We all know our skin naturally heads south with age (thanks, gravity), but according to a new study published in JAMA Dermatology, there are few factors that increase your odds of developing saggy droopy eyelids down the road.
Researchers from the Netherlands and England reviewed the photographs and health information of more than 5,500 Northern Europeans (average age of 67) and found that higher BMI, lighter skin color, being male, and being older each increased the risk of having saggy eyelids. “People with higher BMIs usually have a higher fat percentage. Fat will accumulate in the skin just above the upper eyelid, and gravity pulls on this additional weight,” says L.C Jacobs, MD, lead study author and PhD candidate in dermatology at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands. As for a fairer complexion being a risk factor: “We think that the association between the lighter skin color and sagging eyelids is driven by UV-induced damage in the skin,” says Jacobs.
While much of the risk for saggy eyelids is hereditary and not exactly up to you (you can’t do much about your age and gender!), you don’t have to just resign yourself to the droop. Maintaining a healthy weight and protecting the eye area from UV damage with a cream.