The eyes are said to be the windows to the soul. Unfortunately, the eyes are also the first place to show signs of ageing.

Because the skin underneath and around the eyes is substantially thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, it is very susceptible to damage from environmental stressors, lifestyle choices and habits. If you dare the powerful rays of the Australian sun without protection, the ageing process will show underneath and around your eyes a lot sooner than it would in more neutral climates.

Australians, according to many opinions on the effects of aging, tend to look 10 to 15 years older than their European counterparts. They also seek cosmetic treatments at a relatively younger age—often in their early to mid thirties. As Dr Gabrielle Caswell, President of the Cosmetic Physicians Society in Australasia, said in the Society’s April 2012 Media Release, this is mostly because Australia has the highest rate of sun damage in the world. It’s no surprise, then, that Australians are searching for ways to look young. There continues to be an ever-increasing demand for walk-in and walk-out treatments, such as dermal fillers and line smoothing injections, according to the CPSA. Not only are these treatments becoming more socially acceptable than they were, but they are also more accessible to a variety of incomes.

The demand for non-invasive treatments continues to rise. According to the global forecast for facial aesthetics, it will reach $4 billion by 2017, a hefty annual growth of 9 percent.

To better understand why so many Australians are seeking non-invasive cosmetic treatments to reverse the signs of accelerated ageing, let’s take a look at what takes place during the accelerated ageing process.

The Accelerated Ageing Process

While normal ageing occurs naturally with the passage of time, accelerated ageing makes you look older than you are. The most common place to show signs of premature ageing is the skin underneath and around the eyes.

As you age, you’ll notice that the skin in this area is no longer as taught or resilient as it once was, leading to puffiness and bags underneath the eyes. Loss of elasticity in the skin at the corners of the eyes is responsible for the formation of premature fine lines and wrinkles, such as crow‘s feet. A loss of facial volume is also a common part of the ageing process, causing a hollowing under the eyes and making them appear sunken.

Many people also see dark circles or discoloration underneath the eyes, which occur naturally as ageing skin becomes thinner and the blood vessels are more visible through the skin. Dark circles and discoloration under the eyes often make you look tired and overly stressed, even when you aren‘t.

Non-invasive treatments such as dermal fillers are in high demand, because they produce great results and require little to no down time. They help to take years off the appearance of ageing skin around the eyes by rejuvenating the skin and making it appear tighter.

To help you learn more about dermal fillers, what dermal fillers are, how they work, and common types of dermal fillers, each one is explained below.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are cosmetic injectables that help reduce the appearance of puffiness and under-eye bags. They can also reduce dark circles and hollowing of the skin beneath the eyes.

There are three main types of dermal fillers available and within these types there are many brands to choose from. The TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) prevents anyone in Australia from discussing both brand names and their ingredients in any open forum. Therefore, you will need to seek your doctor’s advice on which is best for you depending on your needs.

Essentially, each dermal filler has a different level of viscosity and each is best suited for a certain type of application. Some fillers last 3 – 6 months, some last 6 – 12 months and others, considered long lasting, are effective for at least a year and longer. There are a few dermal fillers available that are also considered ‘dermal stimulants’ in that they stimulate collagen production.

Cosmetic fillers work two different ways: by adding volume to loose skin under the eyes, and, as a result of the increased volume, increasing the firmness of the skin underneath the eyes. The final result is the appearance of more youthful and vibrant skin around the eyes.

Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Now that you know a little more about dermal fillers and how they can improve the look of you eye area, we’ll discuss the causes of fine lines and wrinkles and take a look at other non-invasive cosmetic treatments, which can help improve the appearance of ageing skin surrounding the eyes.

A common feature of ageing skin is the development of fine lines and wrinkles, which directly correlates with lifestyle choices and lifelong habits. Examples of lifestyle choices include sun protection, such as whether you wear sunglasses and sun block or sunscreen whenever you go outside. Sun block protects the skin, and sunglasses help to protect the eyes and the delicate skin around the eyes. Habits include facial expressions—such as squinting—that you may or may not have control over when you’re in the sun without hats or sunglasses. These facial expressions, when made throughout a lifetime, eventually lead to permanent wrinkle.

At first squinting produces “dynamic” wrinkles, only visible when you assume a particular facial expression. Over time, however, squinting leads to more permanent “static” wrinkles, which do not change no matter what your facial expression.

Extraneous factors such as your environment also have an affect on the sun damage your skin accumulates over time. If you live in a climate known for powerful and harmful sun, you are likely to experience sun spots, skin discoloration, wrinkles and fine lines, all products of sun damaged skin.

While dermal fillers add volume to loose, sagging skin underneath the eyes, anti-wrinkle injections can smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly crow’s feet and lines between the eyebrows. Fractional laser treatments can also soften fine lines and wrinkles and repair sunspots, uneven skin tone and skin discoloration. These treatments can be used in combination or separately, depending on your needs.

Anti-wrinkle Injections

This toxin based material is injected into the muscles to reduce the appearance of moderate to acute frown lines. The toxin works by blocking the nerve impulses to the muscles, which reduces the muscle activity that is responsible for producing frown lines.

Anti-wrinkle injections can also treat crow’s feet, which form due to overactive muscles around the eyes. Over time this over activity stretches the delicate skin around the eye area. When injected, it helps relax these overactive muscles, making crow’s feet appear softer and often eliminating them altogether.

Fractional Laser Treatments

Fractional laser treatments generally consist of a laser beam broken into tiny pixels, which enables it to treat several layers below the skin’s surface. Fractional laser treatments can be beneficial for sun-damaged skin because they fade sunspots and skin discoloration, and also reduce the appearance of moderate to severe crow’s feet.

Fractional laser treatments can also stimulate the body’s natural collagen production, which brings fresh, new, healthy undamaged skin to the surface. Some fractional laser treatments include, Fraxel®, Affirm and ActiveFX.

We all know that the Australian sun causes skin damage, and we can see that the area around the eyes often shows the damage first. Fortunately, many non-invasive cosmetic treatments can be used to achieve the look of more youthful skin around the eyes. Dermal fillers can reduce the appearance of loose skin and bags underneath the eyes. They can also reduce dark circles and discoloration under the eyes. Anti-wrinkle injections can soften the appearance of crow’s feet and deep wrinkles between the eyebrows. Fractional laser treatments can diminish the appearance of moderate to severe fine lines and wrinkles. Fractional laser treatments can also repair sun-damaged skin by bringing new skin to the surface.

If you are considering any type of non-invasive cosmetic treatment to rejuvenate the skin underneath and around your eyes, explore with your doctor the treatment or treatments that will produce the best results for you.

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