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How to improve the appearance of crow’s feet?

Our dermatology providers share expert tips for anti-aging skincare.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Dec 1, 2023 • 10 min read
Medically reviewed by Erin Pate, NP-C
Crows Feet
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Dec 1, 2023 • 10 min read
Medically reviewed by Erin Pate, NP-C
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

In this article

What are crow’s feet?
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Crow’s feet: those delicate little lines that fan out from the outer corners of our eyes, becoming more pronounced with every smile, squint, or chuckle. Often seen as the earliest signs of aging, crow’s feet may concern many. But why do they appear? And what can you do to diminish them or prevent them from deepening? 

The good news is several strategies and treatments can help you reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and reclaim your youthful radiance. 

Let’s discover the secrets to smoother, more refreshed skin around your eyes!

What are crow’s feet?

Crow’s feet, often referred to as periorbital wrinkles or lateral canthal lines,¹ are delicate wrinkles that appear around the outer corners of the eyes. These wrinkles primarily emerge due to aging, repetitive facial expressions, and environmental damage.² While they pose no risk to your health, they can sometimes make you feel self-conscious. 

If you’re interested in addressing their appearance, several treatment options are available today to diminish these lines. But first, let’s discuss the causes of these lines so you can better understand which treatment might be best for you.

What causes crow’s feet? 

Those tiny lines fanning out from the corners of your eyes—kind of like the footprints of a bird—have some interesting reasons behind their appearance.

At the top of the list is our good old friend: the aging process. As we grow older, it’s natural for these lines to start showing up. But that’s not the only reason! Every time you smile, squint, or make any repeated facial expressions, you’re engaging the orbicularis oculi muscle—the one that helps us blink and close our eyes. Over time, the continuous contraction of this muscle can contribute to crow’s feet.³

Environmental elements, especially UV radiation, play a role too. It’s like the skin around our eyes keeps a diary of all our outdoor adventures, and crow’s feet are just some of its entries.

But regardless of the cause, they’re just a natural part of our journey and one of the many stories our skin tells.

Treatments for crow’s feet 

If you’re considering giving your crow’s feet a bit of a touch-up, you’ve got an array of treatments to explore, from Botox to laser resurfacing.

Let’s take a closer look at your options:

Botulinum toxin treatment (a.k.a. Botox)

This is a star player in the wrinkle-reduction world. These injections work by relaxing the expressive muscles around your eyes—softening those crow’s feet lines. Research shows the effectiveness of Botox applied through both nano microneedles and intradermal injections specifically for treating crow’s feet.⁵

Topical creams

Some topical creams like Purgenesis™ are packed with ingredients that hydrate and boost your skin’s elasticity.⁶ This means they not only moisturize but also target fine lines to make them less evident. You can also try topical creams that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid⁷ and retinoids⁸ to help you smooth out the appearance of your crows feet.

But here’s a golden nugget of advice: Not every cream will be your skin’s best friend, so always do a patch test before applying it to your face. 

Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers can help give your skin a mini lift from within, plumping it up just right to smoothen out those wrinkles. One to note is the polycaprolactone (PCL) based filler. There’s a significant amount of evidence pointing towards its efficacy, specifically for crow’s feet.⁹

Voltaic arc dermabrasion (VAD) 

It sounds futuristic, and honestly, it kind of is! It's a technique that uses electrical arcs to gently resurface your skin, promoting the birth of fresh, new skin. Research studies vouch for its efficacy, revealing results within a week!¹⁰

Laser resurfacing 

Lasers can help with many skin conditions, and crow’s feet are one of them! Lasers to refresh your skin’s surface work almost like repainting a canvas, and they can help you combat and smooth out your crows feet.¹¹

Armed with all this info, you’ll be well on your way to making an informed decision about how to treat crow’s feet. But always remember, personal consultations with a skincare expert* are the best way to ensure you get the optimal treatment plan for your skin. 

Tips for younger-looking skin

So, you want that youthful skin glow, right? You’re not alone!

Here are a few science-backed age-defying tips you can follow for younger-looking skin.

First things first, your skincare routine. It’s like the gym for your skin. Just like you wouldn’t skip leg day, don’t skip out on your daily skincare. It works wonders on keeping your skin supple, elastic, and all-around healthy. And here’s a little secret weapon: antioxidants and retinoids. They help by fighting inflammation and boosting collagen to help keep your skin firm and youthful.¹²

Another thing you need to keep an eye out for is the sun. It’s great for beach days and picnics, but not so much for our skin. That’s where sunscreen enters the scene: It’s your skin’s personal shield against harmful UV rays. And if you pair it up with antioxidants like vitamins C and E, you’re giving your skin an extra layer of protection against free radicals that can damage your skin.¹³

Feeling adventurous? 

There are also some in-office treatments out there that can kick things up a notch. Ever thought about chemical peels or laser treatments? They might sound intense, but they’re fantastic for rejuvenating your skin and bringing back your glow.¹⁴

Whether it’s through your daily routine, sun protection, topicals, or even some professional treatments, with a bit of commitment and professional advice, you’ll be on your way to flaunting radiant, younger-looking skin. 

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FAQs

Can you get rid of crow’s feet naturally?

While complete elimination might be challenging, you can certainly address crow’s feet naturally. Using antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and topical retinoids can help.¹⁵ Sun protection is also important. However, to get the best results, we recommend speaking with a dermatology provider.

How do you get rid of crow’s feet fast?

For a speedy response to crow’s feet, you might consider treatments like lasers, which rejuvenate your skin by promoting collagen.¹⁶ Injectable fillers can provide immediate results by adding volume.¹⁷ But don’t just sign up for any procedure you think you might like—always consult a dermatology provider for a tailored approach to taking care of your skin.

Can you get rid of crow’s feet wrinkles?

Yes, several treatments and topicals can help reduce the appearance of crow’s feet. Agents rich in antioxidants and topical retinoids can be beneficial.¹⁸ Additionally, procedures like Botox,¹⁹ lasers,²⁰ and fillers²¹ can further minimize their appearance.

Are there any creams effective against crow’s feet?

Yes, there are topical creams like Purgenesis™²² and others containing hyaluronic acid²³ or retinoids²⁴ that target fine lines, including crow’s feet. These creams boost your skin’s elasticity and moisture. Always conduct a patch test to ensure compatibility with your skin before trying anything new.

Why is sun protection essential for preventing crow’s feet?

Sun exposure can accelerate skin aging.²⁵ Using sunscreen shields your skin from harmful UV rays, which can contribute to the formation of crow’s feet. Pairing your sunscreen with antioxidants offers added protection against skin-damaging free radicals. So, always make sure your skin is protected before stepping out for a fun day in the sun!

• • •

P.S. We did the homework, so you don’t have to:

  1. Carruthers, A., et al. Treatment of crow's feet lines and forehead lines with Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA): Development, insights, and impact. Medicine (Baltimore). (2023, July 1).

  2. Scarano, A., et al. Static Crow's Feet Treated with Voltaic Arc Dermabrasion (Atmospheric Plasma): Post-Operative Pain Assessment by Thermal Infrared Imaging. J Clin Med. (2021, July 12).

  3. Scarano, A., et al. Static Crow's Feet Treated with Voltaic Arc Dermabrasion (Atmospheric Plasma): Post-Operative Pain Assessment by Thermal Infrared Imaging. J Clin Med. Ibid.

  4. Scarano, A., et al. Static Crow's Feet Treated with Voltaic Arc Dermabrasion (Atmospheric Plasma): Post-Operative Pain Assessment by Thermal Infrared Imaging. J Clin Med. Ibid.

  5. Cao, Y., et al. A Comparative In Vivo Study on Three Treatment Approaches to Applying Topical Botulinum Toxin A for Crow's Feet. Biomed Res Int. (2018, July 3).

  6. Carroll, J.M., et al. Comparison of topical antiaging creams in the management of lateral canthal lines. J Cosmet Dermatol. (March 2020).

  7. Gold, M.H., et al. Efficacy and tolerability of a hyaluronic acid-based serum and a peptide-rich cream for the face and neck in subjects with photodamaged skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. (August 2022).

  8. Kaufman, J., et al. Efficacy and Tolerability of a Retinoid Eye Cream for Fine to Moderate Wrinkles of the Periorbital Region. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. (2022, September 1).

  9. Jeong, G.J., et al. A randomized, patient/evaluator-blinded, split-face study to compare the efficacy and safety of polycaprolactone and polynucleotide fillers in the correction of crow's feet: The latest biostimulatory dermal filler for crow's feet. J Cosmet Dermatol. (July 2020).

  10. Scarano, A., et al. Static Crow's Feet Treated with Voltaic Arc Dermabrasion (Atmospheric Plasma): Post-Operative Pain Assessment by Thermal Infrared Imaging. J Clin Med. Ibid.

  11. Scarano, A., et al. Static Crow's Feet Treated with Voltaic Arc Dermabrasion (Atmospheric Plasma): Post-Operative Pain Assessment by Thermal Infrared Imaging. J Clin Med. Ibid.

  12. Ganceviciene, R., et al. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. (2012, July 1).

  13. Ganceviciene, R., et al. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. Ibid.

  14. Ganceviciene, R., et al. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. Ibid.

  15. Ganceviciene, R., et al. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. Ibid.

  16. Scarano, A., et al. Static Crow's Feet Treated with Voltaic Arc Dermabrasion (Atmospheric Plasma): Post-Operative Pain Assessment by Thermal Infrared Imaging. J Clin Med. Ibid.

  17. Jeong, G.J., et al. A randomized, patient/evaluator-blinded, split-face study to compare the efficacy and safety of polycaprolactone and polynucleotide fillers in the correction of crow's feet: The latest biostimulatory dermal filler for crow's feet. J Cosmet Dermatol. Ibid.

  18. Ganceviciene, R., et al. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. Ibid.

  19. Cao, Y., et al. A Comparative In Vivo Study on Three Treatment Approaches to Applying Topical Botulinum Toxin A for Crow's Feet. Biomed Res Int. Ibid.

  20. Scarano, A., et al. Static Crow's Feet Treated with Voltaic Arc Dermabrasion (Atmospheric Plasma): Post-Operative Pain Assessment by Thermal Infrared Imaging. J Clin Med. Ibid.

  21. Jeong, G.J., et al. A randomized, patient/evaluator-blinded, split-face study to compare the efficacy and safety of polycaprolactone and polynucleotide fillers in the correction of crow's feet: The latest biostimulatory dermal filler for crow's feet. J Cosmet Dermatol. Ibid.

  22. Carroll, J.M., et al. Comparison of topical antiaging creams in the management of lateral canthal lines. J Cosmet Dermatol. Ibid.

  23. Gold, M.H., et al. Efficacy and tolerability of a hyaluronic acid-based serum and a peptide-rich cream for the face and neck in subjects with photodamaged skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. Ibid.

  24. Kaufman, J., et al. Efficacy and Tolerability of a Retinoid Eye Cream for Fine to Moderate Wrinkles of the Periorbital Region. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Ibid.

  25. Ganceviciene, R., et al. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. Ibid.

Erin Pate is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner at Curology. She earned her Masters of Science in Nursing at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.

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Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Our policy on product links:Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).
Our thoughts on sun protection: *Sunscreen is only one part of UV protection—cute sun hats and shades are also recommended.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Erin Pate Nurse Practitioner, NP-C

Erin Pate, NP-C

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