The orbicularis oculi muscle surrounds the eye and is responsible for controlling the closing of the eye. When this muscle is activated, it tightens around the eye and pulls the skin forward, causing crow’s feet to form. This muscle is also used when blinking and when forming facial expressions such as squinting, frowning, laughing, and smiling.
Crow’s Feet are wrinkles that form around the outside of the eyes over time. As the skin around the eyes is exceptionally thin, wrinkles in this area can form fairly early due to constant muscle use and a gradual reduction in your skin’s elasticity. The biggest cause of Crow’s Feet is a loss of elasticity in the skin combined with early wrinkles caused by smiling and squinting. Over time, your skin’s elasticity decreases and normal facial expressions result in heavier wrinkles around the eyes.
Feel like your Crow’s Feet are forming a little too early? Don’t worry – it’s normal for crow’s feet to form when people are in their 30s, although some people are affected by visible Crow’s Feet in their mid-20s.
What causes lines around the eyes?
A combination of loss of skin elasticity and collagen, and skin movement are the main causes of crow’s feet. As we age, our skin loses elastin (its stretch) and collagen (its plumpness), but sun damage, free radicals and hormone changes elevate this. On average we blink 15–20 times a minute (that’s 20,000 times per day), causing the facial muscles to crinkle and almost constantly move. Blinking aside, all facial movements, whether they are happy or sad, will eventually cause lines and wrinkles. So, when we collectively eye rolled at Kim Kardashian admitting she doesn’t laugh often for fear of ageing, she’s not misguided – sad though her commitment is.
To take a firmer stance against your loss of firmness, some of the usual suspects can lend a helping hand.
If you’ve already started to notice the appearance of crow’s feet and other lines and wrinkles around the eyes, don’t despair, we’ve got some highly effective treatments that can soften them or get rid of them altogether.
One of the most popular and effective treatments for laughter lines are Botulinum toxin injections and other facial wrinkle injections. These are administered directly to the area and work after few days with no downtime by relaxing the contracted muscles or plumping up loose skin. The treatment is not permanent; however, they will help to re-educate the muscles with repeated use, meaning the length of time between treatments can be increased.