As early as your mid- to late-20s and into your 30s, you may start to notice the very first signs of aging, which are usually subtle but still bothersome. What was once a smooth complexion may now be home to small sunspots, crow’s-feet, dark under-eye circles and uneven texture. Instead of letting the signs of aging get the best of you, take matters into your own hands and correct the changes that you’re seeing—you may even be able to prevent them from progressing as you get older with the proper plan of attack.
You can call crow’s feet “laugh lines” or “character lines,” but these slightly more flattering terms still refer to the same, inevitable sign of aging: the wrinkles that begin to form at the outside corners of your eyes when you hit your mid-twenties. They may show up earlier for people who don’t take good care of their skin and later for those who do. But either way, crow’s feet are all but unavoidable.
The skin on our faces stretches like a rubber band, thanks to a property called elasticity. This means that it can return to its original form after being pulled or compressed — pretty important when you think about how much we move our faces. Unfortunately, as we get older, our skin loses its elasticity. That’s why we form wrinkles and certain parts of our body start to droop. One of the main reasons for this is that our bodies’ production of collagen and elastin, two proteins responsible for our skin’s elasticity, lessens with age.
To reduce their appearance and prevent new ones from forming, your dermatologist or plastic surgeon can inject the area with Botox or Dysport.
Under-Eye Bags, Darkness and Puffiness
With age, the area under the eyes becomes dark and puffy. Makeup can help camouflage bags and circles, but injectables and proper skin care can reverse them. Hyaluronic acid fillers can fill in hollows to give the illusion of fewer bags. You’ll also want to use Retin-A and a product with growth factors to thicken thinning skin around the eyes. Another method of treating dark circles is with conservative use of hydroquinone, which may be irritating to some. Chemical peels, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or fractional CO2 lasers can also help tighten the under-eye area.
Before you try anything else, you might try switching your sleep position. Your sleep position may be contributing to under-eye bags. Thanks to gravity, sleeping on your side or stomach can encourage fluids to collect under your eyes. If you’re a side sleeper, you may notice a heavier bag on the side you sleep on. If you wake up with puffy eyes try to sleep on your back and add an extra pillow under your head.
Discolored skin can result from a variety of factors. Protecting your skin from the sun is important, but in-office procedures and prescription-strength ingredients can make a difference, too. When treating sun spots, the first line of defense is almost always hydroquinone, which stops the production of pigment in its tracks. If your skin is still discolored, your doctor may choose to use a light laser, like IPL, or a fractional laser for more severe spots.
If you’re starting to notice lines around your mouth that start at the corner of your nose and extend downwards, those are nasolabial folds, which, if not addressed, may worsen with time. Hylauronic acid fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane are best for filling in these lines, especially among women in their late 20s and early 30s. The next best thing to injectables that doesn’t necessitate the use of a needle is a topical product that claims to add volume.