Tired of looking tired?
Hard-to-treat dark under-eye circles can be a burden, and leave you looking like you haven’t slept in days. What many people don’t know though is that there is more to dark circles than just sleep deprivation!
There are 4 components that need to be addressed when it comes to the under eye area. The skin, the discoloration, the bags, and the hollow. The darkness that forms under your eyes is caused by tiny blood vessels that become visible beneath very thin eyelid skin, and the circles become more noticeable if you have fine lines, wrinkles, puffy bags or hollows under your eyes. For the best result, you need to treat all of these problems.
So how do you get rid of under eye circles and bags? Continue Reading to find out…
Although sleep deprivation doesn’t cause dark circles, lack of sleep can make under-eye circles look more noticeable. Sleeping only a few hours each night can leave you looking pale, and bring more attention to under-eye discoloration. Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis to help you look and feel better, and use an under-eye cream on before you hit the sack. I recommend Vivite’s under eye cream with glycolic acid (Available at viviteskincare.com, or in our Park Avenue office)! You can also try sleeping on 2 or more pillows to prevent blood pooling under your eyes, and help lighten the dark circles.
Knowing how to hide under eye circles is a great trick that every woman should know! Covering them up is very similar to covering a bruise. The key is to use a concealer that is either yellow, orange, or peach in color to contrast the purple/blue color of the circles. Dont use white or grey concealer, because that highlights the area and will bring more attention to it! Try Physicians Formula Gentle Concealer Stick in yellow (Drugstore.com, $5). If your eyes seem extra dark and puffy, try putting a cold compress over your eyes for 5 minutes before applying your makeup.
#3. Facials & Peels
Facials and peels do not necessarily make dark circles disappear. However, regular clinical facials, or chemical peels, will exfoliate the skin and improve the tone and texture, particularly around the eyes. By getting rid of all the top dead skin cell layers, it improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and thickens the eyelid skin, which helps lessen the appearance of dark circles.
At Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery, we offer a several different options that work wonders for under-eyes! One of the most popular options is our MAS Magnifique Clinical Facial which uses a Clarisonic brush and a glycolic acid peel to exfoliate the skin, as well as an anti-inflammatory under eye treatment. ($175-$225). A second option to tightening delicate under eye skin is a TCA peel. You will have a few days of pink tender skin with this treatment, but the results are excellent! ($499-$899 depending on the area being treated).
#4. Laser Treatments
Laser treatments are a great way to treat the under eye area. Lasers can focus on skin resurfacing and skin tightening around the eyes, which will lessen the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and also tighten thin saggy skin to lessen the appearance of under eye bags. Most people need 2-3 treatments (sometimes more) to smooth out fine lines and tighten the skin around the eyes.
There are a variety of options depending on the amount of downtime you can accept, the amount of money you want to spend, and the level of results that you are looking for. Skin tightening laser treatments such as the Cutera Titan and the Alma Accent carry almost no downtime, but they can require multiple treatments to see a good result. On the flip side, more aggressive lasers such as the Cutera Pearl and the Alma Pixel will leave your skin pink and peeling for a few days, the but results will be much more dramatic than the other methods. Prices for laser eye treatments range from $600-$3000 depending on which laser you choose and how many sessions your purchase.
Talk to your favorite plastic surgeon about the options discussed here, as well as all the other available alternatives.
#5. Injectible Fillers
One often overlooked factor in treating dark under-eye circles is the hollows that may make the bags and circles much more noticeable. A gradual loss of soft tissue in the area just beneath the lower eyelid leaves many people with a very defined line immediately below their eyelid, which accentuates the appearance of under-eye bags. Simply removing the bag won’t completely fix the problem… the hollow has to be treated as well.
Fillers (such as Restylane or Juvederm) are a great non-surgical option to treat under-eye hollows. These products are Hyaluronic Acid fillers (a chemical found naturally in the body), and therefore they are very safe. Treatment of under-eye hollows usually costs about $600-$1500 per treatment depending on how severe your hollows are, and most fillers last about 6 months, so the treatment needs to be repeated roughly twice a year.
The combination of laser skin tightening and a small amount of filler is one of the most popular (and most effective) treatments for under eye circles, bags and hollows because it addresses all three problems at the same time.
Under eye bags that never go away (no matter what you do) might be require a surgical procedure called a Blepharoplasty. This is a very delicate operation that involves the removal of bulging fat pads and saggy skin under the eyes. The procedure can be done under twilight anesthesia, and involves about 5 days of downtime. Your lower eyelids will be swollen and bruised for 5-7 days, but once this resolves, you’ll have a result that is far superior to any of the nonsurgical treatments. Prices for eyelid surgery range from $2500-6000 depending on how complicated your surgeon feels that your operation will be.
Shea Slaymaker, PA-C
Physician Assistant, Beauty Expert
Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery
Photo Credit: iStockphoto, ManhattanAestheticSurgery.com
NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.