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I don´t think I have ever had so many requests to do a review than I had for The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream. Should not have surprised me, after all both The Inkey List reviews and Retinol products are among the most searched after topics that lead people to my blog – why not combine both?
So far The Inkey List released three eye creams: Their Caffeine Eye Serum, a strong favorite of mine for years now (read more here), their Brighten-I Eye Cream that I personally found pretty underwhelming (read more here) and now the one we are going to discuss today.
I have been using it on and off for more than six months now, so about time I tell you my thoughts!
To answer that question first: No, I don´t think you really need a dedicated eye cream, with the exception of when it comes to using retinoids. I use Tretinoin for the rest of my face, but wouldn´t dream of taking that up to my eyes, so I personally opt for a dedicated retinol product for there.
Let´s hear what The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream claims
A nighttime eye cream formulated to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while giving extra support to your most fragile skin. Our Retinol Eye Cream has been formulated with slow release Vitamin A derivatives. These have been shown to support natural collagen production, while being gentle enough to use around the eyes.
Facts about The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream
Prize and size
One tube contains 15 ml, a pretty standard size for an eye cream, and retails for 9,99 € on the website here.
Texture and scent
After squeezing some out of the tube, you get a firm cream with a faint yellow hue and no noticeable scent. The consistency is much firmer than I am used to from other products, and not in a creamy sense. I can´t really explain, but it just gives a little more resistance than your average face product.
How to use The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream
Retinol products are supposed to be used at night because the ingredient is reactive to light, so this is when I reach for the cream. As you have seen in many of my skincare routines, I do not only take it underneath my eye, but up on the mobile lid and around my eye as well – the skin there needs the same love and care than it does underneath your eyes, and as a woman of a certain age I can tell you that it does indeed need firming.
Despite the firmness I mentioned before, the cream spreads easily and without tugging.
Ingredients of The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream
Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
Looking at the ingredient list, it reads pretty straight-forward: Humectants like Glycerin, emollients to smooth out the skin and of course Retinol, making its appearance after Phenoxyethanol, which indicates a low concentration (exactly what you want in a product for the delicate eye area). The Inkey List mentions the use a “stabilized retinol compound in a slow-release formula”, so they are not using retinol per se, but vitAlease, where the retinol is encapsulated in a Carnauba Wax Capsule (probably what makes the formula so dense) along with Vitamin E, Glycerin and a few other additives.
Now there is nothing wrong with using so called stabilized retinol compounds, I am sure they have their benefits, I just want to emphasize that a stabilized retinol compound is NOT the same as retinol – it might work differently, maybe better, maybe worse, so we can´t just expect it to give us the same results retinol has shown in studies.
Does it live up to its claims?
As The Inkey List claims that this reduces the appearance of fine lines, they are certainly living up to that, most hydrating eye creams would. As for giving you a retinol effect on the eye, it is a little more tricky: You can´t really be sure when using an encapsulated form (and you won´t be able to tell from using the product for a few months), but at the same time using a pure retinol might be more than the skin around your eyes can take.
I personally enjoy the probably weaker, but at the same time irritation-free formula when it comes to that delicate part of my face.
How does it compare to…
… the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum
While the Murad version contains more humectants and additional plant extracts, the main difference I would see is that Murad uses two different kinds of retinoids: retinol and Retinyl Proprionate, as Retinol Ester. Again, the concentration of both is low and the effect of the retinol ester debatable, so if that actually makes a difference in your skin that justifies the different price points is a question I find hard to answer.
What I definitely prefer is the texture of Murads version. It is called a serum and feels much more lightweight on the skin. Again, if that warrants the price difference is a decision you need to make yourself, but for the time being I will stick with the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum and not repurchase The Inkey Lists offer.
Read my full review of the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum here
Whom do I recommend The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream to?
Anyone above the age of 30 worried about more and more lines and of course sagginess in the eye area. There is no harm in using it below that age, and in this case it is really affordable even for a student budget, but I debate the need for it that early. It is gentle enough to be used daily, cheap enough to fit all budgets and just all around a nice product. Yes, the texture might not win the price for best available formulation, but if you want the best value for money, you will certainly get it here.