Non-surgical cosmetic treatments have transformed the way we care for our skin. During a time when cosmetic trends are increasing, and the world is bombarding us with new information, it’s my job to uncover what aesthetic treatments are safe and effective for the delicate skin around our eyes.
Today I’m breaking down the primary cosmetic concerns around the eyes and how we can safely target them.
- Hooded or Sagging Eyelids
As we age, the skin and fat pads that sit atop our brow begin to drop, sometimes resting on our lashes or blocking our vision. There is a range of treatments that can help lift your eyelids and brows. These options vary in degrees of permanence and invasiveness.
Surgical Blepharoplasty: The most permanent solution but also the most invasive; this is the best option for those with significant amounts of skin sagging and resting on the lashes.
Skin-Firming Treatments: This is a great option for those who want a minimally invasive, non-surgical intervention. Skin-firming treatments like radiofrequency (e.g. Cynosure Tempsure Envi) or microneedling with radiofrequency (e.g. Cynosure Potenza) retract and strengthen skin by building new collagen in the dermal layer. This gives you a lifted and open look that can last for years, particularly if you do an annual maintenance treatment.
Injections: Toxin injections like Botox or Dysport can also add a temporary lift to your brow, opening up the aesthetic of your eye. Toxins are temporary and wear off after 2–4 months. It’s important to make sure this is not overdone, as too much can impede your ability to close your eyes, which may lead to dry eyes.
- Crows Feet and Fine Lines Around Eyes
The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your whole body, causing the collagen around your eyes to break down faster than the rest of your skin; this is why wrinkles and fine lines typically show up here first. So, what can we do to minimize this?
SPF: The first step to reducing wrinkles around your eyes is prevention. You can prevent further breakdown from the sun by wearing a broad spectrum SPF of 40 or more. Remember to reapply throughout the day.
Eye Creams and Topical Skin Care: Your at-home skincare regimen plays an essential role in minimizing fine lines and wrinkles and improving the overall appearance of your skin. The two key ingredients you want in your skin care regimen are vitamin C and retinol (or prescription retinoids).
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help neutralize free radicals that break down your skin. It also helps to strengthen the collagen in your skin. Retinol is another great way to minimize the wrinkles and fine lines around your eyes by increasing your skin’s cell turnover, building more collagen and creating more hyaluronic acid, which is responsible for adding moisture and volume to your skin.
We often don’t properly wash around our eyelids after these treatments, leading to increased bacterial overgrowth and styes, infections, and blepharitis. Using retinol and vitamin C around the eyes must be done with caution as both can be harsh and damaging to the ocular surface and meibum glands which are essential to creating and maintaining your tears and eye moisture.
Skin-Firming Treatments: Non-invasive skin tightening and firming treatments target fine lines and wrinkles, smooth out your skin, and can give it a more youthful glow. They work by triggering the body to build and reorganize new collagen and elastin. These treatments include radiofrequency (e.g. Cynosure Tempsure Envi) or radiofrequency/micro-needling (e.g. Cynosure Potenza). Adding a treatment into your skin care regimen every so often can keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful.
- Dark Bags Under Your Eyes
Reducing the appearance of under-eye bags comes down to uncovering their actual cause, as this is one of the most difficult cosmetic concerns to target for your eyes.
Eye Creams and Topical Skin Care: Eye creams that include caffeine or light-reflecting particles can help constrict blood vessels and lighten the skin’s appearance under your eyes. The other key ingredients to include in your under-eye routine are topical retinoids/retinol and vitamin C. Both of these key skincare essentials promote collagen growth to help strengthen the thin, delicate skin under your eye, improving not just the texture but also the colouration. While your at-home skincare regimen plays an essential role in maintaining the aesthetic under your eyes, it often won’t reduce dark bags completely.
Filler: If your under-eye darkness is due to volume loss of your tear trough, using injected fillers (e.g. Restylane) to elevate this region can help reduce the shadowing created by your upper brow.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): An effective way of targeting superficial blood vessels. If the darkness is due to blood vessels close to your skin’s surface, IPL treatments can minimize them and lighten this area.
- Short Brittle Lashes
Our eyelashes can get shorter, thinner, and brittle as we age. Unsurprisingly, numerous ways of improving this have been created, including lash perms, lash extensions, false lashes, and lash growth serums. However, most of these techniques used to lengthen and thicken lashes are harmful to your eyes.
Medical Grade Castor Oil: Ultimately, the safest way to lengthen and thicken your lashes. You want to look for a lash serum free of prostaglandins, preservatives, alcohols, and other harsh toxins. One of my favourite lash growth serums on the market is the twenty/twenty Get Growing Lash & Brow Serum. This serum is not only a safe way to grow the lashes, it also contains properties that nourish the ocular surface, adding moisture to dry eyes.
- Puffiness Under Your Eyes
Everyone has felt some degree of puffiness around and below their eyes, but some individuals are more prone to have pockets of fluid under their eyes. If you suffer from puffiness around or below your eyes, you must first rule out any systemic medical concerns. Kidney, thyroid, and some other systemic diseases can play a role in water retention around and below your eyes. Once ruled out, then you can work to target this region cosmetically.
Hydration and Diet: Water retention can be a primary reason for this puffiness. Particularly if you notice it comes on later in the day. Staying well hydrated is essential in flushing the fluid from your body and minimizing puffiness. Eating salty foods can also cause you to retain fluid and may increase puffiness. Try to avoid salty foods, particularly in the evening and before bed.
Lower Blepharoplasty: While modifying your diet may help, it’s often not enough to rid those large pockets of fluid. If this is the case, surgery may be your best option to permanently get rid of them. A lower blepharoplasty removes the excess skin and fluid from under your eye, smoothing out and tightening this region.
Radiofrequency/Microneedling: With the advancement of microneedling treatments that now contain radio-frequency within each needle (e.g. Cynosure Potenza), we can penetrate deeper into the dermis and then use the heat of the radiofrequency to help blast the water that collects within these pockets of skin. Depending on the degree of fluid present, we can see a total to a partial reduction of the fluid.
If you have aesthetic concerns about your eyes and want to know which combination of treatments is right for you, you can book your consultation at Eyesthetics on Sheppard. We can build a custom treatment plan to help keep your skin and eyes safe, glowing, and feeling beautiful.