Eye bags are tricky to treat. Even the most devout skincare aficionado can struggle to reduce their appearance using topical products alone and many find that no matter how much they sleep, their eye bags are always a concern.
There are a number of reasons why you might have particularly pronounced eye bags, and unfortunately, many come down to genetics. Your genes may have given you sunken eye sockets, which cause a dark shadow to form under your eyes. Genes can also be the cause of enlarged fat pads, which sit under the eye bag and can cause bulging and puffiness.
When skincare fails, many turn to cosmetic treatments for a more invasive, professional option to try and tackle their eye bags once and for all, the most popular of which is dermal filler. The most commonly used fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, and can create volume and definition as well as a dewy, fresh finish.
However, experts warn that we shouldn’t be too quick to turn to fillers to solve our under eye issues – and that doing so may actually make our bags worse. We spoke to Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe, award winning medical and cosmetic doctor and founder of Skn Doctor, to find out exactly when filler can make your eye bags look worse…
If it’s the wrong type of filler
Not many people realise that there are a number of different types of hyaluronic acid filler, with the key difference being how thick the gel is. Juvederm, for instance, is one of the most popular brands of hyaluronic acid filler in the UK, and it is available in four different molecular weights under the names Volite (the thinnest) Volift, Vobella, and Voluma (the thickest), with each one providing a different thickness. Whereas Volite can create a hydrated, dewy complexion when injected, Voluma will be able to add structure to the jaw and cheekbones.
“There are certain types of filler you wouldn’t want to use under the eyes,” explains Dr Ewoma. “For example, you would never use a very thick filler because it would build volume and make the eye bags more pronounced.”
If it’s injected too close to the skin surface
According to Dr Ewoma, it’s also very important that the filler is injected into the right place and at the right depth: “You want it to be injected deep into the fat pad that sits under the eye bag. If the filler is injected too close under the skin, it may bulge out and become visible.”
Plus, there’s also the possibility, especially with fairer skin tones, that fillers could cause something known as the Tyndall effect, which is when hyaluronic acid fillers are injected into the superficial dermis or epidermis. “It gives a blue reflection,” explains Dr Ewoma. “The filler, which is a clear gel, is quite close to the surface. When light hits it, the filler reflects it back and looks slightly bluish, which is exactly the opposite of what you want under your eyes.”
If you have puffiness
Some eye bags are caused by a true hollowness under the eye, which can be treated by filling the crevice with dermal fillers. However, other types of eye bags are caused by fat pads that are too big. In these cases, fillers are most definitely the wrong treatment.
“In some patients, they have depleted fat pads, and they require more volume from filler to fill the crevice,” explains Dr Ewoma. “However, a lot of people have fat pads that are bulging, and are too big and baggy. When that is the case, filler is absolutely going to make it worse.”
Instead of filler, Dr Ewoma recommends a surgical procedure known as blepharoplasty, which removes excess fat from the eye area.