Wrinkles are a natural and ultimately inevitable part of life – they’ll catch up with us all eventually. On some level, we all know that. But at the same time, we really want to put that off as long as possible. 40 is the new 30, as they say, so who forgot to tell that to our skin?
One of the most common types of wrinkles that tend to show up before their time is crow’s feet. If your face has been touched by the crow of time, you can stand up and say, “Not today!” Let’s break it down: what are crow’s feet, where do they come from, and what can you do to get rid of them?
What Are Crow’s Feet?
Before we take a step further, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. What exactly do we mean when we talk about crow’s feet?
Crow’s feet are the thin wrinkles that branch out from the outside corners of your eyes. You know the ones: they look like a crow stood with its heels at the corners of your eyes and its feet extended outward, leaving a distinctive and unwelcome footprint. If you look in the mirror and squint, you can see how your eyes wrinkle in the outer corner – crow’s feet are those wrinkles but they’re visible when your facial expression is blank.
These wrinkles are incredibly common and tend to be some of the first ones to form. They typically start as fine lines that are barely noticeable and get deeper over time.
What Causes Crow’s Feet?
Why have you been afflicted by these unwanted lines? There are a lot of reasons, as it turns out.
First of all, you’ve probably noticed that your eyes develop crow’s feet-like wrinkles when you’re squinting, smiling, and making a variety of other facial expressions. That’s what those muscles are for! Over time, though, contracting these muscles repeatedly can cause the muscles to get stuck in a semi-contracted state. This means your skin stays somewhat wrinkled from the contracted muscle below it.
At the same time this is happening, there are changes in your skin that make it more prone to wrinkles. Your skin loses some of its firmness and thickness because, as you get older, your body produces less of a protein called collagen. Collagen is the primary protein that makes skin firm, taut, thick, and smooth when you’re young, so as your skin gets thinner, it’s more prone to wrinkles.
While a drop in collagen is natural, there are factors that accelerate it too. Sun damage is a biggie because the sun’s radiation breaks down collagen fibers in your skin. Crow’s feet and other wrinkles are also more visible when your skin is dry because the skin “shrivels” to a degree. Some people have naturally dry skin, and your skin gets drier as you age too because your body naturally produces less oil as you get older.
Tips to Treat and Prevent Crow’s Feet
It’s helpful to understand why crow’s feet happen, but I know what you’re really looking for: a way to get rid of them. Don’t worry, it’s coming! An important note first, though: everyone’s skin and aging are unique, and while some people might be able to erase their crow’s feet entirely, others may not. The key to treating these wrinkles is using a few strategies together to tackle the different causes of crow’s feet.
Protect the Skin Around Your Eyes from Sun Exposure
As I mentioned, sun damage plays a major role in speeding up aging and making your skin wrinkle at an earlier age. So, naturally, preventing sun damage is a powerful way to keep your eyes as wrinkle-free as possible.
For starters, make sunscreen a daily part of your morning skin care routine. Make sure it’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. You could even use a tinted sunscreen so it serves as a pre-makeup primer as well as a sunscreen.
View & Shop: Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Tinted Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45
On top of wearing sunscreen, avoid unnecessary sun exposure in general, like using tanning beds or laying out poolside unprotected. It also helps to wear sunglasses that are large enough to cover the skin around your eyes.
Try an Eye Serum
Eye serums are amazing skin care products that are specialized for the exact purpose we’re talking about: rejuvenating the skin around your eyes. How handy is that?
Serums have an ability to reach deeper layers of your skin, where the major functions of aging take place. Choose an eye serum built for revitalizing and rejuvenating your skin to combat crow’s feet.
View & Shop: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum
Keep Your Skin Hydrated
There’s a common misconception that using moisturizer will keep your skin from aging as quickly. Technically, that’s not true. Moisturizer does, however, keep your skin plumper on a daily basis, making wrinkles less prominent, so it should be an important part of your anti-crow’s feet strategy.
View & Shop: Glytone Age-Defying HA+ Smoothing Hydra Cream
Keeping Those Peepers Looking Young and Bright
If you’re sick of looking in the mirror and seeing crow’s feet, you’re not alone – just about everyone over the age of 30 (and plenty of people under 30) are right there with you! But the tips and strategies above can help you kick those wrinkles to the curb and enjoy smoother, younger-looking skin. Give them a try to see for yourself!