Also known as retinaldehyde, retinal is similar to retinol (we have no idea why the name of the product is retrinal as there is no skin care ingredient called retrinal). Retinaldehyde is a worthwhile ingredient for skin, as it can reportedly be better utilized by skin than retinol because it takes less steps in the conversion process for it to become the active form of vitamin A after it is absorbed.
Retinaldehyde is also supposedly better tolerated than retinol though there is limited information on that. However, all forms of vitamin A can cause undesirable side effects such as flaking and dryness (Source: Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2006, pages 289–296). Moreover, retinal isn't only beneficial for skin around the eyes, and this fragrance-free eye cream's boring formula contains nothing else of interest, making the price out of line.
Perhaps most important, nothing about this product is unique or special for the eye area. If Avene's Retrinal products appeal to you, any of their "facial" Retrinal products can be applied around the eyes, too—in fact, most eye creams aren't necessary, and we explain why in the More Info section.
- Contains a type of retinol that has anti-aging benefits for all skin types.
- Does not distinguish itself for the eye area.
- Very boring, one-note formula.
- OK for sensitive skin, but it's like being OK with eating a salad that's just iceberg lettuce, nothing more.
Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream
Most eye creams aren't necessary. That's either because they are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won't keep key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled as an eye cream doesn't mean it's good for your eye area; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.
There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes. Any product loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, skin-lightening ingredients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and effective emollients will work wonders and those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye cream.
You would be shocked how many eye creams lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye creams don't contain sunscreen. During the day that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage and this absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse!
Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes! That may mean you need an eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer around your eyes.