Beauty & Skincare

I Tried Undereye Filler for Tired Eyes: Is It Worth It?

written by ERIN CELLETTI
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

From the moment I announced my pregnancy five years ago, the sleep advice came rolling in. My personal favorite was, “Sleep now, you’ll never sleep again.” I rolled my eyes, internally laughing at the fact that pregnancy insomnia was already keeping me up anyway. But, I didn’t think I actually wouldn’t ever have a good night’s sleep again. 

Five years later, with the exception of some general anesthesia along the way, I still haven’t slept properly. And I feel like it shows in my face—particularly my undereye area. So I began to explore what I could do about it, and came across undereye filler.

I’ve done injectables before (Botox and lips!), but never eyes—there’s something super intimidating about thinking about having needles put near your eyeballs. Plus when it comes to anything injectable or minimally invasive, I’m really cautious to make sure I put myself in the hands of an expert—with impressive qualifications and a lot of positive reviews. So when I had the opportunity to connect with renowned NYC ocular plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Schwarcz, I knew it was at least worth exploring.

Here’s how it went down. Spoiler alert: I got undereye filler, I love it, and I think it’s a game changer.

What is undereye filler?

First things first, I wanted to better understand what undereye filler is. I knew lip injections have the goal of making your lips fuller and give them shape—but I wasn’t exactly looking to make the area under my eyes bigger, just less hollow and tired looking. 

For my case, Dr. Scwharcz recommended using recently FDA-approved Restylane Eyelight, one of the newest products in the Restylane line of fillers made with hyaluronic acid. He explained, “Eyelight is designed to fill in undereye hollows for patients experiencing volume loss in the tear trough. Inadequate volume in the undereye area can make a person appear tired, and by adding volume, we can achieve a well-rested appearance.”

I knew I was in great hands once he explained that he was actually involved in part of the clinical trials for Restylane Eyelight, and had been using Restylane for periocular injections for over 20 years.

Why Restylane Eyelight?

Though I was a tad anxious to use a newer product, after learning all about it, I was confident in my choice. As a busy mom with not a lot of space in my schedule for “down time,” I loved that Dr. Schwarcz said Restylane Eyelight has a different consistency, saying “It is less hydrophilic, so there’s less of a chance of looking very swollen for a prolonged period of time.” He said it also “structurally has less chance of migration and most importantly, is one of the easiest fillers to dissolve.” 

Easy to dissolve was a good selling point too—you know, just in case.

Who is a good candidate for undereye filler? 

Undereye filler isn’t for everyone, and unless you’re a good fit, chances are you won’t get the results you’re hoping for. Dr. Schwarcz explains, “Some patients need a more surgical approach, especially those with very big bags, poor elasticity, and very thin skin. You need to consult a highly trained ocular plastic surgeon to really know if you are a candidate for this non-surgical approach versus surgery.”

But if you are deemed a candidate, in the hands of the right professional, he says, “You can expect brighter eyes and a more refreshed look overall.”

Results are long lasting though not permanent, and typically can last anywhere from 9-16 months depending on your unique metabolism of the hyaluronic acid. 

My experience with undereye filler

under eye filler before and after
Source: Erin Celletti/Dr. Robert Schwarcz

I had previously sent over photos of my undereye situation to make sure I was a candidate, but the visit first started with another in-person examination just to be certain. Thankfully for me, it was a go. 

In recapping our visit, Dr. Schwarcz said, “When we did the consultation at my office, I noticed you had a small volume deficit which made you a perfect candidate for Restylane Eyelight since this can be corrected with filler. While you didn’t need much, I was able to skillfully inject the filler to remedy it, resulting in a more rested, youthful appearance.”

More rested? Youthful? I was sold. (Speaking of sold, patients can expect to typically pay between $1,000-$2,000 for both eyes, per treatment.)

The process was super simple and, I swear, relatively painless. Though it should be noted I have a relatively high pain tolerance.

First, Dr. Schwarcz applied clear numbing cream to my cheeks. While he did this, my main motive was not to look at the tray of things that would shortly be in my face and instead, close my eyes and try to “relax.”

Once I was good and numb, Dr. Schwarcz reevaluated my undereye area, had me do a few facial movements, and pretty immediately got to work inserting a cannula that serves as a sort of precise funnel for the product. Each eye took probably two minutes. I was done in five minutes. Pain level of inserting the cannula was probably a 5 out of 10, and then it was nothing from there. It was really that simple.  

Results were instant, too. I noticed a difference right away, and even more so once the swelling went down 24 hours later. I was advised to ice the area, but had no restrictions afterwards whatsoever. True story: I even went to back-to-school night for my daughter two hours later! 

When I woke up the next morning I was a bit sore and had two small blemishes where the injections took place, but they had faded by midday. I like to think the results speak for themselves, and I’m fairly certain I’ll be doing this once a year from now on. 

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