Concerns with Sagging Upper Eyelid - 13

Sagging Upper Eyelid

The upper eyelid can begin to droop and sag over the lash line due to aging, genetics, or injury. When the skin starts to hang on the eyelid it can cause someone to look tired, angry, or even obstruct the field of vision. Several treatment options exist to restore the eyelid to a more taut and youthful position.

The Skinny

Content Reviewed by AEDIT Medical Advisory Board


The eyes are one of the main focal points of the face, and therefore, any concerns or issues that arise with your eyes can cause your self-confidence levels to decline. Sagging of the upper eyelids can cause you to look tired, and can be one of the first things to remind you that you are no longer in your 20s. The aging process can cause you to begin to see new fine lines and wrinkles forming around your eyes, can cause hooded eyelids to become more prominent, and can cause sagging where there was once a tautness. If your eyes tell that much about you, taking care of them should be one of your top self-care priorities. This article will help you do just that by showing you different ways of addressing your eyelid concerns.

The Specifics

Reasons and Causes

Experiencing problems with the skin of your eyelids will occur more rapidly as part of the natural aging process, but there might still be some question as to what causes those problems in the first place. There could be more than just one reason for eyelid heaviness, however, some of the most common causes of eyelid decline are detailed below:

Genetically Hooded Eyelids You can probably already point to things you share with other members of your family. You and your mom might have the same eyes while you and your dad might share a square jaw, for instance. These common traits point to genetics – the qualities passed down through your family line, both visible and invisible. Your eyelids are likely to be one of those features you inherited. If you have hooded eyelids, chances are high that someone in your ancestral line did, too. This can be a good thing, but it can also cause problems as you age because, as the skin loses its tautness, your hooded eyelids will become more and more pronounced. Sometimes this isn’t much of an issue, but other times, too much protrusion can lead to concerns like obstructed vision. If that is the case, or even if your hooded eyelids just bother you, you will want to consider the options you have available for fixing them.

Heavy Eyelids and Age Your vision and eyelid appearance can also be affected by having heavy eyelids. As you age, you lose the plumpness associated with youth that comes from a steady production of collagen and elastin. Collagen is the connective tissue that holds your skin in place and elastin is what allows it to bounce back. The less of those structures your body produces, the more you will notice a decrease in the firmness of your skin and an increase in the way it droops and sags. Sometimes this drooping and sagging even causes excess skin to build up around your eyes. Injuries, nerve damage or diseases can trigger this to occur, but more often than not, droopy eyelids (medically diagnosed as ptosis) are simply the result of age.

Sagging Eyelids and Botox® Sometimes sagging eyelids occur as the result of a Botox® treatment, but fortunately, Botox® is a temporary treatment, and any issues with sagging eyelids should be resolved in a relatively short amount of time. Neurotoxin injections are made of botulinum toxin type A, an ingredient meant to paralyze the area of the injections. This paralysis prevents new wrinkles from forming and plumps the appearance of those you already have. Sometimes, though, the toxin travels outside of the treatment area and causes paralysis in areas it wasn’t meant to reach, such as the muscles of the upper eyelid. This is when the drooping will occur. The best way to prevent this from happening is to use an experienced, highly trained, and trusted doctor to perform your Botox® injections. Otherwise, you may end up experiencing unwanted drooping.

Treatments to Fix Heavy Eyelids

The most permanent option available for correcting eyelid issues would be to undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery. This is an invasive option, of course, but the long-lasting results might be worth the time it takes to recover from surgery.

Blepharoplasty Blepharoplasty is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgeries in the United States. It focuses on the upper eyelid and creates an eyelid lift by removing excess fat pads and correcting the way the lid drapes over the rim of the eye. Excess skin around your eyes can lead to issues with your vision which is why the sculpting was done during an upper eyelid blepharoplasty can be so valuable to those with hooded or drooping eyelids. The restructuring of the eyelids also provides a more rejuvenated, youthful look.

Blepharoplasty + Browplasty for Heavy Eyelids Often an upper eyelid blepharoplasty is combined with a browplasty, or brow lift/forehead lift to enhance the results of blepharoplasty. A browplasty lifts the muscles and tissues underneath the forehead to lessen the effect of wrinkles and deep furrows that occur with aging, but sometimes a brow lift alone can fix unwanted eyelid drooping. Although a browplasty can correct drooping lids or enhance a blepharoplasty, the blepharoplasty and browplasty combination is particularly helpful in reducing the “angry” look that sometimes happens when eyebrows sag and eyelids droop.

Magnetic Eyelid Device One of the most interesting devices to recently be explored is the use of externally mounted eyelid magnets. These magnets are especially helpful for those experiencing paralytic ptosis which occurs when there has been some sort of nerve damage to the eyelid. The idea behind this newer method is that placing a static magnetic system above the eye would draw the lid up and allow for possible correction of ptosis, or drooping eyelids.

DIY Treatments

If the idea of undergoing cosmetic surgery feels like something you aren’t quite ready to do, you may want to try a do-it-yourself option.

Tape and Glue for Heavy Eyelids One of the newer trends on the market is applying a half-moon shaped strip of corrective tape to the eyelids for a subtle lift. These are made out of a medical-grade material and backed with adhesive glue. They are relatively simple to apply and allow regular makeup to wear on top of the strips to camouflage their visibility. You will need to make sure your eyelid area is fully cleansed and dry before applying to ensure that the glue sticks and the tape stays in place throughout the day. You will want to apply the strip in an area that gives a natural lift and should take great care to place the strip on the same spot on both eyes.

Facial Exercises An article published by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal stated that there has been an increasing interest in alternative approaches to age-related facial concerns. One of those alternative approaches mentioned was the concept of exercising the facial muscles to strengthen and lift the underlying muscles, changing your eye look and creating a more pleasing appearance. Whether or not this is a successful way of improving the elasticity and tautness of the skin is still under debate; however, some studies show a decrease in sagging and wrinkles in those who consistently perform facial exercises. Some exercises target the entire eye and those that focus specifically on the upper lid or the lower lid. While these are not proven effective, the theory that strengthening the underlying muscles will help alleviate the look of heavy eyelids may hold. If yours are becoming problematic, eyelid exercises could be worth a shot.

Celebrities with Hooded Eyelids

Sometimes it helps to know that you aren’t alone in what bothers you about yourself, especially when that “someone else” is a celebrity or someone universally considered to be beautiful. You may be surprised to find that some of Hollywood’s most renowned stars also deal with hooded eyes.

A-list names on the “hooded eyelid” list include Kate Hudson, Blake Lively, Meryl Streep, Megan Fox, Lucy Liu, Renee Zellweger, Taylor Swift, Rachel Bilson, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Lautner, and Robert Pattinson, just to name a few. Even members of Britain’s royal family have hooded eyelids. Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, the American-born bride of England’s Prince Harry can also be included on the list of hooded eyelid celebrities.

Makeup for Hooded Eyelids

People with hooded eyes often believe that eye makeup is pointless as there is little eyelid skin to worth with, however, celebrity photos prove that you can not only wear eye makeup, but you can wear it to enhance the eyes you have. Some of the top makeup tips and easy tricks for hooded eyes are as follows:

  • Eye primer – Using an eyeshadow primer from the lash line to the brow bone helps to keep makeup in place even when your eyeliner and the hooded part of your eye touch.

  • Tight lining – Use your eyeliner to fill in the upper lash line, staying as close to the base and waterline as possible, moving from the inner corner to the outer corner, staying as close to your natural eye shape as possible.

  • Blending – Professional makeup artists are experts at blending eyeshadow colors and creating a natural crease. To get a similar effect, blend shadows light to dark and avoid making the portion of your eyelid closest to your lash line too dark. This makes your eyes appear smaller – the exact opposite of your ultimate goal.

  • Cat eye – The winged eyeliner look can open up and extend the surface of the eye making it appear larger.

  • Waterproof formulas – Using waterproof formulas will help keep your makeup in place even after the primer begins to wear down. This is especially important for those whose hooded lids touch their lash line or for those whose makeup falls onto their dark circles. Wearing waterproof eyeliner and waterproof mascara will help prevent unwanted transfers.

  • Makeup tutorials – If you still need help learning how to work with your hooded eyelids, watch online tutorials. These will show you step-by-step application tips and may even recommend skin care items and beauty products for different techniques.

The Takeaway


Your eyes are one of the most important features of your face, and taking time to care for them is highly beneficial to your self-esteem. Treating heavy eyelids, hooded eyelids or aging eyelids creates a more youthful aesthetic and preserving that youth for as long as possible may be easier than you realize. Reach out to your doctor and allow them to guide you into taking one of the steps listed above to correct your eyelid concerns. You will be glad you did.

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Source List


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  1. Dailey RA, Wobig JL. Eyelid Anatomy PubMed; 1982-12-01
  2. Harry S Hwang The effect of "single" vs "double" eyelids on the perceived attractiveness of Chinese women; 2014-03-03
  3. Bhupendra C. Patel; Michael J. Lopez; Zachary P. Joos. Anatomy, Head and Neck, Eyelash; 2020-07-27


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