Sometimes, I feel bad for the generations of women that came before me: I get to reap the benefits of their women’s lib movement, am fortunate to live in a time of increased cultural tolerance—all while being able to communicate through cute-ass emojis 🙌.
But the rewards of progress are especially advantageous when it comes to modern-day skin care, thanks to a ridiculous number of treatments—including microneedling, lasers, and LED light—that help downplay the effects of aging. If we play our cards right, we’ll never need to think about going under the knife.
But that newfound abundance goes up in smoke the minute we try to target those inevitable fine lines that surface around the eyes. Sure, medical-grade skin care may help. But lasers and microneedles—treatments that buff out wrinkles and give skin glow by boosting collagen and elastin production—are too intense for such a delicate area. That leaves us with injections.
“Botox can help,” says Alexa Yontz, a licensed aesthetician at Nazarian Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills. “Past that, you start to get into surgical options. There really isn’t much out there that’s non-invasive and addressing the lines around the eyes.”
But then Yontz starts talking about Pelleve, a treatment that uses radiofrequency energy to slowly heat up the dermis, stimulating new collagen and elastin production in the skin, which in turn minimizes the depth and appearance of wrinkles. No needles are required, it works well with all skin types, and yes, it’s gentle enough for the eye area.
“There are other radiofrequency devices out there and ultrasound-based technologies that can also provide good results, but I like Pelleve because it’s effective, but not painful,” notes plastic surgeon and Nazarian Plastic Surgery founder Dr. Sheila Nazarian.
A wrinkle reducer suited for needle phobes? Now, we’re talking! Though the treatment can be used on the entire face to firm skin, I ask for treatment around the eyes. Yontz suggests also targeting my forehead to address the same oncoming lines commonly treated with Botox.
After I get situated on the treatment bed, Yontz applies a neutralizing pad on my stomach (to extract any excess heat my body can’t handle) and a gel on my face (to help the treatment wand smoothly glide across my skin). As she begins to pass the wand over my skin, I feel a slight warmth. “We’re heating the area slowly, gradually warming up the dermis to between 107 and 113 degrees,” she explains.
The numbers she’s throwing out sound hot—really hot. But when we reach the target heat, the skin around my eyes feels a cozy warmth similar to that of a hot stone massage 💆. She spends three to five minutes in each area, covering the skin beneath and at the outside corners of my eyes, and above and below my brows.
As she moves the wand across my forehead, I register the heat more intensely—something Yontz says is common for bonier areas of the face—but instead of discomfort, the temperature feels nurturing, like the heat emitted from a campfire 🔥. The wand is so smooth and the sensation so comforting, I can’t imagine enduring needle pricks as an alternative. About 15 minutes later, my treatment is done. Yontz holds a mirror to my face to show the instant results, what she calls the 💫 “Cinderella effect.”
I see that the skin around my eyes and forehead is plumped up and baby wrinkles blurred. “For the next three days, you’re going to feel like you got the most amazing results because it creates inflammation, which then fills out the fine lines and wrinkles,” she explains. The skin continues its ramped-up production of collagen and elastin after inflammation has come and gone, and actually minimizes fine lines about three weeks later.
Now for the bummer: The price for warding off oncoming crow’s feet with the comfort of a spa session doesn’t come cheap 💸💸. One partial face treatment rings in at $500 (a single face-and-neck treatment jumps to $1,100). And as Yontz notes, three to four monthly treatments are needed, followed by quarterly maintenance treatments, to yield major results. “Treatment number one activates the collagen, but subsequent treatments builds from the last, activating it even more,” she explains.
Further, like with most low-to-no downtime in-office skin treatments, it’s best to start treatments the minute you start to see fine lines appear. The younger the patient, the more collagen there is to work with and the better the outcome. If you start treatment early and undergo it as directed, these treatments can theoretically ensure you’ll have next-to-no wrinkles around the eyes as you age.
It’s a tantalizing prospect, painlessly achieving the kind of wrinkle-free eyes that ageless Jennifer Aniston and Gwen Stefani have in their 40s. But finding the funds to support such an endeavor doesn’t suit many who are inching toward 30.
Perhaps the next revolution in in-office skin care treatments will see a dip in costs so drastic, our little sisters will look at us through emphatic eyes, aching for the dough we used to spend on anti-aging treatments 😿. Let them pity us all they want—we’ll be staring back with ageless eyes.