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Are you tired of people saying you look tired—even when you got a full night’s sleep? Or do your eyes show the world how over-worked and under-rested you really are? Whether due to genetics, fatigue, or the natural aging process, under-eye bags and a tired appearance are a common concern for women and men alike.

Puffy or swollen eyes can be caused by water retention, stress, allergies, hay fever, hormonal changes, alcohol consumption and a high sodium intake. Crying doesn’t help either, as the glands around the eyelids that produce tears become inflamed from too much activity. Flying and lack of sleep are some other common contributors.

Blepharoplasty surgery (also known as an eyelift) is a long-term method to erase visible signs of fatigue and restore a more rested appearance to the eye area—but not everyone has the time, the money or the desire to go under the knife, which is where these minimally-invasive solutions come in.

1. Injectable Fillers

Hyaluronic acid-based fillers, such as those in the Juvéderm (Allergan) and Restylane (Galderma) ranges, as well as Belotero (Merz) are worth a shot when your eyes need a scalpel-free lift. The different variations can be used to smooth fine fines, fill under-eye hollows and camouflage darkness.

Now that there are formulations made specifically for different issues and areas, eye rejuvenation with injectables can be completely customized for the most natural-looking results—and improvement can last for up to one year or more.

“New injectable fillers are getting better and better. I explain to patients that the fillers differ in consistency, ability to add volume (or lift) and in longevity. Some have a thin consistency to treat fine lines, others are firm and globular that can add significant volume and lift. The choice of product depends on the areas the patient wants to treat and the results they are seeking,” explains Baltimore facial plastic surgeon and Treasurer of the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Dr. Theda Kontis.

hollow eyes

RELATED: Hollow Eyes? Try Tear Trough Fillers

2. Botox

Another highly effective way to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles that appear when you squint or smile is Botox Cosmetic, Dysport or Xeomin, the only three FDA approved neurotoxins on the market. These injectable treatments minimize the muscle contractions that lead to visible wrinkles associated with facial expressions, and results last for three to four months until the muscle movement gradually returns.

They can also be used to smooth furrows between the brows and horizontal lines across the forehead, as well as to give the brows a little lift. Minimizing muscle movement in the upper third of the face can have a profound anti-aging effect on the eye area, and can also help prevent visible wrinkles when the face is at rest.

“Botox has become almost an essential. No wonder – it works so well to help soften lines and wrinkles and prevents them from settling into your face and becoming permanent,” said Dr. Margo Weishar, a Philadelphia-based dermatologist. “Everyone loves the results, but maintenance is needed about two to three times a year.”

3. Eye Patch Therapy

In the past, the only solution for seriously droopy or sagging eyelids was surgery—but that was before Contours Rx Lids by Design. These single-use stickers instantly improve the appearance of the eyes by undetectably hiding and holding up excess skin, in turn restoring a youthful eye contour.

Comprised of a medical-grade, latex-free, hypoallergenic material, they are available in six sizes (as well as a variety pack) to address different degrees of sagging. Once applied to the eyelids, you can use eye makeup as desired, although it is recommended that you use a primer first. It can take a bit of practice to get the application just right—but once you do, you won’t believe your eyes.

contour rx strips
Contours Rx Adhesive Strips – 36$

If you like the concept of cool compresses, but want to kick them up a notch, Talika Eye Therapy Patches are reusable fatigue-fighting patches are just the ticket. Simply apply to the under-eye area, sit back and relax for 30 minutes, and let the ceramide-powered solution go to work on inflammation, dark circles, wrinkles and puffiness.

Best of all, each set of patches can be reused up to three times (and they come with a storage case to keep them clean and fresh)—and they give you a chance to kick back and relax.

talika therapy
Talika Therapy Patches – $69

While most eye patches are designed to improve visible signs of aging and fatigue before you head out the door, Patchology FlashPatch Restoring Night Eye Gels patches are formulated to deliver a potent dose of anti-aging ingredients to delicate skin around the eyes before you head to bed.

A modern alternative to eye cream (more on those below), these gel-based patches are infused with retinol and peptides that target crow’s feet plus Cedrus atlantica bark extract to brighten dark circles. Wear them for five minutes, wrap up your skincare routine, call it a night and wake up to revitalized eyes.

eye patch
Patchology FlashPatch – $20 for 5 pairs

4. Cosmeceuticals

Professionally dispensed eye treatment products steeped in skincare science can also work wonders for reviving tired looking eyes and smoothing crow’s feet.

Just one pump of this advanced treatment morning and night may be the answer for improving your eye-area woes. Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment was designed to target fine lines and wrinkles, skin firmness, puffiness, uneven skin tone and dark circles. Its blend of proprietary TriHex Technology features naturally derived botanical extracts, barrier-strengthening niacinamide, collagen-boosting peptides, hydrating squalene and more.

According to New York City cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Marina Peredo, “Alastin Eye Restorative Eye Treatment is an excellent product for tightening and lifting the delicate skin under the eyes. After using it twice daily consistently, it can make your eyes look younger and fresher.”

The philosophy behind this research-driven line is to help clear aged, damaged proteins from the skin’s supportive complex, in turn strengthening the skin and preventing future damage.

alastin eye treatment
Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment – $85

Though gentle on delicate skin around the eyes, ZO Skin Health Hydrafirm Eye Brightening Repair Crème is tough on the whole spectrum of visible signs of aging, including dark circles, puffiness and fine lines. It contains vitamin A derivative to promote collagen production, a kojic acid derivative to fade the pigment that contributes to dark circles, Arnica Montana for brightening and antioxidant benefits, plus hydrating shea butter, squalene and olive fruit extract.

“Zo Skin Health Hydrafirm is a comprehensive eye-area treatment that helps restore a more youthful look. The retinol stimulates collagen, which helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines. It’s one of our best sellers,” said Dr. Rachael Eckel of The Skin Health Institute, Trinidad.

Zo Hydrafirm
Zo Hydrafirm Eye Cream  – $140

5. DIY Recipes

If you prefer to stick with tried and true basics, cucumber slices and tea bags have long been used as quick fixes for puffiness and under-eye bags. Applying any form of cold compress will actually work to constrict blood vessels, which reduces the flow of fluid around the eyelids.

Cold cucumber slices and slices of raw potatoes are ideal because of their round shape. Cucumbers are also high in vitamin C, which can have a brightening effect on the eye area as well. Tea bags deliver additional benefits such as anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

The upsides of this home remedy approach include the facts that they are inexpensive, natural and you probably already have them in your kitchen. As for the downsides, results are temporary and less dramatic than professional treatments.

Ask a Cosmetic Doctor on Zwivel

Got a question about a cosmetic treatment? With over 2,000 doctor answers and counting, the Zwivel forum is the best place to get expert professional opinions.

Hundreds of questions have already been answered:

Should you Ice after Juvederm? 14 doctor answers
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About The Author

Articles by

Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & Co. Ltd Global Aesthetic Consultancy, author of 11 books and Founder/Editor of Beauty in the Bag.