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It is Audrey Hepburn who said, “the beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.”  With such emphasis placed on one’s eyes it seems we must do everything possible to ensure our eyes (and the area around) them don’t age ahead of the rest of our face and body — and that when they do, they do so gracefully.  While you will need an ophthalmologist to ensure your eye is in tip-top shape, I’ve asked leading dermatologists and plastic surgeons, Dr. Michael H. Gold and Dr. Ulysses H. Scarpidis, to help me to share everything you need to know to treat dark circles, under eye bags and wrinkles like a boss!

Treating Dark Circles, Under Eye Bags and Wrinkles

Dark Circles

As far as eye issues go, this is the one that is quickest and easiest to hide.  A few quick pats of the right color corrector and concealer and you are bright eyed and ready to take on the world.  While covering dark circles is a great quick fix,  erasing or reducing them is the long term goal.

Are all dark circles are created equal?

Dr. S:  All dark circles are not created equal.  Genetics can play a major role in the appearance of dark circles in younger patients.  Some families have pigmentation abnormalities or sun sensitivity causing dark circles.  Fatigue is another reason for dark circles under the eyes.  Puffiness from fatigue induced swelling, or under-eye bags can worsen the appearance of dark circles by creating shadows. In addition, older patients typically have thinner more translucent skin that magnifies the tiny blood vessels found around the eye. These patients tend to also have leaky micro blood vessels that stain the skin with iron found in blood much like with a bruise.  This iron staining can last for weeks.

Dr. G: Some are genetically pre-determined, and others are from extrinsic aging such as weight gain or not hydrating the body enough. But most dark circles have a genetic cause, and the prominence of them is probably due to both intrinsic and extrinsic aging for most people.

When looking for products to topically treat dark circles, what key ingredients work best and why?

Dr. S: The key to a successful treatment is to correctly identify the cause of your dark circles.  All in all, a combination of rest to reduce blood pressure and minimize blood vessel engorgement, sleeping on your back to reduce overall facial and eyelid swelling, and products that help restore eyelid skin thickness and constrict blood vessels will significantly improve dark circles.

Treating Dark Circles, Under Eye Bags and Wrinkles- Neocutis Micro-Eyes Rejuvenating Cream
Neocutis Micro-Eyes Rejuvenating Cream

A consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon will help you determine the cause of your dark circles and the appropriate treatment.  While one eye cream may work miracles on one patient’s dark circles, this doesn’t mean it’s the best treatment for yours.  When enlarged blood vessels are responsible for dark circles I recommend to my patients products with Caffeine and other constricting ingredients, such as the Neocutis Micro-Eyes Rejuvenating Cream.  This cream has peptides that help build collagen and elastin in the lower eyelid skin, further cushioning the discoloration caused by blood vessels.  Some products utilize a cold roller applicator that can also temporarily constrict under-eye blood vessels.  Topical hyaluronic acids plump and super-moisturize the skin further reducing dark circles.

Dr. G: There is no magic potion for fixing dark circles. You can use growth factors and antioxidants to help improve the skin texture and tone. Many people use hydroquinone or other bleaching agents, and sometimes these can be effective but not always. Eye creams moisturize and the use of moisturizers are helpful but not curative in many. Some people have darkening and bags under the eyes because of what is going on with the fat pads under the skin, and this is where our energy-based devices like the EndyMed iFine and, on occasion, surgery are needed.

If topical solutions fail, are there safe surgical options to explore? If yes, what are they?

Dr. G: Radiofrequency (RF) skin tightening as with the iFine from EndyMed is a good non-invasive option. I would highly recommend patients try this before surgery which not everyone needs.

Dr. S: When creams are not enough, minimally invasive procedures can help improve dark circles.  Injectable hyaluronic acid acts as a cushion under the skin while stretching and compressing blood vessels to diminish their contribution to dark circles.  Belotero is an ultra smooth Hyaluronic Acid that works great to reduce dark circles and give a natural under eye result. 

What are the risks of these procedures?

Dr. G: Virtually none when done by technicians skilled in the use of RF around the eyes. We find the procedures produce a warm sensation on the skin, and if done correctly, RF is a safe and effective treatment.

Dr. S: While many of the thicker hyaluronic acids can sometimes produce a bluish hue under the eyelid skin, called the Tindel Effect, I have never experienced this effect with Belotero.   Ultimately, some patients may need to undergo blepharoplasty surgery to remove the under-eye bags and tighten the eyelid skin, if less invasive treatments prove insufficient.

Under Eye Bags

As it turns out, bags are not just for quick weekend jaunts and vacations. They can also take up residence under your eyes. While you can check your bags before taking off for your next trip, banishing  your under eye baggage can be a bit trickier.

What are the main causes of under eye bags and how can they be treated topically?

Dr. G: Same causes as for dark circles: genetics and extrinsic aging. Bags can be caused by the fat pads protruding through the skin, so tightening this area with a good RF device such as the EndyMed iFine becomes a very important and effective treatment.

Dr. S: In general, there are two different factors that cause under eye bags.  Sometimes the bag has always been there, but the surrounding fat has melted away with age, making it more pronounced.  For others the bag itself has grown in size.  Most patients have a combination of both causes requiring a combination treatment to resolve their bags. 

TTB Note: If your bags appear after a long night of partying and over indulging, be sure to consume lots of water and get rest. You can also use a cold compress to help depuff bags.

Let’s say you’ve exhausted all the topical solutions, and the cold spoon no longer offers any relief — what surgical/ nonsurgical methods are most recommended to “deflate” under eye bags for good?

Dr. G:  You can’t deflate under-eye bags, but you can tighten the skin around them to make them less apparent. I would use the EndyMed iFine here.

Dr. S: While fat grafting or fillers can restore the youthful volume of the midface and undereyes, it may not be enough to fully treat under eyes bags.  A blepharoplasty is a same day surgery that can remove under eye bags.  A small incision is made in the inner aspect of the lower eyelid facilitating the removal of the fatty bulges leaving no visible scars.

What are the risks of these procedures?

Treating Dark Circles, Under Eye Bags and Wrinkles - ifine Handpiece
iFine by EndyMed Handpiece

Dr. G: A treatment with the iFine by EndyMed is relatively safe; a patient might feel some warmth to the area. With a skilled provider, this is a very safe, low-risk treatment. Surgery can be done at any time. The risks of surgery include bleeding, scarring, and poor results in inexperienced hands. And a patient needs to remember that even with surgery, sometimes the procedure needs to be performed again years later as the aging effects continue. A surgery won’t stop the hands on the clock, only push them back. This is why non-surgical procedures like the iFine have greatly increased in popularity over the years with providers and patients alike.

Dr. S: Bruising and swelling are minimally (after a blepharoplasty) and last only a few days.

Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Wrinkles are inevitable but that doesn’t mean you have to allow them to take over your face and eyes prematurely. There is wisdom in wrinkles, but we prefer to not look so, ahem, ‘wise’.

Though a natural part of aging, most people want to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay for as long as possible. Are there safe and effective ways to treat wrinkles? — What surgical options do you recommend for someone in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.   What are the risks of these procedures?

Dr. G: Fine lines and wrinkles can be treated with a variety of modalities, and I think with the EndyMed 3DEEP technology — the iFine — we can tighten the skin around the eyes and make these lines and wrinkles virtually disappear with a series of treatments. I’ve found that the EndyMed 3DEEP Intensif handpick using fractional RF microneedles, also works well around the eyes. The skill of the provider determines whether or not the procedure is safe. When done correctly, these are safe and effective treatments with little to no risk.

Dr. S: My philosophy is less about erasing all wrinkles and more about looking the best for your age and aging gracefully.  For this reason, I prefer non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures as preventive measures rather than corrective surgical transformations at a later age.  Regardless of age, but especially with my younger patients I focus on education about the importance of sunscreen and avoidance of sun exposure altogether, skin care and the proper skin regimen for their skin type, antioxidant protection from radicals, and repair peptides for skin rejuvenation.

As we age, fine wrinkles become more pronounced.  Ironically, very expressive patients develop facial wrinkles at a younger age but forgo treatment with neuromodulators, such as Botox and Xeomin, because they fear losing their facial expressions.  When, years later, they present complaining of deep, permanently visible wrinkles a much higher dose of neuromodulators is required to help soften, but seldom adequately correct their wrinkles leaving them with a “frozen” look.  I urge these patients to visit a trained plastic surgeon with a keen eye on producing a natural look at a younger age.  In my practice, I treat young actors, singers, and models who require a significant degree of facial expression but want to maintain a youthful look with natural soft wrinkles.  Using purified neurotoxins such as Xeomin I can focus my treatment on softening, albeit maintaining, full facial expressions, thus prolonging a natural youthful look for years to come.  Further down the road, or for my patients who have not had the benefit of early education and intervention, I often times use a combination of lasers that even out skin tone and texture and tighten crepe paper skin.  When these lasers are combined with the right peptide rich products, we can begin to reverse the signs of aging.

When reading labels, tell us the key ingredients  to look for and why?

Dr. G: Products with growth factors and antioxidants work well around the eyes and can work wonders when combined with RF treatments.

So, we’ve found the ingredients of choice, should we seek out a particular consistency (i.e. cream vs serum vs balm)?

MD Complete’s Eye Wrinkle Corrector

Dr. G: Serums have become popular because they may absorb better in the periorbital area, but either a serum or cream can work well here.

Dr. S: I feel that choosing the right vitamin depends on what you are trying to accomplish.  While Vitamin A and its derivatives can help your cells replenish your skin’s layers, Vitamin C and E are strong antioxidants and can help block free radicals and produce collagen. MD Complete’s Eye Wrinkle Corrector, which can be purchased at Target, contains Vitamin A, C, & E – and has been shown to be comparable to products sold in doctors’ offices.

General Info for All

No matter what issue affects tyour eyes, a proper routine that includes the basics is a must.

How important is SPF in eye products?

Treating Dark Circles, Under Eye Bags and Wrinkles - CLINIQUE Superdefense SPF 20 Age Defense Eye Cream
CLINIQUE Superdefense SPF 20 Age Defense Eye Cream

Dr. S: Sun protection is paramount in any skin care regimen.  I prefer to apply a dedicated sunscreen to the face and eyes rather than to use products that combine a sunscreen with active anti-aging ingredients.  In general, patients should be reapplying their sunscreen every couple of hours while in the sun.  Having a separate sunscreen comes in handy.  For the time conscious patient who is unwilling to apply multiple products in the morning, an eye cream that combines a sunscreen may prove invaluable. 

Dr. G: As a dermatologist, I insist on the use of sunscreens, so if it is incorporated into a product, that is a good start. But everyone should use a minimum SPF of 30 at all times, even on cloudy days. The skin around the eyes is sensitive so the more you can do to protect it from the harmful rays of the sun, the better.

At what age should one starting using an eye cream/serum/balm?

Dr. G: This depends on the individual, but most women should start protecting their skin earlier rather than later. By the mid-20s a patient would want to consider using these products. The earlier you begin, the more you will use products as a preventative measure rather than undoing damage that has occurred from over the years. But if you do wait until your 30s or 40s, it’s not too late! A dermatologist can design a treatment plan that can work well for you.

Dr. S: It’s never too early for a man or a woman to use products to protect their skin from the sun, replenish moisture, block free radical formation and slow down the signs of aging.

Your eyes are important, so take all the steps necessary to ensure the “doorway to where love lives” — your eyes, stay healthy, beautiful and inviting.

Still have questions?  Please leave them below!

Dr. Michael H. Gold is the founder and medical director of Gold Skin Care Center, Advanced Aesthetics Medical Spa, The Laser & Rejuvenation Center, and Tennessee Clinical Research Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Ulysses D. Scarpidis is a leading board-certified plastic surgeon who sits at the helm of Scarpidis Aesthetics in New York City. He specializes in cosmetic procedures that enhance all areas of the face and body.

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How often do you evaluate your skin care routine? I mean, really critically analyze the needs of your skin against the efficacy of your products. Perhaps the serum you’re using is great for managing acne, but that was five years ago and suddenly you’ve noticed tiny fine lines on your forehead. Or, perhaps your usual daily moisturizer feels great and applies well, but when stacked against current technology and advanced delivery systems, you realize that in addition to increasing hydration, maybe there are creams on the market that also eradicate wrinkles, fight hyperpigmentation, and leave a luminous finish.

I say all of this to say: Skin beyond the age of 20ish regularly goes through a laundry list of changes. It’s up to you to make sure that the products you apply topically are the cream (pun intended) of the crop and best suited for skin’s changing needs.

Does your skin suffer from diminished vitality? Is it not as plump, smooth, and supple as it used to be? In just four weeks, ANEW Genics Treatment Cream (patented with YouthGenTM Technology – inspired by genetic research on human longevity) is a fairly recent skin care breakthrough that promises to do a Cher (“turn back time”) in as little as four weeks. By boosting specific skin proteins, ANEW Genics Treatment Cream stimulates skin’s Youth Gene and triggers younger acting skin. Momma ThisThatBeauty has been enjoying the benefits ever since I gave her a jar about a month ago. Recently, I could not help but marvel over mom’s much improved 58-year old skin…Isn’t she pretty?!

Most women first reach for an eye cream somewhere around early 20’s…usually due to the effects of dryness, puffiness, or dark circles. However, as skin matures, the prevention of fine lines, wrinkles and creasing is a primary concern. Newly launched, SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream smooths the early signs of aging at the corners of eyes and underneath.

The signature complex, a proprietary blend of Pitera™, Oli-Vityl (anti-oxidant protection), Signaline, and concentrated levels of Niacinamide, work in concert to reduce dull appearance, increase hydration, and firm the look of crepe-y skin. SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream is serious treatment for eyes and an appropriate next step option for those of us in search of an eye cream that does more…much more! (ME!!)

It all sounds so sci-fi…A renewable energy project, turned anti-aging discovery is the real life true story inception of Algenist. Picture it: A team of San Francisco based biotechnology scientists were hard at work developing microalgae-based renewable energy solutions when they uncovered “alguronic acid”, a powerful compound connected to cell regeneration. When tested in clinical trials, younger-looking resulted…in as little as 10 days. Yes, 10 days! Now, who doesn’t have 10 days to put the claim to the test?

Ladies, start your engines…I mean, er, start your infrared LED light. Sure, topicals are effective…but why not work deeper? LightStim helps create collagen (the secret to plump, line-free skin) and improve skin’s elasticity by emitting pain-free amber and red infrared LED light. The wavelengths energize skin’s youth cells and promote radiant, brilliant complexion. The handheld, at-home device is a must add to your routine. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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Give your skin the attention it deserves. Take a step back. Look in the mirror. Survey your skin. Now, survey your medicine cabinet? Are you well-equipped to handle the skin care challenges before you? If not, re-read this blog post and compile your shopping list. Thank me later!

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We are a few months into the new year and I know many people are looking for ways to improve their appearance. Some, like me, are hitting the gym hard. Some have already started their new diet. Others are looking for non-surgical ways to improve, not only their body, but their face as well. If you fall into that latter group, I’ve got some news for you!

A couple of months ago I was introduced to LAVIV,  “the first and only FDA-approved personalized cell therapy to improve the look of smile lines.” LAVIV is highly personal because it is made from your very own skin cells and it is made just for use on you!

The science behind LAVIV. . . 

As some of you may know, the skin is made up of the dermis, epidermis and the hypodermis.  The dermis is roughly 10 to 40 times thicker than the epidermis and fibroblasts are the main cells found in the dermis.  Fibroblast cells are responsible for the production of collagen, and as you may already know, collagen is what gives the skin its firmness and structure. However, as we age, collagen production slows, creating “an imbalance that causes the dermis to become less stretchable, less resilient, more lax, and prone to wrinkling.”

LAVIV is clinically proven to be safe and effective in improving the appearance of smile lines.

Here are the steps:

  • A doctor takes a skin sample from an area of your body that is not exposed to sunlight, and is not prone to wrinkles (generally behind the ear.)
  • The skin sample is sent to Fibrocell Science’s FDA-inspected manufacturing facility where it is inspected
  • After inspection, the fibroblast are multiplied over a period of 90 days using standard cell growth techniques into hundreds of millions of cells, (yes, millions!)
  • Once the cells have been created, the fibroblasts are inspected to ensure they are living, pure and actively producing collagen
  • Cells are then cryopreserved (frozen)
  • One day prior to your first treatment, fibroblast cells are thawed and prepared into a LAVIV treatment injection.
  • Treatment is shipped overnight to your physician
  • It is recommended that the course of LAVIV is a series of three treatments that are 3-6 weeks apart.

The proof is in the pictures!

– Each before and after 6 months of treatment –

So you see, it is all connected and on a very high level it makes perfect sense to me! If we harvest fibroblast cells and multiply them, then inject them back into areas of the skin that have lost collagen, then fibroblast cells will spark collagen production and essential reverse and/or slow down some of the problems, such as laugh lines, that become evident because of collagen loss.

Click here to find a LAVIV Certified Physician and here to read important safety information. To learn more about LAVIV, please visit the company’s website.

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This post was written by @ChristeneCarr 

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Over the last year or so I have become a little bit obsessed with eye creams. While Iʼm not yet at the stage where I need serious help around the peepers (praises to all that is holy with a wish that the day never comes), every once in a while I have one of those extra long nights that inevitably leads to puffy, tired eyes requiring added TLC. It was after one such run that I started using Le Soin Regard, since then, Iʼve been singing praises.

Le Soin Regard promises immediate and long term benefits against aging, improvement in elasticity, smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles, renewed radiance and reduction in dark circles and puffiness. While Le Soin Regard promised to deliver all that, all I asked was a reduction or prevention of puffiness and addition of radiance — and that was definitely delivered.

When a product does what it promises to do, I have to take a closer look at the ingredients (I do that even when they donʼt work). While all of the ingredients work in unison for maximum product efficacy, here are the ones that stood out to tackle my particular problem; caffeine and green tea extract for the puffiness, Chlorella Vulgaris, a river microalgae to firm eye contour and mica, which illuminates skin and helps to reflect light. Other noteworthy ingredients include Blue Lotus Stem Cells, which restructures, smoothes and tightens and Helychrisum flower water and Tourmaline which improves microcirculation.

Le Soin Regard is made by Absolution, a unisex, organic line from France that was made available at SpaceNK in spring of 2011. Le Soin Regard is over 99% natural, retails for $43. The 10 ml product size will easily last a month with once daily use. Try it and let me know what you think.

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This review was written by @ChristeneCarr

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I have not been this excited for a skin care breakthrough in quite some time. Quite honestly, many [quote] “breakthroughs” are merely well publicized product launches. But this, PaloVia Skin Renewing Laser is truly a major major breakthrough for the anti aging skin care community. The small hand held device is the first FDA-cleared, at-home laser clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes – how about that for a BREAKTHROUGH?!

During a recent press meeting with the brand, my eyes nearly leaped from my head after closely inspecting what appears to be unretouched before and after pictures. After just eight weeks of daily use, participants in trials experienced results like these:

PaloVia Before & After Time Lapse Video

If the claim is true, PaloVia Skin Renewing Device is good news for men and women in search of an at home alternative to expensive in-office laser treatments! The device retails for $499, which is but a fraction of the cost of an in-office laser wrinkle treatment procedure.

QVC is currently running an introductory offer that saves you almost $100.  If crow’s feet, fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes are causing you to look, ahem, wiser than your years, I strongly suggest looking into this device. Personally, I’m waiting for a version of the PaloVia Skin Renewing Laser to help me target my early stage “smile lines” :)

To learn more about this skin care breakthrough, visit QVC.com for expert tips, demos, Q&A, and more.

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