The comprehensive guide to under eye filler

By Dr. Aaron Stanes

Treatment guide

Discover the vital information you MUST know about eye rejuvenation with our detailed guide written by expert cosmetic doctors.


    Hollow under eyes, dark circles and looking tired are some of the most common concerns people who visit cosmetic clinics have. Cosmetic injectables are a powerful tool to rejuvenate your eyes, but we must use them cautiously, and in the right candidate. If you’re wanting to refresh your appearance and look rested, and are considering under eye fillers, we’ve put together this guide to help you understand the most important things to know.

    Understanding under eye fillers

    What is under eye filler?

    Under eye fillers are a non-surgical cosmetic treatment to reduce hollowness, dark circles and eye bags. It uses injections of soft, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers to add support to the lower eyelid, smooth the contour, and reduce shadowing. It is a fast, effective, and convenient option that achieve immediate, natural looking results.

    How long does under eye filler last?

    For most people, under eye fillers wear off slowly after that are injected. It generally takes 12-24 months for your body to break down the under eye filler, however there are many cases where under eye fillers can last significantly longer than expected. This is more commonly seen in people who have had multiple under eye filler treatments.

    What types of fillers are commonly used for under eye treatment?

    The most common type of filler used to improve the appearance of your under eye area are made of hyaluronic acid. This is a soft gel, that is temporary and reversible, adding a significant safety benefit. Of the hyaluronic acid fillers, most clinicians prefer to use a soft filler, because it generally sits better with the delicate under eye tissues and skin.

    What are the common reasons for getting under eye filler?

    There are generally three main reasons people get under eye fillers.

    1. Hollowness: a deep tear trough can cause your eyes to look sunken. Tear troughs are normal, however some people have naturally deep ones, while others find that their tear troughs become more prominent as they age. Under eye fillers are an effective way to fill in the hollowness.
    2. Dark circles: while dark circles are cause by a combination of hollowness, discoloured skin, thin skin and shadowing, under eye fillers are a great way to improve their appearance. Fillers reduce hollows and shadowing, helping to bright up the under eye area, but they cannot improve discolouration or thin skin.
    3. Eye bags: the protruding pockets of fat can be disguised by blending them in to the surrounding areas with dermal filler injections. This approach is only suitable for mild bags, and should be avoided in moderate and severe cases due to the higher risk of side effects.

    How is the under eye filler procedure performed?

    Under eye fillers are a quick treatment with a few simple steps.

    1. Consultation: firstly, your concerns, expectations, and suitability must be determined.
    2. Planning: you under eyes will be examined and the treatment areas marked.
    3. Preparation: the skin around your lower eyelids will then be cleaned and numbed.
    4. Injections: soft dermal fillers are then injected to the planned areas using a combination of tiny needles and a blunt cannula.
    5. Moulding: after injection, the fillers are moulded to ensure a smooth finish.

    How many under eye filler sessions are typically needed for optimal results?

    The number of filler sessions required to correct the under eyes depends on the problem at hand, and how severe it is. Most mild cases can be corrected in one appointment. More severe problems may require 2-3 sessions, spaced 2-4 weeks apart.

    As the under eye is very delicate, a conservative approach is always preferred.

    What is the recovery time after getting under eye filler?

    After having under eye filler, you can get back to your day immediately without any recovery time. There are a few important aftercare instructions to optimise healing, like avoiding alcohol and intense exercise for 24 hours, and using a wrapped cold pack to minimise swelling.

    How much does under eye filler cost?

    The cost of under eye filler depends on the extent of the treatment required to address your concerns, and the experience of the practitioner performing the treatment. Generally, under eye fillers can cost anywhere from $400 to over $2500. As the under eye area is very delicate, and results can last a long time, it is vital to choose a clinic who can perform the treatment safely and effectively.

    Risks and side effects

    Is under eye filler risky?

    All dermal filler treatments have risks, including under eye fillers. While the risks of dermal fillers are the same no matter where on the face they are injected, the under eye is very unforgiving when it comes to side effects. Risks like infections and allergies are the same as other areas, and are rare. More common risks are swelling, lumps, and skin discolouration, especially when the treatment is not performed correctly.

    To minimise the risk of under eye filler side effects, you should ensure you choose a clinic that specialises in under eye treatments, and has clear before and after photos of their work. When done correctly in the right candidate, under eye fillers are not a risky treatment.

    Is under eye filler bad for you long term?

    There is no evidence that under eye fillers cause any long term harm to your health or appearance.

    What are the side effects of eye fillers?

    There are a number of side effects of fillers when used around the eyes.

    • Bruising and skin redness are relatively common.
    • Swelling and lumps are uncommon when the treatment is done properly, but are often seen because many poorly trained injectors offer the treatment.
    • Infections and allergies are rare.
    • Blindness and skin breakdown are very rare, on the condition that the treatment is performed carefully and correctly.

    Does under eye filler migrate?

    Like all dermal fillers, under eye fillers can migrate if not used correctly. To avoid migration of your under eye filler, you must carefully follow the under eye filler aftercare, and avoid having treatments too frequently.

    Who is not suitable for under eye filler?

    There are many cases where you are not suitable for under eye fillers.

    • You want a more pronounced result that can be achieved with under eye fillers, or are not prepared to slowly build your result over time.
    • Your under eye skin is too thin or weak to keep the filler in position.
    • You have moderate to severe eye bags or loose skin that is better suited to lower eyelid surgery.

    What are the common problems of under eye filler?

    When done correctly, under eye filler problems are rare. However, with the lack of industry training, and many under qualified injectors out there, avoidable under eye filler problems are occurring far too often. As a referral centre for dermal filler side effects, some of the more common issues we assist other clinicians with include persistent swelling, lumps, and skin discolouration. To address these problems, we use a dermal filler dissolver to carefully remove the filler, often under ultrasound guidance.

    Comparison to other treatments

    Is botox better than fillers for under-eye bags?

    Under eye bags are caused by the protrusion of the eye socket fat beyond its normal position. It results from progressive weakening of the facial ligaments that normally hold it in place. We use fillers to smooth eye bags by blending them in with surrounding tissue. This is only suitable for small eye bags. In contrast, botox works by relaxing muscles, and can actually make eye bags worse by weakening the muscles holding the fat in position. For this reason, fillers are better than botox for under eye bags, but for moderate or severe ones, surgery is needed.

    Can you get Botox under your eyes?

    Yes, botox can be used under your eyes for two reasons. One is to treat an under eye jelly roll. The jelly roll is the bulging seen directly on the lower eyelid in some people, and is usually more pronounced when smiling. It occurs due to overactivity of the lower eyelid muscles, causing the skin to bunch. A jelly roll is very different to an under eye bag, which is protruding fat which must not be treated with botox.

    Botox can also be used to reduce ultra fine lines just below the inner corner of your eye when smiling or scowling. This treatment is very specialised, and candidate selection is critical.

    Results and effectiveness

    Are under eye fillers worth it?

    When performed correctly and in the right candidate, under eye fillers are a worthwhile way to refresh the appearance of your eyes. However, when done in the wrong person, or without care and precision, they can cause a multitude of problems. Choosing the right clinic for your under eye fillers is vital to ensure you get a satisfactory result.

    Does under-eye filler look natural?

    Under eye fillers can achieve natural yet noticeable improvements in the appearance of your under eye area. A conservative and precise approach is key, and the treatment must be performed in a suitable candidate. Under eye fillers can naturally reduce dark circles and eye bags, and treat hollowness.

    Do fillers lift your eyes?

    Under eye fillers do not provide lift to your eyes. They give a rested, brighter look to your eyes by reducing hollows and shadows. If you want to lift sagging eyes, surgery is the only way to do this.

    Can under-eye filler make you look older?

    Overdone under eye fillers can give an aged appearance in 2 ways. They can cause excessive fullness around your lower eyelid which makes your eyes look smaller, especially when smiling. They can also cause swelling, which can be mistaken for malar festoons: another sign of ageing. It is important that under eye fillers are only done in suitable candidate to avoid problems such as these.

    Do under eye fillers make you look younger?

    Under eye fillers are a great option to treat mild signs of ageing affecting the lower eyelids. In the right person, they can reduce dark circles, small eye bags, and hollowness. This give your eyes a younger, brighter, rested look. For more severe signs of ageing, under eye fillers are not recommended, and you can consider improving your skin, and surrounding areas like your cheeks and temples as an alternative.

    Does under eye filler get rid of bags?

    Under eye fillers can be used to smooth out small bags. By volumising the hollow areas around the bags, they are blended in with the surrounding lower eyelid structure. If your eye bags are moderate or severe, you should avoid under eye fillers. This is because moderate to severe bags require more filler than the under eye can handle, and there is a high likelihood of persistent swelling when treating them.

    Does under eye filler get rid of wrinkles?

    Under eye fillers are not the first line treatment for wrinkles under your eyes. If you have great skin quality, anti-wrinkle injections may be able to help, but there are some potential side effects to be aware of. A safer approach to treating under eye wrinkles is to focus on rejuvenating the skin with treatments like micro needling.

    Does under eye filler get rid of dark circles?

    Dark circles under your eyes are caused by multiple factors. These are hollowness, shadows cast by your brow bone, skin discolouration and pigmentation, and thin skin (allowing the dark muscle fibres to be visible). Under eye fillers can reduce dark circles caused by hollowness and shadowing. By filling in sunken areas and reducing the size of your tear troughs, they reduce shadowing. This helps to brighten your lower eyelids, improving dark circles.

    Do under eye fillers make bags worse?

    If under eye fillers are used to treat moderate to severe eye bags, or in people with loose skin, they can make the bags worse. Dermal fillers are known to attract water to the treated area, and when used in excessive quantities (as is required with more pronounced bags), than can make the bags larger, or give the lower eyelid a swollen appearance.

    What is the longest lasting under eye filler?

    There is no evidence looking at which under eye filler lasts the longest, and you should not choose a filler based on the area. Typically under eye fillers should be a soft, hyaluronic acid filler, as these sit nicely under the delicate skin. Longer lasting fillers are generally thicker, and have a high risk of lumps and swelling when used under the eyes.

    Practical considerations

    What’s it like to get under eye fillers?

    Under eye fillers are actually a surprisingly simple treatment. While having needles near your eyes may sound (and feel concerning), when done by a trained professional under eye fillers are comfortable and quick. After the treatment you can back to almost all normal activity immediately, with only some limitations like avoiding alcohol and intense exercise.

    Does under eye filler hurt?

    While pain will always be a different experience from person to person, under eye fillers have surprisingly little discomfort. This is on the condition that they are performed gently, and with the appropriate use of anaesthetic. To minimise discomfort from under eye fillers, topical and injectable anaesthetic can be used. Most fillers also come pre-mixed with anaesthetic, further reducing and discomfort during the procedure.

    What happens when you stop getting under eye filler?

    If you’ve been getting under eye fillers and decided you’ve had enough, your body will continue to slowly break the filler down. This process can take months to years depending on the amount and type of filler you’ve had injected under your eyes. Once the fillers have worn off, your under eye area will look as it would have compared to if you never had the filler. If you’d been getting under eye fillers for years, they will have been hiding the ageing process, meaning the area may look worse than you remember. This is not because the filler has aged you, it simply reflects the fact that fillers hide but don’t stop the ageing process.

    How many times can I get under eye filler?

    There is no limit to how many times you can get under eye fillers. The number of sessions you need will depend on the severity of your concerns, the result you want, and how fast your body breaks the filler down.

    Are under eye fillers permanent?

    While under eye fillers can last for many years, the ones most commonly used in this area are not permanent. You should always ensure you know what filler is being injected, as permanent fillers should not be used under your eyes.

    What is the best age to get under eye fillers?

    There is no right or wrong age to get under eye fillers. When assessing your suitability, your age is not relevant (as long as you are over 18). When determining the right time to get under eye fillers, its better to consider the severity of the issue, how suitable you are for treatment, and your personal circumstances and preferences for things like cost and risk.

    Are there any age restrictions for under eye filler?

    In Australia, you must be over the age of 18 to get under eye fillers.

    Cost and other queries

    How much filler does the average person need under eyes?

    There is no average amount of filler used under the eyes. The amount of filler required depends on the specific problem you have, and how much of a result you want. Often, we also need to treat surrounding areas like the cheeks and temples for added under eye support. For basic concerns, most people have 1-2 ml of dermal filler in the under eyes and surrounding areas. For more complex or severe problems, 2-4 ml or more may be needed.

    What does 0.5 ml of under eye filler look like?

    The result from 0.5ml of under eye filler will look different on everyone. The visible result depends on the type of filler, how it has been injected, the severity of the problem being treated, and the skin quality in the area. Usually, 0.5 ml is insufficient to treat most under eye problems.

    Is 2ml of under eye filler noticeable?

    2 ml of filler is usually enough to see a noticeable yet natural improvement in the under eye for mild concerns.

    Before and after 2 ml dermal filler (1 ml in the inner cheek, 1 ml in the under eye) to correct dark circles and hollowness.

    Before and after 3 ml dermal filler over 2 sessions (2 ml in the inner cheeks, 1 ml under the eyes) to correct deep tear troughs extending down the cheeks.

    Is 1ml of under eye filler noticeable?

    1 ml of under eye filler is generally the absolute minimum amount required to see a subtle improve in mild under eye concerns. Usually, 1 ml is used in people who have a slight tear trough hollowness, but who have good support in their cheek and temple. If you have a deeper tear trough, or lack support in these surrounding areas, you are likely to need more than 1 ml.

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