Even if you’re a spry 25, lifestyle choices and genetics take their toll on your skin. The most common culprits: sun damage, alcohol, sleepless nights and just plain smiling. All of these can cause fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. But even if you’re not quite showing yet, there are a few things you can do to lessen (and sometimes even reverse) wrinkles. And, no, the answer is never just not smiling. By all means, you need to enjoy your wedding.
Here’s how you can start reversing the severity of those eye wrinkles. Begin as soon as possible since many of these products and practices take months to show lasting changes.
Retinol: The Habit to Start Now
Your wedding is as good an excuse as any to start using retinol. You may have heard of this topical Vitamin-A derivative; it’s one of the few proven anti-aging solutions. After about 3 months of use, it noticeably reduces fine lines and wrinkles, as well as dark spots and acne. You can get a prescription-strength cream from your board-certified dermatologist for the most effective and reliable solution, which you should apply nightly before bed. You can also buy over the counter retinol products in smaller doses; RoC’s Retinol Correxion Eye Cream ($17 for 0.5 fluid ounce, FYI) is a good place to start. Make retinol a habit for the rest of your life and it could help you look 50 when you’re 65, and 65 when you’re 80. Really.
Use a Moisturizer
If you want your eyes to look firm and smooth, then you need to be moisturizing your whole face every single day. (This is in addition to staying hydrated and cutting back on dehydrating things like caffeine and alcohol.) The best pro-moisture products have hyaluronic acid, which is an ingredient that preserves moisture levels in the skin to prevent a dry, rough, wrinkled surface. It’s not an immediate miracle worker, but it delivers daily benefits while providing drastic, lasting changes after months of continued use. Try Skin Inc’s Hyaluronic Acid serum ($64 for 10ml) applied before your moisturizer every day, even if you’re not regularly using an eye cream.
Consider Eye Cream and “Patches”
Besides botox, there are really only two Hail Mary passes that can temporarily firm and flatten the skin around the eyes, even if just for the day: eye creams and eye patches (not the pirate kind). Many eye creams are designed to help over time, but some have instant lifting powers thanks to pro-moisture and pro-collagen ingredients like hyaluronic acid and peptides. (Use Lancer’s Eye Lifting cream, $95 for 15ml, before bed and again in the morning.) Or, pull the moisture forward from the inner layers of your skin using overnight eye patches like SiO’s ($19.95 for a two-pack), to wake with (temporarily) firmer skin around the eyes that should hold out for the entire day. You can also apply them while getting ready for an event (like a wedding).
Wear Sunglasses and SPF
For a preventative measure, make wearing sunglasses and SPF a habit. The former will keep you from squinting, which aggravates the skin around the eyes and leads to permanent wrinkles, while SPF-packed moisturizers and actual sunblock (like Ursa Major’s SPF 18 Moisturizer, $54 for 1.7 fl ounces) will thwart skin-damaging UV rays, which also lead to wrinkles and fine lines, as well as terrible cellular mutations like melanoma and other skin cancers.
When to Use Botox
Seriously, though, if you want a quicker solution, it might be in your best interest to get a tiny botox injection at the side of each eye. This will smooth the skin and also prevent further folding or wrinkling. The results will last three to four months, so you can also plan ahead and do a trial run five months out from your wedding, if you want to see how it will look. Make sure to speak to your dermatologist and plan on getting injected at least two weeks before the big day.