dermalogica age reversal eye complex review

Do you need an eye cream?

Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone does. I don’t use one and my skin hasn’t suffered for it. But now I’m approaching my mid-30s, I’m wondering if I should up my antiaging eye game and add that extra step to my skincare routine.

There’s only one way to find out. Start using an eye cream and see how it goes. The guinea pig (apart from me)? Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex.

What’s In Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex?


Why did I choose Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex for this experiment? For one, it landed on my desk, free of charge (thanks, Dermalogica!).

For two, it’s made with microencapsulated retinol, an antiaging powerhouse. If retinol doesn’t make eye creams work wonders, then there’s no hope for other eye creams.

Retinol works in 3 ways:

  1. It prevents wrinkles by fighting free radicals.
  2. It reduces wrinkles and dark spots by accelerating cellular turnover.
  3. It firms skin by boosting collagen production.

Awesome, right?

There’s only one problem. Retinol can irritate skin if you’ve never used it before. And the eye area is super delicate. So it may still irritate it even if the rest of your face is used to it.

The fix? Dermalogica has microencapsulated retinol. That makes retinol behave a bit differently. Rather than hitting your skin at full potency all at once, microencapsulation releases it slowly into your skin over several hours. It’s much gentler that way. It hasn’t irritated my skin at all.

Even so, if you’re a retinol newbie or have super sensitive skin, start small. Use this cream only a couple of times a week and build up frequency gradually.

Related: The Complete Guide To Retinol: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It

Need help creating an anti-aging routine that really works? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Anti-Aging Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).


Your skin needs retinol. Period.But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need anything else. Like all antioxidants, retinol works best when in the company of other antioxidants.

There are plenty here. Vitamin C. Green tea. Caffeine. Algae extract. They all fight the free radicals that cause those annoying premature wrinkles and dark spots. Loading up on this stuff is key to keeping them away from your face.

Related: The Most Common Antioxidants In Skincare


Retinol and antioxidants work. But, they take their sweet time. In the meantime, you can rely on plain old dimethicone to fill in those wrinkles and make them look smaller.

Dimethicone does a lot more, too. It gives your skin that silky soft feeling, helps prevent moisture evaporation and helps the cream glide smoothly on your skin.

Best of all? It doesn’t suffocate skin. Silicones have a weird molecular structure that’s made up of big spaces between each molecule. That’s how they’re able to create a breathable barrier on the skin.

But, yeah, there’s a catch. Its effects are only temporary. But, hey, you’ve got retinol to do the long term job.

Related: Are Silicones Bad For Skin?


Lightweight and fast-absorbing (unless you use too much).


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

After serum but before moisturiser. Pat it on with your ring finger.

Related: How To Apply Eye Cream The Right Way

Performance & Personal Opinion

Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex is a faint yellow, light-textured cream that glides smoothly on my skin.

It didn’t do anything for my dark circles, but it moisturized my skin pretty well. It makes it softer and smoother and keeps it hydrated all night long.

After a few weeks, I’m finally starting to see a tiny reduction in the size of my fine lines. Retinol works SLOWLY, which can be very frustrating. But if you have the patience to stick around, you’ll be rewarded, eventually.

Plus, the cream is fragrance-free. Fragrance is one of those things you really DON’T want around your eyes. So, if your fave retinol moisturizer or serum is scented, this eye cream would be a good way to give your eye area its retinol fix, too.

Related: Is Fragrance In Skincare Really As Bad As Paula Begoun Says?

Who Is This For?

Anyone looking for an antiaging cream with retinol.

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Anyone under 25
  • If you’re already using a retinol serum, you don’t need this


White and grey tube with a pointed tip. Not the prettiest, but it’s practical.

Does Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex Live Up To Its Claims?

Advanced, microencapsulated Retinol helps smooth away the signs of skin aging around the eyes.  True.
Reverses multiple signs of skin aging around the delicate eye area. True. But it does so slowly.

Price & Availability

$80.00/£68.00 at Blue Mercury, Feel Unique, Liberty, Sephora, and Ulta

Do You Need It?

If you need a retinol for crow’s feet (and your face serum is too irritating for the eye area), this is a great option to consider.


Dupes & Alternatives


Water/Aqua/Eau, Methylheptyl Isostearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Alcohol, Diglycerin, Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Glyceryl Stearate PEG-100 Stearate, Isohexadecane, Propanediol, Glycerinm, Niacinamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Algae Extract, Retinol, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Dunaliella Salina Extract Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein, Dipeptide-2, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Bisabolol, Caffeine, Glucosamine HCL, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Fraxinus Excelsior Bark Extract, Tocopherol, Silanetriol, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Ceramide 3, Lecithin, Arginine/Lysine Polypeptide, Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharide, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Dimethiconol, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Pantolactone, Ceramide NP, Sodium Lactate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Laureth-23, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Urea, Polyglycerin-3, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Palmitate, Trideceth-6 Phosphate, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Oleth-20, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Isostearic Acid, Steareth-20, Polysorbate 20, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, BHA, Potassium Citrate, Citric Acid, BHT, Sodium Hydroxide, Aminomethyl Propanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.