Crow’s Feet and How to Treat It

We have all gone through this: looking into the bathroom mirror and becoming distressed over the lines and creases around our eyes. Although it may seem like it happened overnight, those small lines known as “crow’s feet” gradually occur over time and can make us look older and tired.

The good news: there is hope! Eye creams with antioxidants and strong moisturizing agents can help hydrate and actually “plump up” the skin and help to camouflage the lines. Unfortunately, this is only temporary-lasting 8 to 12 hours. My personal favorite is Effuleger Eye Serum. It contains antioxidants which stimulate fibroblast collagen production and jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is an excellent moisturizer and creates an environment which repairs damaged stratum corneum (top layer of the skin) by increasing the level of hydration.

What Are Crow’s Feet?

Crow’s feet are often one of the first signs of aging that many of us experience. This is because the skin around our eye area is thin, making it more susceptible to the internal and external factors that can cause skin aging.

There are two types of crow’s feet lines: dynamic (movement) and static (resting). Dynamic wrinkles are the result of muscle activity such as squinting to protect our eyes from strong sunlight; squinting to aid in focusing to improve our site; or the squinting associated with expressing our motions of happiness or pain.

In addition to increased muscle activity fostering wrinkles, the sun, environmental irritants, and the general aging process can cause the delicate tissue around our eyes to lose collagen and elastin which eventually results in reduced tissue elasticity and the formation of wrinkles and folds.

The sun (UVA and UVB rays) is one of the primary reasons for skin wrinkling. These rays penetrate into the skin and breakdown collagen and elastin. This is why wearing a bra-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or above is so important.

Environmental pollution can also cause skin wrinkling. Pollution causes free radicles to secondhand cigarette smoke, and even car exhaust can lead to air pollution which can have a negative impact on your skin. There is why we recommend layering an antioxidant under your sunscreen. Antioxidants attached to these oxygen free radicles caused by pollution effects.

Treatment Options

While we cannot stop the conveyor belt of time or stop the sun from shining and we certainly do not want to stop smiling, the following can help reduce and/or treat your “crow’s feet”:

Sunscreen: Reduce collagen breakdown by using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above. Apply sunscreen last. Think of applying sunscreen so that is is “closest to the sun”.

Antioxidants: Use an antioxidant cream (vitamin C creams; Effulgere Eye Serum, etc.) under your makeup and sunscreen to absorb oxygen free radicles and help to stimulate collagen formation

Hydrate (Plump Up): Use a strong moisturizer to hydrate and “plump up” your skin to temporarily minimize skin wrinkling

Botox: Use Botox or other neuromodulators such as Dysport to help reduce dynamic skin wrinkles caused by contraction of your orbicularis oculi muscles (squinting).

(Currently, clinical studies are being conducted on a topical “Botox” cream that can be used around your eyes)

Fillers: Some doctors treatment wrinkling around the eyes with dermal filler (hyaluronic acid) injections. Results can vary widely depending on one’s anatomy and the amount of skin laxity. It should be noted that significant complications, such as blindness, have occurred as a result of injections in this area, so be sure you have an experience physician for treatments in this area.

Chemical Peels and Lasers: For treatment of deeper, persistent wrinkling in the periorbital area, phenol based chemical peels and carbon dioxide laser resurfacing can both provide excellent, long-term results. They help to remove wrinkles, improved skin elasticity, and often can provide up to 20% “tightening” of your skin. However, both take approximately 7 days to heal, during which time you need to keep the area covered with a thick layer of Vaseline and avoid wearing makeup for 1 week.

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