Hooded eyes are characterised by a prominent brow bone and a hidden eyelid crease. They are perfectly normal and are just one of the diverse eye shapes. However ageing can also cause or make them appear more prominent. Although there’s nothing wrong with having hooded eyes, for some they may be a source of cosmetic concern or even impact vision. In this article, we’ll explore what causes and how to get rid of hooded eyes (if you are that way inclined). We’ll review the best treatments to lift hooded eyes.
What are Hooded Eyes?
Hooded eyes are defined by an extra layer of skin that droops over the crease of the eyelid. This makes the lid appear smaller. This appearance can be genetic or develop with age as the skin loses elasticity and volume. Hooded eyes are a normal variation of eye shape and often considered a striking and attractive trait. In fact a number of celebrities who are considered classically beautiful have hooded eyes. They include Samira Wiley, Blake Lively, Selena Gomez and Emma Stone! However sometimes hooded eyes contribute to a tired appearance, may pose challenges in makeup application or even impede peripheral vision.
Ageing & Hooded Eyes
Aging can contribute to the development or exacerbation of hooded eyes. As we age, several changes occur in the skin and underlying structures around the eyes. Firstly, our skin naturally loses collagen and elastin which are the proteins responsible for its firmness and elasticity. The fat padding around the eyes can also diminish over time, causing the skin to lose its support and appear more lax. Additionally, the effects of gravity over time can also cause the skin and soft tissues around the eyes to droop. All together, these changes can lead to thin and sagging skin, including the skin of the upper eyelids. This then causes or worsens a hooded eye appearance.
How To Lift & Get Rid of Hooded Eyes
If hooded eyes pose a cosmetic or functional concern, there are a number of non-surgical and surgical treatments that can lift the skin and reduce their appearance. The benefit of non surgical treatments is that they’re quick, relatively inexpensive and have little downtime. On the other hand, surgical solutions like blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), offer more permanent and dramatic results but are more expensive and have higher risks. The choice between which treatment option is best for you largely depends on the cause and extent of the hooding as well as your goals. Below we’ll review the most established treatments including their benefits, limitations and risks.
These treatments broadly divide into prescription skincare, injectables like Botox or dermal fillers and advanced therapies such as laser resurfacing. Non surgical procedures provide a less invasive way to address the issue with minimal downtime and lower risks.
Skincare plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and elasticity of the skin around the eyes. The main group that can help are retinoids and in particular prescription vitamin A derivatives like Tretinoin. They help to stimulate collagen production by your skin cells which tightens and firms up the skin around the eyes. Antioxidants and peptides can also nourish and protect the skin. Altogether, active skincare can be easily added into your daily routine to improve the quality of the skin and rejuvenate the eye area. This can help reduce the appearance of hooded eyes. However, results are subtle and take time to manifest. Its important to be realistic and realise that obviously skincare alone may not significantly lift or reduce severe hooding. Whilst these ingredients are generally safe and effective, they may cause irritation, especially in sensitive skin. In addition products like retinoids are not suitable for everyone.
Injectables (Botox and Dermal Fillers)
Injectables such as Botox and dermal fillers can provide a temporary lift for mild to moderate hooded eyes. Botox injections relax the muscles that pull down on the brow and skin above the eye which contribute to hooding. This allows the muscles that lift the brow to work unopposed. All together this provides a subtle lift to the brow and hooded eye skin.
Dermal fillers can add volume to hollow areas. As such they are a good treatment for hooding created by ageing skin. These dermal fillers injections provide structure and replace lost volume. As such they can create a subtle lift and reshaping to the area below the brows to improve the appearance of hooded eyes. They provide more pronounced results than Botox alone but often the best outcomes are when the two are used together.
The key benefits of injectables are immediate results, quick procedure and minimal downtime. However, results are temporary and repeat treatments are necessary to maintain effects. There is also potential for bruising, swelling and asymmetry. Incorrect placement or excessive use can lead to an unnatural appearance or more dangerous problems like vascular occlusion in the case of fillers. As these are advanced aesthetic treatments, you should only see an experienced and qualified medical procedure.
Advanced Skin Treatments
Professional treatments like laser therapy, radiofrequency microneedling and ultrasound-based procedures like Ultherapy can tighten and improve the skin. These treatments can lift the skin around the eyes to help get rid of hooded eyes. In general, these treatments work by stimulating collagen production. This thickens and tightens the skin. It also makes it more elastic. When used around the eyes, this can help lift lax skin and improve or get rid of hooded eyes.
This treatments can provide more noticeable results than skincare alone and similar or better outcomes compared with injectables. However, multiple sessions may be required and it takes weeks or even months to see results. The degree of improvement varies and is obviously not as pronounced as surgical options. When done correctly, these are generally safe procedure but there are some risks. Possible side effects include redness, swelling, and in rare cases, burns or scars. Downtime varies depending on the intensity and type of treatment.
For those seeking a more permanent and definitive solution to get rid of hooded eyes, then surgery is the option. Surgical blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) is the gold standard treatment. This procedure involves removing excess skin, fat and sometimes muscle from the upper eyelids to create a tighter and more open eyed appearance.
Only local anaesthesia is usually needed for surgery, so you’ll be awake throughout your hooded eyes treatment! The surgeon makes precise incisions along the natural creases of the eyelids to minimise scarring. Through these cuts, they remove excess tissue or reposition it to achieve the desired look. Blepharoplasty offers a long-lasting solution with impressive results. It can also improve vision if hooding has interfered with the visual field. This is however a very advanced procedure. As such, you should only have it done by an oculoplastic surgeon.
The recovery period can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the extent of the surgery. It’s worth being aware that the initial swelling and bruising may temporarily impact your daily activities. As with any surgery, there are risks of complications such as infection, bleeding and adverse reactions to anaesthesia. There’s also a risk of scarring, asymmetry, or in rare cases, changes in eyelid function. This is why it’s vital to choose a qualified and experienced surgeon to minimise risks and achieve optimal results.
Lifestyle and Prevention
In general hooded eyes are an inherited trait and usually there’s not much you can do to prevent them. However skin ageing can cause or worsen the appearance of eye hooding, As such, its important to reduce things that can cause skin ageing. This includes not smoking and avoiding excessive sun exposure which both accelerate ageing. In addition, eating a healthy diet, having a good anti-ageing skincare routine protection and hydration can improve the quality of your skin. This in turn can delay the progression of skin sagging and drooping which contributes to eye hooding.
While treatments and interventions exist for hooded eyes, it’s really important to state that in general this is a normal and common eye shape and as beautiful as any other. Where the cause or exacerbation is skin ageing, there may be good reasons to treat it. In particular if the aged skin is causing a tired look or affecting peripheral vision. There are a variety of treatment options for hooded eyes. The best treatment for you will depend on the extent of hooding, cause of hooded eyes, your face shape and overall treatment goals.
We truly believe that skincare is always personal. This is at the core of our online skin clinic. Our doctors offer treatments like Tretinoin to target acne, hyperpigmentation, melasma and skin ageing using personalised protocols. Book a virtual consultation with one of our doctors or fill in our online consultation form today to take your first step towards better skin.