How to Combat Under-Eye Baggage at Every Age
Ladies love pillows. This I know is true. We love hordes of them on the bed, chairs and sofas. However, there is one “pillow” that strikes fear into the heart of every gal — and guy for that matter — and that would be the one that resides under your eyes. This pillow is sometimes accompanied by dark circles and a look of exhaustion. Puffy, pillowy under-eye baggage.
Mild swelling and puffiness under the eye is a common symptom of aging, and it doesn’t even have the decency to wait until you actually age. No. Instead, pillowy bagginess can creep into the youngest of eyes, caused by fluid accumulation in the space below the eyes and even sometimes on the eyelid. And glory help those eyes that have actually seen the beginnings of the ravages of time. As we start to age, the tissue and muscles around the old peepers start to weaken, letting the fat that helps support the eyes creep downtown into your lower eyelids creating a swollen-looking puff. Nice on the bed - not so nice on the face.
Naturally, this conundrum isn’t one we intend to take lying down — NO. So let’s take a look at the common causes of puffy eyes and some of the things you can do to fight them, whether you were born with them or whether they’ve appeared as you age.
Under-eye baggage can be caused by a number of unsavory factors, with fluid retention, lack of sleep, allergies, aging and good old heredity leading the charge — *thanks Mom. In your 20’s, puffiness can simply be a symptom of lifestyle — excessive salt intake, a lack of sleep and dehydration all add up to eyes that look swollen and puffy — and early on, the skin truly wants to bounce back, so cutting back on those little excesses, getting adequate sleep and staying away from alcohol and loading up on enough water can sometimes diminish the problem… but not always.
Swollen under-eye baggage that isn’t caused by a life of excess or allergies is likely a symptom of heredity and age. As you delve into your 30’s, and the collagen and elastin around your eyes begins to deteriorate, you’ll likely notice that your eyes aren’t bouncing back after a happy little health kick. Instead, they’re hanging around, ruining your day and making you look older and more tired. Ugh.
As skin loses its elasticity, it’s important to improve your at-home routine with a richer eye cream than the one you used in your 20’s. Additionally, your doctor may recommend laser treatments to help tighten the skin around the eyes and camouflage any dark circles. Doctors are also increasingly using fillers like Voluma, Juvéderm and Restylane to treat “tear-trough” lines and losses of volume in the cheek area that you’ll likely see as you travel through your 30’s and dive into your 40’s. The filler “fills” the area, the benefit is near immediate with very little downtime, and the results last from 6 - 12 months (Juvéderm and Restylane) to 2 years (Voluma).
If your under-eye baggage is more severe and/or you’re looking for a treatment that is permanent and effective, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called blepharoplasty. Oftentimes performed under local anesthesia, blepharoplasty is a procedure where the surgeon cuts just below the lashes or inside the lower lid, and redistributes or removes excess fat, muscle and/or sagging skin to eliminate the bags. It’s typically performed in under an hour, with a near full recovery from any bruising or swelling in one to two weeks, (though the doctor will tell you that you won’t see the results for upwards of 6 months).
So you see… you don’t have to take under-eye baggage lying down. A chat with your board-certified plastic surgeon can help you decide just how to treat that tired looking fluffy stuff under your eyes, so you can keep those pillows where they belong — every place but on your face.