14 Simple Ways to Prevent Crow’s Feet
Prevent Eye Wrinkles from Forming
“The best strategy to reduce and prevent wrinkles should be to ensure sunscreen is applied on a daily basis,” explains dermatologic surgeon Joseph Sobanko, MD. Numerous studies indicate that sun exposure is the biggest cause of wrinkles—so protect yourself against it.
When choosing a sunscreen, Dermatologist Dr. Debra Price says it’s important to pick a sunscreen with at least a minimum SPF of 15 to 30, and it’s “equally important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with ingredients that extend protection throughout the entire UVA spectrum as well. Currently the ingredients that afford maximal UVA protection include Mexoryl SX, titanium dioxide and azobenzone.” Dr. Price recommends applying your sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, and reapplying every two hours and following water exposure.
Start wearing sunscreen “from a very early age because sunscreen application will also help prevent skin cancer,” Dr. Sobanko adds. Sunscreen will also help prevent dark age-spots from forming.
In addition to wearing sunscreen, wearing sunglasses can also help prevent wrinkles. Go with a pair of UV protection sunglasses and religiously wear them every time you venture outside during daylight.
Sunglasses will provide an addition barrier against wrinkle-causing UV rays, and also help prevent you from repeatedly squinting, a motion which causes your muscles to contract and creates creases in your skin; over time, these creases form wrinkles.
Gently Apply (& Remove) Products & Makeup
“The delicate skin around the eye is five to 10 times thinner than the rest of your face,” explains clinical aesthetician Jillian Wright. Because of this, you should be very gentle when applying products and removing your makeup.
Whether it is SPF, your go-to serum, or concealer, delicately apply the product to the eye area and avoid rubbing it in. To do this, licensed esthetician Daniela Ferri recommends using the pads of your ring fingers—they are your weakest fingers—to very gently pat your product onto the area. (If applying an eye cream or serum, don’t forget to apply it to the area above the upper lids in addition to below the lower lids. Go very easy around the tear duct area in order to prevent the product from pooling and causing irritation).
When removing your makeup, avoid scrubbing and excessive wiping with makeup remover cloths. “Just make sure you are gentle with your hand and use cotton to remove [makeup],” Wright says. “Tissue is too harsh since it is made from wood pulp.”
Wright’s go-to eye makeup removers include: oil free remover that comes in a Q-tip from Jane Iredale or Bioelements, which is designed specifically for the delicate eye area.
Resist the Urge to Scratch
Just as you should delicately apply and remove products in the eye area, you should also avoid rubbing and scratching the skin around your eyes. “Rubbing the eyes from itching or puffiness can cause [wrinkles], too,” explains Ferri, adding that when you rub your eyes you’re inflaming the area. “Inflammation inside or outside the skin is the cause of fine lines and wrinkles.”
While you’re resisting the urge to rub your eyes, also try not to touch them throughout the day since it can introduce unwanted bacteria to the eyes—pink eye, anyone?
Be Careful with Contacts
If you’re a contact lens wearer, pay attention to how you are putting your contacts in every morning and taking them out every night. Putting extra pressure on the delicate upper and lower eyelids twice a day can cause stretching and a loss of elasticity in the area. Try using your ring and pinky fingers to hold your lids open, since those are your two weakest fingers and will exert less stress on your skin.
Sleep On Your Back
To help prevent wrinkles on not only your eyes, but also your face and neck, you should sleep on your back. Sleeping on your side or stomach “can predispose you to sleep lines that can become permanently etched in your skin,” says Dr. Price.
While you're at it, invest in comfy silk sheets. If you end up sleeping on your side, your skin will glide more easily over the silk fabric, lessening the chance wrinkles have to form, Dr. Price explains.
And if you do sleep on your side or stomach, also try alternate which side of your face is against the pillow so as to not overly stress one side.
Unless you fancy the Shar Pei look, don’t smoke. This needs no explanation: cigarettes rapidly age and damage nearly every part of your body—especially your skin. The facial motions you have to make to hold and puff a cigarette cause the skin on your face to pull and causes wrinkles, and nicotine destroys the collagen and elastin that keep your skin plump and nimble.
Also avoid second-hand smoke. In addition to the myriad of serious health problems second hand smoke causes, it also can contribute to wrinkle formation and cause your skin to lose elasticity. Plus, people tend to instinctively squint when they’re around smoke—and we’ve already established that squinting leads to fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes.
Easy with the Eyeliner
We love eyeliner as much as the next girl, just not the fact that all that pulling and tugging on the lids can cause wrinkles and saggy lids. During application, instead of pulling your eyelids straight at the corners, hold the skin taut from the temple. Keep your pencil liners sharp, too, so you can easily line your eyes without having to tug.
Skip Straws in Your Drinks
Just like drinking from a straw will cause you to have wrinkles around your mouth, it may also contribute to eye wrinkles due to the movements your face makes to drink through the straw.
Skip the straw for water, but you may want to use it for teeth-wearing drinks like coffee, tea, juices and soda.
Get Your Vision Checked
If you find yourself having to squint to see more clearly, set an appointment with your eye doctor. We squint when we’re straining to see, and this breeds crow’s feet and fine lines.
Take Computer Breaks
If you spend most of your time in front of a bright computer screen, you may have noticed your eyes can begin to strain after a while. To combat this, take frequent breaks from the computer when you can, and be sure to optimize your monitor’s brightness settings, as too bright or too dim screens can aggravate the strain.
Although sun protection and preventing bad eye habits are crucial to slowing the progression of eye wrinkles, there are foods you can eat for an added boost.
“In one study, people who ate antioxidant-rich foods—think fruits and veggies, olive oil and nuts—had fewer lines than those who ate diets low in antioxidants,” explains registered dietitian Kerri-Ann Jennings.
“Soyfoods—like tofu and edamame—which are high in isoflavones, may ward off UV-damage, a main culprit in wrinkles.”
Foods rich in the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (like salmon) and vitamin C (like citrus fruits, cauliflower and strawberries) can also help, Jennings explains.
As Jennings says, “Bottom line: many of the healthy foods that are good for your general health may have the added bonus of warding off wrinkles. Win-win!”
Yes, that Preparation H. Consider using it if you get puffiness, or bags, under your eyes, as this puffiness can contribute to eye wrinkles. Applied below the lower eyelids, the active ingredients in the hemorrhoid cream can help to reduce under-eye bags. Just be careful not to get it in your eyes—or to leave it out for visitors to see.
Check out some other ways to prevent and reduce bags under the eyes here: http://www.chickrx.com/questions/how-can-i-avoid-for-having-a-eyebags
Retinoid and Retinol Creams
There are an overwhelming number of beauty products out there claiming to prevent crow’s feet and wrinkles, but few things work well. “Over-the-counter ‘anti-aging’ creams may be a popular way to ‘prevent or treat wrinkles,’” adds Dr. Sobanko, “but there is really little good scientific evidence that they do this. They may help promote collagen strength under the skin. But it is important to recognize the significant limitations of these creams.”
What has actually been shown to work, and is often the go-to for dermatologists, are prescription retinoid creams (known as Retin A). Retinoids have the effect of thickening the skin if used regularly, which can both prevent and treat crow’s feet. If you get a generic version, the creams can also be affordable. Talk to your doctor about this option, and also any potential side effects (common ones include increased sensitivity, redness, dryness and itching).
Over-the-counter wrinkle prevention options, while less effective, may help if you look for the right ingredients. Retinol is a significantly less powerful version of retinoid creams (so it tends to be less effective), but is available over-the-counter. Also look for products containing Q10, alpha hydroxy acids, peptides or antioxidants.
References: theeyeclinic.net/PressRoom/PressRoomDisplay.asp?p1=3416&p2=Y; mayoclinic.com/health/wrinkles/DS00890/DSECTION=treatments%2Dand%2Ddrugs
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