Having hooded eyes (or drooping eyelids, whatever you want to call it) is a huge concern for many people. Especially with age since the eyelids tend to become saggier as you get older.
In this blog post, I’ll specifically address natural hooded eyes treatments and non-surgical ways to improve saggy eyelids.
I have personally had hooded eyes for as long as I can remember. And it is actually not until recent years I have discovered how to fix that and be able to see my eyelids properly.
If I can improve my eyelids naturally, I am sure you can too. And I will share exactly what I’ve done in this post.
Now, before I get started I just want to point out that the advice I give in this post is mostly for those of you who experience light to moderate issues with your upper eyelids. In case of more severe hooded eyes and saggy eyelids, you may need medical help. Especially if this condition is starting to impair your vision.
With that said. This is what my post is about:
- Causes of hooded eyes and saggy eyelids
- How to fix droopy eyelids without surgery
- The treatments that won’t help with saggy eyelids
*Please note, this post contains affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission if you purchase through any of those links. It doesn’t cost you any extra and I only recommend products I truly love and use myself. You can read my full disclosure here.
Causes of hooded eyes and saggy eyelids
First of all, your eyelids are made up of very thin and delicate skin. And they are extra vulnerable to become slack and droopy.
But secondly, what is even more important when it comes to drooping eyelids, is how well the eye muscles work.
The upper eyelid is held in place by being connected to a certain muscle. This muscle, with the help of a second supporting muscle, is also what makes the eyelid being able to move up and down.
In addition to that, there is a third muscle, right under your eyebrow, that helps raise your eyelid.
If any (or all) of these muscles become weak or damaged, your upper eyelid can start to droop. And in some severe cases, this can lead to impaired vision.
You may also have heard other terms describing this condition. Like ptosis and blepharoptosis.
Problems with your upper eyelids are not an uncommon part of the aging process. But there might also be other reasons for heavy eyelids. And sometimes a combination of several ones.
Here are the most common causes of saggy eyelids and hooded eyes:
In most cases, saggy eyelids are age-related and caused by the eye muscles getting weakened. As the muscles get weaker, the eyelid will start to drop.
On top of that, the production of collagen and elastin decreases as you age. Which in turn makes the skin less firm. And since the skin around the eyes is the thinnest you have, it’s super vulnerable. And will usually show signs of aging faster than other areas of your face.
Quite often, hooded eyes can also be due to a genetic condition that makes your eye muscles less developed. And this can appear already in childhood. In some cases already at birth.
If you are experiencing hooded eyelids at a younger age, you probably have someone in your family that does too. And as you age this can become more prominent.
This is definitely the case for me. Since I have had hooded eyelids for as long I can remember. It wasn’t until I started with microcurrent that I really started to see an eyelid lift. Microcurrent has made me see my eyelids and get a more awakened eye, but I’ll get back to that soon.
Lack of sleep
Hanging eyelids is a common side effect of not getting enough sleep. One reason is that a lack of sleep can decrease the function of the eyelid muscles. Which in turn can increase any droopiness of your upper eyelids.
In addition to that, sleep deficiency causes a bunch of negative effects on your skin. And your eyes are usually what is affected most since the skin around the eyes is so thin, and vulnerable to become lax.
For example, your production of both collagen and elastin, as well as hyaluronic acid, rapidly decreases. Which in turn accelerates the formation of sagging eyelids. Both long term and short term.
Sagging eyelids can also result as a side effect of Botox treatments.
Either by a misplaced injection or by spreading from a nearby treated muscle.
I have an in-depth blog post about all the risks and side effects of doing Botox. So definitely check it out if you want to learn more about that kind of treatment.
Eye diseases or eye injuries
Most of the time, saggy eyelids are just cosmetic issues. But it can sometimes be a sign of disease.
Some causes of droopy eyelids can be diseases like glaucoma, autoimmune conditions, neurological disorders, and stroke. Always seek medical help if your upper eyelid starts to sag suddenly. Or if you are uncertain.
You should also seek medical attention if the droopy eyelids affect your vision.
If you have had any eye injuries, those can affect the upper eyelids too. Consult a doctor if you have experienced any trauma around your eyes.
In the case of more severe sagging eyelids (where your vision is affected) an eyelid surgery may be the only thing to do.
An upper eyelid blepharoplasty (sometimes combined with an eyebrow lift) is a very common plastic surgery technique that tightens and raises the eyelids. It’s most often an aesthetic procedure and isn’t covered by your health insurance unless a medical condition has caused the ptosis. Or if it’s severe enough to impair your vision.
With that said. Let’s move over to the options you have if you want to improve your saggy eyelids without using cosmetic surgery.
How to fix droopy eyelids without surgery
Here comes a list of the methods that can drastically improve or fix your upper hooded eyelids without cosmetic surgery. And how these options work.
The first ones are the methods I use myself. And that I personally find to give the best result both short term and long term.
While the last two are methods I am a bit suspicious of personally. I still want to mention them on this list (with my opinion about them) since they are often described as alternatives to eyelid surgery.
Take your sleep seriously
I want to place sleep at the top of this list for several reasons. First of all, it is completely free. Secondly, it is very very often neglected by a lot of people. And thirdly, it is indeed a very effective way to get healthier and younger skin around your eyes. And at the same time help preserve strong eye muscles.
As explained above, droopy eyelids are quite common when someone doesn’t get enough sleep. Since this can impair the function of the eyelid muscles. And on top of that, a lack of sleep depresses the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid.
With quality sleep, your muscles will perform at their best and help keep your eyelids in place. Your skin will also look and feel more tight and glowy, thanks to the improved production of skin proteins and hyaluronic acid. Plus increased circulation and lymphatic drainage.
All of this is in particular important for the very delicate skin around the eyes. So I cannot emphasize enough how important sleep is. By starting to prioritize your beauty Sleep, your eyes (and surrounding skin and muscles) will get a natural lift.
If you want to learn more about the skin benefits of sleep, my post about Beauty sleep will explain more. It will also guide you on how to improve your sleep if you are struggling with getting enough of it.
My second absolute favorite tip!
Microcurrent is a complete game-changer when it comes to skin health and skin tightening. And it is definitely my favorite treatment and the part of my skincare routine that gives the most bang for the buck.
I have a separate blog post about microcurrent, and I recommend you check it out if you haven’t heard of this technology. In short, it strengthens your muscles which plumps your face and tightens your skin. And it increases the production of both collagen and elastin.
There are several devices to choose from if you want to do at-home treatments. When it comes to treating hooded eyes and saggy eyelids specifically, I have two devices that I mostly recommend for this concern.
The first is the Nuface with the ELE attachment (the ELE attachment targets the small muscles around your eyes). And this was the first microcurrent device I started to use. And the reason I fell in love with microcurrent.
If you want to try it you find it here (that link also gives you a money-back guarantee for 60 days to try risk-free).
The other device I recommend is the ZIIP. This powerful little machine has become my absolute favorite, not just for treating the eye area, but also for treating my overall face and skin. It has so many different programs, all for different concerns, that I have no use of my other microcurrent devices anymore.
The ZIIP has one program that specifically treats the area under and over the eye. And in addition, many of the other programs can also be used to lift the eyebrow and tighten the skin in that area.
You can read more about the device here and you get a 20 % discount if you use my code ‘ziipwithann’.
If you live in Europe or Asia the same code at Currentbody will give you 20 percent off in UK and 10 percent off in the rest of Europe and Asia.
Also, I have another post where I compare ZIIP with Nuface. Check it out to see how they differ and which device might be best for you.
Doing facial exercises is another natural alternative that can potentially (if done correctly and overtime) strengthen your eye muscles. And in turn, lift your skin and eyelids.
I personally prefer microcurrent treatments over facial exercises. Since that makes me more confident in targeting the right muscles efficiently. But if you want a cheaper option, it is worth checking out facial exercises for sure.
Sunscreen every single day
Sunscreen will not do anything to strengthen your eye muscles. But, if you are regularly using sunscreen every day, it will prevent further looseness of your skin. As well as to a certain degree reverse some signs of aging.
It will not lift your eyelid, but it can help with the skin appearance itself.
See my posts about how to find a good anti aging sunscreen and why you need to wear sunscreen in the winter to learn more.
This is a quite new innovation. And as the name reveals, it is a certain type of tape that you place on your eyelid to hold up the excess skin. It is half-moon-shaped and made out of a medical-grade material with adhesive glue.
This method will only give you a temporary effect, while you are using it. According to reviews, some seem to love it and some find it useless.
I have never tried it myself and cannot give any recommendations at all. But I want to mention the option.
I also want to mention that there might be a risk of over-stretching the eyelids. As well as getting an allergic reaction to the tape or glue.
Radiofrequency is a quite popular technology that is said to tighten the skin and increase collagen production. And you can find it as either home devices or as in-office treatments.
The radiofrequency waves heat the dermis layer of your skin to around 122-167 degrees Fahrenheit (50-75 degrees celsius). And by doing so causes a heat-shock reaction that in turn stimulates the creation of new collagen.
However, there are possible risks and side effects. And I am personally staying away from these kinds of treatments. Even if the risks are said to be very low these days.
Some of the side effects that are described in research is facial scarring and other permanent tissue damage, as well as fat atrophy. Mostly due to treatments done by non-medical personnel or inexperienced physicians.
But after reading tons of reviews in forums it seems like the side effects can be a lot more prevalent. And even some doctors say that they avoid this method.
While I do know that many people like RF, and you may see other bloggers that promote it. I am personally staying away from it. And I feel that the process of heating the skin is not natural and rather scary. Besides, I love my totally safe microcurrent treatments and have such good results from them that I don’t feel the need for any other experimenting.
If I get convinced in the future about RF, I will for sure update this post. Until that, this is my current statement.
And last thing. Remember that the main reason for droopy eyelids are weakened muscles. And radiofrequency does not help with strengthening your eye muscles. But microcurrent does. So for me, microcurrent is simply the winner for that reason too.
The treatments that won’t help with saggy eyelids
Now let’s mention some methods that are often claimed to help with saggy eyelids. But in reality, won’t give a lot more than zero effect on any drooping eyelids.
No eye cream is powerful enough to give you a true result on your saggy eyelids. But some, such as this retinol-based eye gel from Murad, can help to a certain degree with the prevention of aging skin around the eye area (I actually love it and you find my review here).
But it will still not do anything to improve the lack of muscle strength that is the main reason for droopy eyelids.
There are also some eye creams on the market that contain certain peptides that give a short-term tightening and lifting effect. Such as SYN®-AKE dipeptide. It will just be temporary though. And if you have sensitive skin, like me, these ingredients can be irritating too and cause eczema. That happened to me many years ago so I will never use anything with these ingredients again.
If you don’t have sensitive skin and want to give it a try, this eye cream from Rodial is quite popular.
Same answer as explained above. No skincare product, including masks, will be powerful enough to strengthen your eye muscles and lift sagging eyelids.
Eye masks can be relaxing, refreshing, and soothing. But they are not an effective hooded eye treatment.
Cucumber slices or other home remedies.
Cucumber, honey, lemon, or any kind of beauty treatment involving foods will definitely not give any effect on your saggy eyelids.
If you want a cheap DIY solution for sagging eyelids, I rather recommend you try out facial exercises that can help strengthen the muscles above your eye. I personally prefer microcurrent for this (see above). But you can always try facial exercises as a cheaper option.
I see many people recommend micro-needling for saggy skin. But in reality, this treatment can not do that much for this concern. It might help a little with increased collagen production. But as explained, saggy and droopy eyelids are often a result of a more complex circumstance. Such as weakened muscles.
Also, you cannot go too close to the eyes with the micro-needling device. It is very hard to go further down than the bony brow bridge.
I am personally not a fan of micro-needling (I have tried it) but that is a different story. Some people love it. Just know that it won’t do much at all (if anything) on your droopy eyelids.
Summary – non-surgical ways to improve saggy eyelids and hooded eyes
- The upper eyelid is dependant on three surrounding muscles. If there is a muscular disfunction, or muscle weakness due to age, the eyelid will droop and look saggier.
- Besides age-related weakness and genetic predisposition, the eye muscles can lose function due to injuries, diseases, Botox, and lack of sleep.
- The skin around the eyes is very thin and delicate, and more vulnerable to become lax.
- The best natural saggy eyelids and hooded eyes treatments are to first and most prioritize your sleep. Since that has a huge impact on the eye muscles as well as the skin itself. Secondly, I highly recommend microcurrent treatments to strengthen your eye muscles which will lift the upper eyelid. Microcurrent will also help increase collagen and elastin.
- There are many other non-surgical options (and even eye creams) that claim to be effective for sagging and drooping eyelids. But in reality, they don’t do much at all, especially not long term. See my opinions about them all above.
The products I recommend to anyone with saggy eyelids are:
The ZIIP beauty device, (a microcurrent device) with many different programs that helps lift the eyelid and eyebrow (and increase collagen and elastin over time). You find it here (use my code ziipwithann for a 20 percent discount). If you live in Europe or Asia you’ll find it here with a discount of 10-20 percent with the code ziipwithann.
The Nuface Trinity microcurrent device with the attachment ELE can be an option if you want a money-back guarantee. You find it here (with a 60 day risk-free money-back guarantee).
Retinol youth renewal eye serum from Murad. To improve the skin itself. You find it here.
Glycine, Alpha-lipoic-acid, and Magnesium. To improve my sleep which in turn helps my eye muscles function properly, plus improves my skin texture overall. You find them all on Iherb, and all links give 5-10% off (Iherb ships worldwide too).
I hope you enjoyed my guidance about natural treatments for hooded eyes and saggy eyelids. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions. Or any experiences of your own that you would like to share.
Also, if you’re looking for more ways to improve your skin overall, I suggest you read my post about foods that help tighten skin. And my post about nasolabial folds and sagging skin, if those are your concerns too.
I have many more meaty posts about skin care and skin aging in this blog. And I keep adding more. If you want to make sure you don’t miss a blog post, you are welcome to subscribe to my notification list.
Until next time, love your skin!
This Post Has 36 Comments
I have hooded eyes that I am getting more self-conscious of as I get older. Thanks for the info about ZIIP, I am going to look into it a little bit more. Thanks!
You’re very welcome Jeri 🙂
Thank you for such a great article. You are so right, when I get a good night’s sleep my eyelids look radiants and not as saggy.
Definitely will get the Ziip,
Thank you so much for your comment! You will love the ziip 🙂
I love these tips for how to combat saggy eyelids! Plus it is a great reminder that getting enough sleep can fix so many issues!
Thank you for your comment Kaybee! Happy to help! And yes, sleep is such an amazing thing for the skin and face 🙂
As always, I’m reminded that I need to get more sleep. I stay up far too late reading! Thanks for all of the tips about getting rid of saggy eyelids.
You’re very welcome Lisa! 🙂
Excellent post! I definitely suffer from saggy eyelids, both from genetics (thank Mom!) and lack of sleep (thanks restless mind and legs). After reading your posts I’m thinking more and more about getting one of these micronutrient devices.
Thank you, Joanna! I hope you do give it a try, such a game-changer 🙂
Love these ideas for non-surgery ways to combat saggy eyelids! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much, Rachel! 🙂