woman using retinol eye cream looking down

Retinol is another (fancier) term for vitamin A. It’s an important nutrient that improves your skin in many ways. Whether you’re concerned about acne, aging, or dryness, a product with retinol may be the answer to your skin woes. The benefits of retinol for skin are extensive: This vitamin helps to unclog pores, reducing oiliness and acne; it also encourages cell turnover and breaks up scar tissue, improving the appearance of acne scars.

Retinol is featured in many anti-aging creams, including eye creams, because of its firming effects. Retinol encourages the formation of collagen in your skin: this boosts the skin’s elasticity, preventing skin sagging as well as wrinkle formation. A retinol eye cream can be an excellent way to keep your under-eye area tight and youthful throughout the years.

There is one potential concern with retinol: if this nutrient is absorbed too quickly into the skin, it can cause irritation. Luckily, some manufacturers have developed a clever way of preventing this irritation–so that beauty buyers with sensitive skin can still experience the benefits of vitamin A, or retinol.

Here’s how it works: Retinol eye creams for sensitive skin use a special time-release formula so that the vitamin will absorb more slowly into your skin, instead of flooding in all at once. Not only does this method prevent the skin from becoming irritated–it actually helps the product to work more effectively, as it continues to permeate the skin over a longer amount of time.

Here are two of our favorite retinol eye creams for sensitive skin, along with tips and tricks for usage:

RoC’s Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream

It’s no wonder why this product won a Best in Beauty award from Allure. It’s a cult favorite with tons of excellent reviews due to its dramatic results. This product can be used during the day or night, and is super easy to apply: Just dab a small amount onto the skin underneath your eyes, and gently swipe it into your skin until it’s absorbed. The manufacturer recommends that you start with a small amount, and then increase it over time as you learn how your skin receives the cream. It’s also extremely affordable compared to many retinol products on the market. ($13.57)

First Aid Beauty’s Skin Lab Retinol Serum

This product is safe for sensitive skin and features a blend of natural ingredients to promote collagen production and cell regeneration. Its ingredient lists includes vitamin C and colloidal oatmeal to moisturize and strengthen your skin. This product is ideal for nighttime use only and can be easily dabbed onto the skin. Like other retinol products, it’s important to start with a small amount until you know how your skin will react to the ingredients. ($58)

With any retinol-based eye cream, we recommend that you begin with once-weekly use until you get a sense of how the product works on your skin. You can gradually increase your usage over time, once you’re sure that the product is a good fit.