The Best Solutions for Eyelid Droopiness
by Beauty Blogger Emmy Owens
Eyelid drooping is a normal — but annoying — sign of aging. The bothersome condition, medically known as eyelid ptosis, affects a number of people due to genetics and aging, so you’re not alone. Although it may seem like a purely cosmetic condition, many people have droopiness that actually interferes with their vision, also causing recurrent headaches and neck pain.
If you’re struggling with any of these cosmetic or functional concerns, here is a quick guide to help determine the best solution for your eyelid needs.
Probably the most commonly available solution for eyelid issues is topical creams. You can find them at the drugstore or your dermatologist’s office for stronger concentrations. Many of these products contain peptides, antioxidants, polyhydroxy acids, and other hard-to-pronounce chemicals that aim to plump up your delicate eyelid skin by increasing hydration and prompting the growth of key proteins such as collagen.
That being said, the effectiveness of these products can be quite limited in some cases. If you have mild eyelid droopiness or want to use creams to prevent it, try reading product reviews or checking with your dermatologist to find options that really work. And, according to some dermatologists, you should watch out for eye creams containing caffeine, which dries out your skin and worsens wrinkles and sagging.
Makeup can amplify the facial features you like through contouring and color choices, as well as hide lots of pesky issues, such as scars and blemishes. Your drooping eyelids are no exception.
The general rule for aging eyes when it comes to makeup is “less is more.” For eye shadows, use soft neutrals that complement your skin tone, and try a finely milled highlight color in ivory or champagne on your brow bone and the inner third of your eyelid to visually open up your eyes. Using a smudgy eyeliner to make a subtle cat eye can also help create a lifted look, particularly if your eyelids fold over at the outer corners.
Also, make sure your eyebrows are well-groomed and give them some body with an eyebrow pencil or brow dip. This can help frame your eyes and give them better context because your eyelid crease may be slacking on you. Here are some more great anti-aging tricks from My Thirty Spot blogger Erin Kennedy, covering everything from eyeliners to lash curlers.
Although creams and makeup are great for those with just a mild wilting of the eyelids, you may need something more substantial if your eyesight is obstructed or if you are dealing with asymmetry between your lids. Eyelid tape may be a solution.
Tape has been used for many years by people with hooded eyelids, common among people of East Asian descent, to get a “double eyelid” appearance. Double eyelids are most common to those with European or African ancestry, and the term essentially means there is a horizontal crease that divides each upper eyelid into a top and bottom portion. Eyelid tape has now started to reach the anti-aging demographic, so they can also enjoy the benefits of a more awake and engaged appearance. Because the tape physically holds up your eyelids, it has a more pronounced effect than makeup or creams.
That being said, there are some are some drawbacks. Eyelid tape is not reusable, so you might spend quite a bit annually to achieve a refreshed look on a daily basis. There have also been reports of allergic reactions to the adhesive used on some tapes. Plus, as one would expect, the learning curve that goes with your newest beautifying essential can be unforgiving at times, similar to learning how to use false eyelashes.
Of course, if you really want to reverse eyelid drooping rather than try to hide it, the best solution is upper eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty. During this procedure, a plastic surgeon removes a small sliver of excess skin, which helps pick up your eyelid. Surgery is a great option for anyone looking for a more permanent solution or people with pronounced asymmetry.
This option usually costs a few grand, but it can be covered by insurance in some cases. According to the website of plastic surgeon Dr. Nicole Schrader of New Jersey, eyelid surgery is often used to help correct vision that is obstructed by droopy lids, which would definitely fall under the “medically necessary” category for most insurance providers. In fact, Medicare covered 156,000 eyelid surgeries in 2011. You may need to get pre-approval from multiple doctors, but it’s worth the red tape for a lot of patients.
Even if your goals are purely cosmetic, eyelid surgery may be a good solution for you. Of course, the disadvantage of surgery is that, well, it’s surgery. That means you’ll need about a week off while your incisions heal. Still, most patients say they’re surprised by how simple and painless the process is, and it definitely offers the most dramatic results.
For anyone with sagging eyelids, you should take comfort in knowing that there are many possibilities available to you, from the topical to the surgical. All of these different options will help your eyes pop and give you a more awake appearance, letting those around you know that you are more than ready to tackle your next venture. Not every solution will be right for everyone, but doing your own research will help you make the best decision for you.