Dr. Ellen Marmur answered:
After the age of 30, our under eye areas start to change! Much of this change is due to anatomy and genetics, but some of it is due to our daily activities. Sun damage will cause the dreaded thin skin, wrinkles, and freckles. Smoking will sallow the skin and cause wrinkles (not to mention skin cancer!) Weight loss and exercise may actually worsen dark circles by decreasing the nice layer of fat under the eyes. Once that fat is gone, or shifted downward with gravity toward the cheek, the translucent skin rests directly on muscle, which is maroon, causing a dark reflection. Also, without fat, the shape of the lower eyelid captures a dark shadow. This shadow effect is why in some lighting, the dark circles look better!
So-what can you do about dark circles? One of my favorite procedures is to inject a little filler called hyaluronic acid in the dark crease under the eyes to lift up the skin. The filler does two things to eliminate the dark circles: it restores the shape under the eye so shadows don't worsen the look, and filler adds a layer over the muscle (like the fat did) so the skin doesn't reflect the dark muscle. It is one of the most long lasting, pain FREE procedures with fillers despite this delicate location!
At home, moisturize to plump the skin. Use your sunscreen. Add in a brightening cream to eliminate any pigment in the area. And for the puffiness, or festoons, understand that these are either full of water or fat. If they are due to fat, they stay puffy almost all of the time.
If they are worse in the morning, especially after eating a high salt meal or drinking alcohol, the puffiness is probably due to water or lymphatic drainage. Avoid those two triggers, and massage the areas for 5 minutes in the morning. Exercise will help rev the circulation and thus enhance the drainage. Even 2 minutes of jumping jacks will help!
Finally, my patients taught me this trick to reduce puffiness under the eyes: put paper tape over the area before you go to sleep! use moisturizer to remove it (rub it over the tape edges before lifting it off your skin) in the morning and you will see the puffiness didn't get a chance to pool in its usual area due to the compression from the tape!Helpful? 1 person found this helpfulAfter the age of 30, our under eye areas start to change! Much of this change is due to anatomy and genetics, but some of it is due to our daily activities. Sun damage will cause the dreaded thin skin, wrinkles, and freckles. Smoking will sallow the... More
Dr. Clifford Bassett answered:Try these tips to improve dark circles and eye puffiness:
Try these tips to improve dark circles and eye puffiness: Elevate your pillow slightly at night to fight gravity from causing extra nighttime eyelid puffiness. Keep your water and fluid levels adequate for your daily needs, especially during hot... More
- Elevate your pillow slightly at night to fight gravity from causing extra nighttime eyelid puffiness.
- Keep your water and fluid levels adequate for your daily needs, especially during hot weather climate. Doing this can replenish the deeper layers of the skin with water, delaying drooping of skin, and improve the appearance of dark circles. Avoiding dehydration can help to decrease the effect of gravity and promote well-hydrated skin that tends to sag less with advancing age!
- Apply evening or nighttime cool compresses for short periods to both eyelids.
- Get allergy-patch tests to learn if you're sensitive to your facial and eye care products.
- Invest in facial and anti-aging moisturizers as well as nightly eye cream especially for stubborn wrinkles.
- Stick to a well-balanced diet.
- Get tested to determine if you have allergies.
- Work with your allergist and dermatologist team to look and feel your best!