How to Fix Hooded Eyelids for Free

As you all all know, I’ve been on a campaign to improve my sundamaged skin for some months now. DIY skincare has made an enormous difference to the state of my skin, there’s no denying that (see before and after pics from October, as well as my current regime here). If I had all the money in the world I would still make my own skincare because I know it’s so much better than anything I can buy off the shelf.

However, it’s the underlying slackening of muscle that I also want to target now. I’ve had hooded lids for about ten years now, partially through genetics, but also because of sundamage. You can see in the pictures below that the left eye on my ‘driving’ side is much more damaged than the other.

So I thought I’d try facial exercises. If I’m being honest, it took me a while to be convinced to try them – if anything looks like quackery in the skincare world, this is it. However, they actually work. I’m stunned. And very, very happy.

Below is a picture I took about three weeks ago before I started facial exercises. You can see that my skin is in pretty good condition, but my lids are clearly hooded. Note that the left eye is more damaged due to prolonged sun exposure whilst driving:

And I took the photo below this morning. Whilst you can see that there are still some issues of hooding (particularly on the left) doing these facial exercises has really lessened the hooding on both eyes.

The problem of hooding and sundamage is even more pronounced when I smile.

The photo below was taken about six months ago, but it’s the only photo I could find where I was smiling at the camera, and there’s a very good reason for that. As a result of all the sundamage I’ve collected on the ‘driving side’ of my face, when I smile, my left eye scrunches up much more than the other. In fact, the whole left side of my face srunches up more than the right when I smile, but I’ll spare you the photographic evidence of that.

Below is a photo I took this morning where I tried to replicate the pose and smile at the camera. You can see that even though I’m smiling in both photos, my left eye is much less ‘scrunched’ in the photo below because of the underlying muscle strength I’ve gained through facial exercises.

The photo below was taken about two months ago I think. Here is another closeup of my most damaged side, and the left eye with the most hooding…

…and here is a (rather blurry) picture I took this morning. You can see that the lid has been drawn upwards, even though there’s still some work to be done.

So what exercise did I do? This one from Cynthia Rowland’s Beauty Systems. It looks like the most outdated stuff in the world, but as you can see from the photographs above, this exericise actually works. I’ve been doing it morning and evening as part of my cleansing routine, but you could probably do it once a day and still see results.

I’ve also been doing this exercise to firm cheeks and my nasolabial fold, and I’ve noticed a huge difference there too! Tanaka massage has helped to smooth and lift my lower face, but I think strengthening the area has also helped with wrinkling when I smile, and has helped to banish those dreaded nasolabial folds. The only reason you’re not seeing before and after photos here is because I haven’t got time to arrange them all, but I might do a separate post on my battle with nasiolabial folds in a few weeks. Suffice it to say, the exercises in the video linked above look ridiculous, but they really work.

I’ve only started with a few facial exericses three weeks ago, but I’m keen to try more. I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.



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40 Responses to How to Fix Hooded Eyelids for Free

  1. Jade says:

    My eyes are the same but my right eye is droopier than my left, I’m going to do these exercises and see how I go, thanks for posting about this Sarah πŸ™‚

  2. Dempeaux says:

    @Jade Great! Let me know how you get on πŸ™‚

  3. I have genetically hooded lids, but I’m going to give this a try! πŸ˜€

  4. Dempeaux says:

    @SilhouetteScreams Oh great! Yes, I look and my mother and grandmother, and I can see that it’s a genetic trait for me too. Years without sunscreen didn’t help though πŸ˜‰ I hope you get on well!

  5. Angela says:

    OMG. The difference is insane!
    Definitely need to incorporate this into my routine.

  6. Dempeaux says:

    @Angela I know! Crazy! I’m hoping that I can improve my eyelids even more. I’ll look 23 in no time πŸ˜‰

  7. Shreela says:

    I can add/subtract years from my pics in the *same session* by changing positions/expressions alone! So your B/A pics are the most believable I’ve seen in a very long time, even how open your eyes are match up pretty closely. I’m going to try this exercise to see if I can get my left eye to not droop as much, which makes me look like a drunk when I’m sleepy LOL

    That 2nd movie was fun (and funny too). The “Prom Queen” exercise reminded me of a modeling class where the instructor had us doing a similar smile, except that we couldn’t allow our eyes to wrinkle even the teensiest bit, requiring us to use more of our lower lip. Then we had to practice making the freaky smile look more believable – she encouraged us to emulate Goldie Hawn & Marie Osmand’s smiles. I don’t know if it was that class, or just lucky genetics+oily skin, but I barely have eye wrinkles 30 years later. She also had us tell stories with furrowed brows so we’d learn what it felt like when we engaged the 11’s, so we’d avoid engaging them in the future. I should have practiced that lesson more LOL

  8. OMG so impressive!!!!

  9. Dempeaux says:

    @Musing I know! Who would have thought it would work?? :O

  10. Dempeaux says:

    @Shreela I know exactly what you mean! When you have hooded lids to get used to adjusting them for photographs πŸ˜‰ That Prom Queen exercise is hilarious! Needless to say, I don’t do those exercises in front of my significant other – some things are best left unseen πŸ˜‰ The class you talk about sounds like a variation on facial exericses! Gosh, perhaps there are more people doing them than we know!

  11. Megan says:

    I have to give this a go, I have the same issue with my right eye being more droopy. I find it really hard to do things like eyeliner evenly on both eyes because of it.

  12. Dempeaux says:

    @Megan Wow, really? Yes, I find it hard getting eyeliner even too! πŸ™‚

  13. Ana says:

    It’s just awesome, I’m tempted to try these exercises now!

  14. Dempeaux says:

    @Ana That’s great! Good luck!

  15. My god, I’m impressed. Off to have a look and do these now. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

  16. Dempeaux says:

    @Clare Thankyou! Me too! The exercises are not too much of an imposition on your normal routine either!

  17. MsSParkleArkle says:

    Bloody brilliant! I watched the video – not sure I need the gloves but I’ll give it a try!

  18. Dempeaux says:

    @MsSparkleArkle No, I don’t use the gloves either, but some might find it useful I suppose? I still can’t believe it works!

  19. Alania says:

    wow! That amazing! inspired by you I tried the exercise for eye.But one thing concerned me:after finishing the exercise I saw quite deep lines above the brows which didnt go away until 3 hours later. did you experience the same thing…?

  20. Dempeaux says:

    @Alania I did actually experience a few lines for the first few days, but they went away as the muscles underneath grew stronger. Keep going and see how you go!

  21. Alania says:

    thank you! I noticed as well that I have now some wrinkling ,or better say more hoods on my eyes now…weird..hope it will go away

  22. If I had not seen the pictures Sarah I would not have believed it either. Whatever you are doing is working – which you can also see yourself. Amasing and as always thank you for sharing with us x

  23. Dempeaux says:

    @Chloeblue2005 Thankyou – I’m so glad! πŸ™‚

  24. coco says:

    i’ll have to give those exercise a try!

  25. Dempeaux says:

    @Coco That’s great! I’m still loving them! πŸ™‚

  26. CherryPie says:

    well i got some very freaking weird problems with my eyes.
    i was born with natural hooded eyes and my eyebrows are very low too…so i never really had the feeling i had big eyes or like a “friendly” look on my face…that was when i was a child and young teenager. well one day my left eye started swelling and became very big and actually pretty looking πŸ˜€ the other one was still hooded and very small… but it became a little bigger over the years and actually formed a little crease. but my eyes have been still uneven..that wasnt a problem i put on makeup and was able to hide it. because i dont have a “baby face” and i also dont have full lips my eyes since they gotten bigger were like the number one thing about my face…people would always compliment my long stunning eyelashe and stuff…..they made me look very pretty and a lot more “girly” lol i mean i dont look like a guy i just dont have a round face with hamster cheeks like mot guys like it. but the thing now is…..and dont laugh cause its really an issue o.O my right and already smaller eye started to be hooded again while the other one was swelling up even more which looked damn stupid. i am having problem with my sinuses since years and i guess this is the problem. doctor couldnt find anything “wrong” they tell me there is nothing but i see and feel the pressure and the swelling and i know somethings weird about that. but anyways i am trying to fix the health problems so my one eye would stop being swollen all the time. the thing is that its really the eyeball not just the lid that is swollen. but anyways. if i get my hooded lids back which i was born with and didnt get because i am aging i am almost 23 ….would it be possible to make them less hooded with those exercises? i ust dont want to “Lose” the best part of my face ….as weird and stupid as it sounds. i was so happy that my hooded eyes were gone for the past years but if that means being unhealthy its not good and i know it so i d like to get helathy and still kinda keep my eyes “in shape” or do these exercises only work for skin that starts drooping because of the “age” or other bilogical reasons?

    regards and keep up the good work


  27. alex says:

    Hey Dempeaux!

    How are your eyelids now – still doing the exercises?
    Would be interested to see how your beautiful eyes are doing!

  28. Dempeaux says:

    @Alex At the end of my PhD I had to give up things like this, so hoping to get back into it soon. Love the results!

  29. Dempeaux says:

    @Cherry I think it’s very difficult to change the natural look of your face in this way. It might make a difference, but I have no experience in things like this (just anti-ageing!). Sorry I can’t be more help!

  30. Louise O'connell says:

    Does this really work, mine are really saggy am so depressed.

    Kind regards

  31. Dempeaux says:

    @Louise It does for me.

  32. Kammy says:

    Hi, have you still being doin this routine? And are your eyes better than they were in the pictures now or are they still the same . Thanks

  33. Marie says:


    Thank you so much!!!! IΒ΄m 47 and was starting to not see my eyelashes anymore!

    The difference is amazing! Thank you, thank you! IΒ΄ll do this every day now. LOL

  34. Gabriela says:

    How often a day are you supposed to do it and for how long

  35. Nonie says:

    I would like to encourage everyone and assure them that of all the things that face exercises can do, lifting upper eyelids in people with hooded eyes is one of the results that seems to be most guaranteed. If you look up any before/after photos on face exercise program websites, this is one of the things you will notice seems to be a common improvement.

    For those with hooded eyelids that are hereditary, I can assure you that face exercises can change that. They did for me. I was not even trying to change my eyes but simply doing a full program ( and over time it happened. But it was so gradual that I was not aware it was happening and only ever noticed the difference when I read that face exercises can do what an upper bleph does and wondered whether any such effect had happened to me. So I sought an old pic and was floored to see how different my eyes in my 30’s looked compared to when I was 20. You can see the change here:

    The last thing I would like to recommend is you try and find a full facial exercise program. While spot training the eyes may make them look better, the results may not be as good or longlasting as they would be if also your forehead was lifted so eyebrows are not hanging low and hiding the eye improvements. Face muscles are connected to each other and to skin, so what you do to muscles in one area of the face affects what happens to other areas. If you tone all muscles, they will support each other and give a nice uniform lift to the entire face–assuming, of course, you are doing a good program with a track record of giving good results. Do not just take people’s words for it but seek evidence as shown in this blog so you can know what to expect.

  36. Dempeaux says:

    That’s great! Thanks for the info!

  37. Jess says:

    Ive had hooded eyelids forever but ive only started to notice them in the past 3 years. Im only 16 and they make me look soooo much older and tired. I did some research on them and found a tape remedy. You put a small length of sticky tape on your lid where you want the new crease to be. So
    i started that. That was almost a year ago and i still havent seen any results. Im REALLY hoping these exercises work for me, otherwise i might have to resort to surgery when im older.

  38. Valerie says:

    The exercise she illustrates works at lowering the eyebrow since all your doing is push the brow south. To lift the brows you need to apply pressure with finger pads ABOVE the brows for resistance and then work to RAISING the brows up as high as possible. Another exercise to raise upper and lower lids is to a.) close the eyes, hold them firmly shut with your fingers and then try to open them and hold that for five seconds. Repeat to fatigue. b.) place fingers firmly under the brow and try to CLOSE the eyes for a count of five. Then repeat to fatigue. Though it might have helped initially to “tone” your eye lid and make it appear firmer, lifting exercises are needed. Not lowering exercises. Additionally to raise the scalp is yet another exercise that pulls the forehead up. Apply resistance with yours fingertips at the hairline. Focus on lifting your whole forehead up towards the ceiling. You need face LIFTING exercises more than the push downwards exercise she illustrates. For what it’s worth I find her videos nauseous. Sounds like she’s talking to a three year old child.

  39. Kimberly says:

    Thanks for the exercises. Your comment about the driving side of your face really struck me as my issue is my non driving side of my face. And I also have issues with the way my hair lies on that side of my head as well. Recently I’ve had the same question asked of me from two different people – what side do you normally sleep on? And that, right there, answered a whole lot for me!

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