Aesthetically, as well as anatomically, the eyes dominate the upper part of the face. Studies have demonstrated that it is the eyes that are focused upon most when a face is looked at, and that women will focus most on the eyes during a conversation (men focus more on the lips during conversations).
There are a variety of eye shapes, and these are formed by a combination of the shape of the corner of the eye (epicanthal fold) and the internal shape of the fat pads that surround the eyeballs.
Some research has suggested that the highest point of the upper eyelid is 1/3 from the inner corner of the eye but gradually moves to the middle of the eye with age. This subtly changes the shape of the eyes with aging.
Eyebrows and eyelashes also influence this appearance, with male eyebrows ideally being only slightly arched but female eyebrows gull-wing shaped.
Over time the there are multiple changes around the eyes, affecting the muscle and fat, as well as the skin. There are surprisingly few muscles in the upper part of the face. The forehead frontalis muscles lift the eyebrows and a combination of the orbicularis oculi, depressor supercilii, corrugator supercilli and procerus muscles pull the eyebrows down and towards each other. These muscles work against each other to provide a balance and a natural position for the eyebrows.This balance is important to maintain with botox treatments.
Above the eyes under the tail of the eyebrows the skin’s natural fat is partly lost, and this combines with less elastic skin causing drooping, loose skin over the upper eyelids. As this is a sign of the years passing, people may unconsciously use their forehead frontalis muscles to hold the brows up. This can be a very successful disguise, although it does lead to an increase in horizontal forehead lines. Beside the eyes crow’s feet lines form through smiling and squinting. Smoking and sunbathing can play a part here too as they lead to additional squinting. The muscle of the lower eyelid is stronger than the muscle beside the eye and can pull the outer corner of the eye downward, another subtle change of aging. Weak lower eyelids can lead to the white of the eye (sclera) being seen under the pupil and over time this can increase with looser eyelid skin also being culpable. Under the eyes bags appear which are partially due to the fat under the eye herniating and pushing out behind the weakened muscle orbicularis oculi which circles the eyes. Grooves can appear with loss of fat under the eyes and over the cheekbones, making the eyes look more hollow and tired. Between the eyes vertical lines form from the action of the muscles over many years, and these lines can become etched into the skin (the ‘angry 11’s).
Fortunately, there are many treatments that can be carried out around the eyes to help hold back the ravages of time. For the upper third of the face botox is commonly used. The ‘angry 11s’ scowl lines between the eyes are a very frequently requested correction with botox, although if they are still present when the muscles are at rest some filler may be needed to complete the treatment. Crow’s feet treatment is another of the most popular botox treatments. Eyebrow lifts have become popular, normally using botox but filler can be placed here as well to help recreate a youthful look or to improve on one which is already there. The bridge of the nose can show horizontal wrinkles, often called ‘bunny lines’ and botox is used here again. An indented appearance of the bridge of the nose or lower forehead can be corrected with very carefully placed filler. Under the eyes filler is used to correct a deep-set, hollow appearance. Botox can be used under the eyes as well, to relax the lower eyelid for a more awake or refreshed appearance. All around the eyes chemical peels can be used to refresh the surface of the skin and fine lines can also be reduced this way.