In an earlier post, I discussed how to go about restoring a more youthful appearance to aging eyes through cosmetic surgery. Here, I’ll get into a less invasive approach: under-eye dermal fillers.
As we age, those dark circles under our eyes become more pronounced. Doctors call them tear troughs. The skin around your eyes is thinner and paler and lacking the proper fat restores, so the indentations grow a little deeper, giving the eyes a more tired appearance, even if you feel as vibrant as you did 20 years ago.
It’s a pretty common issue. Everyone has a natural indentation above the rim of the bone that encircles the eye, but some are deeper than others. Thank your parents. Those dark circles can also be affected by sun exposure, allergies, dehydration, and insufficient sleep. So there are natural ways to stave them off, like wearing sunblock, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep, but dark circles will still worsen as we age.
The wonder that is hyaluronic acid
Enter under-eye dermal fillers. They’re injectable treatments of hyaluronic acid—the most common brand names are Juvederm and Restylane —that stimulate the appearance of thicker fat pads under the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural part of the skin’s dermis, but it diminishes as we age, which causes the undesired hollowing effect under the eyes. The hyaluronic acid in fillers helps pull water to the site of the injection, creating a plumper under-eye.
A series of injections are placed under your eyes. A topical numbing agent can be applied beforehand to ease any discomfort, but the injections are virtually painless. (It’s a very small needle.) In all, the procedure should only take about a half-hour. The cost starts around $300 with individually tailored treatment plans, and the results last up to a year.
The recovery is minimal: You’ll need to avoid intense exercise for the first 24 hours, and you may need to ice your under-eyes if you start to feel any discomfort around the injection sites. That should be the full extent of it.
Experience still matters
As simple as the procedure may sound, it’s important to find a board-certified plastic surgeon that has lots of experience injecting under the eyes.
No two fillers behave exactly the same way. So it’s crucial that the injector understands the differences between the products and the areas where they’re most appropriate. Use the wrong filler in the under-eye area and you’ll run the risk of creating an unnatural look or creating an even bigger problem.
The right product in the right hands, however, could restore years to your appearance in less than an hour.