Injectable fillers under eyes: because fillers aren’t just for the mouth area, and I wanted to stop looking so exhausted.
The cumulative effects of limited sleep take their toll on just about any woman, if you ask me, and age is meaningless when it comes to the infamous tired mommy look. You can just as easily be an exhausted 22 year old as a wiped-out-beyond-belief 48 year old, and while fashion and makeup may help, there’s little outside of visiting a plastic surgeon that can be done for the sunken, sad designer bags that rest below our eyes. I’m going to be 32 soon (ugh, April), and have had 3 children in a span of 5 years while still working full-time hours— I am exhausted, and noticed that there was simply no amount of ultra-thick concealer in the world that could cover up the nearly-nightly child-induced insomnia look. I decided I’d head to a top NYC plastic surgeon to see if I had any non-surgical options to help improve the appearance (I’m just not emotionally ready or physically severe enough for surgery yet, and figure there’s always time to get there).
“As we age, we lose bone mass in our face and the facial bones recede, creating aging. The eye sockets get larger and you can begin to see the fat around the eyes and many people get a line around the eyes showing the orbit, which they call the tear trough deformity,” explained Dr. Richard Swift, a NYC board certified Plastic Surgeon, to me as he gently poked and prodded the area below my eyes. “Putting a filler like hyalaronic acid along the tear trough, fills in the space that creates the shadow, which magnifies the ‘bag.’”
A filler seemed about my speed— I’m no stranger to a little botulism in the 11’s area of my forehead, so I knew that the needles would be relatively painless and that fillers would probably last at least several months in that area. Dr. Swift has coined this mild procecure ‘peri ocular rejuvenation’ as it doesn’t correct the issue 100% or permanently, but it certainly does provide an improvement for an extended period of time.
“Often, the first noticeable sign of aging is around the eyes. Women in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s are often the best candidates for this treatment. Women who are a bit older, often require a more extensive treatment such as surgery, known as a blepharoplasty. The two best fillers for the tear trough area are Restylane and Belotero.”
I was surprised to hear that Restylane was his top injectable choice for the eye trough area since so many of my friends have had it in their lips and those awful smile lines that occur from being a happy, bubbly human (some reward for positivity, huh?).
After explaining that my risks involved some bruising, swelling, and redness, Dr. Swift loaded my entire cheek area with numbing cream and let me sit for about 10 minutes. He then broke out the syringe of Restylane-L (this version contains an additional numbing agent to make the normally sensitive facial areas a little less sensitive while the injection is happening), and starting injecting from the cheek area, deep, and upwards. He explained to me that going deep below the skin helps minimize bruising and swelling at the surface, and insures and even result under the thin undereye area. The entire process of injecting only took about 3 minutes, which impressed me, because who wants to spend all day with needles coming at them? Not me.
“The results last typically up to one year,” he told me as the last injection site was swabbed with some gauze. “When done properly by a board certified plastic surgeon, the results are very natural. Numbing medication is topically applied and is also in the filler itself, which makes for a nearly pain-free, comfortable patient experience.”
I agree with that— I didn’t feel any pain except the fairly minor discomfort of swelling for the hour or two post-treatment. And unlike other injections I’ve had in the past, I didn’t really bruise from this, which is incredible given the sensitive nature of this part of the face. My goal was to look less tired and require less makeup (having kids means a full face of makeup is reserved for special occasions). I wanted desperately to go back to the ease of being 25 with nothing more than some tinted moisturizer, a good mascara, and a lipgloss. It took a few days for the results to really pan out, but I think I’ve effectively turned back the mom-clock on my undereye area by about 5 years (and at least 2 kids), and that’s good enough for me.
According to Dr. Swift, peri ocular rejuvenation is idea for patients in their 30s, 40s, and 50s with minor signs of aging who are not yet candidates for a blepharoplasty. He recommends that patients with “large collections of fat and loose skin” underneath their eyes talk to a board certified plastic surgeon about blepharoplasty, instead.
“There is a very high patient satisfaction level with this treatment. It works very well in the right patient. It’s a very minor procedure with almost no downtime and low cost, that is often done in combination with Botox injections, filler in the nasalabial folds, and often in younger patients, lip injections.”
Check out my video for SmartBeautyGuide.com on how the procedure went: