What Causes Eye Wrinkles & How To Reduce Them

The eyes have it! The eyes are one of your most expressive and visible features, but did you know, the eye area is one of the most difficult to treat on your face? We’re often asked two questions about this delicate area: what causes eye wrinkles and how to visibly reduce them. Read on to learn more about this common eye area concern and what you can do to address them.

What Causes Eye Wrinkles?

The skin around our eyes has unique characteristics that make it vulnerable to signs of aging. First, the skin in this area is some of the thinnest on the entire body and has a small number of sebaceous glands, making this area dryer and more delicate than the skin on the rest of the face. A few common factors contributing to eye wrinkles include:

Repeated facial movements:

Over time, movements like squinting and blinking lead to crow’s feet, wrinkles and under eye lines. (Fun fact: we blink more than 10,000 times a day!)

Loss of elasticity:

Our skin’s collagen and elastin levels lessen with time. This loss of elasticity can lead to drooping eyelids, leaving the eye looking aged, tired or heavy.

Weakened barrier function:

As we age, the function of our skin’s essential moisture barrier can become impaired. This results in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which contributes to dehydrated, crepey-looking skin and accentuates the look of lines and wrinkles.

Environmental stressors:

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation breaks down collagen and elastin fibers and as these key areas of the skin’s supportive matrix break down, skin appears less firm and toned and lines and wrinkles appear more prominent. Exposure to pollution and metals, like iron, copper, lead and mercury in the environment can trigger free radical damage, accelerating the skin aging process. Even something as simple as the weather, especially dry, cold and windy climates, can accentuate signs of aging in this delicate area.

Lifestyle factors:

Smoking triggers free radical damage, impacting collagen and contributing to visible signs of skin aging.

How Can I Treat Eye Wrinkles To Reduce The Appearance of Fine Lines?

There are a variety of ways, both in the dermatologist’s office and at home, to address wrinkles in the eye area. One of the easiest ways to get started is daily use of a topical eye cream formulated with ingredients shown to visibly plump and hydrate, while diminishing the look of lines and wrinkles around the eye. Seek out eye creams featuring the following ingredients:


It’s a form of Vitamin A that has been shown to enhance skin turnover and diminish signs of skin aging, including smoothing the appearance of wrinkles and diminishing the look of uneven skin tone.

Hyaluronic Acid:

It attracts water to replenish moisture levels and builds up our skin’s supportive matrix to visibly smooth and diminish the look of lines and wrinkles.


It’s not just for coffee! This ingredient helps deflate the look of under eye puffiness.


These short chain amino acids serve as building blocks of skin’s natural collagen and elastin and can help visibly plump, lift and firm skin.

Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA):

These skincare acids, like Gluconolactone, Lactobionic and Maltobionic, are effective exfoliators yet are gentle enough for use around the delicate eye area. PHAs help smooth away dead skin buildup that make lines more prominent-looking. It also helps restore a smoother, more radiant appearance to skin.

Leave a Comment