What To Know Before Getting Under Eye Filler
Fun fact: the human eyeball is on average 1 inch across, weighs approximately a quarter of an ounce, and of all the muscles in your body, your eye muscles are the most active--we blink an average of 12 times/minute.
This week I'm going to write about under eye filler, because I've noticed lately it is extremely popular. When I first started working at Infinity, nobody requested it, and now virtually everyone asks about it at some point. The decision to write about this was poor timing, because I recently applied some very-pretty-but-very-long-nails, making typing difficult, and under eye filler is jam-packed with lots of info to write about. So, bear with me. If there are typos, well, it was because of my cute new pink nails. #worthit
Let's start with the basics:
What to know BEFORE you get under eye filler
The number one thing to know is: Your injector is doing you a disservice if they don't address your mid-face first. I had a whole conversation with Dr. Messina about this, and she’d had a whole conversation about it with a trainer, so you can take this as truth. However, let me talk about the "why", because, alas, no one ever takes my words for truth without some evidence (which I fully support. Ask questions. Knowledge is power!).
So here's the why: As we age, our face starts to do a few things. Namely, we lose fat, hollowing out cheekbones, temples, etc; wrinkles start to "stick", meaning, even if we're not expressing (frowning, smiling, sipping through a straw) the wrinkles are still there; and most importantly (at least in my humble opinion), everything starts to "fall". When I say "fall", it's not a clinical term--things are literally no longer defying gravity. When you're in your teens and twenties, everything is full of collagen, lifted, and taut. As we age, things start to...well, sag.
In terms of prevention, I think sagging is the most important aspect of aging to focus on. Wrinkles and some hollowing appear much more graceful on a lifted face. However, even if a face is plump, if it's sagging and falling into itself, it makes the aging appear much more drastic, and much less elegant.
This is where treating the mid-face comes in. The first thing you should focus on is lifting everything from the cheek region. The best product for this is Voluma. Out of all the fillers, Voluma is probably my favorite. It's like the magical unicorn of injectables. It works instantly, and I've seen so many people walk out of the office with regal, modelesque high cheekbones, their face totally transformed.
You're probably thinking, okay, but what does this have to do with my under eyes? I'll tell ya what, champ. I'm going to make a wild estimate and say that about 30-50% of people who think they need under eye filler actually need the mid-face corrected. When you lift the cheekbones, you'd be surprised by how many people suddenly appear bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed. Often, treating the under eyes is the band-aid, and treating the mid-face is the cure.
I'm going to make another wild estimate, and also transition into the next Q&A: Another 30% of people who don't need the mid-face treated, but think they need under eye filler probably need a lifestyle change.
What does my lifestyle have to do with under eye filler?
When I chat with people about what filler they want/where they want it/etc, I would say that a solid chunk of people wanting under eye filler want it because they think they look really tired. When I inquire about this, it always turns out that they are, in fact, exceptionally tired. Usually I hear something like they only sleep five hours every night, when most people need seven to nine hours. When we chat further, it also usually turns out that they have a high sodium diet. Because, generally, they're too tired to cook and/or living such busy lifestyles they eat lots of fast food. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation and a high sodium diet are precisely the two things that make the under eyes look dull and tired.
When you're not getting enough sleep, you have increased venous congestion, and that fluid buildup pools in blood vessels close to the surface, making the under eyes appear darker. Same goes for a high sodium diet. In addition, the filler generally used for the under eyes is particularly hydrophilic (water-loving), so if you're retaining lots of fluid, this can actually make the under eyes puffy, since the filler is basically asking all of that water to come help out.
Please also be aware that due to that unfortunate thing called genetics, you may simply just have much more pigmentation around the under eyes, and this won't be treated by filler. I recommend investing in a good concealer instead (I like the Tarte Shape Tape).
So, in summary, here's my advice: before you get under eye filler, try as best as you can to regularly get enough sleep, and make sure you're eating a balanced diet. If you want some fries every now and then, that's fine, but if you're eating tons of processed food, like chips, packaged cookies, or even "healthy" pre-made foods (these usually contain tons of sodium, sadly), consider trying to make a change to your diet and incorporating more fresh food. I guarantee you'll see a difference not only in the under eyes, but also in your skin, and even in your tummy. And, like I said earlier: I also highly recommend that you make sure your mid-face, particularly your cheeks, are completely treated before moving forward.
If you've read all of that, feel confident, and want to get under eye filler, then let's talk about what comes next!
Here are the most common questions I get asked about under eye filler:
-Does it hurt?
Like I always tell people, remember that it IS a needle going into your face, so you may feel a bit of a pinch. But compared to say, the lips, it's really nothing. Plus, we numb you beforehand! I think what people are really asking is: Is it total fire-breathing horrific pain? The answer to that is a solid no. Most people say it's comparable to getting the cheeks done.
-Is it dangerous?
Referencing my last article, I'm going to say, not especially, with an experienced and trained injector. Of course, there are always risks to filler, like we talked about last week. It's possible to cause partial or full blindness when you're working around the eyes, but it's a fraction of a percent, so keep in mind it's very, very rare. There another technique for the under eyes, using something called a cannula (a type of blunt needle) that is slightly safer, but even with cannulas there have been reported cases of vascular occlusion. Just make sure to go to someone you trust, and if it makes you feel more comfortable, as what safety precautions they're going to take.
-What if the injector pokes me in the eyeball?
Granted, I've only been asked this once but it was memorable. The client in question also kept flinching with every poke of the needle, which made me extremely sweaty, because, HELLO.
Trust me, your injector is probably even more aware of your eyeballs than you are. If you really think the injector is going to poke you in the eye, question whether you should be seeing that particular injector.
-Will it work immediately?
Yes...but also no. The filler will show some immediate results, but it takes a bit to settle in the under eyes. Your injector will most likely massage the product after injecting, so be prepared for that, but it still may appear slightly lumpy. Give it some time before you start worrying about the final results. Also, under eye filler is often done in stages. See below.
-How much do I need?
No more than one syringe for virtually all people. Unless you have some seriously hollow under eyes, one syringe is plenty. I commonly see a quarter to a half of a syringe put in, and another quarter to a half put in a month later (or longer) once things have settled. So if you're an Eager Beaver (aren't we all) before you go in you should understand that it might be a bit of a process--all good things take time!
-Can't I use another (i.e. cheaper/the rest of my other syringe/etc) filler?
Nope! Sorry friend. Some of the other fillers are okay (like Juvederm or Belotero), but most injectors agree that Restylane is the go-to for the under eyes. The most commonly used (aside from Restylane) are Vollure and even Volbella, so those are other options you can discuss with your injector, but recognize and understand that a filler used for one area of your face might not be great for another area.
-I really want the filler, but I'm so nervous! Help!
Breathe! I like to tell people all of the risks so they have as much information as they need. Plus, I think it makes you appreciate the results so much more. And, understanding the risks means you're probably going to appreciate a good injector. Groupon is great for a lot of things, but this isn't one of them.
Just remember: either close your eyes, or look straight up and back towards the ceiling to avoid looking at the needle. Ask for a squeezy ball so you can channel any nervous flinching. And always remember to b.r.e.a.t.h.e. I swear it helps. The other thing to remember is that your injector does this for hours every day--even though you're nervous, this is their job. They know what they're doing, and their whole team is there to take care of you! Ask for whatever you need, whether that's smelling salts, essential oils, a juice box, someone to distract you--anything.
-How do I take care of my eyes afterwards?
Like all other filler! Avoid blood thinners before. Ice intermittently afterwards. Take an antihistamine for swelling. Apply topical arnica to help heal bruising. Other than that, just let your body do it's thing and heal!
That's it for this week. If you have any Q's, just let me know what I missed and I'll be happy to answer!
Reach out if you have questions using the contact form located on the home page. Questions & suggestions are always welcome. While you're at it, check out my Instagram for more fun tips & tricks, and to say hi!