We live in a day and age where people expect instant gratification. You want a change, and you want it as soon as possible — and nowhere does that desire for quick changes is as pronounced as in physical appearance. The reason is simple: when you look good, you feel good. And one of the ways you can feel your best is by looking as young as possible for your age. One of the first signs of aging to appear on your face is crow’s feet. But, what exactly, are they? How can you prevent them if you don’t have them yet? And if you do, what’s the best way to reduce their appearance?
What are crow’s feet?
Crow’s feet are wrinkles that appear on the outer corner of the eyes. They occur when the skin loses collagen — and thus, its elasticity — as part of the normal aging process. In certain individuals, they may become more pronounced due to sun damage, hormonal changes, smoking, and facial movements.
Crow’s feet are usually the first signs of aging in a person’s complexion because the skin around the eyes is significantly thinner than on the rest of the face. As the years go by, these lines become deeper and longer.
What causes crow’s feet?
Crow’s feet most commonly develop because of:
- Repeated normal squinting or smiling
- Sun exposure
- Hormonal changes due to aging
Repeated normal squinting or smiling causes muscle contractions of the ocular Orbis muscle, which is the largest muscle around the eyes. These actions include normal and benign everyday motions like squinting or smiling. When the muscle contracts repeatedly, like it is during squinting, lines on the skin develop. Over time, these lines become permanent, and your skin becomes wrinkled.
Other contributors to the development of crow’s feet include frequent and prolonged exposure to the sun, as UV rays damage the skin by decreasing key elements of collagen and elastin. When this occurs, the skin wrinkles more easily when you squint.
Smoking also contributes to the development of crow’s feet because it also damaged the collagen and elastin of the skin. Smoking also reduces blood flow, which deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients needed to be healthy.
Hormonal changes brought on by menopause also contribute to a decrease in skin quality and elasticity because decreasing estrogen levels reduce collagen and elastin, too. This means that if you develop crow’s feet early on in life (and they can start as young as your thirties), they likely will worsen after menopause as your estrogen drops.
How to Prevent Crow’s Feet
Crow’s feet are natural and no matter who you are, they will eventually appear on your face. However, If you still don’t have any wrinkles, there are several things you can do to prevent their early appearance — and they are relatively easy. These include:
1. Eat Foods that are Rich in Antioxidants
Free radicals (which are the result of exposure to pollutants, cigarette smoke, certain chemicals, and X-Rays) break down healthy cells. While a healthy body can naturally fight them, this ability is diminished as you age. As a result, cells get damaged easier and faster — reflecting as signs of aging. Antioxidants counteract this deterioration, as well as protect your cells from future damage. Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that contain antioxidants. These include berries, dark chocolate, kale, artichokes, spinach, beans, and potatoes, to name a few.
2. Use a Silk Pillowcase
Yes, sleeping on your stomach is comfortable for many people. But, spending so many hours with the side of your head on a cotton pillowcase pulls at the skin — accelerating the appearance of wrinkles. Therefore, if your goal is to completely prevent crow’s feet from appearing early, you should sleep on your back. If this is not a realistic option for you, swap your pillowcase for a silk one. This is because this type of material is gentler on the skin and causes less friction.
3. Apply Eye Cream
Since the skin around the eyes is so thin and sensitive, a good eye cream provides additional nourishment to this area. Eye creams also hydrate skin cells, which lessens the appearance of fine lines. Start using it as early as your 20s as part of a good offense approach and continue using it throughout your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Apply it every morning and evening after washing your face, using your fingertips. Then pat the area gently until all of the cream is absorbed by your skin. Read the ingredients list and look for creams with hyaluronic acid and peptides, since they can help soften fine lines.
4. Wear Sunscreen
Always wear a minimum of SPF 30 when you’re going to be exposed to the sun — even if it’s an overcast day. Do this every single day, since minimal exposure can have a cumulative effect. In addition to protecting your skin from early signs of aging, you’re also decreasing the risk of skin cancer, so this is a good habit to have.
5. Wear Sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses every time you’re outside not only protects the skin around your eyes from sun damage (especially if the glasses include UV protection), they also prevent you from squinting constantly. Opt for plastic frames, since metal ones can reflect sun rays that hit you underneath your eyes.
How to Reduce the Appearance of Crow’s Feet
If you already have crow’s feet and would like to reduce their appearance, you can do so by undergoing noninvasive cosmetic enhancements. The most helpful ones include:
1. Injectable Fillers
You’ve likely heard of some of the most popular injectable fillers — such as Botox, Juvederm, and Restylane. They are safe injections that provide a temporary reversal of skin aging. Effects are visible within hours of treatment and can last up to a year, depending on the filler of choice.
2. Facial Rejuvenation
Facial rejuvenation consists of harvesting fat from other parts of your body, then reinjecting them into your facial wrinkles. The procedure only requires general anesthesia and the more youthful appearance can last for several years.
3. Vampire Facials
Vampire facials get their name because they involve using platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The procedure uses a popular method called micro-needling, which uses hundreds of tiny needles to make small holes on the skin. The PRP is then applied over them. Although it sounds unusual, it is not painful or uncomfortable.
If You’re Thinking About Cosmetic Enhancements, Contact Innovations Medical
If you’re looking to reshape your body and boost your self-confidence, Innovations Medical is here for you. We’ll answer your questions and resolve any concerns you have about cosmetic procedures. We’ve been helping our patients look their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.