Do we need a little bit of text here?
Find a therapistBecome a therapist

What are Crow’s Feet and What Causes Them?

Signs of ageing commonly affect the eye area first, as the skin is delicate. If you’re wondering “what are crow’s feet?” read on to find out.

If you are wondering “what are crow’s feet?” you’ve come to the right place. Signs of ageing commonly affect the eye area first, as the thinner, more delicate skin is more prone to damage. Though we all know that fine lines around the eyes are normal and ageing is a privilege, we do not have to sit back and let it happen. Before considering treatment, let’s find out what are crows feet, and what the causes of crow’s feet are.


The SkinBase™ Beauty Guides

We’ve created a series of free beauty guides
on a range of skin conditions…
Discover the beauty guides

What are Crow’s Feet?

Crow’s feet are the fine lines that form around your eyes and stretch out to the temple. As their name suggests, they often appear as a group of lines, positioned by the eye similarly shaped as a crow’s foot. At first, you may notice the lines are temporary, and only visible when moving. However, as time goes on, they are likely to stay on the skin regardless of movement, as temporary lines become permanent. So, what causes crow’s feet and what can you do about it?

Causes of Crow’s Feet


Ageing is a natural, unavoidable process that results in fine lines appearing on our skin. As we age, collagen and elastin levels in the skin drop, meaning the skin loses some of its ability to stretch and remain plump. As the eye area is particularly sensitive already, with minimal oil glands, fine lines can be even more visible. However, you will be pleased to know that only minimal signs of ageing result from the years advancing. Most of the lines and marks on the skin are accelerated by external, and preventable causes.

Facial Expressions

As you go about your day and blink, talk, laugh and react, the muscles by your eyes are constantly contracting. On average, we blink between 12 and 20 times per minute, and they all add up throughout the day. Though it is impossible to avoid making any facial expressions to minimise the risk of crows feet, there are external factors that can be combated to keep the skin plump and smooth.

Sun Exposure

Excess sun exposure is incredibly damaging, and aggravates a number of skin concerns – especially crows feet. UV rays penetrate the skin, damaging cells and affecting collagen production. A lack of collagen in the skin speeds up the process of temporary fine lines becoming permanent. Squinting often happens in the sun too, causing the eye muscles to contract more regularly than they need to.


If you are a smoker, your skin is likely feeling the effects of decreased oxygen and blood flow. Smoking stimulates the production of MMP’s, an enzyme that breaks down collagen within the skin. As a result, the skin loses structure, making skin laxity and fine lines more likely. The physical act of smoking also causes the eye muscles to contract as if you are squinting, further contributing to the risk of crow’s feet developing.