Your eyes are not only the windows to your soul, but your age as well. In fact, studies have shown that when strangers are asked to judge how old a person is, the eye area is one of the biggest influences. The delicate skin around our eyes is usually the first place to get noticeable fine lines/wrinkles and even brown discoloration. The causes are exposure to sun and pollution, stress, and late nights. Here are some doable tips from Board Certified San Francisco area plastic surgeon Dr. Stanley Poulos to keep the skin around your eyes protected and combat premature-aging.
Be preventative- Botox and fillers can dramatically improve the appearance of the eye area without surgery. “If a patient has a volume loss or tear trough (deep groove) under the eyelids, we inject fillers such as Juvéderm or Restylane,” says Dr. Poulos. Dr. Poulos adds, “This produces volume to the area and provides support and lift to smooth out lines and wrinkles. Botox and other neuromodulators relaxes muscles to soften lines and to slow down their deepening by weakening the way they wrinkle the skin like an accordion. The cost depends on amount injected and number of injection sites.”
No Injection Cosmetic Procedures- There are a variety of laser treatments available that allow skincare professionals to target certain areas and treat certain conditions. Dr. Poulos explains that, “Resurfacing lasers, like Fractionated Erbium or CO2 can tighten the skin around the eyes with up to a week of downtime.
The Surgical Route- Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids. Surgery can be performed on either the upper and lower lids, or both.
Whether you want to improve your appearance or are experiencing functional problems with your eyelids, eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.
Specifically, eyelid surgery can treat:
Loose or sagging skin that creates folds of the upper eyelid, sometimes blocking vision
Excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
Bags under the eyes
Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
Excess skin of the lower eyelid
Target Key Spots: “There’s a muscle under the tail of the eyebrow that pulls the brow down, so a tiny drop of Botox, placed very precisely, helps pop up the brow and give you more of an arch in a few days. Dr. Poulos also likes Juvederm under the outer half of the brow. He explains, “We lose fat in our eyebrows over time, which makes everything sag. Replacing the fat pad with filler helps prop up the brows and lids back where they used to be.”
Non- Surgical Routes
Protect yourself from the Sun- Wear a broad-brimmed hat and use UV-protective sunglasses with lenses large enough to protect the eyes and the eyelids. Polarize lenses reduce glare and are particularly important when driving. Use sunscreen designed specifically for around the eyes to avoid stinging and burning. UV rays can penetrate clouds, so protect your eyes and eyelids every day.
Eye Cream- In addition to moisturizing, eye creams can offer other benefits, as well. Dr. Poulos says to, “Eye creams with growth factors and retinal can help increase cell turnover. Retinol helps to combat wrinkles, thicken the dermis, boost collagen, and distribute pigment more evenly. Use an eye cream containing retinol at night because it’s light-sensitive.”
Eating too much salt- Some people notice their eyes get puffy when they eat a lot of salt. Under eye bags are intensified when you have a diet that is high in sodium. To reduce puffiness and swelling, put something cool over eyelids, like cucumber slices, slices of raw potatoes, moist, refrigerated tea bags, or chilled spoons.
Over plucking your eyebrows– Repeated tweezing can result in scarring of the hair follicles, preventing hair from ever re-growing. “Be judicious when plucking,” says Dr. Poulos. “With age, eyebrow hairs become thinner.”
Eat an Iron-Rich Diet
An iron deficiency could be the reason for your under-eye bags and dark circles. Make them go away by incorporating iron-rich foods like spinach, kidney beans and dark chocolate into your diet.
Relax With Green Tea
Fight eye bags with tea bags! Resting cold green tea pouches will help reduce the appearance of puffiness. The combination of a cool compress with the tannins in the tea may help constrict the blood vessels and reduce swelling. Caffeine in the tea also helps reduce swelling.
To Minimize Dark Circles
Seek Out Vitamin C: Dr. Poulos suggest that you, “Look for an eye cream with ascorbyl glucoside, a potent vitamin C derivative that lightens dark circles and reverses aging dyspigmentation. Also, if you have volume loss under the eyes, light can get trapped in the folds and give the impression of shadows. In this case, we will often utilize a transfer of your own fat from abdomen or hips, mix it with your centrifuged blood (protein rich plasma or prp) and inject via a tiny needle to add thickness and minimize the light reflex “erasing” the dark circles.
Strengthen With Retinol: “Dark circles can be caused by the under-eye skin getting thin over time, so the underlying muscle is visible. Dr. Poulos often prescribes Renova to build collagen and help thicken the skin around the eyes. If you have sensitive skin, start with an over the counter retinol-containing product.
About Dr. Stanley Poulos
Dr. Poulos is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Co-Founder with Yngvar Hvistendahl, M.D of Plastic Surgery Specialists recognized as one of the premier aesthetic surgery clinics in Northern California.
Dr. Poulos helped pioneer the quick lift facial rejuvenation surgery in California and has extensive experience in body contour procedures. With over 30-years’ experience in aesthetic procedures, Dr. Poulos has been on the forefront of innovative procedures such as the quick-lift facial rejuvenation, mommy makeover, and vaser lipo-contouring. Dr. Poulos combines his consistent knowledge of new treatment options with his mastery of facial and body symmetry.
His recent focus has been on the gastric balloon, a groundbreaking, non-surgical, medically assisted, outpatient procedure offering weight loss to those seeking to lose between 30 and 75 pounds who may be ineligible for the more invasive gastric bypass surgery. This exciting new procedure allows patients to achieve optimal health and, when combined with exercise and proper nutrition, the results have been exceptional.
A graduate of the University of Texas Medical School, Dr. Poulos completed his internship and residency at UC San Francisco. He completed surgery and plastic surgery training in San Francisco prior to entering private practice in Marin County where he co-founded PSS (www.psspecialists.com)