Thanks to the effects of sun damage, pollution, mindless rubbing (guilty), heavy-handed makeup removal (also guilty) and ageing, the skin around your eyes is the first area to show signs of decline. We’re talking wrinkles, sagging and all the good stuff that makes you look even more tired than you actually are. Cool!
While the promise of youthful, taut, post-eyelid lift skin might sound like the best option going, if you’re anything like us, you'll most likely be put off by the cost, risks and downtime involved. Because guys, surgery is a big deal, and there’s no going back once the procedure has been performed.
But there are other options out there. Unlike eyelid lift surgery (which is also known as a blepharoplasty), plasma eyelid lift is the latest non-surgical procedure that helps tighten the eyelid skin, minimising the effects of eye ageing. The best part? It involves no incisions and requires minimal downtime.
What is a plasma eyelid lift?
A plasma eyelid lift is a procedure used to tighten, lift and rejuvenate the skin on the upper eyelid, all without surgery. And just FYI – while it sounds like we’re talking about plasma found in the blood, we’re actually talking about plasma as a high-energy current. “The fourth state of matter, plasma is an ionised gas able to conduct a large and sustained electrical current. The sun, fire and lightning bolts are examples of plasma,” explains Natalie Abouchar, registered nurse and founder of Privée Clinic.
Without touching the skin, a hand-held device (which looks like a small pen) is moved over the surface of the eyelid to tighten the skin and encourage collagen production. “The pen works by ionising gases in the air to create a small electrical arc, similar to a lightning bolt, that can be used to rejuvenate problem areas without damaging the surrounding areas,” says Abouchar. “The pen projects an ionised, low frequency plasma arc onto the skin surface, vaporising the skin at the point of contact and resulting in an instant contraction and tightening of skin fibres.”
Feeling a little bit lost? To break it down, the device basically heats the dermis in the target area (your eyelids), which then sheds post treatment, tightening the skin and allowing fresher skin to form.
What benefits does it offer?
The treatment is fairly versatile and can be used on all different areas of the face (such as frown lines, nasolabial folds and crow’s feet), and can treat a wide range of skin conditions, including laxity and loss of texture. According to Abouchar, when used on the eye region the plasma eyelid lift can effectively reduce the amount of lax skin on hooded upper eyelids. “Overall, it gives the eyes a more youthful, open and awake appearance.”
Who is a good candidate for the procedure?
According to Abouchar the procedure is suitable for people who are in the early stages of eye drooping with skin types one to three (people with pale white skin, fair skin and darker white skin). “If the skin above the eyes is very heavy, a surgical eyelid lift may be a more appropriate treatment.” During your consultation, your doctor or nurse will analyse your skin and let you know if you are a suitable candidate for this treatment.
What does the procedure involve?
“Topical anaesthetic cream is applied prior to the ACCOR Plasma Pen Non-Surgical Eyelid Lift. This is left on for approximately 30 minutes. The treatment is then performed by placing dots in a particular pattern on the eyelid and lateral temple region. After it is completed, a powder and setting spray is applied to cover the dots and help heal the tissue.”
Is there any downtime?
“Most people can expect around five days of downtime in which makeup cannot be worn. Redness and swelling will occur immediately post-treatment, with swelling peaking over the two days following treatment,” says Abouchar. “It’s important not to ice the area as the swelling is an important part of the process. There will also be noticeable dot marks in the treatment area. These tiny, pinprick dots are portions of ablated tissue, formed into scabs. These last for around four to seven days – and you’ll need to avoid picking them or getting them wet to prevent scarring. Once the scabs have fallen off, you can resume normal activities and wear makeup to cover any redness that may remain.”
How long do the results last?
Abouchar says two treatments are generally required, however, whether or not more treatments are needed will depend on the degree of laxity. “The full effect of the initial treatment is visible after 12 weeks. At this point, a second tightening and lifting treatment may be performed, if required.”
What other non-surgical options are available for eye lifts?
If the plasma eyelid lift treatment doesn’t sound like your jam, don’t worry – there’s still a bunch of other non-surgical alternatives to going under the knife. “Non-surgical eye rejuvenation can be achieved with a mix of anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers. Injecting a neurotoxin superficially into the orbicularis oculi muscle (just under the eyebrow and lateral to the eye) and into the glabella (the frown lines) will relax the muscles responsible for a drooping eye area,” explains Abouchar. “This results in a lifting of the eyebrows and a fresher, more youthful appearance. Dermal fillers can also be injected into the temple and deep under the muscle on the brow to lift the eyebrows and create a more open-eyed look.”
Radio frequency can also be used to lift and tighten loose skin around the eyes. “Here, a combination of skin needling and radio frequency energy triggers the body’s natural healing response, thus stimulating collagen and elastin production. The radio frequency causes a thermal reaction in the tissue, resulting in tighter skin, reduced fine lines and a brighter, more radiant eye contour,” says Abouchar.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is another non-surgical option that can be used to tighten sagging skin on the face (you can read more about what’s involved in a PRP treatment here). “A 100 per cent natural option, vampire injections (using your own blood) can also be used to thicken and strengthen sagging, crepey skin in the eye contour and boost collagen for a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.”
For more non-surgical treatment options, check out everything you need to know about thread lifts.
Have you had a plasma eyelid lift before? Tell us in the comments section below.
Main image credit: Getty
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.