TAMPA, Fla. — At age 54, Igxie Rivera looks amazing, but no matter how much make-up she puts on, annoying under eye circles still bother her.
“They make you look tired. I think my under eye doesn’t match with me,” Rivera said.
Rivera is anything but tired. As a busy mom and a Latina social media producer with her own YouTube channel, she wants the face people see to match her youthful energy. So, she’s decided to try under eye fillers to help improve her look.
“If you put a little filler here,” she said pointing to the tear troughs under her eyes, “it’s gonna look younger and that’s the idea.”
Under Eye Fillers
Dr. Richard Castellano, a Tampa plastic surgeon who specializes in facial treatments, says it’s natural for most of us to develop under eye circles as we age.
“We lose muscle, we lose fat, and we lose bone,” Dr. Castellano said. “So it’s natural to start to hollow and the shadows make it look darker and we look tired.”
Dermal fillers are a non-surgical option which helps to plump and restore volume under the eye by injecting a gel-like product deeply under the skin and muscle.
“Sometimes it can look like there’s a little mountain, a fatty pocket called bags under the eyes,” Dr. Castellano said pointing to a “before” picture of a patient with under eye bags. “If you fill the valley, the mountain doesn’t look as big.”
There are several filler options depending on your needs, how long you want the filler to last, and how much you want to pay.
“I like to use Sculptra and Bellafill, because they last the longest and they get wonderful results,” Castellano said. “Bellafill is permanent; and Sculptra lasts about 2 to 4 years, for some patients even longer.”
Hyaluronic acid fillers are also very common, especially for first time users. They don’t last as long, generally 9 to 12 months, but give patients a chance to see if they like the results.
“Patients who want to stick their toe in the water and get a feel for things— hyaluronic acid is a great advantage, because it is reversible,” Castellano said.
Common hyaluronic acid fillers used under the eyes include Belotero, Restylane, and Juvaderm.
Generally, fillers that last longer tend to cost more. You can expect to pay anywhere from about $400 to $1200 dollars for one syringe of filler depending on the product you choose and the experience of the injector. Typically, one syringe is sufficient to treat under the eye, but for some, more are needed.
Choosing an experienced injector is critical to getting good results that are safe and look natural. Be sure to find out how long a provider has been doing the procedure and ask to see their before and after pictures.
There are possible risks which are rare, but important to be aware of. Hyaluronic acid can cause what is known as a Tyndall effect or a bluish hue in the tear trough when it is placed too superficially. Also, fillers can sometimes create lumps or bumps which are treatable. In very rare cases they can even cause scarring or blindness if the filler is accidentally injected into a blood vessel. That’s why the experience of the injector is very important. Experienced injectors often use something called a cannula, which is a thin tube that has a blunt tip making it very difficult to penetrate a blood vessel.
Best Under Eye Products
If fillers aren’t for you, there are several products on the market which can help under eye circles and bags. Among the most effective are retinoids, which are vitamin A derivatives found in several products both over the counter and prescription strength. Retinoids promote cell turn-over in that delicate, thin skin to help fine lines and skin firmness.
Also proven effective are products with caffeine to tighten, peptides to boost collagen, vitamin C which brightens, and hyaluronic acid which plumps.
Rivera says she’s used them all.
“I did my lotions and potions, creams and gels. I tried everything!” she said laughing.
But now, she’s ready to try a more lasting solution.
With the hopes of a more youthful look, Rivera went to Dr. Castellano for filler under her eyes. For her, he chose to use Belotero, hyaluronic acid filler.
After numbing her skin, Dr. Castellano injects the filler through a cannula deep down under the muscle in Rivera’s cheek and up to the hollow under her eyes. It takes just about 15 minutes and the results are immediate.
One look in the mirror and she’s happy.
“I love it! I love it!” she said.
Besides products and dermal fillers, other procedures which can help the under eye area include laser treatments and a process called micro-needling, which involves repeatedly puncturing the skin with tiny sterile needles to help build collagen.
No matter what you choose, always remember, you can’t beat a good attitude to make you look your best.
“And that costs nothing. Free to smile!” Dr. Castellano said.