What are crows feet? Crows feet are wrinkles at the corners of the eyes. They are discouraging and may make you feel older than you actually are. The exact cause may be different for different people. It is usually a combination of factors that cause them.
The causes of wrinkles include:
- Decreased production of collagen and elastin
- Free radical damage
- Habitual facial expressions (squinting, for example)
- Decreased production of new skin cells
- Lower levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin
- Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs)
The corners of the eyes are often the first targets for wrinkles, because the skin around the eyes is thinner and more delicate. Decreased production of collagen and elastin, combined with lower levels of hyaluronic acid within the skin and decreased production of new skin cells makes the area even thinner.
Free radicals are naturally present in the skin, but exposure to UV light and toxins like cigarette smoke cause their numbers to increase. On top of that, older skin contains fewer naturally occurring antioxidants to neutralize the radical molecules before they can do any damage.
AGEs are also damaging molecules that can get inside of the cells, where they are unusable as an energy source and cause the cell to die.
Inflammation damages the skin’s collagen and elastin fibers. It also causes decreased firmness as the skin is stretched from the fluids.
All of these things happen on a cellular level over the course of some time. Eventually, if the damage is not prevented or if it continues, you will start to see crows feet.
How to Prevent Crows Feet
It may be possible to prevent these wrinkles by addressing the factors that cause them. Practically everyone will have a few fine lines, but deep unsightly wrinkles are not an inevitable part of the aging process.
To start with, you should always protect the delicate area around the eyes from UV light, because UV light triggers increased production and activity of free radicals. So, wearing UV filtering sunglasses with lenses large enough to cover the corners of the eyes may help prevent them.
Wearing sunglasses may also help you avoid squinting. Regular eye exams couldn’t hurt either. If you are squinting to read the fine print, you could be causing crows feet to form.
Eating lots of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables can help prevent free radical damage. You can also use antioxidant rich skincare products.
There are also anti-inflammatory foods like salmon and certain spices.
To reduce the risk of inflammation, you can avoid using cosmetics that contain allergens or irritants. Advanced glycation end-products form when people eat a lot of simple carbohydrates; white sugar, white rice, white bread and heavily processed grains. Avoiding those foods will help keep the production of AGEs within your body to a minimum and that will help the health of your whole body.
Not smoking is a “no-brainer”. The other things (decreased production of collagen and elastin, decreased production of new skin cells and lower levels of hyaluronic acid) are inevitable parts of the aging process, but new anti-aging ingredients found in the better skincare products can help prevent those, too.
The Solution for Getting Rid of Crows Feet
Once you have them, you want to get rid of them. Some of the steps that help prevent them can help repair them.
The skin is a naturally rejuvenating organ. You can either speed the rejuvenation process up or slow it down; depending on the steps you take.
For example, if you started wearing sunglasses to protect the area from UV rays, your skin’s antioxidant level would naturally rise. Not only can those antioxidants prevent free radical damage. They can repair damage that has already occurred.
It just takes a long time for the preventative measures to make a difference in your appearance. So, people tend to think they are not working. Because of that, there are solutions for getting rid of crows feet faster.
Solutions offered by cosmetic surgeons include Botox injections to relax the tiny muscles and smooth out the wrinkles. The disadvantages of Botox are several. It can cause permanent paralysis of the muscles making it difficult for a person to blink. The injections are also expensive and they don’t always work. NOT RECOMMENDED.
The Safer Natural Way
There are safe and natural products that you can use at home. Some of them work relatively quickly. Everyone loves a good home remedy. So, let’s start with those.
Home Remedies that Might Work for Crows Feet
There are nearly as many home remedies as there are people with wrinkles. Here’s a recipe that I like, because it includes a variety of mild natural acids and antioxidants. Higher concentrations of these acids are used in the chemical peels offered by cosmetic surgeons. The mild natural form may be just as effective and is better suited for the delicate skin around the eyes. I also like this recipe, because you probably already have the in your kitchen.
3 Vitamin E Liquid Capsules
2 tablespoons unflavored yogurt
½ teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon lemon juice
- Puncture the vitamin E capsules
- Pour the oil into a small bowl.
- Mix in the yogurt, honey and lemon juice until the color is even and the consistency is uniform.
- Using a cotton ball or your fingertips, apply the mixture to your crows feet and let it soak in for 10 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water and follow up with a good moisturizer.
If you don’t want to buy a good all natural moisturizer, just use olive oil.
The popular moisturizers on the market contain ingredients that could cause free radical damage and make your skin look worse.
If you want to use this mask all over your face, simply double or triple the recipe to get the desired amount. If you want to try some ingredients that work even better than these, read the following section.
Ingredients Found in the Better Anti-Aging Skincare Products Work Better
If you want to see the best results, I would recommend the use of an anti-aging eye contour serum (gel) and an anti-aging day cream on a daily basis. While your only problem right now might be crows feet, other wrinkles will follow if you don’t take some steps to improve your skin’s health.
These ingredients are natural and nourishing. They have proven to be effective in clinical studies. This is not merely what a company will say in its marketing campaign. These are proven results.
- Bioactive keratin—shown to increase the production of new skin cells, stimulate collagen and elastin production, inhibit inflammation and increase the skin’s antioxidant content. An added bonus is that the ingredient provides an immediate cosmetic effect by bending the light just enough to make the wrinkles less visible. It is particularly effective for crows feet.
- Wakame kelp extract—increases the skin’s hyaluronic acid levels by preventing it from being broken down. This is a better choice than hyaluronic acid itself, because that ingredient cannot be absorbed into the skin.
- Nano-particles of Coenzyme Q10—a potent antioxidant that has been shown to penetrate deeply and reverse wrinkles caused by sun damage.
- EYELISS—found specifically in eye contour serums, because of its effect on this delicate area. Containing protein peptides, the ingredient has been shown to significantly reduces wrinkles around the eyes after 28 days of daily use.
If you use skincare products consistently that contain these ingredients, you should see your crows feet fade away gradually. If you also follow the preventative steps mentioned earlier, the appearance of your whole face will improve. This may be the new definition of aging gracefully.