If the condition of your eye area has you crying your eyes out, you are not alone. Eye-related procedures are consistently among the most popular in aesthetic medicine. In 2020 alone, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that there were some 325,000 eyelid surgeries performed, putting it behind only rhinoplasty on the list of the top five cosmetic surgical procedures.
As we've adapted to wearing face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic, eyes took centerstage in a new way, and then there is the so-called 'Zoom effect' that has had people scrutinizing their faces in front of a camera. All of this is to say that eye rejuvenation procedures (surgical or otherwise) have always been popular, but perhaps they have never enjoyed such universal appeal as they do now. “More and more men want to have their eyes done,” says Andrew T. Cohen, MD, a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Encino, CA. “They want the bags removed and skin removed.”
We’ve previously covered the top eye rejuvenation procedures for women, and, while the concerns are generally the same, there is nuance to how they manifest and the best way to treat them. Here, we’re breaking down the best surgical and non-surgical eye rejuvenation procedures for men.
Why Men Seek Eye Rejuvenation
When you think of the eye area, what comes to mind? Under eye darkness and/or volume loss is probably up there. Maybe a sagging brow is, too. Fine lines at the corners of the eyes (a.k.a. crow's feet) are a bother to some. Or perhaps its excess skin in the upper or lower eyelid region that gives you pause. According to Stafford Broumand, MD, a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in New York City, men often seek treatment for upper eyelid hooding and bags under the lower lid. “Some men will complain about crow’s feet around the lateral part of the eye,” he adds.
Sometimes these eye concerns have functional implications. For instance, if excess eyelid skin interferes with someone’s vision, there is a medical reason to correct it and it may be covered by insurance. But, more often than not, these issues are cosmetic in nature. Heavy brows, drooping eyelids, dark circles, and crepey skin can all lead to looking aged, tired, or even stern.
Because we rely so much on our eyes to express emotion, you likely want your peepers to better reflect how you’re feeling. In fact, you’d ideally like them to reflect the most well-rested and youthful version of you. Fortunately, that’s a reasonable request.
Best Eye Rejuvenation Procedures for Men
Now that you understand the cause of many aesthetic eye concerns, it’s time to learn how to treat them. Eye rejuvenation procedures can address the entire eye area, which includes:
- Upper eyelid
- Lower eyelid
- Under eye
- Periorbital skin
To treat eye concerns, both surgical and non-surgical options are available. “Non-surgical is done with lasers or with fillers,” Dr. Cohen explains. “Dysport® or Botox® can be used around the eyes in the crow’s feet area.” Surgical treatment, meanwhile, can include blepharoplasty (a.k.a. eyelid surgery) and browplasty (a.k.a. brow lift). Below is what eye rejuvenation entails for each part of the eye:
For Upper Eyelids
Upper eyelids experience wear and tear. For starters, think about how many times a day you blink and note that the action contributes to your upper lids showing signs of aging. The natural aging process can also lead to excess skin in the region that causes them to look like they are sagging or spilling over into the rest of your eye area.
Most of the time, surgery is the best option. “We can address the upper eyelid heaviness by removing the excess skin and creating a more youthful eyelid,” Dr. Broumand says. “This is called an upper blepharoplasty.” The results of an upper eyelid blepharoplasty are immediate (save for temporary swelling and bruising) and permanent (save for the natural aging process). The upper eyelids will be rejuvenated, with the eyelid skin toned and tightened.
For Lower Eyelids
Skin sagging isn’t the only concern that impacts the lower eyelid. “A lot of men complain about bags under their eyes,” Dr. Broumand notes. For many, this is the result of the movement of the nasojugal fat pads, which appear when the the skin under the eyes loses elasticity and creates a groove between the lower eyelid and cheek bone. “Surgically, we can remove the fat pads that accumulate with age through an incision on the inside of the eyelid where the lashes meet the lid and remove the fat pads,” he explains. This is known as a lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Depending on your concerns, there are techniques that can reposition fat, remove excess skin, or some combination of the two.
When it comes to sagging lower eyelid skin, however, going under the knife isn’t necessarily the only solution. “If patients present with laxity in the lower lid skin, we can use AccuTite, a minimally invasive radiofrequency treatment, to [firm] the skin around the eye or perform Morpheus8 to tighten around the eye,” Dr. Broumand adds.
The same gravity that is pulling down your eyelids can also be responsible for creating the appearance of a heavy brow. For men, this often leads to looking perpetually angry or tired. It can also lead to the eyes looking smaller than they actually are.
Depending on the severity of the sagging, there are surgical and non-surgical brow lift techniques. Dr. Broumand usually recommends neuromodulators, like Botox®, and/or ultrasound-based skin tightening as a first line of defense. “We can put a little Botox® in to lift the brow slightly,” he shares. “We can also address brow placement with Ultherapy®, a non-surgical ultrasound treatment.” Both require ongoing maintenance.
While Dr. Broumand says men do not generally require a surgical brow lift, “it can be done if requested.” It’s also worth noting that, for some patients, pairing a blepharoplasty with a brow lift may achieve the most natural and long-lasting result. Consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon will help determine the best treatment for your needs.
For Under Eyes
Dark circles do not discriminate. Everyone deals with them, yet the reason why is a bit more specific to the individual. For some, it’s simply exhaustion. For others, it’s genetic predisposition. Alcohol, smoking, and caffeine can exacerbate darkness, too. Hyperpigmentation brought on by sun exposure, hormones, or medication is another potential culprit, as is the lower eyelid volume loss we discussed above. Depending on how those fat pads move, you may experience a hollowing effect that causes shadowing.
While surgery may be your best bet to redistribute the fat, there are non-surgical treatment options for dark circles. Hyaluronic acid (HA)-based fillers, like Juvéderm® and Restylane®, can be injected into the tear trough region to add or restore volume. Natural alternatives to HA filler include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and autologous fat. For those experiencing dark circles as a result of unwanted pigmentation, gentle chemical peels and laser treatments can improve skin tone and texture.
For Periorbital Skin
Not all skin concerns in the periorbital area require surgical intervention. If you are concerned about crow’s feet, neurotoxin injections can temporarily smooth the skin.
You've likely noticed that the skin around your eyes is different from the skin on the rest of your face. It’s quite thin and lacks oil glands, which makes it drier and more prone to irritation and textural concerns. With age, these issues are only exacerbated. Caring for it with a regimen of its own is essential. Eye creams and under eye patches have the ability to tighten, brighten, and depuff for a rejuvenating effect. Look for products with moisturizing ceramides and hyaluronic acid, firming peptides and retinol, radiance-boosting caffeine and vitamin C, and depuffing oat kernel and/or licorice extract.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for eye-related aesthetic concerns, but there are an array of surgical and non-surgical treatment options that can refresh and revitalize the entire eye area. Regardless of which procedures are right for you, routine maintenance with a well-formulated eye cream can help to keep the skin around your eyes healthy, hydrated, and youthful.
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