Crow's feet are an inevitable part of aging. Thanks to years of squinting, smiling and spending time in the sun, the fragile skin around the eye area eventually forms those pesky branching lines. (Think of them as proof of all the fun you've had over the years!) But if you're not into wearing your past on your face, there are effective steps you can take to mask it. Here, five pro-approved tips for preventing and treating crow's feet.
Layer on the SPF
Sun protection is the number one step you can take to prevent and reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. And not just in the summer. Daily application of sunscreen, in even wintertime, helps prevent the free radical damage and photo-aging that cause crow's feet. Try Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50, $42.
Also, remember to wear your favorite shades whenever you go out in the sun. Not only does it look stylish, it also keeps you from squinting (aka, the contractions in the skin that contribute to crow's feet).
Eye Cream Is Your Friend
The delicate skin around the eyes is thinner and less fatty than the skin elsewhere on your face and thus requires extra attention in the moisturizing department. To address crow's feet, look for an eye cream with gentle, hydrating ingredients like glycerin, squalene, peptides and cucumber. Try Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-On, $10.99.
Get Your Shuteye
They call it beauty sleep for a reason. When you don't get enough sleep, your body's hormone production goes all out of whack. First, you end up producing less human growth hormone, a vital part of everyday tissue repair. Your body also releases more of the stress hormone cortisol when you're sleep deprived, which can break down collagen, causing skin to lose elasticity and cause more wrinkles.
In other words, more sleep, less crow's feet. Experts recommend getting at least eight hours of sleep a night to keep fine lines and wrinkles to a minimum.
Sip on This
When the skin is dehydrated, crow's feet and dark circles are exacerbated. You can layer on all the eye cream you want, but treating parched skin from the inside out is equally, if not more, important.
That means doubling your daily water intake. That might sound like a big change but making a lifestyle switch-up as simple as keeping a cute water bottle at your work desk can help you drink twice as much water without even thinking about it.
Talk to a Plastic Surgeon
No one is suggesting you get a full face lift here, but medical professionals agree that if you're serious about getting rid of crows feet, injectables are the most effective option.
Though sun protection and moisture are helpful, Botox works to temporarily freeze the muscles that cause crows feet (temporarily, as in three to four months). Though Botox can sound scary if you've never done it before, the reality is that it's incredibly common, relatively painless and the industry "gold standard" for reducing those pesky lines.
Still nervous? Find a board certified plastic surgeon, and schedule a consultation to discuss your options.