RoC's Retinol Correxion Eye Cream Keeps My Puffiness and Milia at Bay

This under-$20 retinol product effectively increases collagen production and cell turnover, so you see less puffiness, fine lines, dark circles, and even milia over time. It's a literal wake-up call for your eyes.

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RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream on a redwinecolored background
Courtesy of brand
Best of Beauty
  • Best of Beauty
  • 2020, 2009
TL;DR:
  • What It Is: A lightweight eye cream formulated with retinol and a mineral complex of zinc, copper, and magnesium
  • What It Does: Smooths and diminishes the appearance of crow's-feet, dark circles, and puffiness
  • Who It's For: Anyone who deals with discoloration or uneven texture around the eyes

It's widely known that retinoids are one of the most effective ingredients when it comes to stimulating collagen production, speeding up cell regeneration, and softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Don't just take it from me; they're an essential part of any top dermatologist's skin-care routine

Truth be told, I'm still a little intimidated by retinoids because the term alone — unlike, say, vitamin C or ceramides — sounds serious and medical. But as I continue to educate myself, one dependable and approachable retinol-infused product has been RoC's Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, which just won a 2020 Allure Best of Beauty Award for the line-smoothing eye cream category. While I don't have any lines to treat at the moment, I'm all about prevention.

Sarah Han/Allure

The star ingredient in this particular product is, of course, pure, stabilized retinol, which stimulates collagen production, increases cell turnover, and evens out pigmentation (like dark circles). "In off-the-shelf formulas, the ingredient called retinol is the only derivative of vitamin A worth using," Dana Sachs, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Michigan Medical School, previously told Allure

Sachs also said that retinol "biochemically" produces the same results as retinoic acid (which are found in prescription formulas), but the changes are likely more gradual. The retinol is accompanied by an antioxidant-rich mineral complex of zinc, copper, and magnesium. Mona Gohara, associate clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine, tells Allure the minerals, like retinol, aid in the formation of collagen.

Even though, again, fine lines aren't my main focus right now, I suspect the RoC cream has been smoothing out the appearance of my milia, which is concentrated underneath the inner corners of my eyes. Gohara says that retinols and professional extractions are the best ways to treat these tiny, little cysts made up of keratin. Since my milia is only visible up close, I'll happily treat it at home.

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No base makeup on, just surprisingly awake-looking eyes.

Sarah Han/Allure

I also experience a lot of undereye puffiness, thanks to insomnia and an inconsistent sleep schedule, but I've seen an overall reduction in puffiness since I started using this cream. Since they boost collagen, retinols "thereby contribute to vascular support in the area and the recovery of skin volume and firmness," Patricia Ceballos, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New Rochelle, New York, previously told Allure. Despite how little sleep I might've gotten the night before, I wake up with refreshed-looking eyes.

That being said, my first impression of the RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream was one of surprise. It's a lot thinner and more lightweight than I imagined it'd be, and it absorbs very quickly into my skin. There's no downtime, and I can immediately move onto my next step without worrying that I'm spreading the eye cream around my entire face. The formula is housed in an opaque aluminum tube that blocks out all light and oxygen to prevent the retinol from breaking down and losing its efficiency.

When you first introduce retinol into your routine, it's actually normal to experience two to three weeks of lightly flushed, peeling skin while your skin cells adjust to the product, but this eye cream is so gentle that I didn't experience any irritation at all. It's also nongreasy and fragrance-free to boot, so there's no added irritation for my sensitive eyes.

I've tried tons of eye creams over the years, but RoC's Retinol Correxion Eye Cream truly offers the whole package. It is not only lightweight, fast-absorbing, and non-irritating, but it helped depuff my tired-looking eyes within a few days of use and has visibly smoothed out some of my milia. The results speak for themselves, and I'm sure they'll become even more apparent with long-term use.

Check out the full list of Allure's 2020 Best of Beauty Winners.