Lately, each time I open my camera for a selfie, I have been noticing a change in the way my eyes look. A long scrutinizing inspection made me realize one of my eyes is slightly droopy at the end. And every time I stare at my drooping eye in the mirror, I fight the urge to fix it with my hands. Because as sad as it sounds, I cannot magically fix the droopiness of my left eye with my bare hands. And I know that I am not the only one.
How To Tighten Skin Under Your Eyes?
- 1 How To Tighten Skin Under Your Eyes?
- 2 Causes Of Sagging Skin Under Eyes
- 3 Under Eye Skin Tightening Methods
While my droopiness is due to the presence of a stye (that is hopefully dying) on my eyelid, I am aware of other reasons that are not helping the droopiness either. And those reasons also play a huge part in having sagging skin around the eyes.
Saggy eyes can be a beauty concern to some (those wrinkles are clearly unwanted!), and a medical threat to others (if the dropping starts to affect their normal vision). Thankfully you are in luck! There are several different ways you can use to tighten the skin under the eyes. Before we get into that, let me tell you why and what causes your skin to sag in the first place.
Causes Of Sagging Skin Under Eyes
Have you heard of collagen and elastin? These are the two proteins responsible for giving the skin its elasticity and keeping the skin tight, taut, and smooth. Sadly, over time, collagen and elastin production starts to degrade(1). As a result, the production of new fibers slows down and the skin begins to loosen and sag. Not to mention, as the blood vessels around the eyes are closer to the skin’s surface, the skin under the eyes is sensitive and thin-textured. The diminishing of two proteins is brought by the inevitable reality of aging.
But not everyone whose skin under the eyes started to sag doesn’t necessarily need to be “aging”. Because, besides the aging process, many other reasons contribute to the sagging of skin. While aging and genetics are primary reasons, other reasons include overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which is also called photodamage(2), exposure to airborne toxins, and certain lifestyle choices such as sleep deprivation and dehydration that could cause early sagging.
The sagging doesn’t stop with your eyes though. Over time, wrinkles, frown lines, crow’s feet, and furrows slowly start forming. Then, your skin from your cheeks, nose, chin, arms, neck, and other places on your body begins to sag. These don’t necessarily need to be caused by aging. It could be due to uneven fat distribution, connective tissue weakening, or weight loss and pregnancy(3). While you cannot necessarily control these factors completely, these skin tightening treatments mentioned below can reduce the breakdown of collagen and elastin to leave your skin looking healthy, tight, and smooth. How to tighten loose skin under the eyes? Read along!
Under Eye Skin Tightening Methods
There are several methods you can try to tighten the skin under the eyes that stimulate the skin’s collagen and elastin production to contract the existing fibers. Those can be categorized as the following:
Under Eye Skin Tightening Creams
This Over-The-Counter (OTC) topical treatment includes creams and lotions. Various topical skin tightening products use certain ingredients to decrease skin laxity and stimulate new collagen production, protect the skin from further damage, and tighten the skin under and around eyes giving a youthful appearance.
Adding these under-eye creams to your skincare routine is important. They are generally used at night after applying any cleanser, toner or serum. With thousands of under-eye creams available in the market, you can get confused. Here is a list of recommended under-eye skin tightening creams you can choose from the many you come across:
- Retinoid Creams
Retinol and tretinoin are vitamin-A derivatives(4) called retinoids. These creams function as antioxidants and compounds that protect your cells from damage caused by harmful molecules.
Recommended: RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream
They can slow the deterioration of existing collagen fibers, stimulate collagen production, and promote cell turnover to help reduce the signs of aging. Dermatologists recommend products with low concentrations of retinol because the skin under the eyes is sensitive. If you are a first time user, don’t use too high a strength at the start.
- Vitamin C Creams
Formulated as L-ascorbic acid(5), eye creams use vitamin-C for its skin tightening properties. These creams increase collagen production and prevent collagen degradation.
Recommended: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel Cream
A prominent ingredient found in these creams is Hyaluronic Acid (HA), found naturally in the skin that draws in water, to help hydrate and plump the skin. Because many times under-eyes wrinkles are a result of dryness, HA will help reduce the signs of aging with its hydrating properties. To enhance its antioxidative effects, these creams use vitamin-E (also called alpha-tocopherol).
- Vitamin B3 Creams
Recommended: SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex
Formulated as niacinamide, Vitamin-B3(6) creams reduce the appearance of wrinkles. These creams often contain peptides that send signals to your body to boost collagen production and build hyaluronic acid. It holds cells and tissue together like glue which in turn diminishes sagginess. These creams are less irritating compared to retinoid creams.
Recommended: Supergoop! Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40
Protection from harmful sun rays is essential for the skin as those UV rays can break down collagen and age your skin. Photodamage such as under eye wrinkles, saggy skin, and fine lines can be prevented by using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 16.
How To Apply Your Under-Eye Cream?
- Before using any new product, test it on a small part of your skin and make sure it doesn’t cause an adverse reaction to your skin.
- Take a pea-sized amount of the product (this is enough for both eyes) to apply on the skin.
- Make sure to apply to the under-eye area, eyelids, and outer corner of your eyes while avoiding direct contact with your eyes.
- Use one of your fingers to apply to avoid using more pressure. Use it gently.
- Dab your finger while applying and avoid tugging at the skin.
Under Eye Skin Tightening Surgeries.
There are cosmetic procedures to have more immediate, dramatic, and long-lasting results. Of course, they come with possible side effects and high cost. Consult with an eye doctor that specializes in cosmetic procedures to understand which treatment is best for you.
Oculoplastic surgeons can treat your under-eye sagging skin with these effective cosmetics and surgical alternatives mentioned below:
- Dermal fillers: Fillers are filled with a hyaluronic acid gel that is identical to the one found naturally in the human body. These fillers are injected to fill in wrinkles and smoothen the skin around the eye area. (Juvéderm, Restylane, and Belotero).
- Chemical peels. This is quite effective as it helps in getting rid of wrinkles by resurfacing your skin. Chemical peels dissolve the top layer of skin to stimulate the growth of a smoother, newer layer of skin so that wrinkles are much less prominent.
- Blepharoplasty. It is a form of plastic surgery to tighten loose skin under the eyes. It removes fat, skin, and muscle that droops in the eye area to tighten and smoothen the remaining skin under the eyes.
- Microdermabrasion. Here, they use tiny particles to gently exfoliate and peel away the outer layers of skin which in turn encourages collagen production to have smoother skin.
- Botox. Unlike fillers that fill under-eye wrinkles, Botox is used to relax the muscles around the eyes to smooth wrinkles beside and above the eyes.
Under Eye Skin Tightening Home Remedies
These are often suggested to improve signs of aging as an alternative to more expensive, painful, or risky procedures. Although natural remedies are only effective temporarily, they can delay the need for professional cosmetic treatment but cannot fully prevent loose skin from developing. These will help you answer frequently asked questions, i.e., “how to tighten the skin under eyes with home remedies?” & “how to plump up skin under eyes naturally?” I’d personally recommend you to try these before opting for a cosmetic procedure, even if the effects are more likely to be minimal and temporary.
Natural ingredients to look for when making a DIY home remedy to tighten the skin under eyes include hydration, protection from sun, and vasoconstriction (constriction of veins to improve blood circulation). Use these nature’s wonder packages (because all of these have so many benefits!) below to tighten the skin under the eyes:
- Coconut oil and olive oil: Gently massage for 5 minutes the skin around your eyes with a few drops. Leave it overnight.
- Aloe Vera: Extract the gel and apply it under your eyes, leave it to dry, then rinse.
- Green tea or chamomile tea bags: After brewing, let the tea bags cool down in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. When they are cold enough, place them on your eyes.
- Coffee and egg white: Combine them in a small bowl and beat the mixture with a fork until frothy. Apply the mask around and under your eyes and let it dry for 10 minutes.
- Honey and egg white: Mix them both and apply under your eyes to treat sagginess.
- Yogurt: Apply yogurt around your eyes. Or you can add lime juice and mix and then apply. Wait for it to dry and rinse off. Do this twice a week.
- Ice: Massage the skin around your eyes for a few minutes to cool the skin and also to tighten the skin.
- Cucumber: Cut two thin slices of cucumber and keep them under your eyes for 20 minutes.
- Potatoes: Slice potatoes thin and refrigerate until they cool down enough. Place them under your eyes for 20 minutes.
- Papaya: Use papaya pulp to apply on the skin under the eyes.
- Banana: Mash a ripe banana and add a few drops of lemon juice, mix them and apply on your face.
Tighten Skin Under Eyes With Laser
Tightening skin under eyes with lasers is non-invasive, non-surgical, and not very painful. There are three methods; ultrasound, radiofrequency, and radiofrequency micro-needling. In ultrasound, the energy is focused to heal the skin at a deeper depth so that you’re tightening and lifting the skin(7).
With radiofrequency, the increase in temperature causes the collagen in your skin to tighten and promote new collagen production. In micro-needling, you will be creating microscopic holes by puncturing the skin and emit radiofrequency (once the needles are in) to tighten the layers.
Tighten Skin Under Eyes With Exercise
You can tighten the skin under your eyes with a few eye exercises. But, you are recommended to do these 2-4 weeks to achieve visible results. These are said to be the ways to tighten the skin under eyes without surgery.
Do these exercises below 5-7 times. Relax the eye muscles after each exercise. Warm-up your eye muscles by widely opening and closing them for 10 times.
- Keep both middle fingers together at the inner corner of your eyebrows while pressing your index fingers at the outer corner of the eyebrows. Apply pressure to the outer corner. Look up while lifting your lower eyelids into a strong squint. Then, relax and count to 3. Repeat the same with closed eyelids.
- Pinch your eyebrow from the inner edge to the outer by thumb and forefinger.
- Press your two fingers on the corner of your eyes. Then, blink eyes one by one.
- Draw a figure “eight” by your eyes.
- Roll your eyes around in a circle to the right, then to the left.
- Press your three middle fingers on your eyebrows. Squeeze your eyelids strongly. Count to 3 and open.
- Press your middle fingers at the inner corner of your eyes and index fingers at the outer corners. Close your eyes, press upper eyelids down to lower. Count to 3.
- Raise your eyebrows, put a finger under your brow bone, close your eyes several times slowly. Then, repeat the movements.
- Open your eyes as wide as possible without straining other facial muscles.
What else can I do?
Making lifestyle changes can slow down signs of aging skin, hence, consider the following to make a difference:
- Eat foods with less sugar and more vitamins.
- Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables.
- Get enough rest. Like the rest of your body, your skin needs rest too. As sleep deprivation accelerates the sagging process, have a good night’s sleep to prevent the skin from sagging.
- Hydrate your body and skin! Drink at least 7 glasses of water a day.
- Quit smoking (it can increase the rate of degradation in collagen and elastin).
- The Society for Investigative Dermatology. (2003). Collagen Degradation in Aged/Photodamaged Skin In Vivo and After Exposure to Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 In Vitro. [Online] Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15302402
- National Library Of Medicine. (1999 – 2020). Photodamage, photoaging, and photoprotection of the skin. [Online] Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8042567/
- Harvard University. (2010 – 2020). Why your face ages and what you can do. [Online] Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-your-face-ages-and-what-you-can-do
- Nontoxic Certified. (2020). ChemicalCallout: Vitamin A and Retinol Derivatives. [Online] Available at: https://www.madesafe.org/vitamin-a-and-retinol-derivatives/
- Oregon State University. (2020). Vitamin C and Skin Health. [Online] Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C
- Procter & Gamble. (2020). Your Skin on B3. [Online] Available at: https://www.olay.com/en-us/skin-care-tips-and-articles/niacinamide
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2020). Many Ways To Firm Sagging Skin. [Online] Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/younger-looking/firm-sagging-skin