A hydrogel eye mask is a known quick remedy to de-puff the eyes for those prone to "bedroom eye" and morning puffiness. They help to smooth lines under the eyes and help to reduce under the eye bags instantly.
The effect does not last long, as you probably already know, because the fine lines will be back in a few hours as well as the under-eye pouches.
However, if you use these eye gel masks correctly and persistently, they can help prevent aging under the eyes and reduce wrinkles. At least it worked for me, and I am pleased with the results.
I use these patches every day religiously for a couple of years already. I am convinced that they had their cumulative effect. Because of that, I was able to postpone blepharoplasty for an indefinite time now.
In this post, I would like to share my experience of using eye patches daily. I will show how I do it and photos "before" and "after" that I took within years, so it is not a quick "product review".
I am a big fan of "before" and "after" images because they can clearly show the changes usually not noticeable if you see yourself in the mirror every day.
When we talk about 30% improvement, the result is good, but visually it is just a slight change, not very prominent. It can be discouraging as it seems that efforts are not paying themselves.
Here is the photograph from 2010 that I took after dermarolling. It caught the under-eye area as well.
Notice the net of wrinlkes under my eye and the slight puffiness.
On this image, I am 42 years old. At the time, I just thought: "oh well, when it will get worse in the future, I just have the blepharoplasty"
I am not new to the beauty treatments.
From the age of 36, I was using microcurrent from time to time to stop skin aging. I had SMAS lifting in 2018. I started to use Retin-A regularly in 2019. Those procedures improved my skin and delayed aging, but it was not enough to maintain the under-eye area wrinkle-free.
In 2019, I consulted with the plastic surgeon about blepharoplasty. I was 51, and it was about the right time to do that. So I planned to schedule the surgery for 2020.
Around that time, I started to apply those little eye masks to moisturize the under-eye area. They are great for that as they are hydrophilic - which means it is a thin film of jelly infused with a thick serum substance. It releases moisture into the skin when drying out.
The moist environment is a friendly one to the skin cells. It is like putting them in the greenhouse to grow in a sheltered environment.
Moist wound healing envirenement is now considered the most effectife approach. Hydrocolloid occlusive dressings result in faster and better quality of healing, supports the presence and function of nutrients, facilitates and promotes keratinocyte migration, and activates collagen synthesis.
Published Online:1 Sep 2020 | https://doi.org/10.1089/wound.2020.1232
Moist Wound Healing with Commonly Available Dressings
Here is how the under-eye patches look: they come in a jar of 60pcs, which is a month supply.
Before I started using these sheets, I tried a different type of under-eye mask that comes in the individually sealed pouch. When I like the idea of the individual packaging and the shape of those patches is good, they are too thick and tend to slide down the face.
Also, they do not cover the crow feet area well. The other disadvantage is that as the pouch is open, there is no place to store the mask for re-use. One has to come up with a small container. Yes, I re-use those masks 2-3 times and will tell you how.
Another thing that made the use of those masks difficult (at least by my experience). When applied, they gave my eye a weird sensation like some menthol was evaporating, which irritated the eyes.
It made it uncomfortable to work at the computer or keep the eyes open all the time. The best way was to lay down, close the eyes and wait 20 min.
I did not like that! I hate wasting my time. For example, right now, I am typing this post with my favorite masks plastered under my eyes.
So with old masks, it was a chore opening the blister-pack; to apply the eye mask, to keep adjusting it when it slid down, then finding the container to store, and so on. It felt like I was constantly jumping through the hoops.
When something gets too complicated, I usually do not do it.
When in the year 2019 when I determined to undergo plastic surgery next year. I decided to improve the skin elasticity as much as I can before that, so it will be easier for a plastic surgeon to work with tissues.
I was looking for some under-eye masks that would be simple, convenient, and hassle-free. So I found these inexpensive eye masks that come in a jar.
I started to apply the eye mask the first time in the morning and kept it on while having my coffee, reading the news, and answering emails. It is usually the first hours in the morning and my "peace" time before the day starts.
It fit seamlessly in my daily routine.
After I feel the masks dry out, I know it is time to finish with the computer, get dressed and start my day.
I kept applying those masks daily. It simply became a habit of mine, enjoying its pampering embrace and the feeling afterward.
When I am writing this post, I am 53 years old in 2021. I decided to postpone blepharoplasty. My under-eye area did not change much since 2010. The under-eye bags did not get worse, and fine lines are much smoother.
I do not have "crow-feets" at all. Maybe it is genetic, and I got lucky. Maybe there is something else, like my whole lifestyle and other beauty treatments. But I do believe that a simple jelly film application works.
When I do not look like 24 years old, I am satisfied with my mirror reflection of 53 years old me, and you can judge for yourself.
Fair enough, if you have significant under-eye bags, in other words - the fat hernias protruding through the weakened orbital muscle, then the masks will not help.
They may stop under-eye bags from growing larger and maybe reduce them a bit. It will be due to the increased skin elasticity. But do not expect the larger ones to go away.
See the doctor and have under-eye bags removed if it makes you unhappy. It is the only way.
However as per Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.A novel approach to the treatment of the under eye bags, the application of shrinking substance, made of polymer creates sort of under eye girdle to compress herniated tissues and improve the appearance. Constant prolonged application of such compression may be the reason of the permanent effect.
You can use the eye patch as an emergency remedy whenever you need it, but I use them daily.
I do recommend taking a photo as you start and then the next one in 30 days. Then another one in 60 days and so on.
This way, you will see that your efforts are not in vain. It can be very discouraging not seeing immediate results. So motivation is essential.
The instructions say to apply them for 20 min.
I keep the masks on until they dry out and it takes about 2 hours. Today, I started my morning at 6-30. Now the clock is showing 8 am, and the masks are still wet. So I guess I keep them on 2 hours average.
It depends on the time I have on hand.
If you do not have time in the morning, I guess it will be OK to do it when coming home after work. Put the mask on when cooking or watching TV to cover those 2 hours.
I do not know if the application 2 hours versus 20 min recommended works matters. Maybe 20 min will bring the same result.
Do not apply the mask overnight. It will dry out and can damage the skin. I tried it overnight, and it created an ugly skin fold around the edge of the mask. When overdone, it dries completely and starts to pull the skin as the mask patch shrinks.
The correct time to remove it is when it just started to dry out. Touch it with your finger - if it is not sticky, then it is time to remove the mask.
It is important to apply the mask correctly. It should be plastered as close as possible to the lower eyelashes' growth area.
There is a problem - the eye mask has a curve that does not follow the shape of an eye. It leaves a large amount of skin uncovered. The delicate skin will bulge out when the mask dries out.
The only way to apply the mask correctly is by placing it backward. But then it does not cover the crow feet area.
That is why I use this simple solution - I clip the pointed side of the mask off with scissors. The new shape goes under the eye perfectly.
The eye shapes are individual, and you can clip the mask according to your needs.
Then I shake the mask from excessive serum and plaster it right along the eyelash line.