Stressing over signs of aging on the tender skin near the corners of your eyes? Keep calm and smile on! We reached out to the experts and came up with plenty of age-by-age tips to help hold bigger lines at bay for years to come—no botox necessary. From preventative sunscreen to wrinkle-reducing eye creams, find out how you can combat crow’s feet in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond in our gallery.
1. In Your 20s
Collagen-zapping sun exposure now (and to a lesser extent repetitive motions such as squinting) will speed perma-creases in your 30s, says Los Angeles dermatologist Jessica Wu. Commit to sunglasses year-round, and pick up SPF in a stick form such as Clarins Sunscreen Stick for Sun-Sensitive Areas ($27; sephora.com), which you can swipe beside eyes. But first apply a vitamin C serum, like EmerginC’s version seen here, ($79; emerginc.com) under them to ward off skin-aging free-radical damage from UV rays.
2. In Your 30s
Slightly thinning skin makes fine lines more noticeable, says Jennifer Lee, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Firm up by stimulating collagen production daily with an OTC retinol eye cream. We recommend ROC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream ($19; drugstore.com) layered under sunscreen. At night, moisturize with an eye cream that contains fortifying fatty acids from ingredients like avocado like Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment ($29; kiehls.com).
3. In Your 40s
The feet have landed. Swap your OTC retinol for an Rx formula like Renova to get a bigger collagen boost, says Dr. Lee. Too harsh? Creams with growth factors can help you hold onto wrinkle-resisting elasticity. We suggest Neocutis Lumiere Bio-restorative Eye Cream ($85; lovelyskin.com). At night reverse damage while you sleep with a product like Frownies patches ($20/44; frownies.com). Seriously. "They prevent you from scrunching your eyes, which helps soften the creases you have," says Dr. Wu.
4. In Your 50s+
Just when you need them most, those Rx retinoids can start irritating thin, crepey skin. Eye creams packed with peptides like Peter Thomas Roth’s formula ($100; sephora.com), which gently stimulate skin-firming collagen production, are a safer bet, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Debra Jaliman. And applying products with a sonic device that micro-massages them into the skin can help them be absorbed more deeply. We love Clarisonic’s Opal Sonic Infusion System ($185; clarisonic.com).