By Sophie Attwood
While literally every human over the age of Generation Z has fine lines – they are of course a perfectly normal stage of life – it seems that the general feeling towards these wrinkles, especially those around the eyes, is one of a very, very strong disdain.
And I for one am one of those people. It’s been my biggest bugbear since I hit my twenties and my concealer started to sit in a little ridge underneath my eye. So I’ve broken down every single possible way to get rid of fine lines around the eyes – no matter your price point, the threshold of your ‘squeamish’ or your patience when waiting for those coveted results.
The Long Game – Topicals
Unless your serum contains an active ingredient such as retinol or Vitamin C, it’s time to toss it away. ‘But it smells so good!’, I hear you cry. I’m sorry, it’s for your own good.
Vitamin C is a surefire win when it comes to treating wrinkles. ‘Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a powerful antioxidant and one of the few skincare ingredients that has been proven to help in the battle against skin ageing,’ says cosmetic doctor, Dr Paris Acharya (www.drparis.co.uk). ‘It neutralises free radicals and helps your body repair damaged cells. It encourages collagen production, helps protect skin against damage from the environment and can improve pigmentation caused by sun damage and scarring.’
Nowadays we are fortunate because it comes in lots of different sorts of skincare. However, ascorbic acid breaks down with regular exposure to air and light and so it’s one that needs to be looked after properly and kept in airtight packaging and included in products that are used once daily only.
‘I would recommend PCA’s CE Advanced serum,’ says Dr Acharya. ‘It uses two potent antioxidants in its anhydrous (waterless formulation), Vitamin C and E become activated on contact with the skin. They help brighten and strengthen whilst also minimising fine lines and wrinkles.’
According to the experts, retinol is also a must when it comes to treating those pesky wrinkles around the eyes.
‘Retinol is a type of retinoid, derived from Vitamin A,’ says cosmetic doctor, Dr Rekha Tailor (www.healthandaesthetics.co.uk
Retinol, or retinoids, work by prompting surface skin cells to turn over and die quickly, making way for new healthy fresh skin underneath. So how does that treat wrinkles? It helps to prevent collagen breaking down and thickens the deeper layer of skin to help prevent wrinkles. Complicated stuff for a little ingredient that you simply tap, tap, tap into your skin.
This is the instant hydrator, according to the experts. ‘Hyaluronic acid acts like a sponge in your skin, pulling in water from the air to plump fine lines and smooth your face,’ says Dr Rekha Tailor. It’s lightweight, ultra-hydrating, works immediately, with absolutely zero irritation. Dr Tailor suggests Radara patches (www.radara.co.uk) which rely on a clever microchanneling technology to create tiny punctures in the skin around your eyes. Add their HA serum and you’ll get instantly rejuvenated peepers. The only downside? It’s temporary, and it won’t help with deeper lines or wrinkles.
Enter The Needles: Botox
Botox – or anti-wrinkles injections – are a sure-fire way to reduce the wrinkles around your eyes. ‘Botox temporarily paralyses the muscles that make you squint which in turn causes your wrinkles and fine lines to relax and soften in appearance,’ says oculoplastic surgeon, Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai (www.perfecteyesltd.com). ‘Anti-wrinkle injections are effective and results can be seen just a few days after the treatment.’ However, make sure that you see an experienced and adequately trained physician or you could end up with a face frozen in a very strange way.
And the only downside is that it’s temporary. And while your metabolic rate does come into play here, you’re going to be lucky if you see the results for any longer than four months. Costing around £300 per treatment (although costs vary depending on the clinic) it may not be feasible for everyone.
Clench Your Fists: Microneedling
Microneedling (or dermarolling) involves puncturing tiny holes into your skin with a needle-covered roller to stimulate collagen production.
“By damaging your skin you can create newer, younger skin,’ says cosmetic doctor, Dr Shirin Lakhani (www.elite-aesthetics.co.uk). ‘Microneedling or Medical Skin Needling is a really effective way to treat fine lines and wrinkles fast. It works by stimulating the natural production of collagen to regenerate and repair your skin naturally and safely and is an effective way to create smoother, brighter, healthier and younger looking skin with virtually no downtime.’
The only cons are the time that it takes to see results. It takes 4-6 weeks of once-weekly treatments to see some brightening and smoothing results, but even longer for fine-line reduction. For those with sensitive skin types such as rosacea and psoriasis it’s likely to be too harsh, too. And while you can microneedle yourself at home with DIY kits, the pros warn against it. ‘Many devices bought online are not of surgical grade,’ says Dr Lakhani. ‘Studies have shown that such needles cause tiny tears in skin rather than the finely controlled injury that triggers healthy healing. There is also the risk of flimsy needles breaking off and getting embedded into skin – major risk for scarring and infection.’
Heating It Up: Radiofrequency
Radiofrequency certainly ups the budget when it comes to treatments for wrinkles around the eyes but it also packs a punch.
‘Treatments like the Thermage FLX use radiofrequency technology to hear the deeper, collagen-rich layers of the skin dermis up to 42º C,’ says cosmetic surgeon Dr Angelica Kavouni (www.ionkavounilondon.com). ‘The applied heat causes collagen to contract and shrink-wrap and encourages new collagen to start growing as the body is healing the tissues. The enhanced collagen production improves the texture, elasticity and supporting matrix of the skin.’ In short, less wrinkles.
The pros are definitely the instant results and the smoother, tighter skin after just one treatment. It’s not just a quick fix either as the benefits can then be expected to last for years. The cons however are the price. At around £2000 per treatment it’s definitely a lot more than an eye serum.
Thread lifts are often referred to as the ‘lunchtime facelift’ due to their speedy completion and lack of lengthy recovery time.
‘APTOS threads are quick and easy to place and well tolerated with a small amount of topical anaesthesia is placed,’ says consultant plastic surgeon Mr Sofiane Rimouche (www.renovatioclinic.com). ‘The lifting effect is immediate and discreet as it is the result of compressing and elevating tissue at the time of adjusting the suture. Results continue to improve for 6-8 weeks after placement.’