What Are Crow's Feet and How to Prevent Them

      Crow's feet, also known as laugh lines or character lines, are the fine lines and wrinkles that form around the outer corners of the eyes. These lines are one of the first signs of aging, making the skin appear older. Understanding how to get rid of crow's feet and prevent crow's feet is essential for maintaining a youthful appearance.

      First, we'll discuss what causes crow's feet so you can avoid them, followed by tips on how to prevent them altogether.

      Why Is It Called Crow's Feet?

       The term "crow's feet" comes from the resemblance these wrinkles have to the feet of a crow. The lines radiate outward from the corners of the eyes, similar to the shape of a bird's foot. 

      According to the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, there are two types of crow's feet to look for: dynamic and static facial lines.

      • Dynamic lines are formed by your underlying muscles. As a result, every grin, frown, or facial expression you make helps to define your dynamic lines. This is the most common sort of crow's feet wrinkles because almost everyone has them, and some people may complain about the obstinate ones on their forehead from squinting.
      • Static face lines exist all the time. Sun damage, squinting, or frowning for extended periods can all cause crow's feet wrinkles.

      One thing to notice about these two is that dynamic lines virtually 'disappear' when you cease making the facial expression.

      What Causes Crow's Feet?

      Crow's Feet

      These wrinkles are sometimes referred to as "laugh lines," "expression lines," or "character lines" since they are created in part by our frequent facial expressions.

      Your skin is made up of three layers: the outermost epidermis, the inner dermis, and the subcutis beneath it. When we say "wrinkles," we mean the creases or depressions that appear on the epidermis, but the true action occurs beneath the surface.

      The dermis, the main layer of skin that creates crow's feet and wrinkles, is a complicated network of blood vessels, hair follicles, and sebaceous (oil) glands. More importantly, this layer contains collagen and elastin, two key proteins for preventing crow's feet.

      • Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, consisting of different amino acids. It is found in connective tissue and is responsible for the structural integrity of the body's skin, hair, nails, bones, ligaments, and tendons. Most significantly, it gives skin cells their vigor and volume.
      • Elastin is another protein found in both the dermis and connective tissue. It contains elastic properties that allow skin cells to regain their shape and ' snap back' after being stretched, constricted, jabbed, or pinched.

      Water, protein, lipids, minerals, chemicals, and enzymes are among the components that make up the skin's three layers. These factors are always changing throughout our lives, for better or ill. Crow's feet and other wrinkles on our bodies are caused by biological changes within our skin cells as we age. The genetic changes that cause crow's feet include:

      The three layers of skin are composed of different substances, such as water, lipids, proteins, minerals, chemicals, and enzymes. Throughout our lifetimes, these factors are always changing. Biological changes in our skin cells cause crow's feet and other forms of wrinkled skin on our body as we age. The following genetic changes result in crow's feet:

      Crow's feet are primarily caused by the natural aging process. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and collagen, leading to the formation of wrinkles.

      Several factors contribute to the development of crow's feet, including:

      • Protein Breakdown: As we age, our bodies become less capable of making and digesting some proteins, which results in a progressive decrease in their quantity.
      • Reduced Fat: The amount of fat in the subcutis diminishes with age naturally. There is less surface ratio for the skin to cover when facial fat is eliminated since the face has less volume.
      • Motion and Muscle movement: Repeated facial movements, such as squinting, smiling, and frowning, can cause the skin around the eyes to crease and form lines over time.
      • Sun Exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun break down collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, leading to premature aging and wrinkles.
      • Dehydration: Lack of moisture can make the skin more prone to wrinkles.

      What Age Do You Get Crow's Feet?

      Crow's feet can start to appear as early as the mid-20s, but they become more noticeable in the 30s and 40s.  But keep in mind that the suggested age range is just that—crow's feet can appear at any age depending on:

      • Your skin care regimen
      • Genetics
      • Sun exposure

      Early prevention and a consistent skincare routine can help delay the appearance of these wrinkles around the eyes.

      How to Prevent Crow's Feet

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      Preventing crow's feet involves a combination of good skincare practices and lifestyle choices. Here are some effective strategies:

      1. Use Sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily. Wearing sunglasses can also reduce squinting and further protect the delicate skin around the eyes.
      2. Moisturize Regularly: Keep the skin around the eyes hydrated with a high-quality eye cream. Look for products containing hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants. M. Bernstein’s anti-aging eye cream for wrinkles and puffiness is an excellent option for maintaining hydration and reducing fine lines.
      3. Avoid Smoking: Smoking accelerates the aging process by breaking down collagen and reducing blood flow to the skin. Quitting smoking can improve skin health and slow the development of wrinkles.
      4. Healthy Diet: A diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can support skin health. Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish provide essential nutrients that help maintain skin elasticity and repair damage.
      5. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps keep the skin plump and hydrated, reducing the likelihood of wrinkle formation.

      Final Thoughts

      Crow's feet are a natural part of aging, but with proper care and preventative measures, their appearance can be minimized. Understanding what crow's feet are and how to fix crow's feet with both preventative and natural methods is crucial for maintaining youthful, radiant skin. Incorporating a dedicated eye care routine, such as using Dr. M. Bernstein’s anti-aging skincare products, along with healthy lifestyle choices, can help keep your skin looking its best.