Crow’s feet are tiny lines that develop within the delicate, thin skin that surrounds the eyes. The many causes — ranging from everyday facial expressions to smoking — make crow’s feet hard to prevent and even tougher to treat. But if you follow these 10 tips, you can minimize and even stave off these wrinkles.
1. Slather on sunscreen. Applying a daily SPF moisturizer is a no-brainer when it comes to maintaining healthy, radiant skin. Still, many people skip this step around the eyes for fear that it might irritate this delicate skin or rub into the eyes.
But because the skin around the eyes is so thin, it’s more susceptible to sun damage. Dermatologist David E. Bank, M.D., explains in Glamour, “There isn’t as much collagen and elastin there to begin with, which means once you start acquiring some sun damage, it’s one of the first areas on the face to wrinkle.” So always start your day with an SPF eye cream — no exceptions!
2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. A daily moisturizing lotion is a skin care staple — and especially important when it comes to masking the appearance of crow’s feet. Supple, well-hydrated skin naturally looks smoother while dry, thirsty skin tends to highlight lines and wrinkles. To restore moisture, occasionally apply a hydrating mask that’s specially formulated for the sensitive area around the eyes.
3. Embrace potent ingredients. When it comes eye wrinkles, add effective anti-aging ingredients to your routine, including:
- Peptides. To naturally boost the production of collagen in the skin, dermatologist Patricia Wexler, M.D., recommends including peptides in your daily routine. StriVectin SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles is a powerful peptide-based formula that features patented NIA-114 technology and is clinically proven to minimize lines, brighten dark circles and reduce puffiness in less than eight weeks.
- Retinol. Dr. Wexler also recommends retinol formulas for repairing crow’s feet. This vitamin A-based derivative is found in a variety of over-the-counter eye treatments, including Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Eyes.
4. Relax! Over the years, smiling, laughing and squinting can contribute to the formation of lines and wrinkles around the eyes. You can try adjusting your facial expressions so they’re relaxed, which can reduce the creasing that causes crow’s feet.
But an expressionless existence isn’t a realistic option. TheNew York Times offers an intriguing alternative: yoga. According to New York dermatologist Dennis Gross, M.D., yoga may provide temporary improvements. “Facial stretches and yoga temporarily reduce the neurological impulses associated with stress and the grimaces that lead to the lines in your forehead,” he tells The New York Times. “The plumping of your lips is more a massage and only adds color for a few minutes.”
- Product pick: Light the Sundari Chameli Scented Candle and strike your favorite yoga pose to relax your body, mind and spirit. To promote relaxation, this candle boasts a floral base that’s blended with fresh lemongrass and spicy cinnamon. Which can help to ease the expressions that trigger lines and wrinkles to form in the first place.
5. Apply enough. When applying eye products, you might want to skimp on the treatment so you don’t irritate the thin, sensitive skin around the eyes or accidentally get the product into your eye. While it’s important to apply eye products carefully, keep in mind that eye formulas are thoroughly tested for safety. So if a tiny bit rubs in your eye, it shouldn’t be harmful or irritating.
Use the product as directed on the package — using more or less of the recommended amount could reduce the anti-aging effects. If you regularly experience irritation or sensitivity, try a new product.
- Product pick: If you’re concerned about irritating the skin around the eyes, then reach for an eye cream that’s specially formulated for sensitive skin. DermaNew Firming Eye Creme For Sensitive Skin contains age-defying antioxidants that nourish, protect and restore smooth, firm skin around the eyes without irritation.
6. Sidestep squinting with sunglasses. When you squint, tiny muscle contractions around the eyes can cause crow’s feet to develop. What’s the worst cause of squinting? The sun! Avoid crow’s feet by wearing sunglasses. Keep a pair of shades in the car and in your purse so you never have reason to squint.
Also, if you find yourself squinting when trying to read small print or a distant sign, you might need glasses. Schedule a visit with an ophthalmologist to correct your vision.
7. Stop smoking. If bad breath, smelly clothes and, worse, lung cancer aren’t good enough reasons to stop smoking, consider that puffing cigarettes also speeds up the process of aging. What’s worse, smokers tend to experience more dramatic signs of aging, including deeper wrinkles and more discolored, puffy skin.
In fact, according to About skin guide Julyne Derrick, smoking is the second leading cause of skin damage behind the sun. So ditch the cigarettes and avoid second-hand smoke to maintain healthy skin.
8. Seek professional help. For serious help in repairing crow’s feet, consider seeking advice from a skin care professional. He or she can evaluate your skin and determine whether or not prescription treatments or professional procedures can help. Here are a few treatments that may be recommended:
- Retinoids. Available by prescription only, retinoids are a powerful ingredient that boosts collagen production to repair fine lines, wrinkles and rough skin. However, this vitamin A-based ingredient increases your skin’s photosensitivity, so always use retinoids in combination with a high SPF sunscreen.
- Botox. It’s an expensive — but effective — short-term solution for reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. This procedure is especially effective for stubborn lines around the eyes as it works to paralyze the muscles behind facial expressions that cause these wrinkles.
R esults last only several months, and at $400 per injection (the cost varies greatly from region to region), Botox is too expensive for most women. For a more affordable, over-the-counter treatment, consider StriVectin SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles.
- Collagen injections. This professional procedure injects collagen into the deeper layers of skin to supplement the natural production of this skin-tightening compound. Because collagen production naturally declines as you age, these injections can create tight, smoother skin.
It’s important to discuss these treatments with a cosmetic dermatologist. He or she can provide detailed advice and recommend a personalized treatment that safely and effectively meets the needs of your skin.