Dark shadows and puffy bags under the eyes can have an aging effect on your face. Even worse, they can make you look chronically stressed or tired. Fortunately, several options exist to refresh and rejuvenate the delicate under-eye skin, from brightening eye creams to gua sha stones, jade facial rollers, and our personal favorite: JUVEDERM® dermal fillers.
In this guide, we will cover the causes of dark circles and eye bags and explain how you can use dermal fillers under the eyes to restore volume and luminosity.
Shadows under the eyes, also known as periorbital hyperpigmentation (POH), can arise from both natural and lifestyle factors.
- Genetic predisposition and ethnic background: Some people, particularly those with darker skin shades, have excess melanin in their skin that may contribute to hyperpigmentation under the eyes.
- The aging process: Our facial skin gets thinner and loses volume as we age, making the blood vessels under our eyes more visible.
- Too much screen time: Staring at a screen for hours on end can strain your eyes. Some believe this eye strain forces the surrounding blood vessels to enlarge.
- Too much (or too little) sleep: Fatigue can make under-eye shadows more prominent by causing the skin to pale and allowing the underlying blood vessels to show through.
- Dehydration: Inadequate water intake can make your eyes look sunken and exacerbate dark circles.
- Excess sun exposure: Post-inflammatory pigmentation can occur when your body absorbs UV rays and then produces pigment in response; for some people, this melanin is “dumped” under the eyes.
The structural integrity of the face weakens over time, and fat migrates down the face toward the chin and jowls. These wayward deposits of fat can create bags under your eyes. Alternatively, the swelling and puffiness could be the result of the following:
- Fluid retention: Fluid can pool beneath our eyes as we sleep, contributing to a puffy look upon waking. A high salt intake can also induce under-eye swelling as the excess sodium draws fluid to it.
- Lack of sleep: Not getting enough sleep can cause the skin to lose its elasticity and weaken over time, making it easier for fluid to accumulate beneath the eyes.
- Smoking: Similar to the above, smoking can break down the supportive collagen in our skin and negatively disrupt our sleep patterns.
How Dermal Fillers Can Help
Dermal fillers work by creating volume beneath the skin for a plump, hydrated, and even appearance. They can correct hollowing related to aging or augment a facial feature (such as the chin or lips) for more defined contours.
The JUVEDERM family of products is formulated with hyaluronic acid, a synthetic, biocompatible version of the complex sugar naturally found within our bodies. This clear, gel-like substance is safe, instantly effective, and reversible if desired.
Using dermal fillers for eye bags or shadowing can create a more level surface with the surrounding skin. Rather than accentuating the discoloration, light will instead reflect off the under-eye area for a brighter, more rested, and youthful look.
Hyaluronic acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, making it ideal for bringing moisture to the dry, delicate skin beneath the eyes.
Good Candidates for This Treatment
The ideal candidates for under-eye filler treatments are:
- Aged 21 or older
- Bothered by the appearance of dark circles or swelling under the eyes (whether due to age or other factors)
- Comfortable with needles
- Aware that the results of dermal fillers are temporary
- Willing to commit to follow-up treatments to maintain their results
- Realistic in their expectations
The White Orchid Spa Approach
Our Med Spa injection team comprises 3 highly skilled advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs). Each has an extensive understanding of facial anatomy and a finely tuned aesthetic sensibility. This blend of art and science drives their philosophy that the presence of fillers should be undetectable, but the results should speak for themselves.
JUVEDERM VOLBELLA® XC is the first FDA-approved dermal filler for use under the eyes. It was originally developed to enhance the lips, but its light, flexible formula has also made it ideal for treating dark circles and eye bags.
During your treatment session, we may also recommend injecting the cheeks with JUVEDERM VOLUMA®, a long-lasting, dense filler that adds structural support and volume to the midface. Depending on your cosmetic goals, we may also suggest fillers to address other areas of concern or pair it with BOTOX® as part of a “liquid facelift.”
JUVEDERM VOLBELLA can last up to 12 months, while JUVEDERM VOLUMA can go up to 2 years before needing a “top-up” treatment. Our injection team will guide you on the most appropriate treatment plan and maintenance schedule for you.
Ready to learn more? We cover the 5 things you should know before getting fillers in our related blog post. If you are eager to take the next step toward a smoother, brighter under-eye area, please request a consultation or call us at