Saggy eyelids and hooded eyes are one of the commonest complaints among people as they age. First, you notice your eyeliner starts blotting itself onto your brow bone, then it becomes pointless applying eyeshadow, as it all vanishes into the folds of skin and creases of the eyelid. This is because the space between our eyebrows and eyelids decreases as we age due to the lowering of the brow. As a result, the excess skin creases and folds over the lids, making them appear smaller or, in some cases, making them disappear completely. Although largely due to ageing, some people have hooded eyes because of genetics or ethnicity. Scroll down for answers to all the FAQs about hooded eyes.
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FAQ ABOUT Hooded Eyes
What are hooded eyes?
Wide, open eyes are a sign of youth and beauty. As we age the space between our eyebrows and eyelids decreases and gets smaller as the supporting structures and muscles that elevate the brow weaken. Hooded eyes are a common sign of ageing and appear when excess skin creases and folds over the lid (due to the lowering of the brow), which makes the eyelid appear smaller or, in some cases, makes it disappear completely. Some people have hooded eyes as a result of genetics or because of their ethnicity.
Why are my eyes hooded?
There are a number of reasons your eyes could appear hooded. The most common cause is ageing. The skin around our eyes is the most thin and delicate and is therefore one of the first areas to exhibit signs of ageing. As we age, we lose collagen and elastin in our skin. This is what makes it plump and firm and taught. As those levels diminish and gravity takes its toll, the skin begins to wrinkle, crease and sag. In the eye area, this leads to the lowering of the brow, creating a hooded-like appearance to the eyelids. Elevating your eyebrows may alleviate the problem temporarily but when relaxed the hooded appearance returns.
What ethnicities have hooded eyes?
People from all ethnic backgrounds can have hooded eyes but it is a more prominent feature among certain ethnicities, in particular those with Asian ancestry. Men and women with Asian heritage may have deeper set, almond shaped eyes with a characteristic feature being little to none of their eyelid being visible. This is a hereditary factor and not associated with premature ageing. This crease of skin is known as the “epicanthic fold”. Ethnicities most likely to have an epicanthic fold are people from East Asian countries such as China, Mongolia, Japan, Taiwan, North Korea and South Korea; Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore; Polynesians; Native Americans and people from South Asians countries such as Bhutan, Northeast India.
How can I use makeup to fix hooded eyes?
There are various online make-up tutorials which show people how to apply make-up to hooded eyes. One of the main issues is that when your eyelid has become obscured by folds of skin it is difficult to put eyeliner or eyeshadow on or eyeliner can smudge and transfer onto the upper part of the lid. Try using a primer to help make-up stay in place and not smear. Waterproof mascara is a good idea too. Other advice is to enhance your lower eye by applying eyeliner to the lower lid and to use white eyeliner to make the eyes pop and appear more open. Enhancing the brows can also help open up the eyes.
What celebrities have hooded eyes?
There are plenty of beautiful celebrity women who have hooded eyes, or minimal visible lids. Examples include Gemma Chan, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Blake Lively and Katie Leung.
What surgery can I use to fix hooded eyes permanently?
Eyelid surgery, known as blepharoplasty, can be performed on both the upper and lower lids. The procedure involves removing excess skin and, when necessary, fat, from the eyelids. For hooded eyes it is the upper lid that is usually the area of concern. During the procedure, the surgeon will make a cut along the natural crease of your eyelid using either a laser or a scalpel. They will then remove the excess skin that is causing the hooded or drooping look to you lids. A thin strip of muscle is also taken out to give the eyelid better shape and unwanted fatty tissue is removed before the lid is stitched up. Using this technique ensures that the scar will be hidden in the crease of the lid and will not be visible. Many people combine blepharoplasty with other treatments such as a brow-lift, especially if the hooded appearance of the eyes has been caused by or is being made worse by a lowering of the brow. Blepharoplasty is a relatively minor but delicate cosmetic surgery procedure and as with all surgical procedures carries some risks and recovery time.
How can I enhance hooded eyes?
Certain make-up techniques can help you enhance your hooded eyes without the need for any cosmetic procedures. Try using a white liner on the lower lid or have a look for make-up tutorials that show you how gest top apply shadow and what colours to use. In terms of tweakments, non-surgical options such as toxins injections can lift a drooping brow and open up the eye area. Non-surgical blepharoplasty treatments such as plasma can also be really effective. Plasma is basically a form of energy that is used to trigger a wound healing response in the skin which then leads to lifting and tightening.
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Hello, I'm in my mid-40's with increasing sagging (mainly drooping upper eyelids, jowls and marionette lines). I've had three Ultherapy procedures at a highly-regarded clinic over the past five years to lift and tighten my face and neck. The last...
Hi, I'm sorry to hear that you had no improvement from your last Ultherapy treatment – surgeons are not keen on it as, in pursuit of the skin, it can (as one put it to me), 'mash up' the layers under the skin which makes it more difficult for surgeons to work on – not impossible but it makes their job trickier. They see the same result from treatments like radiofrequency microneedling (Morpheus8 et al) though many surgeons will still use RF microneedling for non-surgical tightening as it is a safe and effective treatment for the right candidate. Thread lifts can reposition sagging jowls, but if cosmetic surgeons don't like...
I have noticed I have uneven eyes when I laugh/ smile in photographs. Is there anything non-invasive I can do to fix this?
Hiya, TTG editor Georgia here. You could try a home-use device like the NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device. Alice has personally found it to give a great (albeit temporary) lifting effect to the facial muscles, and it’s safe and small enough for use around the eyes and on the brow bone. It uses low-level electrical microcurrent, and with continued use it may start to ‘retrain’ those muscles to hold a more permanent lift. If you did at some point decide to go down the tweakments route, I had some toxin carefully placed to ‘lift’ one of my eyes (one of my brows sits slightly lower than the other and I have more hooding on that eyelid)...
Hello, I am 48 and really starting to look old, especially when I look at photos. What do you recommend as the most effective way to look fresher and better without Botox or filler? Is it HIFU or profound or another treatment? Or would I really need...
Hiya, TTG editor Georgia here. Dr Strawford will be best placed to answer all these questions for you once he's assessed your face and talked to you about your exact concerns. He is an expert practitioner with a great deal of experience. The tweakments you mention – HIFU, Profound (RF microneedling), toxin, and filler – all do different things that work towards making you look fresher and younger, but not in the same ways. Toxin for example won’t do anything about sagging skin but HIFU will, Profound will stimulate collagen production to tighten and plump the skin, but won’t replace lost volume in the ways filler will. So it all...
I'm having Forma at a clinic, what can I do to carry on the treatment at home? My main concern is eye bags and hooded eyes. I'm 42 not ready to go down the surgery route. Thank you 🙂
Hiya, TTG editor Georgia here. As Forma is a radiofrequency treatment that works deeper under the skin, there’s nothing you can do to – or need to do – at home, apart from following your aftercare advice. Just let it do its job and consider a maintenance treatment every year or so after your initial course.
Hi Alice, I am keen to look into getting my eyelids assessed to see if anything can be done for hooded eyelids. I live on the West coast of Scotland and wondered if you could recommend a reputable and skilled individual who I could go to please?...
Hiya, TTG editor Georgia here. The Tweakments Guide is all about non-surgical procedures, so I'd advise first having a consultation with one of the many great non-surgical practitioners we have listed in Scotland before deciding to definitely go down the surgical route. If you look on our practitioner page, you can put in your postcode and find out who is nearby that Alice and I trust to advise you well. If you would in fact be better off with surgery (which is often the case with hooded lids and eye bags), they will be able to refer you onwards to a surgeon.
Hello, how effective is Caci Synergy to lift the eye area, in your view? I seem to have more of an ‘overhang’ from the brow rather than hooding as such, with one side more pronounced than the other. I am 72. Thanks for your help and website.
Hi, it's a great treatment but you need an awful lot of it (like, a dozen sessions) to see much lifting and the older we get, the harder it is for our skin to show much lift. You might well get some help from a course of sessions of CACI Synergy but I wouldn't expect miracles.
Hi Alice, I have hooded eyes and under-eye wrinkles. I recently had my first dose of toxin on the crow's feet area, which I've been impressed with, but I don't think this can be done close to the eyes, so what could I try to help under the eyes? Any...
Procedures that give good results for those small wrinkles under the eye include laser and radiofrequency microneedling. Laser can also be used on hooded eyelids, as can types of plasma treatment such as Plexr. These don't give as full or definite a result as a surgical eyelift but they can certainly make a difference. For skincare, take a look at some of my favourite eye creams....
Hi, I'm wondering what you think of plasma fibroblast for the eyelids?
All those non-surgical plasma treatments for hooded eyes really scare me (all those tiny burns! All that potential damage!) but my doctor and surgeon pals who use it say it is a great tool – and in their hands, really experienced, expert hands, I am sure that it is. I would not want it done by anyone who wasn't a highly qualified aesthetic practitioner.
Hi Alice, what is your opinion on Plexr for upper lids?
Plexr rather alarms me (all those tiny burns! All that potential for damage!) but my doctor and surgeon pals who use it say it is a great tool – and in their hands, the right hands, I am sure that it is. Find someone who knows the treatment well and does it a lot and you'll be fine.
You’ve had blepharoplasty, Alice. Can I ask what age you were when you had your first treatment? How long did the results last? I know you had it done recently again. Can I ask who your practitioner was please?
Hello, yes I had blepharoplasty 10 years ago with Mr Naresh Joshi who was and remains the go-to-expert in this speciality. I was 49 then and would have benefitted from having done it a bit earlier, to be honest; I've got those sort of eyelids. In terms of how long the results last, it depends on your face/ genes/ lifestyle. Surgery like this resets the clock in terms of how your eyelids are ageing, but it doesn't stop ageing in its tracks forever. Last year I had another upper blepharoplasty, done in conjunction with with a ptosis correction to correct the drooping in my left eyelid (which was something I'd been aware of for 15 years, but it...
Do you know of an eye surgeon in Scotland that could treat my hooded eyelids? If malar bags could be addressed too, that would be even better.
Hiya, TTG editor Georgia here answering on Alice's behalf. I'd advise first having a consultation with one of the many great non-surgical practitioners in Scotland before deciding to definitely go down the surgical route. If you look on our practitioner page, you can put in your postcode and find out who is nearby that Alice and I trust to advise you well. If you would in fact be better off with surgery (which is often the case with hooded lids and eye bags), they will be able to refer you onwards to a surgeon.
I am 43 and have very crepey eyelids. What is the best hydrating serum to use? Should I consider a blepharoplasty?
In terms of products, use any you like - you can find a selection of my favourite eye creams/ serums here. Skincare can only do so much though. It won't tighten eyelid skin significantly and a blepharoplasty may be necessary to get any real results, especially if the eyelids are very lax, as you say. The only way to know what's best for you is to have a consultation with a surgeon. Look for an oculoplastic surgeon who specialises in eyes and is very experienced in blepharoplasties (search 'oculoplastic' on this site for the ones that are listed here). Laser treatment around the eyes and across the eyelids will tighten the skin but...
I chicken out of eye surgery for now, can you suggest anything else I can do for eye lids other than surgery?
Hi, there are a few treatments you could try to tighten the skin on the eyelids and around the eye area. None of these will give as quick, clean or definitive a result as eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) but they could help. Ping, a radiofrequency skin-tightening protocol put together by Dr Sach Mohan, which is specifically designed for non-surgical skin tightening around the eye Laser skin tightening, with a fractional laser - practitioners including Dr Maryam Zamani can offer this with the Sciton laser, other practitioners will have their own favourites. You do need to wear intra-ocular shields for this procedure, which are like...
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