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Crow’s Feet

Often the first sign of aging, what we not-so-affectionately refer to as “crow’s feet” are wrinkles that radiate out from the corner of the eyes and, apparently, resemble the scaly, splayed feet of crows.  Also called squint lines, these wrinkles become a problem when skin loses elasticity and collagen over time.  They may show up earlier for people who do not care for their skin and later for those who do (source: Discovery Health).

You are more likely to develop crow’s feet if you (1) smoke cigarettes and if you (2) spend a lot of time in the sun (source: DailyGlow.com).  Both of these habits prematurely age skin, and both of these force squinting, which in turn promotes the formation of crow’s feet.  Also, people frequently skip sunscreen around their eyes, exposing this thinner skin to sun damage (source: Glamour.com).

How can you prevent crow’s feet, or improve their appearance?  Try protecting your skin from harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen.  Exposure to UV rays is among the most common reason that skin loses elasticity and collagen.  As already noted, if you smoke, this damage is multiplied.

Drink water to stay hydrated and keep moisture levels up.

Try eye creams that contain retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids, and copper peptides (source: Discovery Health).  If over-the-counter creams don’t give you the results you are looking for, you may try consulting with a dermatologist, who can prescribe creams with higher concentrations of these ingredients.

Ultimately, crow’s feet are likely to develop for all of us.  They are, after all, simply part of aging.  But a little prevention and care can go a long way to not looking like this:

Take another look at the picture above: how old would you guess this woman is?  Late fifties?  Sixty-five?  Older?

Nope.  She is a walking example of what glaring, squinting, frowning, and refusing to take care of one’s skin can do to rapidly and unattractively age one’s face.  She is actually in her early 40’s, but her haggard, rough, and leathery skin, especially the deep, pronounced wrinkles around and between her eyes, makes her look much, much older.

There are worse things in life, of course, than developing crow’s feet.  But if you can prevent or slow them down, or at least not end up looking prematurely old like the unfortunate woman above, why wouldn’t you?

Dry Winter Skin

According to my current winter beauty challenges poll (on sidebar at right), dry skin is the biggest complaint during the cold months. Never fear! I’ve rounded up a few great articles with tips and ideas to care for dry skin and keep it soft, no matter the season:

Dry Skin: Dry Skin Fixes for Hands, Feet, Body and Lips: useful and easy tips from beautyabout.com

Dry Skin: article on MayoClinic.com with information about causes of dry skin, risk factors, and when to see a dermatologist

What’s Causing Your Dry Skin Problem? from WebMD

10 Winter Skin Care Tips, also from WebMD

Managing Dry Winter Skin from EverydayHealth.com

And just for product junkies, check out Best Moisturizers for Every Skin Type: Your Best Bets for Face and Body from beautyabout.com.

Olay for You

Olay has long been my favorite skin-care line, and it was much easier to shop for my moisturizer before they added a million different lines and products to their brand. Now, to simplify the process, Olay offers Olay for You, allowing you to answer some questions about what you want to target, about your skin, and about your habits, and then be provided with a specific list of recommended items for your skin.

According to Olay for You, Olay Regeneristis the product line for me. I already use a moisturizer with sunscreen, so I doubt I will rush out to buy more products. Still, given the wide array of bottles, tubes, and jars on the shelves at any store skin care aisle, it is nice to get a feel for where to start!

Caring for Oily Skin

First, the good news for those of you (like me) with oily skin: our skin ages at a slower rate than other skin types. Which is good, I suppose, because the chronic break-outs make my skin look like a teenager’s!

I’ve read several articles that suggest washing your face with hot water if you have oily skin, with the idea that the hot water will dissolve oil. I’m not keen on hot water applied to the delicate skin of my face, especially the skin around my eyes, so I use warm water instead.

Overcleansing, or using harsh products, in attempts to eliminate oil can actually make the problem worse if it stimulates the skin to produce more oil. Even though oily skin deserves a spanking more often than not, remember to be gentle with it.

For several tips on care of oily skin, be sure to read this article from Holistic-Online.com. One of the tips is to use witch hazel as an astringent. I switched from Oxy, Clearasil and other teenager-geared astringents to witch hazel, fearing that the alcohol in the other products was doing more damage than good.

You can buy plain witch hazel for really cheap (maybe $1-$2 for a large bottle) or spring for witch hazel with fragrance or lavender added for a more luxurious scent and feel. Witch hazel also works great for easing the sting or itch of insect bites! Check out DrugDigest.org for more uses for witch hazel.