There are two types of collagen eye filler: topical treatments and cosmetic injections. Both have the same intention. Collagen fillers are used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and restore a more youthful look. Before purchasing a collagen filler product or undergoing dermal filler treatment, consider the following.
Understand the Role of Collagen
To gain insight on how collagen fillers are supposed to work, it's important to understand the role of collagen in the skin. Collagen is a vital part of the skin structure that is responsible for its thickness, strength, suppleness and firmness. It is a fibrous protein created naturally in and by the body, and accounts for more than 70 percent of the skin's structure. As people age, collagen production declines, making the skin thinner, weaker and therefore more susceptible to wrinkles and discoloration.
Be Cautious About Over-the-Counter Product Claims
It seems that the simple solution would be to add collagen to the skin to restore its youthful appearance. However, achieving this by adding a collagen ingredient to a topical product, as with a "filler," is not so simple. The effects a topical collagen filler product can have on fine lines and crow's feet around the eyes are limited by the fact that collagen is such a highly complex natural protein that is not so easily replicated and delivered back into the skin. According to SmartSkinCare.com (among other sources), simply adding a collagen or collagen-like substance to a topical skin care product does not mean that collagen will be "reborn" in the skin and deliver a youthful appearance; its molecular makeup is too complicated for the process to be so simple. (Also, there are more than 20 types of collagen in the body.)
This does not mean that all topical skin care products with collagen will have no effect or benefits; it does, however, provide you with crucial information that should urge you to look more closely at the ingredients, marketing claims, and reviews of over-the-counter collagen eye fillers. An OTC product with a "collagen" label does not guarantee youth in a bottle. If it did, there would be no market for injectable collagen fillers, or many other cosmetic treatments.
Evaluate the Skin Condition Around Your Eyes
Identify exactly what your concerns are with the appearance of the skin around your eyes. Everyone exhibits the signs of aging differently, especially in the eye area. Beyond fine lines, crow's feet and wrinkles, identify other concerns (if there are any), such as puffiness, sagging skin under the eye or dark circles. If these factors contribute just as heavily or more heavily to your "aging eyes," then treatments other than collagen may be helpful in restoring a younger-looking appearance.
Consult a Dermatologist
Allow a dermatologist to evaluate the skin around your eyes. A dermatologist is a reliable source of information on treatment options, and can also cite any contraindications for treatment. Eye wrinkles are a common cosmetic concern, and a dermatologist can provide a wealth of information and suggestions.
Understand the Status of Collagen Injections
Facial fillers are an FDA-approved cosmetic treatment that involves injecting a gel-like natural substance into the skin to "plump" it, thereby reducing (and preventing) wrinkles. (Facial fillers are not the same as Botox, which involves the injection of a toxic substance to paralyze muscles.) But collagen fillers aren't as popular as they once were. Rather than collagen, hyaluronic acid, another natural skin substance, is now a more widely used filler substance than bovine collagen (derived from cows). Fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm are hyaluronic acid fillers. Forbes.com reports that hyaluronic acid fillers are a better option, because the body already naturally produces the chemical, and therefore it hardly ever causes an allergic reaction, and hyaluronic acid gives a smoother, more natural appearance than collagen.
Consider Safety and Possible Complications
A November 2008 New York Times article offers in-depth coverage of the use of fillers for restoring a youthful appearance, and reports that although the procedure has a record of low complications and is regarded as safe, the FDA has not officially approved the use of fillers for the eye area. Still, a large number of plastic surgeons offer this treatment. As of 2009, the FDA is still examining the use of fillers for the eye area. Dr. Richard D. Lisman, an ophthalmic surgeon in Manhattan, says that injections around the eyes entail a low risk of vision loss.
Speak with your dermatologist about the risk of collagen fillers, and inquire about other options, such as laser treatment, to rid the visible signs of aging around the eye area.