If the eyes are a window to the soul, the skin around them is a dead giveaway to your age. A crinkle around the eyes may be charming when you think of your grandmother, but for the rest of us, eye wrinkles, dark circles and puffy eyes are a no-go.
Find out what causes the most common signs of eye aging and learn which cosmetic eye rejuvenation treatments are best for keeping your eyes looking youthful.
The real reason your eye area is starting to look older
Age-related skin changes around the eyes are caused by a host of factors. Gravity pulls skin and muscles downward over time, resulting in an aged appearance. As the skin sags, it causes you to look tired, even if you had a full night of sleep.
Creases also form as your skin starts producing less elastin, a protein that is essential for keeping skin flexible so that it can “bounce back” into place after you make facial expressions.
Collagen also decreases beginning around age 30. Collagen is like concrete in a brick wall – It holds your cells (the bricks) together and gives your skin structure. Less collagen means weaker skin that is more prone to sagging, wrinkles, and other cosmetic problems.
You may have noticed that the eye area has particularly delicate, thin skin compared to the rest of the skin on your face. Because of this, it is often one of the first areas of the face that you will start to notice signs of aging.
Do you have any of these cosmetic concerns around your eyes?
Aging eyes are no fun for anyone. They can give you a rundown appearance and leave you looking haggard. They can make you look older than you are and appear tired, even if you got a full night of sleep.
Let’s face it: Whether you are walking into the boardroom or a party with friends, your appearance matters. That is why many women and men around the world choose to have cosmetic eye rejuvenation.
Dark circles are a common problem among men and women. The older you get, the worse they tend to look. When you see dark under eye circles, what you are really seeing is pooling in blood vessels under the eyes.
What do dark circles look like?
Dark circles can be a wide range of colors. The color of the circles really comes down to your skin tone. On cool skin tones, they tend to look purple or blue. On warmer skin tones, they can appear olive, purple or dark brown, and on dark skin tones, the circles may look purple to dark brown or black. Sometimes they are accompanied by bags under the eyes.
What causes dark circles under the eyes?
Dark circles are often blamed on lack of sleep. Allergies are another possible cause. Aging is another big factor. The skin under your eyes gets thinner with age. That allows the blood vessels to be more readily visible than they were in youth. Genetics also play a role in periorbital dark circles. It can run in families, and may even be linked to ethnicity.
Are dark circles harmful?
Dark circles are usually not a cause for concern, unless they are present due to lifestyle factors like poor sleep habits, alcohol consumption or poor diet. Some people just seem to get them no matter how healthy they may be
Treatments for dark circles
While dark circles are usually harmless, many people want to get rid of them for cosmetic reasons. There are home remedies such as cucumbers, warm compresses and cold spoons. It may be beneficial to sleep with your head slightly elevated to reduce blood pooling under your eyes while you sleep.
Dark circles are hard to fight. Many patients find little help from home remedies. While they can help manage dark circles to a degree, more advanced cosmetic treatments may be needed. Another reason people seek treatment is because it is very difficult to cover dark circles with makeup.
Eye rejuvenation treatments for dark circles are very effective. We will discuss fillers to correct dark circles in the next section.
Swollen eyes or puffy eyes can happen to both men and women. Luckily, there is something you can do about it.
What do puffy eyes look like?
Bags under the eyes can appear worse with age. Some people may notice there eyes are slightly puffy in the morning. You can thank gravity for that. As you lay down, any water retained in the eye area can start to gather and cause swelling under the eyes. As you get moving and start your day, under eye puffiness decreases, again with the help of gravity.
Other people may have more severe puffy eyes. Bulging skin under the eyes indicates a fluid buildup. If under eye bulging is persistent, you may need eye rejuvenation treatments.
What causes puffy eyes?
If you have puffy eyes, your first stop should be to your primary care doctor or opthamologist to rule out medical causes. Puffy eyes can sometimes result from allergies, infection, injury, and other factors. But today, we are going to discuss the age-related cause of puffy eyes. As you age, the skin around the eyes becomes thinner. That means there is less skin to cover up fluid retention under the eyes.
Puffy eyes home remedies and cosmetic treatments
Home remedies for puffy eyes are plentiful. The goal is to reduce swelling under the eyes. A cold spoon in the morning may help alleviate some of the puffiness. Warm compresses may also help. Benadryl can help if the root cause is allergies. For puffy eyes or bulging skin under the eyes caused by aging, eye rejuvenation treatments may improve the condition. We’ll cover those in the next section.
Sagging skin around the eyes
This can happen both above and below the eye. Drooping upper eyelids tend to become more pronounced with age. But it is normally below the eyes where sagging skin is most obvious.
Signs of sagging skin around the eyes
Drooping skin is a telltale sign of aging. The under eye skin may appear loose and stretched out. You may also notice crepiness and fine lines. The skin may also feel thinner and less elastic to the touch. You are not imagining it. There is less of the elastin protein in your skin as you age, which weakens the skin structure.
Droopy upper eyelids are also common with age. The problem can get so severe that the upper eyelid may be concealed entirely. That is because the upper eye skin, which is normally plump and firm in youth, loses it firmness and elasticity which causes the skin to hang down. This gives the eyes a hooded appearance. If you already had hooded eyelids to begin with, you can imagine how that can worsen with age.
Causes of sagging skin under eyes
Gravity and aging work together to create sagging skin. With age, there is less collagen and elastin to give the skin around your eyes the strength to fight gravity. Skin that appears taut and firm when you are young won’t stay that way forever, at least without the help of cosmetic eye rejuvenation.
Home remedies and cosmetic treatments for sagging skin around the eyes
Under eye creams are the most popular way to treat aging skin around the eyes. They help the skin around your eyes appear more plump and moisturized, which helps diminish sagging and fine lines to a degree. It is important to choose a high-quality eye cream. Injectables may also help. We’ll talk more about both treatments below.
Fine lines around the eyes are perhaps the most common sign of eye aging. It happens to nearly everyone at some point.
What do crow’s feet look like?
Crow’s feet are most obvious when you smile. For many people, these pesky lines are a reason to frown. You may notice crinkly skin around your eyes that resemble the feet of the bird they are named after. Many people first notice smile lines around the eyes when they have their photo taken and they are smiling. If you have them, don’t worry. It is not too late to do something about it. In fact, they are easy to treat with eye rejuvenation treatments.
What causes crow’s feet?
There are small muscles around the eyes that are constantly moving. Nearly every facial expression you make causes those muscles to move. You may squint your eyes to read or to fight the sun’s glare. When you smile, your eyes move too. A curious expression also gives the eye muscles a workout.
Yes, those eye muscles are always moving. If you had never thought about it before, it may make you raise an eyebrow. And you guessed it: Raising an eyebrow puts the eye muscles to work also.
Herein lie the problem. As facial muscles move, the skin moves along with it. In youth, skin has more elastin and collagen, so it bounces back the instant the facial muscles relax. As skin ages, it loses elastin and collagen. That means the skin doesn’t bounce back as fast.
A lifetime of making facial expressions takes a toll on the skin around your eyes. Dynamic wrinkles are the kind that form first. You make a facial expression, and instantly notice a temporary fine line or crease when your face relaxes.
Shortly after, the skin fully relaxes and the lines disappear. Dynamic wrinkles eventually turn into static wrinkles, the kind that are etched in the skin long after the skin relaxes. If you wake up in the morning and notice fine lines and wrinkles straight away, those are static wrinkles.
Home remedies and crow’s feet treatment
Regardless of whether you have dynamic or static wrinkles, there are in-office eye rejuvenation treatments that can help. While you can’t stop making facial expressions altogether (unless you want to look like a zombie), there are other ways for how to get rid of crow’s feet. A plastic surgeon or aesthetician can help. We will discuss treatments for crow’s feet in more detail below.
Hollows under the eyes (aka pronounced tear troughs)
Hollows under the eyes can make you look older than you are. This can be easily corrected with cosmetic eye rejuvenation.
What does it look like?
There was once plump, firm skin just below the inner eyelid. But now, you may notice that area looks like it’s been drained. The under eye area looks hollow, losing volume that makes you look older. It gives you a tired look, no matter how much sleep you got the night before.
Causes of hollows under the eyes
Gravity is not kind to an aging face. Under eye hollowing is mainly caused by cheek sagging. As the cheek muscles begin to droop downward with age, tear troughs form. This usually begins around age 30. It tends to worsen as the years go by. The condition is harmless, but treatable. An opthamologist, dermal nurse, or plastic surgeon can administer fillers to restore volume to the hollow area.
Best eye rejuvenation treatments for youthful eyes
There are eye creams, serums, eye masks, facial rollers, and a host of other gadgets out there to refresh the eye area. But patients often find they need more help than home remedies can offer.
Many patients seek long-term solutions so they don’t have to constantly fight an uphill battle against aging eyes every day. It can be frustrating to try to hide or correct the problem each morning.
In-office eye rejuvenation allows you to treat the area professionally for long-lasting results. That is important for patients with busy lives.
1. Muscle relaxants
Injectables are a fantastic way to treat wrinkles and fine lines anywhere on the face. The eye area is no exception. With muscle relaxants, you can achieve remarkably younger-looking skin around the eyes. Not only that, it can prevent your eye skin from developing new wrinkles by keeping the muscles and skin relaxed.
There are many muscles in your face that are constantly moving as you make expressions. Smiling, frowning, raising your eyebrows, squinting to read fine print…these all wear on your delicate eye skin over time.
Muscle relaxant injectables work by causing temporary muscle paralysis. Reducing the movement of facial muscles, especially around the crow’s feet area, allows your skin and muscles to relax. For patients with dynamic wrinkles, this is the key to youthful eyes.
Dr. Beldholm will inject muscle relaxants in the crow’s feet area. While facial injectables may sound scary, treatment is quick and virtually painless. Your skin may look a little red or lumpy for up to one hour afterward, but it is normally mild. There is no downtime. It is a fairly quick “in and out” procedure that you could get done on your lunch break.
It can take anywhere from four days to two weeks for the muscle relaxants to start working. During that time, you will notice less movement in the muscles that were treated. Gradually, you will see that existing lines and wrinkles around your eyes begin to fade. Results last anywhere from two to six months, depending on the product and quantity that was injected.
It is important to treat the eye area with the minimal amount of product needed to achieve the desired result. Overcorrection gives a frozen look. Doctor Bernard’s goal is to give his patients natural-looking results.
2. Hyaluronic acid fillers
Fabulous as they are, muscle relaxants shouldn’t be used under the eyes. Instead, injectable fillers can greatly improve most common under eye problems. This includes dark circles, pronounced tear troughs, sagging skin under the eyes, and hollowed skin.
Dr. Beldholm will administer natural hyaluronic acid in the tear trough area after applying anaesthetic. Results are immediate, as the area fills with the solution instantly.
Simple as it sounds, under eye fillers require an experienced injector. There are many blood vessels in the delicate eye area. The skin is also particularly thin and sensitive under the eyes. It is normal to have some swelling and darkness due to blood pooling. This may give the patient a temporary bruised appearance. This is harmless and to be expected. Mild to moderate bruising under the eyes may last ten days to two weeks, so don’t get it done right before a big event.
You must also be careful with under eye fillers because it is easy to overfill the area. You don’t want to correct a hollow under eye with too much filler. That would cause the area to bulge out unattractively. Schedule your appointment with an experienced injector to ensure best results.
3. Derma Stamp, Skin Pen, Laser, and PRP Facials
These in-office cosmetic treatments are administered by a plastic surgeon, dermal nurse, or dermatologist. They are especially useful for dark circles. However, the treatment can also improve the skin around the eyes, stimulating natural rejuvenation.
PRP, for example, uses your own platelet-rich plasma to stimulate tissue repair. Skin damage actually stimulates repair. For that reason, it is a good thing to have some downtime because you know it’s working. It stimulates collagen production in your skin, strengthening and thickening the dermis. This helps the skin around your eyes look firmer and more youthful.
While there is some downtime associated with these treatments (expect to walk out a bit red and puffy, at minimum), the final results are beautiful.
You can treat your whole face, not just the eye area, if you wish for anti-aging results allover. These treatments can be paired with injectables for even better anti-aging effects.
4. Upper eyelid surgery
Blepharoplasty is a facial surgery that corrects droopy upper eyelids. Loose skin above the eyes creates a sleepy appearance. For some patients, the skin hangs so low that it begins to obstruct their vision.
If sagging upper eyelid skin is bothering you, blepharoplasty surgery with Doctor Bernard can help. He will trim away the excess skin, leaving you with upper eyes that appear more firm and youthful. This is a permanent solution to droopy eyelids. Click here to check out real patient before and after blepharoplasty photos.
5. Eye creams
Walk into any drugstore or department store, and you will be faced with a bevy of eye creams. Unfortunately, most of them don’t live up to the hype…or the price tag. But some of them do work. They may not be as effective as cosmetic eye surgery, but eye creams can help make your eye area appear plumper and even slow signs of eye aging by keeping your skin healthy and moisturized.
A good eye cream will have intensive moisturizing ingredients. A great one will have peptides or a form of vitamin A called retinoids. Over-the-counter eye creams may contain retinol, a simple form of vitamin A. But retinoids are the active form of vitamin A. They are usually only available by prescription.
Eye creams may also be used to alleviate puffy eyes. In this case, you will need one with vasoconstricting ingredients. Caffeine, for example, is a vasoconstrictor. It may help tighten and reduce swelling under the eyes.
If you aren’t ready to try in-office eye rejuvenation, eye creams are your next best bet for treating nearly all signs of eye aging. Check back soon, because our next blog post will be all about eye creams!
If you would like to know more about how vitamin A can improve the skin around your eyes, read the next article from our skincare clinic at Specialist Skin Solutions.