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Eyes Wide Open

Cosmetic Procedures that Tighten, Brighten, and Anti-age Your Eyes

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By Annette Brooks

From saggy, baggy, and puffy to droopy, hollow, and darkened, many of us have something about our eyelids and the area surrounding our eyes we’d love to improve. Even a minor change can help you appear more rested, refreshed, and alert. Check out the treatment options below, ranging from surgical to nonsurgical solutions, designed to help improve your eyes’ appearance and lift your self-confidence.

Dermal Fillers

Our eyes often take on a sunken look as we age due to changes in the surrounding tissues and fat and muscle weakening. Minimally invasive dermal filler injections are a popular way to address hollow-looking eyes as they restore volume and smooth the transition between the lower eyelid and cheeks. Tear troughs, under-eye bags, and hollows can look less pronounced, as well as dark circles. Touch-ups will be required if you like the results since dermal fillers aren’t permanent. 

Upper and Lower Eyelid Surgery

If you want a more permanent solution than fillers, eyelid surgery is a great option if you’re a good candidate. Depending on your needs and goals, it can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. During a blepharoplasty (the medical term for eyelid surgery), your plastic surgeon will remove excess skin and fat and may tighten muscles. Usually performed on an outpatient basis and often under local anesthetic, results should last for years and, for some, a lifetime.

Double Eyelid Surgery

Some of us have visible upper eyelid folds, known as double eyelids, while others were born without these creases. Both are perfectly natural and beautiful, but if you would prefer to have a crease, consider getting double eyelid surgery. Two types of double eyelid surgery are generally available — incisional and “incisionless.” Ask your plastic surgeon to explain the difference during your consultation, which type they recommend for you, and why.

Microneedling

This minimally invasive procedure stimulates collagen production by pricking the skin at a very precise depth with tiny, sterilized needles. Especially popular for the face, neck, and décolletage, microneedling can also be used to address dark circles, fine lines, and thin, crepey skin under the eyes. Professional treatment at a shallower needle depth is used around the delicate, sensitive skin around and under the eyes than what’s used for the rest of the face. Microneedling is often available in a package of three sessions performed around three weeks for optimal results. You will need to schedule sessions during the year to maintain the results.

Chemical Eye Peel

Modern eye peels performed by a professional are considered safe and effective at addressing puffiness beneath the eyes, fine lines, discoloration, and brightening under-eye circles. Since the skin around the eyes is thin, light to medium peels are used in this sensitive area to brighten and boost collagen and elastin production. 

Eyelid Lifting Prescription Eye Drops

If you’re not ready for eyelid surgery but suffer acquired or age-related ptosis — droopy upper eyelids — ask your medical provider about Upneeq, the first FDA-approved prescription eyedrops to treat acquired ptosis. 

Droopy lids, which can impair your vision, can occur in one or both eyes when muscles that elevate the eyelids lose function with age. Upneeq causes this muscle to contract, allowing the eyelid to open one to two millimeters wider than before treatment. You may see a noticeable lift in as little as five mins and the full effects in about two hours. Results last approximately six to eight hours.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “Upneeq is not for people who have droopy eyelids due to excess skin, saggy eyebrows, or underlying eye injury or nerve problems. The drug is not a treatment for congenital ptosis” and “certain patients, including those with cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, should consult their primary care doctor before taking this drug.”

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