By Sam Therres, RN, APE

Are drooping upper eyelids making you appear tired or older-looking than you are? As our skin ages, the skin on our upper eyelids may lose support and structure and begin to sag slightly. As a result, the upper eyelids can hood over our eyes, making us appear sleepy and even, in advanced cases, obscure our vision. This condition is called ptosis, and it can vary significantly in severity. In some cases, surgical intervention, like blepharoplasty, may be needed to remove excess skin and refresh the appearance of the eyes. But, a new non-surgical option called UPNEEQ® now exists for those who aren’t quite ready for surgery but still want their eyes to look more awake and rejuvenated!

What is UPNEEQ®

UPNEEQ® (oxymetazoline) is an FDA-approved prescription eye drop that temporarily improves droopy eyelids caused by a weak muscle in the upper eyelid. It contracts one of the eyelid muscles that elevates the eyelid, allowing it to open 1–2 millimeters (mm) wider—enough to create a noticeable difference.

How does UPNEEQ® work?

UPNEEQ® is “vasoconstrictive.” This means it constricts blood vessels. In the upper eyelid, UPNEEQ® works by activating the Muller’s muscle, which helps elevate the eyelid, resulting in approximately 1-2 mm of lift in most patients. It’s easy to see why UPNEEQ® has gained the nickname “Eyelift in a Bottle.”

When will I see results with UPNEEQ®?

UPNEEQ® can be used once a day or as desired for special events and occasions you want to look your best for. Results are typically seen within 15 minutes and last up to 8 hours.

Who is a good candidate for UPNEEQ®?

About 10-12% of people over 40 have some degree of drooping in their upper eyelids. If sagging is significant, a patient may be a better candidate for blepharoplasty surgery. In some cases, BOTOX® Cosmetic may offer longer-lasting results as well. But for those looking for a temporary and effective way to refresh the appearance of their eyes, UPNEEQ® is an excellent option!

Good candidates for UPNEEQ® also include:

  • Those with mild ptosis looking for a “quick fix” for a special occasion or photos so their eyes can look more open and youthful
  • Those needing to correct the asymmetry in one eyelid
  • Those not wanting or needing surgical intervention yet, but who still want to see improvement in their drooping eyelids
  • Those who want to “rehearse” what their surgical results could possibly look like

How do I use UPNEEQ®?

UPNEEQ® simple to use! It comes in single-use vials, with enough product for one drop for each eye. After washing your hands, apply one drop of the clear liquid daily to each eye once a day. To help reduce the risk of infection, do not let the tip of the vial touch your eye (or anything else).

If you wear contact lenses, wait 15 minutes after administering the eye drops to put in your contacts. If you use another kind of eye medication, including over-the-counter eye drops, talk to your doctor to be sure it’s safe to use with UPNEEQ®. If you get clearance, wait at least 15 minutes after putting in UPNEEQ® before using any other medication.

How do I use UPNEEQ® before a special event?

Many clients at the Refinery Skin Clinic use UPNEEQ® solely for its cosmetic properties of making the eyes appear more youthful, lifted, and refreshed. If you want that beautiful, open-eyed look before a special event, administer UPNEEQ® 15 minutes before you apply your eye makeup. Anticipate that your results will last 6-8 hours, and align this time frame with any special events or pictures you want to look your best for!

Do you have further questions about UPNEEQ®, or would you like to know how to purchase this “Eyelift in a Bottle?” Email your questions to or call (952) 479-0603.