History Cause and Prevention
Overview of Crow’s Feet
Crow’s feet are the lines that begins at the corner of the eye and radiates outward in the shape of a crow’s footprint. These creases and depressions are seen on the surface of the epidermis, but the real cause of the wrinkle is below the surface of the epidermis, in the dermis and subcutaneous skin layers. Sometimes these creases and furrows are affectionally called, "laugh lines", “expression lines”, or "character lines". These lines are usually more pronounced when a person smiles or laughs. These terms are used because they are caused in part by certain facial expressions and repeated movements of the muscles in this area of the face. Crow’s feet and wrinkling is a natural part of life and the aging process, and these wrinkles cannot be avoided however, they can be delayed. Do not get upset at these lines, instead make a good action plan to prevent and resolve the problem before these creases and furrows become too deep to be eliminated.
Why is the term "crow’s feet" used to describe this specific type of wrinkle? In writing this article we researched and found three origins of the term "Crow’s Feet". First, according to the Random House Dictionary, the term "Crow’s Feet" originated sometime between 1350 to 1400 AD. The phrase refers to the wrinkles on the corner of the eyes that look like a crow’s footprint. The second source of this term is from Chaucer’s poem "Troilus and Criseyde" in which Chaucer uses the term crow’s feet in his poem, which dates back to Middle England in the 1300’s. The last source we found for this term is linked to Cronos, the God of time and harvest, and this is where we get the term chronology. So, the association between Cronos and showing aging line become known as "crow’s feet".
In all the research articles collected for this whitepaper, we found that the age for developing crow’s feet wrinkles varied by age. In some adults they may begin to appear in the mid to late 20’s, in others they may begin to appear in their 40’s. In most of the research articles we studied, the most common age for developing crow’s feet is when a person reaches their 30’s. These wrinkles begin as small lines on the sides of the eye radiating outward. If crow’s feet begin to develop in a person’s 20’s, it is usually because an individual is not actively engaged in a good skin care maintenance regiment and that they have received a large amount of unprotected sun exposure. If these wrinkles are not addressed at an early age, the wrinkles will continue to develop into larger deeper creases and furrows. When these shallow wrinkles are noticed early, it is much easier to treat when they first appear versus trying to eliminate the pronounced furrows and grooves that will deepen over time.
While crow’s feet are a natural part of the aging process for almost all humans. When they start showing up around the eyes at a young age, they can add years to your facial appearance. You should know that wrinkles around the eyes are the first signs of aging and should be addressed before these wrinkles accelerate into deep furrows.
We hope that you will pass this important beauty information to teens and young adults. If they begin a good skin care regiment now, they can prevent the development of crow’s feet. This healthy skin care regiment will help them maintain younger looking complexion for years to come.
Scientific Reasons for the Development of Crow’s Feet
Facial wrinkles can be broken down into two types, static or dynamic wrinkles. Static wrinkles are the ones that develop over time due to gravity and the loss of fat, collagen, and hyaluronic acid, all of which are responsible for providing volume and structure to the face. Dynamic wrinkles are formed from repeated facial movements like squinting, smiling, or furrowing your brow. Crow’s feet will be classified as a dynamic wrinkle and fine lines will be classified as static wrinkles.
As we age our skin loses elasticity which is why certain body parts start drooping and wrinkles begin to form. One of the primary reasons for this is that our body’s production of elastin and collagen (two primary proteins that are responsible for the elasticity of our skin) lessens and declines as we age.
The skin surrounding the eyes is very thin and lacksthe total number of oil glands (sebaceous glands) as other parts of the face. Due to this lack of oil glands our skin’s elasticity around the eyes lessens, and our skin is unable to bounce back to its original shape and structure as it once did when we were younger.
The skin has three basic layers, the outer layer the one exposed to the element is called the epidermis layer, the layer under the epidermis is the dermis, and the inner most layer of skin is called the subcutaneous layer.
The dermis (the middle layer of skin) is the main causein the development of crow’s feet and wrinkles. The dermis is a combination of blood vessels, hair follicles, and sebaceous (oil) glands. It is the dermis layer where we have our collagen and elastin, the two key proteins that prevent the development of crow’s feet.
- Collagen is found within connective tissue and is responsible for giving structure to the body’s skin, it provides the skin cells’ strength and volume.
- Elastin is found within the dermis and connective tissue. It is the elastin and its elasticity properties which enables skin cells to resume their shape and ‘snap back’ ability after being stretched, contracted, poked, or pinched.
The role of the subcutaneous layer in the formation of crow’s feet, is when this layer of skin is reduced by the loss of fat as we age, as the fat is reduced it can cause deep wrinkles and overall sagging of skin.
The Biological Breakdowns that cause Crow’s Feet
In the section below we will discuss the biological causes of crow’s feet due to the breakdown of the biological facial structures as we age. These biological breakdowns are part of the aging process and we delay the onset but unfortunately, we cannot delay the causes and the results.
- Protein breakdown, over time our body loses its ability to produce and break down certain proteins, causing our skin to shrink. In the dermis layer, the production and accumulation of collagen a key structural skin protein begins to decrease. With the decline in collagen production our skin loses it support and suppleness. While we are young collagen breaks down at the same rates as it is being produced, but as we age collagen production slows and protein (collagen) degradation increases. The result is that as we age, we have less new collagen produced which basically means we have a lot less collagen in our skin for critical structural support necessary to keep the skin elastic.
- Less fat, as we age fat is decreased in our inner most skin layer the subcutaneous. When the number of fat cells arereduced in the subcutaneous layer of the face, this reduction results inoverall facial volume decrease, technically, this means that the same amount of skin we have on the face is now covering a lot less facial area, hence we form wrinkles, furrows, creases, sagging skin, and the dreaded crow’s feet.
- Sebum reduction, the older we get the slower our sebaceous glands produce sebum or oil for the skin, especially around the eyes where the skin is thin, with the lack of sebaceous glands in this area, the retention of moisture is reduced and the oil that helps shield this delicate area from free radicals is reduced making crow’s feet less preventable. Moisture is a key element in preventing crow’s feet. When skin is dry and brittle, it is prone to structural manipulation.
- Fewer GAG’s, you may ask what is a GAG? Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) are water binding sugar molecules found between the dermis and epidermis skin layers. The GAG’s are responsible for giving skin its plumpness by filling the space between collagen and elastin fibers, providing support and keeping them plump and upright. The loss of GAGs is a contributing factor to the development of crow’s feet. The skin has less water and volume, and eventually becomes deflated and prone to wrinkle development.
Professional and Non-Professional Treatments
First, let’s review the non-professional ways we can treat and eliminate crow’s feet at home. Listed below are many ways you can slow down the formation or even eliminate crow’s feet. If you are in your early 20’s and 30’s and consistently follow a good skin care regiment incorporating many of the suggestions below, then the development of crow’s feet may be delayed for many years.
- Foods for the skin. By following a well thought out diet plan you can affect how your skin will stay younger looking for years. Try to have a diet that is high in fatsbut remember to stay with the good fats. Unsaturated fats offer more overall benefits for the body which includes lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease, and they also keep your face soft and volumized. To prevent the development of crow’s feet, choose foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil, and avocados
- If you already have crow’s feet, there are a few foods that can still help in the reduction and noticeability of these wrinkles. Foods such as a soy supplement can heal sun damage and help the skin’s overall structure and firmness.
- Another food that is beneficial in fighting crow’s feet is incorporating cocoa. Cocoa is a wrinkle fighting food that contains high levels of catechin and epicatechin, two antioxidants which help improve oxygen circulation and blood flow to the skin cells, retain moisture, and make the complexion look and feel smoother.
- Watch your sugar intake. To prevent crow’s feet, avoid consumptionof a large amount of sugar. High sugar levels in the bloodstream bind to collagen, rendering it dysfunctional through a process called glycation. Sugar also generates inflammation, which releases enzymes that break down protein.
- Don’t over wash your face. When washing your face avoid using harsh or hot tap water which strips skin of essential moisture, natural oils, and the protective lipids which help prevent crow’s feet and wrinkles. When you cleanse your face too often, the protective skin barrier is also washed away. Once you finish cleansing your face it is recommended that you immediately follow up with a good moisturizer to rehydrate the skin.
- Exfoliate the delicate skin around the eyes. To battle the formation of crow’s feet it is best to use a light exfoliating product around the eyes to shed the dead skin and encourage new cells to form. The new cells provide skin with more volume which fills in the wrinkles. To exfoliate this delicate area, it is best to remove the dead cells gently with ingredients such as chemical peels or enzymes rather than a physical scrub.One of the best exfoliants for delicate skin isthe use of glycolic acid. Exfoliating with glycolic acid promotes new collagen growth, which also adds volume to the dermis. (more about acids in the section on natural acids)
- Use facial creams that contain natural acids. Use facial creams that contain natural acids are great for removing the outer layer of dead skin cell on the epidermis. Shedding the top layer of dead skin from the epidermis will expose the younger and healthier cells which are just below, and this new layer of healthy young skin cells will help boost the skin’s collagen production, which provides a natural treatment for crow’s feet. These natural acids are sometimes referred to as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and the ones that are most popular in facial care products are, citric acid, tartaric acid, and glycolic acid.
- Eye creams with vitamins and Peptides. Many eye creams that help prevent crow’s feet will contain vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E and even peptides.
Vitamin A is the most popular and proven successful product in the prevention of crow’s feet and other wrinkles. Vitamin A has two derivatives that are proven wrinkle fighters, retinoid and retinol. Retinoid and retinol reduce the depth of the wrinkle crevice which extend below the epidermis and into the dermis. Retinol and retinoid also increase skin’s thickness, reduces pigmentation, improves texture, and helps fight acne.
Vitamin C protects the skin against UV damage and stimulates collagen production. Vitamin C is also a lightening agent so those who suffer from dark under eye circles can lighten the appearance of these circles.
Vitamin E helps prevent and delay sun damage while repairing the damage caused by free radicals.
Peptides are short chain amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. These tiny particles make the body think they are little pieces of broken collagen. The body reacts to the peptides and within the dermis skin layer and begins to make more collagen to replace the broken collagen that has been detected. The introduction of peptides into an eye cream will aid in the synthesis of collagen production and assist with essential cellular activities which help fight crow’s feet development and will smooth out fine line wrinkles.
- Retinol and Retinoids. These products were first used for the control of acne but soon became very popular as an anti-aging skin treatment. Retinol and retinoids stimulate cellular turnover and regrowth, so they visibly improve overall skin texture within weeks. The advantage of these products is that they’re available in many skin care products.
- Plumping products. To get rid of crow’s feet, consider products that plump up the skin without injections and fillers. Search for water binding ingredients known as humectant which act to keep moisture on the surface of the skin, and they mimic the effect of GAG’s within the dermal fluid, keeping the skin cells plump and upright. You can reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and smooth out wrinkles with moisturizing daily. The most popular humectants used in skin care products are hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sorbitol, propylene or butylene glycol.
- Wear sunglasses. The use of sunglasses is critical in keeping your facial muscles relaxed while in the sun, therefore you will not be squinting your eyes and prevents the acceleration of crow’s feet. Also, good sunglasses will help block some of the damaging UV rays.
- Wear sunscreen. The best way to prevent the development of crow’s feet. Unprotected sun exposure is the number one cause of premature aging. Exposure to UVA and UVB sun rays lead to an acceleration of wrinkle formation and weakening of skin vitality. Start wearing a minimum of SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen every time you go outside. UV rays can penetrate car windows and even on cloudy days you are exposed to UV radiation. When using a sunscreen, it is recommended that you put your eye cream and moisturizer on first then your sunscreen.
Below we will discuss the many treatment options that are available to professional physiciansto enable them to eliminate the appearance of crow’s feet, especially the ones that have developed into deep furrows and which home remedies are not as successful in the elimination of these lines.
- Botox. The generic drug name for Botox is botulinum toxin is available as an injectable and a topical. Botox is used for many medical purposes such as excessive sweating, eye twitching, wrinkles and crow’s feet. The injections stop nerve signs from traveling to the muscle, thereby causing them to contract less often. Botox for crow’s feet relaxes the muscles that surround the corners of the eyes, smoothing your skin’s appearance. If you are uncomfortable with needles, then the topical application will accomplish the same results without the pain associated with using the injectable form.
To eliminate the appearance of crow’s feet over all long period of time it will be necessary to have follow-up injections of Botox every three to six months. You will need to factor the costs of Botox into your budget when this type of treatment is used long term (it is not an inexpensive treatment, the average cost per treatment is around $400). Most doctors charge their rate based on the number of units used (injected) of Botox per patient instead of the visit itself. It may take up to a week to see any results however Botox helps maintain the smoothness around the eyes for three to six months
The side effects of Botox injections are swelling and redness around the eyes, droopy eyelids, tearing in the eyes, headaches, dryness, and temporary bruising. After a few days the muscles around the eyes will begin to relax.
- Dysport. An injectable that is also derived from the botulinum toxin type A (same as Botox). The proteins in Dysport are smallerin molecular structure which enables the product to diffuse more rapidly below the skin’s surface giving it a wider area of activity. In some instances, this can be a bonus when treating larger targeted areas. Dysport is more dilute and a patient may need more units of Dysport to accomplish the same results as Botox.
- Laser Therapy. Ablative lasers are another effective treatment in minimizingthe appearance of crow’s feet wrinkles. The use of lasers to treat wrinkles is known as resurfacing, the intense beams eliminate the upper most layer of skin, and it makes the body believe there is a small wound and the body reacts by building more collagen to heal the wound site.
- Derm Fillers. Fillers can help rid the face of crow’s feet without the use of Botox or Dysport, but they are most often used in very deep crow’s feet lines after the use of Botox or Dysport. Dermal fillers contain substances that are already in the body such as hyaluronic acid and collagen. The fillers work by adding structural components back to the areas of the skin that have lost them over time. This helps to plump up the skin to smooth over the appearance of wrinkles and lines.
- Microneedling. This process uses controlled needle applications that stimulate the skin to produce its own collagen in areas where it is needed. Over time the body restores the collagen and elasticity needed for a youthful look. This technique is also compatible with other treatments like Botox, Dysport, and dermal fillers. The overall benefit of microneedling is it reduces superficial lines.
- Chemical Peels. A chemical peel can erase some of the lines that may eventually deepen into crow’s feet. If you have uneven skin tone, rough skin texture, as well as crow’s feet, a peel may be a good option to consider. Peels range from mild alpha-hydroxy acids to a more intense treatments that renews skin at a deeper level. Whenglycolic acid is used by a physician for a chemical peel, a higher percentage (concentration) of glycolic acid is used than what can be found in home cosmetic products. The procedure takes less than 10 minutes to complete and the acid will begin to peel and remove the dead skin in two to three minutes. Using a higher concentration of glycolic acid will enable a deep skin level penetration and this will smooth out the crow’s feet.
- Retin A.Another very popular treatment used to reduce and eliminate crow’s feet is Retin-A (tretinoin topical) a prescription product that can only be prescribed by physicians. Retin-A is also another form of vitamin A that helps renew and regulate new cell growth. The anti-aging benefit of this very popular prescription product is the stimulation of collagen and the improvement of skin texture.
Fade 2 Normal for the Reduction and Elimination of Crow’s Feet
Fade 2 Normal is a multipurpose eye cream by Feneaux Beauty Care. Fade 2 Normal eye cream has seven distinct functions that improves the look and beauty of the skin surrounding the eyes. Fade 2 Normal has been formulated to fight the appearance of existing crow’s feet and to also prevent their development in the future.
Fade 2 Normal works in two ways, first, it works externally (on the skin’s surface) to remove existing wrinkles and secondly it works internally (along the epidermal and dermal skin layer junction) to fill in those ugly existing wrinkles and to prevent new wrinkles from forming.
Externally, Fade 2 Normal incorporates a fast acting botanical that immediately firms the skin. Upon first application, within minutes you will see a reduction in crow’s feet. The skin around the eyes begin to firm, reducing the length and depth of these annoying wrinkles. As the skin is being firmed the existing wrinkles are micro-lifted upwards and they begin to fade away in minutes.
Internally, Fade 2 Normal has been infused with powerful peptides that builds the basement floor of existing wrinkles making them more shallow in appearance and they slowly begin to fade away in weeks you will look younger and your skin smoother. Our peptides accelerate the production and synthesis of collagen and elastin which helps fill in those unwanted wrinkles in weeks.
Retinol has been incorporated into the formula, a proven wrinkle fighting ingredient that eliminates crow’s feet and fine line wrinkles in days.
Fade 2 Normal is also beneficial for the elimination of dark circles surrounding the eyes, under eye bags and swelling, and the reduction of hooding upper eyelids. Fade 2 Normal has been formulated to give the skin 24 hours of hydration and to keep skin soft, smooth, and supple.
For best results, use twice a day for two months.
If you are beginning to notice fine line wrinkles and the development of crow’s feet, your best solution is Fade 2 Normal. In just a few short weeks your skin will look smoother, firmer, more radiant and the wrinkles will begin to fade away.
- How to Get Rid of Crow’s Feet (and Prevent Them in the First Place) Jen Adkins, 04/15/2019, Health and Wellness
- Crow’s Feet: What Is It and How to Treat It with Botox?, Bradford S. Patt, FACS, Houston Center for Facial Plastic Surgery
- How to Get Rid of Crow’s Feet by John Barrymore
- How to Get Rid of Crow’s Feet, Colorscience
- What Causes Crow’s Feet? Plus, How to Treat and Prevent Them, Dermstore Editors, March 21, 2016
- Retin-A for Wrinkles: The Foundation of Youth in a Tube? By Jedha Dening, December 10, 2018, (https://www.zwivel.com/blog/author/jedha/)
- Retin-A, Medically reviewed by Drugs.com, July 22, 2019