Aging is a natural process. As you age, there are so many changes going on in your body, and the skin undergoes gradual changes. The signs of aging become more prominent in facial region since this skin is so delicate. One such area, which is easily susceptible to showing the signs of aging, is the eye region. The little lines which occur in the corners of your eyes can be frustrating. This common concern is called 'crow's feet,' which develop due to tiny muscle contractions that happen every time you make a facial expression.
Types of Wrinkles
Wrinkles are nothing but the creases, folds, or ridges that appear on a person's face as a result of muscle contractions due to facial expressions. Besides aging there are some other factors which causes wrinkles.
- Environmental & genetic factors
Wrinkles are classified in to two types.
Dynamic - These appear during muscle contraction. For example you are smiling and your crow's feet appear primarily at that time, then those are dynamic wrinkles.
Static - These worsen with muscle contractions and are visible all the time.
Though there are different treatment options available for crow's feet, the best option is preventing them.
- Eat healthy. Include a diet full of green vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, and healthy oils. A healthy diet can protect the skin from free radical damage.
- Moisturize your skin. Your dry skin, due to Vata aggravation in old age, needs gentle nurturing and feeding of oils. You can always have a DIY moisturizer with you. Mix equal amounts of Coconut oil and sesame oil. Add few drops of Frankincense essential oil. Whisk all the three oils together for a thicker oil portion. Apply on the face at bedtime to leave your skin nourished and moisturized throughout the night.
- In conventional medicine, chemical peels are used which can improve the appearance of crow’s feet and promote younger, healthier looking skin. You can use a more natural and cost-effective fruit enzyme peel at home for preventing crow's feet. Cut a lemon in half and remove the skin around the cut edge. Using gentle circular motions around your eyes, give your eyes a natural citrus lift.
- Alleviate Vata with a gentle facial scrub. You will need the following:
- 1 cup of oats coarsely powdered
- 2 tbsp. Yogurt
- 1/2 cup ground cashew powder
- 1 tbsp. Honey
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 drops of frankincense essential oil
Mix all the ingredients together and gently scrub the face during bath time once a week.
- Exercise. Staying active and regularly exercising can increase the flow of blood in the body. Increased blood flow brings in increased oxygen supply, there by reducing and preventing wrinkles.
- Limit sun exposure. Always use polarized sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen, even if it's just for short periods of time.
- Get good sleep (at least 6-8 hours), and practice yoga and meditation to relieve stress.
How to Manage Crow's Feet
Retinoids reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin color. Additional benefits include fading age spots and softening rough patches of skin. However, it takes three to six months of regular use before improvements in wrinkles are apparent—and the best results take six to 12 months. Tretinoin (Retin-A) is widely used to fight the signs of aging because it stimulates the production of new skin.
In addition, the conventional treatments include — Botulinum toxin or BOTOX, chemical peel, laser correction, dermal fillers, and more.
Ayurveda on Crow's Feet
- Aloe Vera: The benefits of aloe vera in protecting the skin against harmful radiations has been clinically proven. Aloe gel significantly improves wrinkles and elasticity in photo-aged human skin, with an increase in collagen production. The presence of beta carotenes, as well as vitamins C and E help in keeping the skin firm and hydrated. It is an excellent Rasayana – anti-aging property – which helps in rejuvenation and regeneration. Regularly apply aloe vera lotion or gel to hydrate and moisturize your skin.
- Fenugreek or Methi seeds: These are a rich source of vitamin B3 and niacin, and promotes the regeneration of new cells and tissues that help in lightening age spots, hyper pigmentation wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet that form on the forehead, at corner of eyes and lips. Soak a handful of fenugreek seeds overnight and grind them in the morning with a little water to form a thick paste. Mix with 1 tbsp. of honey and apply it over the face and leave for 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water.
- Avocado: The oleic acid (a healthy fat) in avocados, helps reduce inflammation, lower redness, and fights wrinkles. It can be used on skin daily without adverse effects. To use avocado as a facial moisturizer, a person can take the inside of an avocado peel and massage it onto their face. Leave the residue on for about 15 minutes, then rinse the face with warm water.
- Papaya: Vitamin C in papaya promotes skin regeneration, tightens pores, and works to keep the skin taut and well-hydrated, erasing fine lines. Mash a ripened papaya and add 1 tbsp. of honey to it. Apply on the face and leave for 20 minutes. Repeat this once in a week.
- Kumkumadi oil: This is an Ayurvedic herbal oil used for face massage. It is helpful to improve skin texture, complexion, and also to relieve skin problems such as acne and scars. Kumkuma means saffron, which is the main ingredient of this medicine.