective for Dark Circles and Puffiness?

You've likely heard that retinoids are the gold standard in anti-ageing ingredients, and for an excellent reason. Time and time again, retinoids have been proven effective at reversing fine lines and wrinkles. That's a reduction in wrinkle depth, wrinkle appearance, and apparent skin age.

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Retinoids are established wonder substances in the skincare world, but can this anti-ageing superhero also treat dark circles and puffiness? Let's explore how retinoids work and what their biological benefits are. This isn't just about the visible effects; we already know that retinoids are effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles. What's really important here is just how retinoids manage to achieve these results. Research has shown that retinoids can:

     1. Increase skin cell turnover
     2. Fade discolouration
     3. Protect skin with antioxidant benefits
     4. Increase skin thickness (after an initial thinning period)
     5. Increase collagen production
     6. Potentially build elastin

Collagen is a vital protein that's found within the deeper layers of skin. This protein, along with another called 'elastin', is responsible for keeping skin elastic, plump, and firm. A helpful way to think about these two skin proteins is as scaffolding (collagen) interspersed with trampolines (elastin). Retinoids have been proven to stimulate collagen production and maintain the integrity of this structural system, which in turn increases the thickness of skin.

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Are retinoid creams effective for dark circles and puffiness beneath the eyes?
When used as an eye treatment, retinoids:

     •Thicken the extremely thin under-eye skin
     •Reduce the visibility of dark circles by reducing the transparency of the skin
     •Increase skin firmness to minimise puffiness

If you research retinoids yourself, you'll find conflicting information. Some sources state that retinoids actually thin the skin, while others insist that retinoids thicken the skin.


Just what's going on here?

In fact, it's true that retinoids both thin and thicken the skin. When you being to use a retinoid product, your skin goes through an initial thinning period.

Remember that one of the benefits of retinoids is an increase in skin cell turnover, also commonly called exfoliation. This is the reason why retinoids initially thin your skin. Exfoliation causes temporary thinning of the skin because it speeds up the natural removal of dead cells.

However, retinoids thicken skin with long-term use. This biological change occurs within the deepest layers of skin via increased collagen synthesis. This effect takes time to build, as it relies on changes within the skin's chemistry. Continued use of a retinoid product for 4 to 6 weeks will cause healthy thickening.

You should bear this in mind when using a retinoid cream to eliminate dark circles and puffiness.

If you're looking for a retinoid-based eye cream, take a look at some of our most esteemed below:

     • La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] Eyes

     • Medik8 Retinol Eye TR Advanced Eye Vitamin A Serum 7ml

     • Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex

Adore Beauty offers other helpful skincare and lifestyle tips to aid you in the management of dark circles and under-eye puffiness. Check out 'What Causes Dark Circles?' and 'What Causes Eye Bags and Puffiness?'.