Does the newest way to get rid of eye bags without surgery work? Tracy Lee-Elrick tries it out.
Described as a “non-surgical eye bag removal treatment taking Korea by storm”, CSK’s Dr Eyes sounds perfect for people like me who’re terrified of going under the knife.
While Botox and fillers are common non-invasive quick fixes for the eye area, they work by freezing wrinkles and filling out tear trough hollows. “But these do not address collagen loss and the existence of fatty tissue that are the main culprits behind eye bags. Plus, these procedures have to be repeated every six months or so,” explains Dr Shiau.
Dr Eyes, on the other hand, uses a Korea-developed RF (radio-frequency) micro-insulated needle system called AGNES, which is used to pierce the skin multiple times at carefully controlled depths of up to 3mm. The needle delivers heat and radio frequency below the skin’s surface. Collagen production is stimulated, leading to skin firming and wrinkle reduction around the eye area. The needle also pierces holes through the tissue encapsulating your eye bag, causing the fat within to melt and drain out into your circulatory system. This fat is eventually excreted naturally by the body.
Supposedly, the best results are seen 4-6 weeks post-treatment and can last 2-3 years. Being non-invasive, you can repeat this 45-minute procedure as often as once a year, unlike surgery.
The treatment begins with a liberal application of numbing cream, followed by six saline/local anaesthetic injections around each eye area. Dr Shiau then gets to work, pressing the hand-piece of the device (which resembles a travel-sized dental pick) against my under eye and mid-brow areas in systematic rows. Each time the hand-piece makes contact with my skin, the retractable needle shoots out to pierce it. This is followed by a beep, which signals the delivery of RF and heat. “I’m doing this at shallower depths first to stimulate collagen production in the skin,” she explains. The first two rounds, I barely feel any discomfort.
But for the third and final round, Dr Shiau goes deeper, pinching my eye bag between her fingers before zapping it. By this time, the effects of the anaesthesia have worn off a little, and I do get the distinct sensation that my skin is being pricked multiple times by a hot, sharp needle. I whimper, moan and flinch occasionally, but what gets me through is the thought that it’s still a much faster, easier and less painful option than surgery.
Towards the end of the 40-minute procedure, cooling gel and cold packs are applied to soothe my eye area, which looks red and swollen like I’ve been crying for hours, and stings like someone’s rubbed sandpaper on it. Sunglasses on, I head home, bearing in mind Dr Shiau’s instructions to gently massage the eye area regularly.
Over the next couple of days, the swelling is still noticeable, and about 15 freckle-sized scabs appear on each eye bag. I reduce my social engagements, or if I do head out to meet friends, I cover up the marks and redness with BB cream and concealer, but still have to explain why I look puffy.
By the fifth day, the swelling has gone down significantly and most of the scabs have fallen off, leaving behind small, reddish purple marks. The distinct semi-circular arcs that used to demarcate where my eye bags ended and where my upper cheeks began, is gone. There’s still some slight puffiness, but not enough to qualify as eye bags. The upper eye area, below my eyebrow, appears firmer. I feel I look significantly more refreshed and even my husband is impressed by the result.
Overall, Dr Eyes really does deliver — so much so that even though I hate needles and injections, I’d do it again if I needed to. A few words of caution though — it’s not recommended for those wearing pacemakers or people taking blood thinners. And please: schedule it at least a week before a major event like the Tatler Ball or your wedding dinner, because “minimal downtime” does not mean “zero downtime”!