The 4 First Signs of Facial Aging

Written by Christa Tomc, DO, Board Certified Dermatologist on April 24, 2017 2 Comments

early signs of aging

If you’ve read our previous blog post on aging prevention, you know how important it is to counteract the signs of aging even before they become visible. Early intervention is the key to slowing the visible signs of aging and can even prevent the need for future cosmetic procedures like a facelift. Unfortunately, some of the earliest signs of aging experienced by many people in their late 20’s and early 30’s often go unnoticed and unaddressed until they become more substantial.

Here are four early signs of aging, along with preventative techniques you can do to fight back:

Under-Eye Issues (Dark Circles & Eye-Bags)

With normal aging comes the issue of dark circles (“raccoon eyes”) and under-eye bags. While you can try to cover up with some strategic makeup tricks, under-eye issues will never resolve on their own.

Here are a couple of ways to get relief in this area:

  • Make sure to get plenty of sleep every night and always try to sleep on your back. Sleeping on your sides or stomach encourages gravity to force fluids under the eyes.
  • Using retinol-based eye cream with growth hormones can help thicken the thinning skin around the eyes.
  • There are some great in-office treatments that can help. Various hyaluronic acid dermal fillers can be used to instantly fill under-eye hollows. Additionally laser treatments such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or fractional lasers can help tighten the skin.


Hyperpigmentation is a skin coloration disorder that results in areas of the skin that appear abnormally dark. Hyperpigmentation can affect people of all ethnicities and skin tones.

There are a variety of in-office products and treatments available to combat this issue. These include creams, masks or peels, and laser treatments. See our hyperpigmentation treatment plan article for more information.

Crow’s Feet

Sometimes called “laugh lines”, crow’s feet are wrinkles that appear in the outer corners of the eyes. Crow’s feet develop as our skin loses elasticity, the skin’s ability to return in place after being stretched from normal facial movements (like smiling or laughing). With natural aging our skin begins to produce less elastin and collagen, two essential proteins that promote normal elasticity. After millions of lifetime smiles, the skin around the eyes is one of the first areas to experience a high drop in elasticity, resulting in wrinkling.

Most people start to notice these wrinkles in their early 20’s. However individuals who do not take good care of their skin may develop crow’s feet even earlier.

A great way to counteract the early development of crow’s feet (or treat them later on) is neurorelaxers, which relax the underlying muscles to lessen wrinkles and help prevent future wrinkle formation. Botox and Dysport are today’s most popular neurotoxin options.

Nasolabial Folds

Smile lines (or nasolabial folds) are creases that run downward from the side of the nose to the corners of the mouth. Typically appearing among women in their late 20’s, nasolabial folds usually start off as subtle lines that over time can turn into deeper creases.

Dermal fillers such as Juvéderm are great for minimizing smile lines, especially early on. In-office treatments such as Ultherapy  can’t help with tightening of the skin to minimize these lines.


Christa Tomc, DO

Christa Tomc, DO, earned her medical degree at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine and subsequently completed her internship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, serving as resident liaison of her intern class. Dr. Tomc’s interests include detection and prevention of skin cancer and premature photo-aging. Dr. Tomc is a member of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, American Osteopathic Association, American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, Women’s Dermatologic Society, Texas Dermatologic Society, Texas Medical Association, and Dallas-Fort Worth Dermatologic Society.

2 Responses to “The 4 First Signs of Facial Aging”

  1. Avatar Jeanne says:

    Do you have any tips on getting rid of unwanted dark spots (not sure if I have freckles???)? Anything i can try at home before having to come into the office

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