Crow’s Feet. Laughter lines. Furrows. Wrinkles. Whatever you call the lines that gather at the edges of the eyes, the older we get the more likely we are to notice them.
In the same way we get fine lines and wrinkles on other parts of our face, and body, crow’s feet are caused when the collagen in our skin drops and it becomes less elastic.
This is a sign of ageing and happens to us all but when it comes to the skin around our eyes, it tends to happen sooner and more rapidly than anywhere else.
In fact, crow’s feet can appear at any age, even as early as your mid-20s.
While it’s not possible to prevent crow’s feet entirely, there are things you can do to delay their appearance and lessen their impact. To find out more, we spoke to FOREO’s Skincare Educator and Beauty Therapist, Chris Luckham.
While age and UV exposure are two of the main contributing factors for crow’s feet, the reason these laughter lines occur earlier in life is because of the layer of skin around our eyes is thinner than in most other places on our body.
There is also a lack of oil glands around the eye.
This means that not only is the skin more likely to get pulled and stretched, it’s more at risk from the damage caused by UV rays.
Plus, without any additional moisture coming from the oil glands found elsewhere on the face, the skin becomes dehydrated. If you think of your skin like a grape, without any moisture it eventually shrivels and wrinkles.
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Then, when the elasticity of skin around this thin layer drops, the skin can’t bounce back to its original state and remains in a state of sagging. In more severe cases, it can even cause droopiness on the upper area of the eye, leading to the need for a ptosis eyelid surgery.
“Due to [the area where laughter lines appear] being a highly mobile area, it’s obvious that, with time, it will begin to lose elasticity and tightness” explained Chris. Highly mobile means an area of the skin that is almost constantly moving, and the area around your eyes is flexing and creasing all day as you smile, talk, squint and frown.
“Skin also eventually reduces the ability to create collagen, so we lose that pillow plumpness to specific areas,” Chris continued. “If we work towards either stimulating collagen, toning the surrounding muscles, or increasing the efficacy of our chosen eye cream then we can slightly slow these effects down and prevent more dramatic lines.”
So how do we do the things that Chris suggests – stimulating collagen, toning the muscles, and increasing the efficacy of our eye creams?
Firstly you’ll need to introduce an eye cream to your skincare routine, if you don’t already use one.
We explain more about why creams formulated for the skin around your eyes are more beneficial than simply using your regular moisturiser in our guide to the best eye creams.
“Use active ingredients around the eye area and make sure they are going as deep as possible,” added Chris. “This is why I would usually recommend clients use eye creams with ingredients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C or Copper Gluconate.”
One of the best eye creams we’ve used is the CeraVe Eye Repair Cream (£12) because it contains hyaluronic acid. This ingredient has the ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making CeraVe’s budget-friendly eye cream extremely moisturising.
What’s more, it’s also great if you’re looking to get rid of dark circles and puffiness, too.
Our resident makeup artist, Victoria Howe, swears by it and that’s enough for us!
We also love Tropic Skincare‘s Eye Dream Age Defying eye cream (£38), particularly because we’re in our mid-30s so our skin is starting to age more.
With its almost Vaseline-type consistency, you warm it up on your fingers before using it to create a layer on the skin around your eyes as you sleep.
It then sits on the skin to provide it with a much-needed supply of moisture throughout the night and contains a mixture of plant ceramides, to plump and rejuvenate skin, improve elasticity and reduce the signs of ageing.
Elsewhere, it uses bio-retinol, to stimulate the production of collagen, and shea nilotica butter blended with pomegranate sterols and jojoba esters to moisturise deep into the skin.
Elsewhere, Avon recently released a seven-day, intense treatment designed to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles on the face, neck and hands.
Containing a breakthrough, clinically tested ingredient called Protinol, the Avon Plumping Shots (£15) have been proven to restore both types of collagen found in healthy skin, helping to “mimic the perfect collagen equilibrium found in baby skin.”
Avon is so bold with its claims, it markets the Plumping Shots as being able to restore “seven years of collagen in seven days.” You can read more in our Avon Plumping Shots review.
If you want to boost the elasticity of the skin, it works to tighten the muscles around your eyes and on your face. You can either choose to do daily facial massages – this helps tone and tighten the skin – or you can invest in a facial toning device.
“For the fitness-focused clients or anyone wanting to tone and tighten, I’d always ask the question – are you exercising your face too?,” added Chris.
Unsurprisingly, Chris recommends the FOREO BEAR Mini and, having used it, we’re inclined to agree. It uses microcurrents to stimulate the muscles around your face, particularly those around your eyes and lips.
It comes with a conductive serum and an anti-shock system to both improve the toning ability of the device and make it easy for beginners to get started with. There is also a FOREO app that shows you how to use it.
The UFO 2 uses thermotherapy to soften and prep the skin, before opening up your pores. You then move it in circles around your face and neck to massage the mask serum into your skin for around two minutes. Instead of waiting 10-20 minutes – and sometimes more – for masks to sink into the skin, the UFO 2 gives you all the benefits in just 2 minutes.
Depending on the mask serum you’re using, the UFO 2 will also combine this thermotherapy with LED light therapy to build collagen and banish dark circles.
Elsewhere, the IRIS is specifically designed for the delicate eye area to stimulate blood flow, whilst at the same time using T-Sonic Pulsations to tighten the skin.
Victoria is founder and editor-in-chief of mamabella, freelance journalist and Mum. She has a passion for empowering people to feel beautiful whatever their age, size, skin type and budget