What are the most common signs of aging around the eyes, and what can be done about it?

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There are numerous signs of aging skin around the eyes that are best corrected with a procedure such as blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery. Many patients seek plastic surgery because they want to rejuvenate their look but are unsure of how to specifically spot signs of aging in this region of the face – and determine which procedure or treatment would be best.

A board-certified plastic surgeon will explain that as we age, our skin undergoes many changes, including sagging around our eyes. The skin in this area is delicate and thin, making it more prone to showing signs of aging. Not to mention, this area is quick to show signs of fatigue.

In this article, we'll explore the most common ways aging manifests in the eye region.

Signs of aging around the eyes

Fine lines and wrinkles

Fine lines and wrinkles are some of the most common signs of aging around the eyes. These lines can appear due to the loss of collagen and elastin in the skin, as well as repeated facial expressions.

Crow's feet

Crow's feet are the fine lines that form around the outer corners of our eyes. They can be caused by the same factors as fine lines and wrinkles, as well as sun exposure and smoking. As we blink, squint, frown or smile, the skin in this region is constantly being squeezed – and wrinkles may eventually form.

Undereye bags

As we get older, the fat under our eyes can shift and become more prominent, causing undereye bags to develop. These bags can also be caused by fluid retention and allergies.

Dark circles

Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, lack of sleep, dehydration and sun exposure. They can become more noticeable as we age due to thinning skin and a loss of fat under the eyes.

Sagging skin

Sagging around the eyes can be caused by a loss of skin elasticity, as well as gravity and repeated facial expressions.


As we age, our skin produces less oil. This reduction in production can lead to dryness and flakiness around the eyes, as well as itching and irritation.

Age spots

Age spots are dark patches of skin that can form due to sun exposure, which triggers the production of pigment as a defensive and protective response. These spots can be more noticeable around the eyes since the skin thins and becomes more translucent in this area.

Puffy eyes

Puffy eyes can be caused by fluid retention, allergies and lack of sleep. They can also become more noticeable as we age due to a loss of fat from under the eyes.

What can be done to preserve a youthful appearance?

Blepharoplasty can address sagging skin around the eyes to give them a more alert and younger appearance. If you have sagging skin and want to restore a "brighter" look, this might be the best option.

That said, if you want to maintain younger-looking eyes, it's best to start caring for them at an early age. Experts recommend applying eye cream morning and night, limiting screentime and getting plenty of sleep to help your skin renew and repair itself. A facial massage could also help to improve elasticity and circulation.

The takeaway

To prevent or reduce the signs of aging around the eyes, remember that it's important to protect your skin from sun damage, stay hydrated, get enough sleep and use a moisturizer that's appropriate for your skin type.

Can you reverse signs of aging that still manage to develop around your eyes? The short answer is yes. Patients don't have to live with unwanted changes. While some signs can be treated with over-the-counter products, others may require more intensive treatments, such as cosmetic surgery. Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon for more information.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.