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Monday, January 18, 2016

Crow’s Feet Q & A

How can I get rid of or prevent crow’s feet?

In a word, you can’t. Crow’s feet are the lines and wrinkles that form around the eyes from years of expressing, including laughing, crying, squinting, and rubbing the area. Throughout our lives the eye area gets a good deal of sun exposure, too. This will increase both the speed of formation and the depth of the lines around your eyes.

You have no functioning oil glands directly under your eyes, so it stands to reason that this particular area remains dry (oil-dry) throughout your life, coupled with the fact that the eyes are the most expressive part of the face. This gives just about everyone a recipe for premature lines and wrinkles.

Crow’s feet are not preventable—unless of course you don’t express and otherwise don’t disrupt the tissue. Obviously, this is not going to happen. Even young people have the beginnings of crow’s feet—they are a natural part of the evolution of our skin. You can’t really get rid of them nor can you prevent them from occurring.

This is where Botox and other cosmetic procedures step in. And this is where I go my separate way. You get lines and wrinkles due to the natural aging process, like it or not. And my choice is to accept and move on. For others, moving on means reaching for cosmetic helpers that will help diminish or even eliminate the lines. I still contend the lines around your eyes cannot be completely eliminated, but Botox and some laser procedures can significantly lessen their appearance. I don’t subscribe to these procedures, but they are widely available.

I am not sure if 26 is the magic number, but I have started to notice the beginnings of the dreaded crow’s feet (which is why I am stocking up on eye cream!). Is this normal? Am I aging prematurely? How can I make it stop?

The aging process starts when it does. It is different for every individual, but at 26 you are probably going to start seeing something. Because the eyes are so expressive, it is usually the first place you will see lines starting to form. You can’t “make it stop,” but using eye cream every day will help to keep the skin under your eyes soft and therefore discourage lines from forming due to dehydration.

The lines will form there, and every year they will get deeper. Now in my 50s, I am of course seeing the aging process take hold. Gray hair, deeper lines, but I don’t obsess or even pay too much attention to all that. I know intellectually those things are going to happen. So I choose to focus my attention on the things I can change like eating well, exercising, and in general continuing to learn how to relax through life.

At 26 this may all sound like a bunch of “who cares,” but you can’t change the inevitable. You can, of course, use good products on your skin and stay away from direct sunlight on your face. But nature will take its course. Try to enjoy the process! (I’m sure you are rolling your eyes right about now!)

It is doubtful you are aging prematurely, and yes, seeing some lines is normal. But how much sun exposure you’ve received thus far (and will continue to get) greatly influences how deep the lines get in your mid-20s. For instance, do you ever sit outside to eat lunch? What about driving with your sunroof open? These are really no different than lying on the beach. Sun is sun, and it is the number one cause of aging, both premature and normal aging.

I would like to instill an air of confidence in younger readers. I encourage you to stop looking so hard in the mirror and live your life. You may see the wrinkles starting to form, but they aren’t going anywhere! They will be with you for the rest of your life. Enjoy your youth; you have the rest of your life to worry about aging.

For other articles, see:
Well, aging does happen, but focus on something you have control over!