There’s no question that retinol is the anti-aging skincare hero of the moment. While derms and estheticians are constantly touting its skin-smoothing, texture-refining benefits (and all but dubbing it the fountain of youth), retinol enthusiasts have likely noticed that most ingredient labels have strict instructions to avoid applying it around the eye area. What gives? Are our peepers doomed to hasty aging at the hands of fine lines and wrinkles? Thankfully, the answer to that is no!

“Retinol can help prevent and treat fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production,” says NYC-based dermatologist and Kiehl’s consulting dermatologist Meghan O’Brien. Now, this tidbit isn’t news, but it certainly reaffirms that using the ingredient around our eyes where fine lines, crow’s-feet, and puffiness abound could seriously slow the formation of said giveaways. So we just had to ask: Is retinol safe for use around the eyes? And according to O’Brien, the short answer to that is yes! (More on that later.)

Ahead, find our derm-approved edit of the 20 best retinol eye creams, along with the answers to more of our burning questions about the anti-aging eye product—including how it stacks up against Botox.

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