They say the eyes have it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that “it” is my age. Every single year. Perhaps it’s because I have big eyes, but I feel like one night of crummy sleep can age me five years…or more. There’s the redness, the eyelid crepiness and–probably the most universal sign of raggedness–pitch black under eye circles. What to do, what to do?
I sat down with New York City plastic surgeon and Travel Beauty expert, Dara Liotta MD, to discuss how the face–specifically the under eye/cheek area–age, and what non-surgical options exist to make this aging process a bit more graceful.
“It’s not just wrinkles that age you”
Dr. Liotta said. “If you just ‘chase the lines’, you’ll end up with that obvious, overdone filler look. What can really age the face is volume loss and gravity, leading to a hollowed-out look. If you really want to look more youthful, you have to replace that lost volume.” I asked Dara how volume loss ages the eye area, and she handed me a mirror. She instructed me to hold the mirror above my head and look up into it. “There are different components to under eye area aging, two are shadow and pigment. When you look up at yourself in a mirror, any shadow disappears, and all you are left with is pigment. No matter what anyone says, there is nothing you can do about pigment. No lasers, fillers or anything else will get rid of it.” (I frown slightly at this because, even looking straight up into the mirror, there is still some darkness underneath my eyes.)
“What you can treat with filler, however, is shadow”
I have some shadow too, so hearing this makes me happy. And hopeful. “Hollowness here [she points to under eye area] creates shadow, and a line right to the eye that draws attention and ages you.” Dr. Liotta said.
To reduce shadow in the under eye area, filler is added to the “tear trough”. This plumps up an otherwise hollowed-out under eye area that can become dark and thus, age us. “I only use Belotero for tear trough injections. It is the thinnest hyaluronic acid filler, which is so important as the skin under the eye is itself so thin. Other, thicker fillers can cause unpredictable swelling.” Indeed, search RealSelf.com for “tear trough reviews”, and you’ll read/see several horror stories of major, unsightly swelling as a result of thicker filler being used to treat tear trough hollowness. [This expertise is why I love Dr. L.]
What about this line that’s starting to form right through my cheeks?
I ask. This line, when coupled with pronounced nasolabial folds (the lines that form from the sides of the nose to the sides of the mouth), is what Dara refers to as the “thumbprint”, because the area between the two “lines” is the exact size of a thumb. She demonstrates by placing her own thumb between the non-existent “line” in her cheek and her non-existent nasolabial folds, but I get the idea.
“Well-done injectable cheek augmentation can take years off of your appearance. Since the skin is thicker in this area, I use Voluma here.” Dr. Liotta said. For those that aren’t on top of their injectable filler game, Juvederm Voluma is another injectable hyaluronic acid gel. It is the first and only FDA-approved filler that can instantly add volume to the cheek area. AND…since Voluma is a thicker filler, the results last two years! The amount of Voluma required for cheek augmentation varies between 1-4 syringes. “As we age, we tend to lose that youthful volume in the cheek area. Then, as gravity causes the natural fat pad of the cheek to drop, the nasolabial folds become more pronounced. By using Voluma to add volume back into the cheek area, you get a subtle, natural lift in the cheek that helps restore a well-rested, youthful look. This lift also improves the appearance of the nasolabial folds.”
Looking at Dr. Liotta’s before and after pics, it was amazing to see how much Voluma injected into cheeks improved the appearance of nasolabial folds–a different area of the face. The improvement is seen in the reduction of “shadow” on the side of the nose…the same reason women spend millions of dollars every year on highlighters meant to mask/minimize/erase such shadows.
I’m not ready to take the Voluma plunge yet
Dara swore I don’t need it yet–but it just might be my 40th birthday gift to myself!
I cannot recommend Dr. Liotta highly enough. As a Board Certified ENT surgeon, as well as a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, she is intimately acquainted with, and comfortable manipulating, the complex anatomy of the face. That’s why I won’t trust my face to anyone else. To get more information and to schedule a consultation, visit Dara’s website.