Crow’s Feet Wrinkles

Managing Crow’s Feet

The Best Treatment Options

The eyes are the ‘windows to our soul’ and they are the focal point of our face. Our eyes are what we look at when we meet someone and similarly they are what we remember as a key feature of someone’s facial features. So it is important that we look after this area and make it look its best.

Three key features to aim for:

  • Keep our lashes long and full: MD Lash Factor & Rapid Lash
  • The eyelid skin plump and full
  • Finally wrinkle free (or as much as possible)

One of the most common areas I treat with Botox® in my practice are the Crow’s Feet wrinkles; mostly because currently this is the most effective treatment we have.

Do not despair if injectable cosmetic treatments are not for you then read my Botox® and needle free approach. I have taken a keen interest in alternative treatments for this difficult area especially for those averse to needles and Botox®.

“Upfront I do have to say that if you would like your Crow’s Feet to disappear (literally) then you have to consider a multi prong treatment approach: injectables and topicals.” – Dr Alek Nikolic

If you want to go only the topical route then unfortunately we can only improve and soften their appearance (not make them disappear) and we may even prevent new wrinkles from forming with the following skin care regime:

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Alphahydroxy and polyhydroxy acids
  3. Cell stimulators
  4. Growth factors

The main reason for the difficulty in treating this area is that Crow’s feet are developed from constant skin contraction with smiling (due to the contraction of the underlying eye muscle known as Orbicularis oculi). As we tend to smile through the day our skin consistently folds and produce lines which over time become permanent lines or wrinkles. I am not saying stop smiling rather the exact opposite. When we smile the world smiles with us so keep on smiling J.

Why Botox® is Superior:

Fine lines tend to respond favourably to moisturizers and cell stimulators such as retinol but crow’s feet are deeper and are formed by muscle contraction through the day. As a result crow’s feet are visible even when we are not smiling or making other facial expressions.

Botox® has the ability to relax the lateral outer edge of the eye muscle preventing or reducing the degree of skin contraction with smiling. Less folding of skin results in less wrinkle formation and it also allows the skin to heal itself increasing collagen and elastin production.

My Approach in Minimizing Crow’s Feet:

Step 1: Protection

Sunscreen: A.M. Application

The most important thing you can do every day to help prevent crow’s feet from getting worse is to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen around your eyes and eyelids; and remember to apply a good SPF to the rest of your face, neck, and chest.

I am a firm believer in SPF that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide so please check our full list of these mineral containing SPF’s here. SkinCeuticals have an amazing SPF product specifically designed for the eye area: SKINCEUTICALS PHYSICAL EYE UV DEFENSE SPF 50. It provides broad spectrum SPF 50 protection without migrating into and irritating the eyes.

Step 2: Repair

Anti-Oxidants: A.M. & P.M. Application

Anti-oxidants are vital for any skin care regime as they can help prevent free-radical damage, reduce signs of skin ageing and reduce inflammatory effects within the skin. Furthermore there is evidence that they potentiate effects when applied with SPF.

Dr Alek Nikolic Recommended Anti-Oxidants:




Step 3: Restore

Retinol: P.M. Application

I am a big fan of retinol and have written and posted numerous articles on this superstar ingredient. It has the ability to help with pigmentation, texture, pores, oily skin, increases collagen and elastin production, and most importantly for Crow’s Feet it reduces fine lines and wrinkles. This is a must have ingredient for our skins and should be in everyone’s skin care regime. See our full list of retinol products here.

Dr Alek Nikolic Recommended Retinol Products:




Step 4: Rebuild

Cell Stimulators: A.M. Application

I believe that using Alphahydroxy and polyhydroxy acids with growth factors and peptides is an important step in treating Crow’s Feet wrinkles. These ingredients will continue cell stimulation during the day resulting in increased collagen and elastin production.

Dr Alek Nikolic Recommended Eye Care Products:







“This is my 4 step approach to treating Crow’s Feet wrinkles with topical products only. Further treatments include chemical peels (for cell stimulation, hydration, etc.), fractional laser resurfacing (for cell stimulation and wrinkle reduction) and Dermapen MD (for cell stimulation and wrinkle reduction).” – Dr Alek Nikolic

I hope the above article has helped you in choosing the correct approach when treating wrinkles around the eye area. Please feel free to send any comments or questions you may have with your skin concerns or skin regimes.

Kind regards

Dr Alek Nikolic

About the authors:

Dr Alek Nikolic:

Dr Alek Nikolic was born in South Africa and received his MBBCh (Wits) in 1992 and in 2000 he received his MBA (UCT).  He has been in private practice for 20 years and is the owner of Aesthetic Facial Enhancement, which has offices in Cape Town.

Dr Nikolic specialises in aesthetic medicine and is at the forefront of the latest developments in his field. He is very driven and has lectured extensively lecturing and done live demonstrations throughout South Africa and abroad. Dr Nikolic’s focus is on skin care and skin ingredients and cosmetic dermatology treatments. He has performed over 20 000 procedures to date and as such is responsible for training numerous medical practitioners both in South Africa and internationally.

Dr Nikolic is one of the founding members of the South African Allergan Medical Aesthetic Academy and chaired its inaugural launch in 2012. The Allergan Academy provides essential training to keep up with the latest technology in aesthetics. Dr Nikolic holds the advisory position of Allergan Local Country Mentor in Facial Aesthetics and is the Allergan Advanced Botox and Dermal Filler Trainer. He is chairman of the Western Cape Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Medicine Society of South Africa and of the Western Cape Aesthetic Review group.