The good news is there are a variety of treatments – both topical and cosmetic – that will ensure your eyes are still windows albeit smooth, bright, dazzling ones you’ll be thrilled to peer out of. From dark circles to crow’s-feet, this guide will give your peepers a new lease of life.
FOR DARK CIRCLES
Many of us wish we still had the bright, shadowless eyes of our youth, but a few dark shadows are a small price to pay for all the life experience we’ve had. “As we age, we lose subcutaneous fat, which otherwise masks blueness below the surface of the skin,” explains dermatologist Dr Dendy Engelman.
Under-eye skin is already 40 per cent thinner than the rest of the face, but over time it thins even more. And even if you’ve been blessed with thicker skin under your eyes, lost fat causes a hollowness that creates dark shadows. So, what’s the fix?
1. USE A GOOD EYE CREAM
According to a 2016 review in the Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, products with brightening ingredients – such as kojic acid, azelaic acid, glycolic acid, retinoic acid, licorice, vitamin C and arbutin (bearberry extract) – will help lighten dark rings by inhibiting an enzyme that otherwise helps form melanin, or brown pigment, in skin.
Try Dermalogica Biolumin-C Eye Serum ($115, dermalogica.com.au), which delivers a supercharged shot of vitamin C to visibly brighten and firm skin.
2. TRY CAMOUFLAGE
Isn’t the point of make-up to hide our imperfections and define our best bits? Brisbane-based make-up artist Amanda Ramsay, who specialises in women 40 plus, knows the drill when it comes to brightening shadows. “Place a tiny amount of apricot or peachy undertone concealer (such as Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles, $19.95, Priceline) in the darkest zone,” she says. “Apply sparingly and pat with your ring finger.” A few dots of well-blended, reflective – not shimmery – highlighter under the eye also bounces light off your shadows in the best way possible.
Try Sisley Paris Stylo Lumière Radiance Booster Highlighter Pen, $78, sisley-paris.com
3. GET ZAPPED
Laser and light treatments can work some magic. Q-Switched lasers beam high-intensity pulses of light at the skin and have good results in treating pigmentation problems, while recent studies show picosecond alexandrite laser can be even more effective in reducing pigmentation, says Melbourne-based cosmetic physician Dr Simone Doreian. Fractional lasers are also very useful, she adds.
FOR DROOPY EYELIDS
There are a variety of reasons our eyelids droop, according to Dr. Doreian. “Do you have excess skin hanging due to laxity and lid aging, has your brow dropped with age, or has the fat pad disappeared from under the brow?” she says. “No cream, no matter what it promises, can perform an eyelid lift. Don’t waste your money.” Eyelid surgery (known as blepharoplasty) is effective, especially if there’s excess skin hanging down over the crease, affecting your ability to see. But it “needs to be done by an expert, conservatively, so you still look like yourself when it’s all over,” says Dr. Doreian. These non-invasive options will also do the trick.
1. GET LASERED
First, a word of warning (which also applies to injectables, below): Look carefully into the qualification of the person doing your treatment – you can check their credentials online at ahpra. gov.au. AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) allows you to search for individuals to see if they’re a registered health practitioner for things like fillers and laser treatments. And ask around and seek different opinions if you’re in doubt, suggests Dr Doreian.
“Cheap is not always cheerful, particularly in this area when damage to the eye, or even blindness, can be permanent,” she warns. Having said that, there are good treatments available for sagging eyelids. Dr Doreian says fractional laser and high-frequency treatments under ultrasound can help to improve the laxity and thinning skin over the lid.
2. TRY INJECTABLES
“Botulinum toxin can be used to reposition the tail end of the brow higher in individuals whose muscles tend to pull the brow downwards,” says Dr Doreian. “And well-placed non-permanent filler, to replenish the fat pad that supports the youthful brow, can be enough to lift mild cases and recreate a youthful contour.”
3. USE WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
Meet Contours Rx Lids By Design, an extremely clever fix for droopy lids, which uses medical-grade, hypoallergenic adhesives that, when placed over the natural fold of the eyelid, gives the illusion you’ve had impeccable surgery. Sounds crazy? We’ve tried it and it’s surprisingly discreet. Designed to last for 24 hours and available in a variety of sizes, it’s the closest you’ll get to an instant eyelid-lift without going under the knife. It sells for $49.95 (for pack of 80), itvsn.com.au