Put an End to Hollow Eyes

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We talk a lot about reducing under-eye puffiness, but we know that some of you also suffer from another issue: Eyes that look sunken and hollow. This problem is especially noticeable on more slender faces. But what causes hollow eyes? And how can you improve the issue? We asked Lake Mary, FL, facial plastic surgeon Edward J. Gross, MD, for his input. 

“Hollow eyes are caused by the loss of orbital fat in the lower eyelids,” Dr. Gross explains. “This is caused by hereditary factors, aging and volume loss.” He says there is help for the hollow; whether your choose to take a surgical or nonsurgical route.

See Also: Not sure if you have hollow eyes or bags? Here’s what you need to know.

Filler Fix: Hyaluronic acid is effective in filling deficient areas under the eyes when it is injected deep into the tissue. “The best option is a hyaluronic acid filler, such as Restylane or Juvéderm Voluma, in combination with surface treatments to the skin,” says Dr. Gross. 

Permanent Fix: A lower eyelift or blepharoplasty surgery can remove any loose skin under the eyes that makes hollowing look worse, and the fat can be repositioned or added to smooth out sunken skin. “Lower blepharoplasty provides conservative repositioning or removal of the herniated fat,” he says. “Oftentimes we offer lower blepharoplasty along with hyaluronic acid fillers, which are always recommended after surgery for optimal results.” 

Product Fix: Applying cucumber slices and products with vitamin C can reduce the dark circles that sometimes accompany eye hollowing. Retinol is a good ingredient to help fragile skin become stronger, and humectants will create a bit of a plumping effect under the eyes. If you find that you have dark circles too, a prescription of hydroquinone can help to lighten up under-eye shadows. "Hydroquinone products are great for helping eliminate dark circles,” adds Dr. Gross. 

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43 comments | Post a comment
I too had restalyne in very small amounts it took her about 8-9 little injections applied to under eye area, it didn't hurt I was a little swollen for a few days hardly any brusing ...it did fill in the hollowness under the eye....would definetly go back for other treatments.
Posted April 09, 2015 3:11 PM EDT
I've had under eye hollows for the 15 years. As I got older, they got worse. Finally at age 46, I had Restylane injected. There was no pain during or after the procedure. I took Arnica for a week afterward to reduce bruising. My right eye had little bruising which disappeared within 2 days. The left eye had a bit more bruising, but it was easily covered with concealer. It was completely gone in a week. The results lasted about 18 months or so. The results were fantastic! So worth it! Finally I looked well-rested! I'm planning to go back in again for another treatment. I'll take the Arnica for a week ahead of my appointment this time to further reduce bruising. Adding some ice treatment post-injection should help too. My best advice is to go to an experienced plastic surgeon who specializes in facial treatments.
Posted December 31, 2014 5:08 PM EST
I'm late to this thread but wanted to share some information with you which will hopefully help. I was until recently suffering from very obvious under eye hollowing, it made me look much older than my 30 years. I had tried everything and was seriously contemplating getting fillers under my eye but I was wary because of the possible side effects. My brother got me a collagen boosting LED lamp for my face as a gift, I have been using it for less than a month and I can say that my skin is already looking 50 times better. It looks more plump under the eye as well as around the cheekbone area. I have done some research online and and light therapy has been used by for anti-aging as well as acne treatments by beauticians and dermatologists for some time. These are NOT UV lamps though, therefore they will not damage your skin and there have been no side effects. The light my brother got me is called Talika Light Duo + however there are a lot of other lamps for sale online. You can also check out beauticians in your are that offer LED light therapy, however it is a bit more expensive so I found that investing in a lamp is more cost effective. I use it every night, you just hold it up about 3cm from your face on the areas you want to target. I have also purchased some collagen and peptide drinks to use along with the lamp for some extra benefits and will also start face yoga which will hopefully firm up my muscles even further. So any of you that are seriously contemplating fillers or other more invasive treatments, you may want to try the LED light therapy first. I can't make any promises how it will work for you, I speak from my experience only, however in my case, the improvement in my eye area and overall skin texture has been quite dramatic. Hope this helps - good luck :)
Posted September 09, 2014 3:46 AM EDT
My eyes are very hollow and I have really bad under eye darkness as a result. I get enough sleep and water, all of that. It is really annoying because you can't cover it with makeup and sometimes the light makes it look worse
Posted July 23, 2014 5:23 PM EDT
FYI: everyone that has dark circles, please get tested for dairy allergys as its very common to have dark circles w/ milk/ dairy allergies. With that being said, 2 almost 3 yrs. ago I had filler injected underneath my eyes because I had an ulcer & I lost 29 lbs. I still have bruises underneath my eyes. Yes, my plastic surgeon is world renowned. I would not do it again. has anyone else had this problem?
Posted June 03, 2014 9:10 PM EDT
I am a 25 years old female and I cannot begin to explain the aging effect im going through. I was military for 7 years and I believe alot of it was my skin was not properly taken care of and exposed to harsh conditions and of course alot of stress. I have hallowed eyes, laugh lines, and ect. Because I am a runner, my face has almost no fat and gaunt looking. I recently went to a plastic surgeon and had fillers (HA) put in my laugh lines. It made me look younger and feel so much better! I am now considering a low amount of CC under my eyes. I did bruise and there was swelling with my first treatment but everything was cleared up after a few days and to me is worth it. The trick is to not over due it. You can always add more later and I used lab produced HA so there would almost a 0% chance of allergice reaction. GOOD LUCK :)
Posted May 22, 2014 12:13 PM EDT
Lisa M.
I had restylane for tear troughs done initially at 44. It was a little painful, but well worth it. For me it lasted a little over a year. I went back a bit later, but due to cost got 1/2 the amount of filler as the first time and was very unhappy. I am set up for another visit this month, ( I am now 51) and going to get the full cc amount. I felt so good about myself and absolutely loved the results. I am a youthful looking 51 yr old, and yes, it's expensive, but to regain that confidence, priceless~ I would agree a Thursday afternoon appt, take Friday offf ice a ton and you should be fine (minimal bruising at best) by Monday with some concealer. For the record, I bruise very easily and am allergic to everything, had no issues!
Posted May 04, 2014 5:23 PM EDT
I have this an NO amount of sleep or concealer will help. It's caused by a shadow. For years I thought I had "dark circles" everyone talks about and I tried everything under the sun and I finally realized that if I light it up or pull the skin, it's not dark. It's sunken and hollow, that's why it's there. I think the only way I'm ever going to fix it is to get something injected to fill it.
Posted March 18, 2014 4:58 PM EDT
Melissa Aslin
OMG! I would blog all day for that treatment! My 3 very active boys and lack of sleep are killing me in that area.
Posted December 12, 2013 6:32 PM EST
Don Smiley Ray Virus (X_x)
I noticed when I was younger that some people I knew had really bad sunken eyes when they removed their glasses also dark circles. In my opinion I believe this to be from short sighted vision. When a child is born they don't exactly see as you might think.They have spent their lives with their eyes closed and when they are brought into the light they don't automatically see as you and I do. Gradually a child learns to differentiate the complete scene to the objects contained within. Parents or guardians would not realize the child has vision problems until they were schooled a little. I don't think there is any way to stop short sightedness but the dark circles are more or less caused by constant strain on the eyes and I think the sunken eyes are due to the distance between the lens and said problematic eyes. I don't really know how children or people respond to contact lenses but I would suggest them or to just not where your glasses as often. I also have these crummy little dots above my eyes on my lids they are from excessive cholesterol consumption so if you are thinking of having them removed with a laser at least attempt not to consume as much cholesterol again because it will be just money in someone else's pockets.
Posted November 25, 2013 4:55 AM EST
I'm 50 and people think I'm in my 30s because I eat organic veggies and fruit, get enough sleep, de-stress with yoga or other mental habits, used to eat lean meats but now, only wild salmon and raw plant-based protein powders. However, recently, I noticed some hallowing from the eyes down to my cheeks due to a diet pill I as trying (want to lose 15 lbs). I noticed that it made me lose sleep, lose body water, and also made me agitated. Just increasing my water intake to 10-12 glasses of clean water (I drink Eternal water) made a huge difference in the hollowing. I also started taking hylauronic acid liquid and also Biosil, a natural collagen inducing supplement which also works great on the hair and nails. Sleep is still a problem with the pills and so my eyes/cheeks are not 100% back to normal but I will be on it only 3 months. So please try drinking lots of water, don't wash your face all the time (I rarely wash but do exfoliate with Dr. Gross Alpha Beta peel 1-3 x a week), get plenty of sleep-8 hours, learn to meditate, smile a lot or check out facial workouts, eat whole organic foods (being sick is not worth it), take skin, hair, nail supplements (whole food supplements are best), don't take any long-term prescriptions, take collagen and hylauronic acid supplements, drink organic green juices, and exercise with lots of sweat. Eating enough protein for your body is also something I noticed is important for youthful skin. Hope this helps. Organic raw food is truly thy medicine and a youthful maintainer.
Posted October 05, 2013 7:34 AM EDT
Garrett, I am a 26 year old female who had the same problem. I had no idea that hollow eyes existed and thought I would need surgery but had a filler done today. I would suggest you look into it to see if it can help you. Good luck!
Posted October 02, 2013 9:39 PM EDT
I'm a 32 white male with blue eyes, an I have terrible lines/hollows under my eyes. It's affecting my job an self confidence. People all ways ask if I'm tired, run there eyes, or squint. I had a blue light I used as a night light, could this of been a factor, I live in California with no health insurance an minimal moneys.
Posted September 27, 2013 2:25 AM EDT
Michelle Darrow,RN, MSN, FNP
At our clinic we have had a lot of success using Platelet rich plasma therapy. PRP, which is derived from your blood, is used to stimulate collagen and uni-potent stem cells and there's actual growth of new tissue. Which is perfect for under eye hollows. You can combine with filler or use alone---the big benefit is virtually no complications because PRP is from your own blood!
Posted August 11, 2013 3:33 PM EDT
For the young ladies on here get a good concealer! I had tear trough (hallows) and dark circles which are genetic. I have high cheek bones and that bone causes the look of hallows. Use a peach tint concealer to cover up the darkness, using a light color will only make it ashy. I've had mine filled before which was great but it cost 600 and last about 4 months when I was told it should last a year. So that varies on how long it last..but at age 14 and 16 theres no reason to spend the money on it... just a thought!
Posted August 04, 2013 10:24 PM EDT
Betty Boop
Almost overnight (it seems) I developed very sunken hollow eyes. I noticed it a few days after juvederm was injected to the area around my eye socket. It also appears to be lighter where I believe the juvederm is. Will this go away eventually or am I stuck with yet another problem created by a plastic surgeon's office.
Posted July 31, 2013 11:49 AM EDT
mary Moore
I have heard that on occasion the filler (undereye) can block the blood supply to the optic nerve causing blindness, I was ready to try the undereye filler until I heard this. Any comments on this.
Posted July 19, 2013 1:07 PM EDT
Tite E.
Why notbady is talking about boletero. I 'm having boletero under my eyes, recomended by my dermatologist which is a experinjector. I need another provider's opinion about what I'm having done to get rid of dark circle and hollows
Posted July 18, 2013 5:40 PM EDT
I have been doing research on under eye puffiness and came across your page. While you led me to believe one of your topic of discussions would be under eye puffiness; you did not discuss it here. Can you please give information how to decrease or get rid of (if possible) under eye puffiness?
Posted July 13, 2013 6:51 PM EDT
The best way to fight hollow eyes are to eat more fruits such as lemon,lime,orange,pineaple on daily basis and drink plenty of water.Avoid junk food,especially fry foods ,dairy,soy .and most importantly dont wash your face/exfoliate on everyday basis.Exfoliate your face once every two weeks for about only ten minutes.IF this does not help you it is wise to see one of those dermatalogists doctors who wrote comment above.Good luck.
Posted July 02, 2013 9:33 PM EDT
Please elaborate of the risks that are involved , research shows clients that had this treatment done had permanent Bruising and lumps. .
Posted May 17, 2013 4:34 PM EDT
hey im 19 and i have really bad hollow eyes and dark circles it looks like i have permanent black eyes and i dont have a clue how to get rid of them nothing is working
Posted May 15, 2013 6:22 PM EDT
im 14 and have dark circles and have hollow eyes
Posted April 21, 2013 3:37 AM EDT
what is the longest anyones fillers lasted?? Sculpta - mine usually lasts 8 months , have had it 3 times juvederm ? rediesse ? restylane ?
Posted February 26, 2013 6:36 PM EST
Would trauma following injury to eye socket lead to hallowing? I have noticed this under left eye three years post injury with a small patch of chronic swelling under the hallowing.
Posted February 24, 2013 8:20 AM EST
Hi am having upper sunken eyes tha makes me look much oldermy problem is l live in west Africa Ghana are tgerecompetent doctors here for that jind of injections pls
Posted January 31, 2013 4:14 PM EST
Amy - Web Content Manager
Hi CJA, Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeons, Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists and Oculoplastic Surgeons would be qualified to perform injections around the eye region. For more information or to find a Doctor in your area, visit the treatment section of our website. Hope this helps!
Posted January 03, 2013 9:48 AM EST
I'm from Raleigh, NC. Can any one tell me what type of Dr. does Filler fixes for under eyes .?
Posted January 01, 2013 10:39 AM EST
I am only 16 and have eye hollows + terrible dark circles.....
Posted December 26, 2012 12:52 PM EST
I am only 29 and my eyes are getting more sunken, it get me more worried I would wish to have the eye injection but I am in Ghana what do I do please?
Posted December 14, 2012 7:05 AM EST
Liz P.
Has anyone tried DermaSilk Collagen Boost Instant Face Plumper? The product claims: - Erases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. - Helps restore the look of volume to 'eye area hollows' and sunken cheeks.
Posted November 28, 2012 2:05 PM EST
what was the cost?
Posted November 25, 2012 5:16 PM EST
Ive had bags under my eyes that have bothered me since age 13. As mentioned here, everyone thought I looked tired. At age 49, I did something about it and had restylane injected below the bags and above the cheeks. I now look well rested. You do bruise a bit. I did it on a Thursday after work, iced as much as possible over the weekend, used arnica Montana tropically and orally for a few days and was able to go to work on monday with minimal concealer. Within one week, bruises were pretty much gone and I was loving my new look. It lasted for a year. I just went back and had it done a 2nd time. As for pain, it didn't hurt that much, probably because fillers now contain some type of pain reducer or numbing agent and also because the injections are deeper where there are fewer nerves (I think).
Posted May 03, 2012 7:39 PM EDT

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Dr. George Sanders
Plastic Surgeon - Encino, CA
Virtually everyone will find that they lose fat over the back of their hands as they grow older. As a result, the veins and tendons become much more noticeable, giving an aged look. By injecting the area with Radiesse, there is an excellent filling in of the hollows, giving a significantly rejuvenated look. The injection is very well tolerated and the results last for one to two years in my practice. Very little bruising and swelling is encountered since only a single point is injected and the Radiesse is massaged so that it covers the entire back of the hand. Fat injection is another alternative filling technique, but this involves a minor surgical procedure with fat being taken from a donor site and then being injected into the back of the hands. I find that there is more bruising than with the Radiesse injection and that the fat may not last any longer than the Radiesse. This is because fat does not last as long in areas where there is a lot of motion such as the hand.
Posted April 20, 2012 8:06 AM EDT
Devra Wathen
I can't believe it your article came just in the nick of time. Just the other night I was pushing on my cheek to see what my under eye area would look like with some fullness.That what it looked liked 15+ years ago-haha. I have had good success with fillers around my mouth but for some reason the under eye thing makes me nervous. I think I am more willing to try filler before surgery I just don't want to look weird. It seems like they would have to fill alot-HMMM Anyone out there care to comment on having filler put in under your eye? Does it hurt? How often do you have to have it done? If you choose to have surgery do they put a permanent filler in? Or do they use your own body fat? I know a lot of questions jus really curious. Aloha Devra
Posted April 15, 2012 6:20 PM EDT
I had filler placed under my eyes for the first time. It really made a big difference. I will be 40 this year but probably could've done this 20 years ago. Everyone always asked if I was tired. My provider said it would last 6months or more. I went to Dr. Michael Epstein's office in Northbrook IL.
Posted April 15, 2012 5:57 PM EDT
Is there anything to do about bony, veiny hands that does not involve surgery.
Posted April 14, 2012 5:38 PM EDT
Dr. Babak Azizzadeh
Smoothing the under eye area (tear trough) with injectable fillers can make a noticeable improvement without the need for surgery. However, this area is very delicate and it is important that you have an expert injector treat your under eye hollows. To improve the appearance of sunken and hollow eyes, I use multi-level injection technique with Restylane to create a superior outcome and use a blunt-tip cannula, instead of a needle, to reduce the risk of bruising. Although I love Juvederm for lips and other areas of the face, Restylane tends to work better in the lower lids. I prefer using the blunt-tip cannula for injections in the tear trough because it allows for greater precision so the results are more natural looking. Additionally, the blunt-tip cannula does not cause as much trauma to this delicate area, decreasing post-treatment recovery time.
Posted April 13, 2012 3:05 PM EDT

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Dr. Cynthia Boxrud
Oculoplastic Surgeon - Santa Monica, CA
The hollows we see around the eyes are often due to the normal aging process and patients with narrow faces are more prone because of the underlying bony structure. Restylane and Juvederm are commonly used and are placed deep under the orbicularis oculi. Fat injections can also be used reliably and are predictable in my experience if the goal is to under correct. The advantage of using fat is the injection of stem cells that are normally found in adipose tissue and may have added elasticity effects. However, this is a surgical procedure. Patients need to know there is an increased risk of black and blue with injections in these areas and must come prepared. We have all of our patients stop drinking red wine and stop medications that may cause bleeding. We also treat pre and post injections with ice.
Posted April 13, 2012 2:28 PM EDT

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Dr. Jasmine Mohadjer
Oculoplastic Surgeon - Largo, FL
Hyaluronic acids like Juvederm and Restylane are excellent options for the lower eyelid, especially in very thin patients. Sometimes fat injections can be lumpy/bumpy in these areas in thin women, and can be unpredictable, as not all of the fat survives. The hyaluronic acids must be placed very conservatively and very deep to avoid buldges and the Tyndall effect (a bluish tint). I tell my patients to expect 2-3 sessions before we have the perfect result, as I am cautious not to overfill. These products have been described to last even up to 2 years in this area and can even improve a lot of the darkness in the area. And finally, a little goes a long way. It really doesn't take much product to make a dramatic effect. Combined with botox and some physician-grade eye products, the eyelid area can be rejuvenated with minimally invasive techniques!
Posted April 13, 2012 11:32 AM EDT
Melody R.
My eye area is tricky. I use a lot of different creams and serums from Sephora. If you get injections done, do you have to get them routinely? If so, how often?
Posted April 13, 2012 9:17 AM EDT
Louise S.
I'm the same way, but I'd be interested in doing some type of eye lift but I'd want to know if there was some type of maintenance and if I continue to use my favorite eye products.
Posted April 13, 2012 7:54 AM EDT

The filler fix worked wonders for me! Truth be told, I didn't even realize my eyes had hollowed out until my provider suggested it....until she filled out the hollowness with Juvederm...now my eyes look like they did 10 years earlier!
Posted April 12, 2012 8:37 PM EDT

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