How to Get Rid of Crow’s Feet & Prevent Them From Coming Back

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A breakthrough study back in 2013 found that people rated a face with crow’s feet more attractive than a face that was line-free. Why? Because those smile lines show a smiling life filled with laughter and happiness. They make a person seem more spontaneous, intelligent, and authentic [1].

That’s all well and good, especially when those lines at the corners of your eyes are still light crinkles. However, do nothing now and those fine lines will deepen over time, leaving you with rigid wrinkles that make you look years older than your age.

What Causes Crow’s Feet?

First wrinkles

Crow’s feet are a natural part of the aging process. As we age, our skin isn’t able to produce as much collagen and elastin, which are the two proteins that keep the skin firm, smooth, and tight. This, combined with repeated facial expressions and muscle movements (did you know that, on average, you blink around 20,000 times a day?), means that your skin isn’t able to bounce back to its smooth state each time your face relaxes. Instead, those dynamic lines that were once only caused by muscle contractions now become a permanent feature of your face.

Every part of your face is vulnerable to this process. However, the skin around the eye area is significantly thinner than anywhere else on the face or body, meaning that it’s usually the first place to start developing fine lines and wrinkles.

How to Treat the Appearance of Crow’s Feet

Fortunately, there are several ways to treat crow’s feet. The at-home methods take longer to achieve results, but they’re cheaper and convenient. Professional treatments are costlier, but their effects are more dramatic.

Topical Skincare Products

There are certain skin care ingredients out there that are great for boosting elastin and collagen production. In the long run, this means thicker and firmer skin, which plumps up and smooths away fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol and vitamin C are two of these superstars. They’re both powerful antioxidants that are best delivered to cells in the form of a serum. Ceramides and peptides are also must-haves, but are more effective as part of an eye cream.

And yes, good eye creams are well worth having. They keep the skin around the eyes moisturized and hydrated, which immediately lessens the visibility of crow’s feet. Look for one that makes use of a nourishing plant oil – this will provide antioxidant benefits, while also adding moisture.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are like a more intense form of exfoliation. They peel away layers of old and rough cells, revealing the smooth and shiny layer of skin beneath.

This may sound a little scary, but peels are available in various strengths. Superficial peels are usually enough to treat light lines around the eyes. They’re painless and don’t require any downtime, although you’ll need to repeat this treatment a few times to fully erase those crow’s feet. Medium and deep peels aren’t quite so simple, but the results are more dramatic.

washing off face mask peel off skincare

Dermal Fillers

This treatment sees a soft-tissue filler injected directly into your crow’s feet. This adds volume to the skin from within, which plumps up the eye area and smooths away wrinkles.

Dermal fillers come in various forms, with most containing hyaluronic acid. Your dermatologist will be able to advise you on the best one for the specific wrinkles you’re dealing with.

Botox

Now for the treatment that every A-lister turns to when their face needs a lift. Botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, works well on crow’s feet. In most cases, those wrinkles will completely disappear.

However, the treatment works best on dynamic wrinkles. Once those lines become deeply etched onto your skin, Botox may not have much of an effect.

Laser Resurfacing

Unlike Botox or fillers, which need to be repeated every few months, the effects of laser resurfacing last for up to ten years. In a way, this treatment works similarly to a peel – it removes the outer layers of the skin to reveal the wrinkle-free layer beneath. However, laser treatments also stimulate collagen production, which is how they’re able to have such long-lasting results.

That said, laser treatments for crow’s feet should only be considered as a last resort. You’ll need pain medication, a dressing on your facial area for several days afterward, and another couple of months for your skin to fully heal. Plus, laser on its own won’t completely clear your lines – your doctor will likely recommend combining it with another procedure, such as fillers.

doctor doing botox injections on her patient

How to Prevent Crow’s Feet

Sun Protection

Sun exposure is one of the biggest contributors to crow’s feet and other facial wrinkles. When those UV rays come into contact with your skin, they create free radicals [2]. These are unstable molecules that cause havoc in the deeper layers of your skin. They destroy collagen and elastin, trigger inflammation, and do a number of other things that accelerate the aging process.

The best way to minimize this damage is to wear sunscreen at all times. Try to wear a formula with SPF 30 or higher. You’ll also find several eye creams out there that contain SPF – these are a suitable alternative, so long as you apply enough of the product around each eye.

A Daily Skincare Routine

While sunscreen is vital, it doesn’t offer 100% protection. Some form of damage is inevitable, making it important to follow a daily beauty routine that heals, repairs, and nourishes. We’ve already talked about the need for an eye cream and serum, but try to also extend other parts of your skin care routine to each eye.

Regularly exfoliating the area can be a game-changer in preventing crow’s feet, although you’ll need to be gentle. Your eyes would also really benefit from a weekly face mask. Daily cleansing is another must – failing to do this will allow toxins, pollutants, and other impurities to run rampant deep within your skin.

woman doing her healthy daily skincare routine

A Healthy Lifestyle

Let’s start by looking at diet. Certain foods, such as those containing sugar, destroy the collagen in your skin and accelerate wrinkle development. On the other hand, fresh whole foods, such as vitamin C-packed fruits or nuts brimming with fatty acids, support your skin from within.

Exercise is also surprisingly important. Staying active keeps your blood circulation strong, resulting in more nutrients and oxygen being delivered to the skin cells that surround the eyes.

Now onto those bad habits. Smoking is a big no-no. It suffocates cells and produces free radicals, while also causing you to squint, exacerbating those lines. If you’re ready to quit the habit, there are many tips out there to help. Excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided too. This severely dehydrates the skin, making wrinkles more pronounced.

FAQs

middle aged beauty of a woman

What age do you get crows feet?

Crow’s feet usually appear in the mid to late 30’s. However, some may only notice them in their 40’s, while others start to see signs of them in their 20’s.

Why do I have crow’s feet at 25?

This could be because of excessive sun damage, constant squinting, or even genetics.

Does Botox for crow’s feet look natural?

Yes, the way in which Botox softens lines keeps everything looking natural.

Conclusion

While it’s true that the appearance of crow’s feet can be endearing, nobody wants to look older than they really are. To an extent, they’re inevitable. You can’t control those facial muscle contractions, and you definitely don’t want to stop smiling! Instead, understanding how to prevent those lines from forming, and knowing your different treatment options, are your best tools when it comes to keeping your eyes smooth and line-free.

References

[1] https://www.prevention.com/beauty/skin-care/a20452161/research-wrinkles-are-beautiful/
[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8660402/

About The Author

Courtney Randle

As someone who had problems with her skin in the past, I’m glad I can help people find what works for there's. All products reviewed are thoroughly tested for quality.