What causes lines around the eyes (AKA crow’s feet)?
We already touched on the emotional side of things, but like all wrinkles, the main culprit for crow’s feet is the loss of elasticity in the skin. As we get older our skin produces less collagen and doesn’t have the same ‘bounce back’ it once did, which can cause sagging, drooping and looser skin.
The skin around the eyes is also approximately 10 times thinner than the rest of the face, so it’s less resilient to the ageing process. Combine this with constant facial movements (blinking, winking, fluttering) and it’s no wonder this area of skin is in need of some targeted TLC.
How can we prevent crow’s feet?
Prevention is always better than a cure and when it comes to crow’s feet, there’s plenty you can do to slow their arrival.
For the non-believers in eye cream, we get it. Even beauty guru Zoë Foster Blake has previously called them nothing but ‘expensive little pots of moisturiser’. But she’s also said that if they contain active ingredients, such as retinol, they will make a difference.
Our recommendation is to use a retinol eye cream at night, and for morning, invest in a lightweight yet super hydrating solution to sit under makeup. Look for ingredients like ceramides, which will help to strengthen the skin barrier and protect from environmental aggressors, which can lead to skin ageing.
We all know SPF is a non-negotiable when it comes to preventing skin ageing, so consider this your friendly reminder to be diligent around the eye area too. If coming too close causes waterworks, you may need to update your SPF to a more sensitivity-friendly formula.
Also, SUNGLASSES. Wear them.
Sleep on silk
Hear us out. If you’re a side or front sleeper who wakes up with a creased face each morning, consider your sheet fabric. Sleep pillowcases cause less friction with the skin than cotton and contain amino acids (yes, really) to support skin regeneration. You can also go for a silk sleep mask if you’re feeling extra Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's.
Slip Sleep Mask, $55 at Sephora
How to minimise the appearance of crow’s feet
As for the cheeky buggers that have already arrived, there are a few treatments and products that will help soften existing crow’s feet.
Skin tightening treatments
Skin tightening treatments and devices that utilise energy such as radio frequency, micro-currants or temperature control can help increase circulation around the eye area. Using smaller attachments appropriate for the delicate area, treatments such as this are relatively pain-free, though discomfort will vary from treatment to treatment and person to person. Best results come from repetitive sessions of around 10-15 minutes and will help the appearance of crow’s feet look visibly reduced and softened after four to six treatments.
NuFace Trinity Device ($507) and Trinity ELE Attachment ($239) both at MECCA
Not quite an injectable, microneedling creates tiny punctures in the skin for controlled skin injury, that in turn encourages faster skin renewal and collagen production. The skin’s reaction to microneedling is to quickly heal, and so fibroblasts and other collagen-producing cells are stimulated, resulting in rejuvenated and more youthful-looking skin. It can be slightly more painful than skin tightening treatments, but this often depends on the individual's own pain threshold.
Not one for any kind of pain at all? Eye masks offer a relaxed alternative. The results may not be long-lasting, but if it's some simple pre-party plumping you’re after, they do the trick.
Best used right before makeup, eye masks are great for soothing puffiness and hydrating crow’s feet for a smoother, brighter eye area overall. Peel them off just mere minutes before beginning your base for even foundation application that won’t settle into creases as easy.