Skin naturally changes with age, and one of the most common areas to show signs of aging is around the eyes. Over time, the natural network of elastin and collagen that keeps the skin supple and smooth slowly unravels. Skin becomes thinner and loses volume, leaving wrinkles on the surface.
Repetitive muscle contractions from facial expressions can also contribute to wrinkles. Years of muscle movements combined with other environmental factors, like sun damage and gravity, promote the formation of these undereye bags, crow’s feet, and glabellar lines.
Many skincare products can soften fine lines over time, but injectable neurotoxins have a more immediate effect by addressing the muscles responsible for wrinkles.
Botox®, the industry's most popular neurotoxin, is a safe, nonsurgical solution that can correct many common complaints and deliver subtle-to-dramatic transformations. Treatments like a Botox® brow lift or Botox® for eyelid lift are safe nonsurgical methods that can subtly transform appearance. Neurotoxins can help achieve a more youthful look around the eyes and correct many common complaints. Here’s a look at how to use neurotoxins to address fine lines and volume loss around the eyes.
Undereye bags can present themselves as loosened, sagging skin on the lower eyelid, mild swelling, or a puffy appearance beneath the eye. These bags aren’t usually a cause for medical concern, but they are a common aesthetic concern for clients of all ages. Neurotoxin injections can help refresh this area.
Causes of undereye bags
Undereye bags happen for many reasons, some of which are easily corrected. For example, eating a high-salt diet can cause water retention that leads to puffy skin under the eye. Allergies, a lack of sleep, and some skin conditions can also lead to puffiness. With some adjustments to diet and sleep, a cold compress, or caffeine-powered undereye cream, the puffiness will often subside.
Undereye bags may also be an inherited, genetic characteristic, or a result of a medical condition like thyroid disease. More often than not, undereye bags are the result of natural aging. As we get older, the skin, muscles, and tendons covering the fat pad below the eye begin to relax. Without this support, the fat pad can protrude and create a puffy bag-like result.
Botox® injections along the lower eyelid and outer edge of the eye can treat undereye bags. Neurotoxins relax muscles along the outer eye and temporarily prevent them from contracting. The muscles can’t tense up, which softens wrinkles and brings down swelling under the eyelashes. The result of these cosmetic undereye treatments is a temporary improvement in the skin’s appearance.
Crow’s feet are fine lines or deeper creases that branch out from the corners of the eyes—which resemble the shape of a crow's feet. At first, they usually only appear while smiling (called dynamic wrinkles) or laughing but then gradually progress to permanently visible lines (called static wrinkles). Crow's feet may be unavoidable because of natural muscle movements, which means they can appear on clients of all ages. However, crow's feet can produce a crepey appearance to the skin and is often perceived as an unwanted sign of aging.
Causes of crow’s feet
There are two types of wrinkles: Dynamic wrinkles that appear when the muscle contracts and static wrinkles that appear because of age-related changes to the skin, like thinning and collagen loss.
Crow’s feet are often dynamic wrinkles that develop from the repetitive muscle contractions that take place when smiling, laughing, and squinting. Over time, these muscles remain in a semi-contracted state and push the skin up around them, leading to wrinkles. With age, these wrinkles become deeper and more prominent.
Sun exposure and the loss of collagen and elasticity that occurs with aging is the most common cause of crow's feet. The sun breaks down elastin fibers over time which prevents skin from stretching and bouncing back to its normal position.
However, the skin’s natural structure contributes to a lack of elasticity, as the skin around the eyes is already thin. As this area continues to thin and lose elasticity with age, it becomes more susceptible to wrinkles. Habits like rubbing the eyes and rough makeup application that pulls at the skin can also contribute to the long-term formation of crow's feet.
Because crow’s feet are often a result of muscle contractions, they respond very well to Botox® injections. The neurotoxin blocks nerve signals to these muscles, which causes them to temporarily stop contracting. The muscles relax and soften, improving the appearance of wrinkles.
Botox® for crow’s feet is injected into the orbicularis muscle around the outer edge of the eye. This muscle is overactive with typical facial expressions. Relaxing this muscle can refresh the skin around the eyes and promote a youthful appearance.
Hooded lids refer to the skin below the brow and its protrusion over the eyelid. Some individuals are born with this eye shape and for others, it can be a sign of aging that could cause discomfort or impact vision. For the latter, clients can complain that it contributes to them looking older or less rested. Others want a more defined brow arch, either for makeup application or for a tighter, more youthful skin appearance.
Causes of hooded lids
Hooded lids can be a genetic trait passed down through families. However, natural aging can cause the skin around the eyes to loosen, which can magnify the appearance of naturally hooded eyes or cause a hooded lid.
Muscles above the eye can also weaken with age. As the eyebrows soften, fat and tissue push the eye socket down and create a hood over the eyelid. Head injuries and medical treatments that speed up aging in the skin, like chemotherapy, can cause hooded lids.
Neurotoxin injected into the muscles responsible for eyebrow movement can help. Corrugator muscles in the glabellar lines, commonly called the 11s, are depressor muscles that help move and lower the eyebrow. Injecting Botox® into these muscles stops them from contracting, which causes them to relax. The front part of the brow becomes lifted, which can reduce the appearance of a hooded lid.
Botox® can also be injected into the orbicularis muscle. These muscles extend around the eye to the outer end of the eyebrow, so an injection here can slightly lift the eyebrow. This in turn lifts the eyelid and stops the skin from folding over, which can reveal more of the eyelid, giving clients a refreshed, youthful look.
Botox® for eyelid lift works best for mild eyebrow and eyelid drooping, but it can only help the muscles around the eyes that contribute to the hooded lid. Neurotoxins don’t tighten sagging skin, so skin-related hooded lids or severe drooping may need a different treatment. Botox® for hooded eyes gradually wears off over a few months but provides a more open, alert, and fresh appearance.
Changes in the brow are also some of the most common signs of aging. The brow arch slowly lowers with age, the forehead becomes creased with deep wrinkles, and 11 lines, or furrow lines, develop between the eyebrows. These changes can make a person appear angry, tired, or sad, as well as older than desired.
Causes of eyebrow aging
Eyebrows move downwards as part of the natural aging process. The arch droops over time and the space between the brow and the eyelid shortens. Repeated squinting, frowning, furrowing of the brows, and other typical facial expressions can also contribute to glabellar lines.
A Botox® brow lift is a nonsurgical solution to eyebrow aging. Treatment areas include the muscle above the front part of the eyebrow and between the brows called the corrugator supercilii, or the 11s, and the orbicularis oculi muscles around the outer eye. These muscles can pull the eyebrow down.
Botox® injected just above and between the eyebrow relaxes the corrugator muscle and softens those deep furrows between the brows. The upper forehead muscles can then relax and open up, which lifts the eyebrows back into place and smooths the skin out.
The crow’s feet muscles, or the orbicularis oculi, extend around the outer eye to the end of the eyebrow. Relaxing these muscles at the end of the brow stops the brow from contracting and can smooth and lift the arch. It can often be accomplished with small amounts of Botox® and creates a subtle, rejuvenated lift.
Neurotoxins in aesthetics practice
Neurotoxins are safe cosmetic eye treatments that can shift and lift a variety of wrinkles around the eyes. An undereye cosmetic treatment, a Botox® brow lift, and other Botox® procedures are quick, lasting about 15 minutes with no downtime. Clients can return to work or their daily activities right away without interruption. They might experience minor side effects like soreness, headaches, or mild bruising, but they can manage these with self-care practices.
The beauty of injections is two-fold: they provide an elegant lift for a more youthful and smooth appearance and they’re temporary. The neurotoxin eventually wears off and the muscle returns to its regular strength and movement. Clients can restore their appearance without worrying about the risks, side effects, and downtime of surgical procedures.
To learn more about incorporating treatments around the eyes into your aesthetics business, contact a Portrait specialist today.