What part of your face ages first? For many people, it’s the eye area. Your eyes reflect a lot about you, such as what you’re feeling. They’re also rather sensitive, thanks to the thinner skin surrounding them. If you’ve started to notice that your eye area is adding years to your appearance, you have a few ways of dealing, from at-home options to surgery.
Several factors can work together to make your eyes look years older than the rest of you feels. The thinner skin in the area is more prone to drying out, which can make lines and dark circles more visible. Damage from the sun’s rays can also add a few years to your eye area.
There are two ways you can protect your eyes and take a few years off in terms of appearance at home. First, start using an eye cream on a regular basis. The type of eye cream you use depends on the major concern you have. If you’re dealing with dark circles, look for a product that helps plump up the skin or that contains an ingredient such as vitamin C, which can help lighten the area. An eye cream that contains caffeine can be helpful if you are dealing with puffiness under your eyes, while a product that contains retinol can be ideal if your major concern is wrinkles and fine lines.
Using an eye cream is just one way to help fight the signs of aging around your eyes. To reduce any future damage, you’ll want to become more diligent about protecting your eye area from the sun. Look for products that contain sunscreen and get in the habit of wearing sunglasses with UV protection on a regular basis.
Combatting Crow’s Feet
Crow’s feet are the lines that appear when you squint your eyes or smile. Over time, they can become etched into the skin, much the same way that the frown lines between your eyebrows become etched into the skin as the years go by. While an eye cream with retinol can help reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, Botox injections can provide you with a more long-lasting solution.
The injections work by blocking the signal sent by your nerves to the muscles responsible for making the movements that lead to crow’s feet. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to blink, squint or smile. It just means that the very subtle movements responsible for the crow’s feet will be blocked for some time. Usually, results from a Botox treatment last for about three months. You can repeat the injections as the results wear off, to keep your crow’s feet from returning.
Dealing With Dark Circles
Dark circles are another all too common issue in the eye area. They not only make you look older, they also make you look worn out and tired. Dark circles can be caused by a number of different things, so the first step to dealing with them is figuring out what’s causing them. In some cases, you might have dark circles because you are congested or are dealing with allergies, which makes the blood vessels beneath the skin of your eyes more visible. In that case, you can try taking an anti-histamine to shrink the blood vessels and make your circles vanish.
Some dark circles are actually caused by pigmentation beneath the eyes. There are a few ways to reduce areas of hyperpigmentation, from chemical peels to laser skin resurfacing. Since the eye area is so delicate, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with board certified facial plastic surgeon if you decide to try a peel or laser treatment.
If your dark circles are due to a loss of volume or fat in the under eye area, an injectable filler, such as Belotero, might be a good option. The filler will add volume to the area beneath your eyes, diminishing any shadows that can make your dark circles worse.
When Things Get Droopy
As you get older, the skin around your eyelids becomes looser, leading to a droopy upper eyelid. The skin under the eyes can also lose elasticity while the fat pads beneath your eyes shift down, creating the appearance of bags beneath your eyes. Eyelid surgery of either the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, can help correct droopiness or bags.
Surgery is a more involved option than laser treatments, creams or injections, but it also tends to provide the longest lasting results. Along with improving your appearance, eyelid surgery can have an additional benefit: it can also help you see better, if your upper lids are becoming so droopy that they are blocking your vision.
Are your eyes starting to give away your age? Ohio-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Smith can evaluate your eye area and let you know which option will give you the results you are hoping for. Dr. Smith practices at two locations in the state. For an appointment at the Gahanna, Ohio office, call (614) 702-7342. Call 614-678-7180 to schedule an appointment at his practice in Columbus, Ohio.