We’re pretty sure that we all remember the day when we looked into the mirror and discovered, to our dismay, the beginning signs of lines forming at the corner of our eyes.
If you’re one of the lucky people who still haven’t developed crow’s feet yet, then you need to start taking measures to prevent that day from ever happening. Prevention is better than cure after all!
In this article, we offer you the most updated tips for preventing and curing cure crow’s feet, particularly for those of us of Asian descent!
1. Don’t mistake smile lines for crow’s feet
Often, you might think you already have crow’s feet because you see lines forming at the corner of your eyes when you break into a smile or laugh. When your face relaxes, the lines usually go away.
If this is you, congratulations, you don’t have crow’s feet yet. These are just smile lines, which aren’t a sign of ageing.
However, if those lines stay visible when your face is relaxed, then you know that those are crow’s feet.
2. Use a silk pillowcase
The more you pull and stretch your skin and the connective tissues underneath it, the faster it will lose its elasticity and form fine lines.
You may take all the care in the world when applying skincare and makeup around your eye area, but what about when you’re sleeping?
Cotton pillowcases tend to be rough, and can tug your skin as you adjust your sleeping position. How do you think those sleep lines on your face formed?
Pillowcases made of silk will provide a smooth surface which won’t generate as much friction with your skin, so there’s going to be a lot less pulling and tugging as you toss in bed.
Bonus: Silk pillowcases are also great for preventing friction damage to your hair cuticles too!
3. Wear sunglasses every day
Another common way we stress out the muscles around our eyes is through squinting. Since Singapore is bright and sunny almost all year round, this is an actual real problem that most of us are hardly aware of.
Squinting contracts the muscles next to your eyes, and repeated squinting will generate that constant tug and pull motion that will decrease elasticity and result in fine lines. Use your sunglasses at any point when you feel like you need to squint, even if it’s cloudy and overcast.
When shopping for sunglasses, it may be tempting to go for whatever’s trendy at the moment, but make sure you’re spending money on a pair that would significantly reduce your need to squint outdoors in the day time.
An option you can consider are polarised sunglasses. Regular sunglasses may dim the world around you, but polarised ones actually cut the glare reflected from surfaces while still letting you see true-to-colour. Less glare means less need to squint!
Many optical shops may recommend polarised sunglasses only for athletes or pilots, but there’s nothing stopping you from buying them yourself. They may be slightly more pricey than regular sunglasses, but depending on brand, there are still affordable ones out there.
If possible, get those with certified UV protection too! This will help your eye health and prevent long-term problems like glaucoma and retinal issues in the future. Consider it an investment!
4. Obviously, sun protection
We don’t want to sound like a broken radio that keeps talking about sun protection over and over again, but we can’t help it. Sun protection really is that important in everything about skincare.
Sun exposure can cause a variety of problems for your skin, and amongst them is the loss of the all-important elasticity that we’re concerned with here. Your skin becomes less able to bounce back after stretching, and you’ll have to say hello to irreversible crow’s feet after a while.
No matter what the weather, even if you’re just planning on staying at home all day, always put on sunscreen in your morning skincare routine. It’s not like the sun doesn’t shine in to your house!
Apply the sunscreen all over your face, but make sure you’re also applying it around your eye area too. It’s easy to forget!
As usual, find a sunscreen that is SPF30 and above, and ideally also with PA+++, and make applying it every day a habit! You’ll thank yourself for forming the habit in a few decades.
5. Choose your eye cream wisely
Eye creams are sometimes viewed as glorified moisturisers, but what differentiates them is really their ingredients. If you’re concerned about preventing or eliminating crow’s feet, then you really need to dive into the ingredients list of eye creams before you buy them.
With eye creams, you should be aiming for those that support collagen production. Collagen is the spongy material underneath your skin which helps it to look plump and youthful, but its production and turnover decreases with age, resulting in crow’s feet and fine lines.
Look out for ingredients like Vitamin A and peptides. Vitamin A will help to prevent sun damage (although it should not replace a regular sunscreen), stimulate collagen production, and also restores a bit of that elasticity to your skin.
Peptides, meanwhile, chemically resembles broken-up collagen pieces, which can trick your body into producing more by itself.
If you have sensitive under-eye areas, be sure to steer away from eye creams that have fragrances or even micronised glitter.
6. Be gentle around your eye area
Modern life has gotten us so far into the habit of rushing around that we don’t even want to slow down to relax and unwind while doing our skincare or makeup.
How many of us are guilty of swiping, tugging, and pulling on the skin around our eyes when we’re applying moisturiser, sunscreen, eye creams, or even makeup like under-eye concealers, eye shadow primers, eye shadows, and eye liners?
As we’ve said before, crow’s feet form because of repeated motions around your eye area. Since most of us would probably be doing skincare twice a day, and then makeup at least once a day, that’s a whole lot of movement happening around your eye area.
Be as gentle as possible when you’re going around your eyes with whatever product you have on hand. With skincare products, dot the product underneath the eyes and patting it in gently until it is absorbed.
With makeup, practise as much as possible to apply your eye shadows and draw your eye liner without having to pull on your skin at all – it is possible, and while it may take a bit of effort and time to get used to it, it’ll pay off in the long run!
DV Tip: Use your ring finger when patting on any skincare products or concealer underneath your eyes. Your ring finger has much less muscles than your index and your middle fingers, which means it’ll exert a lot less pressure on your skin.
7. Exfoliate with mild acids
Exfoliation can help with a lot of skincare problems, from preventing signs of ageing like crow’s feet, to battling with acne. The common gold standard in exfoliation is glycolic acid, which is easily available in many drugstore products.
Because exfoliation sloughs off the topmost layer of dead skin cells on your skin, it encourages your body to push newer skin cells to the surface. The process also helps to stimulate skin cell renewal, plumping up the skin layers and smoothing out crow’s feet and fine lines.
Glycolic acid also has the added benefit of promoting collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin, which also adds to the plumping effect and reducing the appearances of crow’s feet.
How often you should be exfoliating, and even what exfoliants you should be using, varies from individual to individual depending your skin type and condition. Check out our guide on exfoliation here!
DV Tip: Always make sure that you moisturise your skin amply, because exfoliation can dry out the skin and that could also cause fine lines if you’re not careful. Never over-exfoliate!
8. Speak to your doctor for more intensive procedures
If you already have significant crow’s feet and are looking to reduce or get rid of them, you may need to start looking for more intensive procedures that can only be done at the doctor’s office, or even at the dermatologist’s.
Such procedures include acid peels, which is basically a more intense session of exfoliation with higher concentrations of acids used. Your skin should be analysed by a trained professional to confirm that it is suitable for these peels.
Alternatively, there’s also the famous Botox injection. Botox, or the botulinum toxin, works by preventing muscles from contracting, which then reduces the appearance of crow’s feet. Take note, however, that crow’s feet caused by sun damage will not respond to Botox!
DV Tip: Botox injections or topical treatments aren’t only used to get rid of fine lines. They can also be used to prevent crow’s feet from happening, before they even show up.
9. Stop… smiling?
Sadly, one of the common causes of crow’s feet is smiling and laughing too much. These facial expressions commonly contract the muscles near your eyes and if it happens too often, can lead to crow’s feet and fine lines.
However, we believe that age will catch up with us all. All the above steps will help you to prolong the number of years you can enjoy a more youthful appearance, but it’d be difficult to stave off the crow’s feet forever.
What does count, however, is the quality of your life! So we’re not going to tell you to stop smiling and laughing just to prevent crow’s feet. Enjoy yourself to the utmost, and we believe that inner glow will naturally outshine any outwards signs of ageing!