As your vision worsens with age, other muscles around the eye pitch in to help you focus, says Ranella Hirsch, MD, past president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery. But as these tiny muscles are increasingly taxed, they can deepen lines around the eyes, and that can make you look world-weary (instead of wise).
Your dermatologist can improve the appearance of these wrinkles with botulinum injections, but Hirsch says that it's also helpful to get your eyes checked. "A patient will come in for a consultation, and I'll send them to an optometrist," she says. "Sometimes what they really need is a pair of glasses."
Teeth add structure and vertical height to the face. When they get worn down through grinding, nail biting or aggressive chewing, or worse, when a diseased tooth needs to be pulled, the facial skin can become looser, explains phil Haeck, MD, a plastic surgeon based in Seattle and the past president of the American Society of plastic Surgeons. Combined with the skin's natural loss of elasticity over time, this can lead to wrinkles and sagging around the mouth. Dentures help fill in the gaps left by missing teeth, but dental implants do a better job at restoring the height of the jaw, Haeck says. You know what to do: Brush twice a day, have your teeth professionally cleaned at least once a year and remember to floss. If grinding is a problem, talk to your dentist about a bite guard.
The delicate skin around your eyes is extremely thin and requires extra attention. Surprisingly, even people who are careful about sun protection often forget to put sunscreen in that area, says Hirsch, which can worsen wrinkles and discoloration. The right pair of sunglasses can serve as another line of defense, but only if they have UVA/UVB protection, as well as lenses opaque enough that you don't squint in bright light (which can exacerbate frown lines and eye wrinkles, adds Hirsch).