They are often the first thing you notice about someone, but they are also usually the first place to reveal the signs of ageing. The eyes may be the window of the soul, but they can also shed a harsh light on our true age.
Earlier this year, the leading independent plastic surgery association, BAAPS, released its latest figures, revealing that eyelid surgery was the second most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the UK, up 12% from the previous year. However, many men and women are hesitant about going under the knife, particularly to treat the delicate eye area.
In the past, the eyes have been a difficult area to treat, but now the non-surgical practitioner has an arsenal of minimally-invasive procedures that can deliver a highly effective rejuvenation of the eye area.
What causes ageing of the eyes?
The eyes are supported by a frame of muscles and, as we age, they start to relax. This causes the upper eyelids to sag and ‘bags’ to appear underneath the eye. Dark circles, marked hollows and crow’s feet further ‘age’ the eyes and can make you look tired or cross all the time. Eyelid surgery, known as a blepharoplasty, can remove excess skin and tighten muscles, but what are the non-surgical options to restore a more youthful, refreshed look?
Crow’s feet or laughter lines
The lines that appear around the eyes are known as dynamic wrinkles because they are caused by the constant contraction and relaxation of the muscles as you make facial expressions. The skin overlying the muscles becomes creased, a problem that can be compounded by sun exposure, smoking and other lifestyle factors.
The Face & Body solution: there are a number of non-surgical procedures that can improve these dynamic wrinkles and probably the best known is anti-wrinkle injections which works by temporarily freezing the nerves that tell our muscles to move, smoothing the overlying skin.
Often the eyes can start to look heavier and less open and it is usually a result of the brows lowering as the muscles in the forehead relax.
The Face & Body solution: I can offer a number of non-surgical alternatives to a surgical brow lift. With Ultherapy, I can deliver ultrasound energy into different layers of the dermis, lifting and tightening the muscles and skin. Collagen production is stimulated, producing a lift of approximately two to five cm per treatment. The Silhouette Soft is a thread-lifting procedure that works particularly well in the brow area, producing really outstanding results in a quick and painless treatment. Both procedures have minimal downtime and complications, unlike their surgical alternatives.
It’s not just our skin that’s affected by the ageing process. Many patients are unaware that we lose bone density as we age and, if we think of the facial bones as the ‘scaffolding’ of the face, a sagging brow is often the result of the brow bone receding slightly.
Using Belotero, a hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler that is designed to integrate smoothly with your facial structures, I am able to replace bone loss and give a really good lift to the brow area. This is a technically challenging procedure, but strategically placed injections of the filler can produce immediate and really effective results. The other benefit of a brow lift with Belotero is that results are long lasting and can be maintained for up to two years.
Dark circles and tear troughs
As we age the skin under the eyes thins and dark discolouration becomes more obvious, making you look tired all the time. As volume is lost in the mid-cheek area, a marked line appears between the lower eyelid and the cheek, creating shadowy hollows. Apart from applying concealer, what are your treatment options?
The Face & Body solution: Many aesthetic clinics offer temporary hyaluronic acid dermal fillers for rejuvenation of the tear trough area, but they are not my preferred treatment option. Using dermal fillers in the eye area is very challenging and it is not risk-free. In fact, probably one in ten patients require reversal of dermal fillers due to dissatisfaction with the outcome. Although the effects of temporary dermal fillers can be reversed very easily, using a substance called hyaluronidase that rapidly breaks down the dermal filler product, it is still distressing if you’re less than happy with your results.
Instead, I recommend Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, often known as PRP to improve skin quality, reducing the appearance of dark circles. Your own plasma, rich in growth factors, is delivered into the treatment area, stimulating the production of collagen and rejuvenating the dermis from the inside out. Results aren’t instantaneous, but instead develop over the following months, but they are well worth waiting for and, what’s better, the procedure is totally complication-free.
Hooding of the upper eye-lids is a fairly common problem with ageing. Shrinkage and the downward displacement of the supporting fat pads under the eyebrows, coupled with an overall loss in both the amounts and quality of collagen and elastic fibers are contributing factors. While blepharoplasty remains the gold standard for treating this problem, many people wish to avoid the risks and downtime of traditional eye lift surgery, so what is the alternative?
The Face & Body solution: Our EndyBleph treatment is a brilliant non-surgical eye lift that delivers eye-opening results using a combination of two clinically-proven EndyMed treatments; GLOW Skin Tightening & Lifting and PURE Fractional Skin Resurfacing & Tightening.
The treatment targets the area around the eye that often suffers as we age with a two-pronged approach; treating deep within the skin to tighten and lift as well as smoothing the surface of the skin to address fine lines and wrinkles. The result is a more open eye with firmer, smoother and tighter skin – all with minimal pain or downtime!
If you are concerned what people see in your eyes, come in and see me for a consultation to discover how I and my team can rejuvenate your eyes and give you back your sparkle.