The eyes require special treatment and care, whether it's a lifestyle change or a cosmetic improvement, the eyes' delicate skin should appear young. Wrinkles, bags, dark circles, and hooded eyelids do not flatter, but fortunately they can be treated with a variety of non-invasive treatments before taking the surgical leap. The following top 12 eye care treatments provide a wide variety of options for the everyday person who wants a refreshed and less-tired look that'll last. Eyes are one of the first things to notice about a person, so it's important to have bright and youthful eyes rather than tired-looking bags and wrinkles.
"Through proper care, simple maintenance regimens, and with the advent of many groundbreaking technologies, youthful eyelids are a realistic goal at any age," said fellowship-trained dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, a professor of dermatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
1. Beauty sleep is real
Wrinkles, bags, and crow's feet don't stand a chance against an adequate enough sleep and day-to-day skincare. Getting the right amount of sleep every night at regular intervals is essential to leading a long, healthy and productive lifestyle. "Beauty sleep" is not just an expression; it really is the key to beautiful, healthy skin that lasts. Sleep restores the skin's natural balance and increases the effectiveness in skincare treatments. Skin automatically rejuvenates itself during sleep.
Not enough sleep leads to stress, which triggers the adrenal glands that create an over production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Once the hormone is released, it stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Stress creates a chain reaction that is recipe for bad skin. Clinical studies have proven stress is the common denominator of many skin problems.
When you don't get enough sleep, not only are you tired, but you physically show the signs of sleep deprivation with puffy, under-eye bags and dehydrated skin. The ideal amount of consecutive sleep is 6 to 8 hours in order to allow the body to get through the 5 sleep stages. During these stages, the cortisol and insulin levels help produce more collagen. During the fourth stage, growth hormones surge and tissue repair occurs.
When a lack of sleep increases the levels of stress hormones, the body undergoes chronic stress, which leads to increased inflammation and subsequent acceleration of aging, and worsening of acne. Poor sleep habits can result in skin sensitivity and irritation. The skin gradually loses its ability to protect itself from all the chemicals, pollutants and dirt it comes in contact with everyday.
By avoiding caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bed, limiting alcohol and heavy meals before sleep, getting regular exercise, and developing a regular bedtime and morning wakeup call, even on the weekends, your skin will thrive in healthy glow. The skin on the eyelid is so thin and delicate it is one of the most noticeable aspects of the face, especially when skin isn't treated right. As such a delicate part of the face, it needs these healthy lifestyle changes in order to flourish.
2. Eye Cream Maintenance
Since eye skin is the thinnest skin on the body, it has the best opportunity for skin absorption of cream with rejuvenating effects. Creams are best absorbed by eyelid skin, however it is important to make sure that they contain the right ingredients for optimal eyelid skin health. Among key ingredients to look for are retinol, vitamin C, and growth factors.
As the body ages, the skin loses collagen, an important foundational protein. Retinol, is essentially vitamin A which works as an effective cell-communication ingredient and stimulates new collagen production. Retinol is an ingredient to look for when shopping for eye creams, along with vitamin C and growth factors. Vitamin C has many benefits for the body's overall well-being, but the skin in particular reaps many rewards from Vitamin C's power to slow down free-radicals, which are the unstable molecules that damage collagen and cause skin dryness. Growth factor products are another formidable skin care ingredients that have the ability to drive repair and new skin cell growth that has been overexposed to UV rays. Crow's feet are eye wrinkles that should be treated with care because of the fine lines that form overtime from sun damage and squinting. Having a quality daily eye cream can help keep the delicate skin around the eyes younger and healthier looking for longer.
3. Cover Up: Sunglasses
Think sunglasses are just to help stop squinting? They do more than that; they protect the thinnest skin on the body, which is more susceptible to harmful ultraviolet rays (UV). The wrinkles that form around the eyes are fine and can easily sag below and above the eye. Protecting eyes from sun damage should be a priority, regardless of the type of skin tone, ethnicity, or eye color; although people with lighter eyes typically have lighter skin with less pigment, and thus experience sun damage easily.
Choosing eyeglasses with UV protection should be a top priority. It is crucial to protect the eyes, especially during peak sun hours of 10am to 4pm, in order to avoid eyesight damage, as well as sun damage to the delicate eyelid skin. Choose sunglasses with 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB ray protection. Different UV rays are specific wavelengths of light that emit their own sun damage at varying degrees. The color or shade of the lens' darkness actually has nothing to do with the level of protection, so instead just focus on the percent of UV blockage.
4. Puffy Eyes? Limit Salt Intake
Nearly everyone has woken up with swollen and puffy eyes that cannot be treated with a simple cream. In order to have younger looking eyes it's important to not only pay attention to sleep and stress, daily skincare, and eyewear, but to avoid a high sodium diet that may result in puffy, tired looking eyes.
Dr. Rokhsar suggests patients avoid salt during dinnertime because a salty meal right before bed will only make puffy eyes worse. The body needs salt, just not so late at night. Kidneys control water retention and release, and when there is a high level of salt, the kidneys will retain water in response, which results in bloating. The skin under the eyes are so thin, that once sodium levels are high and the body is at rest in the horizontal sleep position, the water will pool beneath the eyelids. By morning time there is a noticeable puffiness beneath the eyes because gravity redistributes water when lying flat as a direct result of the high-salt intake.
5. Dark Circles Tire You Out
Dark circles are another tired-looking feature nobody wants, and is often difficult to cover up with makeup. The claims that one cream can completely cure a person of dark under-eye circles are misleading because there are multiple causes for dark circles.
Some treatments are lifestyle changes such as more sleep, a healthier and well balanced diet, and to quit bad habits such as smoking. Smoking causes vascular, blood vessel, problems that can make the dark under-eye circles more prominent. Vascular congestion can appear purple and may be associated with allergies; although it is significant to understand that some people are just born with more vessels than others beneath their eyes. Certain ethnicities are prone to dark under-eye circles, predominantly seen in Indians and Hispanics. But everyone inevitably ages, and with that comes the loss of fat pads beneath the eyes, accentuating aging eyes. Under-the-eye hollowness then appears and creates a dark, unsightly shadow.
Another important cause of under eye circles is allergies or eczema. Rubbing the eyelid skin can cause darkening of the eyelids. Avoid scrubbing washes on eyelids. If a patient has seasonal allergies and suffers from itchy eyes, the daily intake of an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Zyrtec or Allegra may be the right answer.
6. Thermage To Tighten Eyelids
One of the most well known treatments for tightening and lifting the eyelid, reducing fine wrinkles above the eye and reduce hooding eyelids that characteristically droop, is Thermage. Thermage uses radiofrequency technology to deliver heat into the lower layers of the skin and tighten internally. The skin lifts and smoothes out wrinkles to renewal facial contours. Immediately after treatment, the skin may feel tighter, smoother and appear more youthful, and will increasingly tighten overtime because of the progressive collagen production. Results can last two years or longer depending upon the patient's natural aging process.
7. Fraxel Repair
Fraxel, a fractional laser treatment, can be used to gently resurface eyelids gradually and can be used in addition to filler or surgical treatments. This laser therapy is the most innovative approach to laser skin treatment by resurfacing the skin 15 to 30 percent each session. Just one treatment Fraxel can reverse up to 10 years of eye aging. Microscopic columns of treatment are administered along the desired sections of skin which stimulates collagen production, the protein responsible for tightening and structuring the skin. Results are usually seen within one to two weeks post treatment, and there is virtually no downtime because no invasive surgery was necessary. Aside from eyelid tightening, the Fraxel laser is also an effective treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, surface scarring, sun spot pigmentation and sun damage.
8. Ulthera Epper Eyebrows
Ultherapy is FDA approved for nonsurgical brow lifts, which is an effective way to smooth out and tighten the skin around the eyes to achieve a natural, young looking set of eyes without turning to surgery alternatives. Ulthera uses ultrasound technology to tighten skin by thermally heating deep layers of the skin, which stimulates new collagen production. With new and healthy collagen, the skin will tighten and strengthen the foundational layers of the skin, ultimately smoothing skin from the inside out.
When Ultherapy lifts the brow and opens up the eyes, it reduces the excess skin that rests on the lids. This non-surgical alternative creates and maintains a more youthful appears in one 30 to 60 minute procedures that provides patients the ability to forgo invasive eyelift surgery.
9. Fillers: Belotero And Restylane Around The Eyes
Injectable fillers are effective ways to smooth the skin around the eyes and provide subtle, natural looking volume to correct hollow eyes. Belotero is specially designed to diminish both fine lines around the eyes and the upper lip. It's one of the newest fillers released onto the market that can provide volume while simultaneously hydrating the skin.
Another effective non-surgical eyelift treatment utilizes Restylane's ability to create a fuller lower eyelid while filling in lines and folds. This cosmetic dermal filler's key ingredient is hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar found in the body. Because it is naturally produced, there is no chance of an allergic reaction, which also makes it biodegradable. The body will naturally break down the filler substance within six to nine months post injection. The whole procedure takes 10 minutes and is injected into the lower eyelids in order to rejuvenate its appearance and restore volume for sunken eyes.
In order to ensure that eye-restoration is fully addressed, volume, texture, and excess skin must all be taken into consideration when choosing to correct baggy eyes. Often times, surgery is not necessary to remove excess skin around the eyes, however the tightening of skin is an effective approach to supplement Restylane.
10. Get rid of crow's feet With dysport and botox
Patients often complain about the crow's feet that appear along their eyes from years of smiling, laughing and squinting. Similar to the effects of fillers, which tighten and smooth the skin, Botox and Dysport provide the patient with similar results. Dysport and Botox share the same active ingredient, botulinum toxin A, a neurotoxin that simply immobilizes the nerve's messages and stops the muscle contraction from happening. The repetitive muscle contraction, whether it be squinting or laughing are what cause the lines around the outside of the eyes. Botulinum A blocks the nerves that cause unnecessary micro movements of the muscles, which stops the crow's feet wrinkles from happening.
The nerves won't lose their ability to contract muscles; instead it will just stop the face from making micro-movements. When micro-movements are made throughout the face, they begin to form fine lines and hard to treat deep wrinkles. Results of a tighter and smoother skin around the eyes generally begin to show 24 hours to five days after injection. These wrinkles are indicators of older age, although recently younger people are taking steps towards avoiding the development of wrinkles all together by using Botox or Dysport.
11. Latisse For Longer Lashes That Last
Having long eyelashes can give the appearance of more youthful and attractive eyes. There are hundreds of different ways to appear to have longer lashes. Fake eyelashes with messy glue, makeup tricks, curlers, diets, transplants, and over-the-counter drugs, are all inconvenient methods that could be avoided.
Latisse is the first and only FDA-approved prescription treatment for eyelashes. The results are thicker, longer and darker lashes with a simple treatment application. Beautiful actress and model Brooke Shields uses Latisse for longer, fuller lashes because of its effectiveness. It is not only a safe alternative to the chaos of other methods, but it is also delicate to the sensitive surrounding area. Latisse is applied to the base of the upper lashes and is clinically proven to be highly effective in almost 80 percent of patients.
Patients that dab Latisse on their top lids each night before bed will start to see longer lashes after 4 weeks and full results are achieved in 16 weeks. The medication will automatically spread to the lower lashes when you blink.
12. Blepharoplasty: The Surgical Eyelift
When non-surgical treatments do not provide the patient with the results they desire, Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery is an effective route to achieve cosmetic goals. The procedure is performed by making tiny incisions in the eyelid and under the eye. Any excess fat is removed, the skin is then tightened and sutures are secured. Removal of the under eye fat pad will significantly decrease any puffiness around the eye, which results in a brighter and wider eye appearance. Eyelid surgery can correct droopy upper eyelids, also known as hooded eyes, but does not remove dark circles or lift sagging eyebrows, each of which can be treated separately.
A surgical eyelift is considered a minor surgery and can be performed while the patient is under local anesthesia or IV sedation. A combination of eyelid tightening, skin and fat pad removal can be performed on either the upper, lower eyelid or both.
"It's important for patients to know that there are lifestyle changes they can make, such as getting more sleep, before they decide to undergo surgery. Fortunately, there are non-invasive techniques that are effective enough to postpone the need for a surgical eyelift in most cases," said Dr. Rokhsar.