How to Get Rid of Crow’s Feet
Some people are proud of their “laugh lines,” but when premature wrinkles start to betray our age, most begin wondering how to get rid of crow’s feet instead. The skin around your eyes is one of the first areas of the face to develop those fine lines, divots and creases we know and love oh so well—but is there anything we can do to prevent them? And if not, can anything be done to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet once the damage has already been done?
Unfortunately, wrinkling and aging is a natural part of life which can’t be avoided—but it can be delayed. Learning how to get rid of crow’s feet can be done, and we’ve compiled various crow’s feet treatments you can try, ranging from a natural acid to eye renewal cream, store-bought products to professional procedures. First, we’ll break down what causes crow’s feet so you’ll be better able to avoid them, then dive into advice on how to prevent crow’s feet altogether.
What Causes Crow’s Feet
Before learning how to get rid of crow’s feet, we first need to understand what causes wrinkles. By getting to the bottom of crow’s feet causes, you’ll be best equipped to prevent their formation and keep clear of those fine lines which radiate from the corners of your eyes. Sometimes these pesky wrinkles are known by the name of “laugh lines”, “expression lines”, or “character lines” because they’re caused, in part, by our habitual facial expressions.
But how do temporary muscle contractions when smiling or squinting result in permanent fine lines? Let’s take a look at the science behind wrinkle formation to understand.
Your skin is composed of three layers: the outermost epidermis, the inner dermis, and the subcutis beneath the skin. When we refer to “wrinkles”, we’re talking about the creases or depressions seen on the epidermis, but the real action goes on below the surface.
The dermis is the main layer of skin that causes crow’s feet and wrinkles; it’s a complex combination of blood vessels, hair follicles, and sebaceous (oil) glands. More importantly, this layer is where you’ll find collagen and elastin—two essential proteins for preventing crow’s feet.
- Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, made up of various amino acids. It’s found within connective tissue and is responsible for giving structure to the body’s skin, hair, nails, bones, ligaments, and tendons. Most importantly, it provides the skin cells’ strength and volume.
- Elastin is another protein found within the dermis and connective tissue. It has an elastic property which enables skin cells to resume their shape and ‘snap back’ after being stretched, contracted, poked or pinched.
The subcutis (or bottom layer of skin) hosts sweat glands, loose connective tissue, and most importantly, fat. When this fatty layer is reduced, it can cause crow’s feet, wrinkling, and overall sagging.
Altogether, the three levels of the skin are made up of various components, including water, protein, lipids, minerals, chemicals, and enzymes. These elements are constantly in flux throughout the course of our lives—for better or worse. As we age, the biological changes within our skin cells are what cause crow’s feet and other wrinkled skin across our body. The genetic alterations that lead to crow’s feet include:
Over time, our body loses its ability to produce and break down certain proteins, causing their presence to gradually shrink. Collagen typically accounts for 75% of the skin organ, but as this ratio decreases, our skin loses its support and suppleness. Collagen fibers supply the scaffolding to hold skin up, and an enzyme called collagenase (part of a larger group of Matrix MetalloProteinases or MMP enzymes) assists by breaking down old or damaged collagen so new proteins can take its place. While we’re young, collagen breaks down at the same rate it’s produced, but as we age, production slows whiles degradation increases. The net result is less new collagen and decreased existing collagen.
Similar to collagen, elastin production is also influenced by time and elements. With age, elastin doesn’t retract as much once stretched. Like an old rubber band, it remains lax instead of snapping back, causing crow’s feet to droop along the outer eye area.
Natural aging decreases the fat within the subcutis. When fat is lost on the face, it reduces facial volume, meaning there’s less surface ratio for the skin to cover. We still have the same amount of skin, however, which causes the tissue to drape over itself and create folds or wrinkles. Gravity can also be added to the list of crow’s feet causes since weakened skin without support will simply sag downwards.
The older we get, the slower our sebaceous glands produce sebum. Sebum is the sticky, secreted oil intended to form a protective barrier around the skin—the body’s largest organ—by retaining moisture and shielding against free radicals. Moisture is a key element to preventing crow’s feet; when skin is dry and brittle, it’s more prone to structural manipulation.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are water-binding sugar molecules within the fluid matrix found between the dermis and epidermis. They’re responsible for giving skin its plumpness by filling the space between collagen and elastin fibers, providing support and keeping them plump and upright. In addition to protein, fat, and oil, GAGs are another factor behind what causes crow’s feet and is affected by age. With less water and volume, skin eventually becomes ‘deflated’, so to speak, and more prone to causing crow’s feet.
What causes crow’s feet, in particular, are the wrinkles due to motion and muscle movement—as opposed to the wrinkles at rest, which appear regardless of motion and are caused by intrinsic and photoaging. At a certain point, based on various factors discussed in depth below, the repeated movements eventually create deep enough wrinkles that appear even when no expression is made. With contextual knowledge as to how wrinkles form, you’ll be savvier regarding how to get rid of crow’s feet and prevent them from occurring in the first place. Some of the aging processes are inevitable, while others can be exacerbated by lifestyle choices and the environment. Let’s take a look at how to prevent crow’s feet by applying knowledge of wrinkle formation.
How to Prevent Crow’s Feet
Intrinsic aging, otherwise known as chronological aging, is an inherent part of life. Although it can’t be avoided altogether, it can be significantly delayed now that you’re armed with the knowledge of the essential proteins, fat, sebum and sugars within the structure of the skin. Combine what you’ve learned with these tips on how to prevent crow’s feet in order to prolong the appearance of character lines.
Follow a clean diet
One of the best things you can do for the vitality of your skin—and your overall health—is to follow a healthy diet that provides an ample amount of fat (but stick to the good kinds!). Unsaturated fats (including both monosaturated and polysaturated fats) offer the body many benefits, including lower cholesterol levels and reduced risk of heart disease, but they also help keep your face soft and voluminous. If you’re looking for a simple solution for how to prevent crow’s feet, try to eat more foods such as:
- Fish rich in omega-3s essential fatty acids such as salmon and other cold-water species
- Nuts and seeds
- Extra virgin olive oil
Watch Your Sugar Intake
With respect to diet, make sure to not only incorporate good foods but to also avoid unhealthy ones—particularly sugar—to prevent crow’s feet. Excess sugar levels within the bloodstream bind to collagen, thereby rendering it dysfunctional through a process called glycation. Sugar also generates inflammation, which releases the floodgates of those aforementioned MMP enzymes that break down protein. Limit your sugar intake wherever possible, and resist irritating and inflaming your skin by rubbing your tired eyes in the morning, for example.
If you’re still smoking, it’s time to stop. Tobacco smoke is a massive accelerant for premature aging and can force you to seek crow’s feet treatment far sooner than non-smokers. Not only does smoking (and being near second-hand smoke!) trigger the inflammation process, but it also introduces free radicals into your system which can linger for days.
Purchase Reading Glasses
Any repeated facial expression involving the skin around your eyes contribute to crow’s feet, especially squinting. As you age and begin to experience a decrease in vision, be sure to pick up a pair of reading glasses to keep your eyes wide and wear them whenever needed. Squinting at your computer screen at the office or struggling to read the text of a book at home is one of the leading crow’s feet causes, so be sure to avoid this bad habit.
Don’t Over-Wash Your Face
This might sound counterintuitive, but harsh tap water strips skin of its essential moisture, natural oils and protective lipids which help prevent crow’s feet and wrinkles—especially if the water is hot. By washing your face too often, you wash away its protective barrier. When you do cleanse within your skincare routine, be sure to use cold water and immediately follow up with a moisturizer.
Sunscreen is paramount when researching how to prevent crow’s feet. Unprotected sun exposure is the number one cause of premature aging. Exposure to UVA and UVB sun rays leads to an acceleration of wrinkle formation and weakening of skin vitality. Radiation is well-known for damaging DNA and proteins due to harmful free radicals. Instead of asking yourself how to get rid of crow’s feet, start wearing a minimum of SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen every time you step outside. Remember that UV rays can penetrate car window glass and even the cloudiest of skies, so there’s no excuse for not applying sunscreen.
On average, humans blink approximately 10,000 times per day; constant movement of skin around the eye area is inevitable. Expression lines usually begin to develop between the ages of 20 and 30, but learning how to prevent crow’s feet early on can significantly delay their development. To minimize your need for crow’s feet treatment, start implementing these easy tips as soon as possible—your eyes will thank you later.
Crow’s Feet Treatment
If your character lines have already developed, you’re partially in luck: figuring out how to get rid of crow’s feet is generally simpler than eliminating the pronounced grooves or furrows found elsewhere on the face. A crow’s feet treatment regimen attacks the fine lines found in the skin around your eyes, which are generally shallow and easy to reach. They do deepen with age, however, so it’s best to begin your crow’s feet treatment as soon as possible. There are several different treatment options you can use to get rid of crow’s feet, from natural home remedies to professional cosmetic procedures.
How to Get Rid of Crow’s Feet Using Natural Remedies
Slather on natural alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) which are derived from fruit and great for removing the outer layer of dead skin cells on the epidermis. Shedding dead skin and revealing a younger, healthier layer of skin beneath helps reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, fine lines, and surface wrinkles. Stronger forms of AHAs may also help boost your skin’s collagen production, thereby providing additional crow’s feet treatment. There are many skincare products containing AHAs, and you can easily use them to treat crow’s feet at home.
- Citric acid: Found in various fruits such as lemon juice, citric acid works to improve the overall texture of skin.
- Tartaric acid: This AHA occurs naturally within grapes and bananas, and when applied topically, can smooth the skin to enhance its glow.
- Glycolic acid: Glycolic acid is a very popular crow’s feet treatment because it’s one of the most rapid exfoliators available. It’s sourced from sugar cane, so add some honey to raw, organic sugar and apply it once a week to regenerate the texture of your skin.
Note: As a chemical exfoliant, AHAs will make your skin more sensitive to UV exposure, so be sure to wear ample sunscreen.
AHAs used in chemical peels may be too aggressive for sensitive skin, but there are plenty of easy, natural remedies to get rid of crow’s feet that are gentler on the skin:
- Egg whites: For centuries, egg whites have been used to tighten skin and shrink fine lines in order to treat various wrinkles. Try reducing the appearance of crow’s feet by whisking egg whites to a frothy consistency, dabbing it around the affected area, and removing it after 10 minutes with a cold, clean cotton ball.
- Coconut oil presents itself as a miracle, cure-all beauty product (which also happens to double as a tasty cooking agent). In addition to hair and nail benefits it offers, coconut oil nourishes skin and contains linoleic acid which can reconnect broken skin tissues to treat crow’s feet. It also has wonderful emollient, hydrating properties which moisturize skin. Eyelids and the skin around your eyes are between three to five times thinner than the rest of your face, meaning fewer sebaceous glands and less oil for moisture retention. Supply the area with the extra moisture it needs by gently massing extra virgin olive oil around the area before going to sleep each night.
Foods for Skin
We already stressed the importance of diet for crow’s feet prevention, but if you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of crow’s feet which have already formed, food may still be a helpful solution.
- In addition to protecting your skin, soy may actually help improve its appearance. When taken as a supplement (versus consumed), it can heal sun damage and help your skin’s structure and firmness.
- Cocoa is a tasty, wrinkle-reducing drink if it contains high enough levels of catechin and epicatechin. These two antioxidants helps improve oxygen circulation and blood flow to skin cells, retain moisture, and make your complexion look and feel smoother.
- Another beverage worth your consideration is a glass of water containing a tablespoon of aloe Vera consumed; consume twice daily to receive the benefits of its antioxidant properties. Alternatively, squeeze the gel of a fresh aloe Vera leaf and apply it topically around the eyes for noticeably firmer skin and less visible crow’s feet.
How to Get Rid of Crow’s Feet without Botox
If natural ingredients and home remedies aren’t cutting it, you can also learn how to get rid of crow’s feet using stronger, store-bought products before jumping to expensive cosmetic procedures. To reduce the appearance of crow’s feet more affordably than at a doctor’s office, keep your eyes open for these beauty products the next time you head to the store:
Eye Creams with Vitamins and Minerals
Advanced science has enabled companies to offer incredibly effective eye creams for crow’s feet treatment which are packed with vitamins and minerals. Look for labels that contain:
- Vitamin A: Retinoid eye creams are derivatives of vitamin A, which can reduce the wrinkle depth of crevices which extend beyond the epidermis into the dermis. It also increases skin thickness, reduces pigmentation, improves texture, and helps fight acne.
- Vitamin C: Not only does vitamin C protect against UV ray damage, but studies have shown that it can also stimulate collagen production. This vitamin is also a lightening agent, meaning it can help those who struggle with dark circles or sun spots in addition to crow’s feet. It’s important to get a product with the right type of vitamin C with anti-aging skin care properties, such as L-ascorbic acid and ascorbyl palmitate, in order to receive its full benefits.
- Vitamin E: The evidence on the effect of vitamin E in the prevention or erasure of wrinkles is inconclusive. However, many proponents of this vitamin boast its ability to prevent and delay sun damage in addition to repairing the damage caused by free radicals. Your crow’s feet treatment will likely be tailored to your unique complexion and what works for you might not be the solution for someone else. Remember to stay patient in your endeavors while learning how to get rid of crow’s feet. Stress and lack of sleep will contribute to the cause of crow’s feet, making your problems more difficult to solve.
- Peptides: Short chains of amino acids called peptides are often found within eye creams to treat crow’s feet for their ability to signal collagen production and assist with essential cellular activities.
To get rid of crow’s feet, you should consider products which can plump up your skin without invasive injections or fillers. The best way to do this is to search for water-binding ingredients, known as humectants, which supply your skin the hydrating boost it needs. Humectants act like sponges which absorb water and mimic the effect of GAGs within the dermal fluid, keeping them plump and upright. Reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and smooth out wrinkles with moisturizing, humectant ingredients such as:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Propylene or Butylene glycol
When eye creams and serums don’t achieve the desired success for crow’s feet treatment, many begin considering cosmetic procedures using injectable fillers such as Botox. Before resorting to Botox—which is both expensive and difficult to maintain—be sure to try Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 cream first. With powerful clinical ingredients, this product can deliver immediate results and long-term improvement. Not only does it correct your skin and get rid of crow’s feet, but it also helps protect your delicate complexion with broad spectrum SPF.
Don’t let fine lines let you look older than you feel; use these tips and learn how to get rid of crow’s feet for a radiant complexion.