Goodbye crow's feet! An at-home treatment that promises to zap laughter lines
22:18 GMT, 27 May 2012
Crow’s feet — even the name of those tell-tale wrinkles at the side of our eyes is ugly, although the more optimistic of us like to refer to them as ‘laughter lines’.
They appear when the skin loses collagen and hyaluronic acid, but one thing’s for sure — those of us who have them don’t find them funny.
‘We lose 80 per cent of our natural hyaluronic acid between the ages of 40 and 80,’ says cosmetic doctor Natalie Blakely.
Crow's feet appear when the skin loses collagen and hyaluronic acid
‘We also lose collagen and elastin from the skin which is what makes us look older. The first place we lose fat from in the face is the undereye area and that, combined with the lines caused by smiling, laughing and squinting into the sun, is what causes those wrinkles to deepen as we age.’
So what’s the solution Botox can paralyse the muscles that crinkle when we grin but then having the injections can create a glassy ‘frozen’ look. Alternatively, fillers made of hyaluronic acid can be injected to plump up the skin in this sensitive area although, like Botox, they cost around 300 a go.
Now a new crow’s feet treatment is causing a buzz. Launched this month in Harrods, WrinkleMD is a painless, needle-free 130 home device dubbed ‘the crow’s feet eraser’. It uses new technology to push molecules of hyaluronic acid deep into the skin, where previously only needles could reach.
Harrods, WrinkleMD is a painless, needle-free 130 anti-ageing home device
In a U.S. study led by dermatologist Dr Robert Harper, women aged between 35 and 65 used WrinkleMD for a month. Weekly silicone ‘impressions’ were taken of their crow’s feet and, after four weeks, their lines had reduced by an average of 41.7 per cent — though it was 80 per cent in one case. This was compared to a control group testing a luxury eye serum whose wrinkles improved only 2.7 per cent.
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The secret of WrinkleMD is a process called iontophoresis. It occurs when a mild electronic current is run through a disposable pad infused with hyaluronic acid and a muscle-relaxing peptide, pushing these particles deep into the skin.
Two 40-minute treatments a week are recommended for the first fortnight, then the eye pads should be worn once a week for another 40 minutes for the next fortnight. After this, the manufacturers recommend a weekly top-up treatment to maintain results.
The pack contains six pads and you can buy refills of eight for 99. So is it too good to be true Dr Blakely, medical director of The Light Touch clinic in Surrey, says: ‘Hyaluronic acid is great for skin rejuvenation and getting it into the skin without needles reduces the risk of infection.
‘However, only 22 women completed the study — and the effects were variable. The treatment seems expensive and time-consuming, and there is little indication of how long the results will last.’
With Dr Blakely’s warnings ringing in my ears, I try WrinkleMD myself. I’m 48 and my fine lines were deepening and creeping further around my face. I felt a fool wearing the eye pads at home, especially in front of my husband, and I was sceptical that any kind of magic was happening at all.
But I was very impressed by the results. I looked in my magnifying mirror after just one treatment and saw the lines on my left eye had vanished and the ones on my right had significantly faded. Even my husband agreed the pads had done something.
I’ve not had such instant results from anything else. Botox would probably last longer but this way my eyes look more natural. They still crinkle a bit when I smile, but the lines are virtually gone when I relax. So finally I have crow’s feet I can live with — and laugh at.