The fine lines etched around our eyes might be evidence of a life well lived, but they are also a clear sign of ageing. Never fear, the range of treatments and products on offer will soften the blow of their existence.
Why do I have crow’s feet?
Laughter and smiles are the main causes of crow’s feet. Not so funny is the fact we become more susceptible to them over time. Skin expert Caroline Parker, head of education at Dermalogica NZ, explains, “These lines are the result of repeated contractions of the muscle surrounding our eyes. As we get older the muscle doesn’t retract as efficiently, meaning it remains creased and the skin then falls into the crevices.”
Genetics also come into play – how your parents have aged is often a sign of how you might too. Another cause of laugh lines is exposure of this delicate area to the sun. Caroline recommends covering up. “Wearing good sunglasses will help delay the appearance of crow’s feet, as will adding an eye cream rich in retinol and peptides to your skincare regimen.”
So which type of skincare product should we use? Choose ones with ingredients that strengthen the skin and increase volume, such as Vitamin C and retinol. A number of eye creams on the market also include a cosmetic silicone ingredient which will superficially fill out creases while the active ingredients work their magic.
Many of us avoid getting cream too close to the eye area for fear of irritation, yet as a result we neglect this delicate skin. This leaves the area vulnerable to sun damage, pollutants and other environmental factors.
Application is simpler than you might think. ‘Less is more’ is the mantra to keep in mind. Add a spot of cream to both ring fingers and gently dab three dots along the bottom orbital bone. Let the heat from your hands work the product in and gently press to help absorption. Slide your fingers over your brow bone to use up any extra product. There is no need to apply to eyelids as they will naturally absorb the product as it sinks in.
Master of disguise: The concealer
Skincare regimens won’t provide instant results, so it’s a good idea to arm yourself with some clever concealers and foundations while your creams and serums work their magic. Some of the best cover-ups on the market are infused with light reflecting ingredients which camouflage lines. Choosing the right shade is important – too light and it will highlight the problem; too dark and it will muddy your complexion. For the best results, apply three small dots of concealer along your lower orbital bone and let your fingers warm the product, before blending it in using dabbing motions. Most makeup artists advise using only concealer around the eye area because foundation can settle into the lines.
The other option to consider is a quick trip to your beauty therapist for a more instant fix. Botox is favoured by many for its ability to erase lines around the eye area for a period of up to three months. It works by relaxing the muscles, restricting their ability to contract, which results in softer lines and wrinkles in the overlying skin.
Worried about ending up with a frozen face? Fran Caliari-Pearce, who manages an Auckland Caci Clinic, believes it’s important to shop around for the right provider. “Botox is intended to enhance the way you look, not change it,” she says. “When administered by an experienced physician, you can still smile, frown and animate.”
This procedure promises a longer-lasting result than topical skincare can deliver, and the treatment should be repeated every few months. “Most people report that they find with regular treatments the results last longer,” Fran adds. Botox is said to also act as a preventative because the muscles don’t contract as much after being injected. Expect to pay upwards of $300 per treatment.