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Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

What Causes Crow’s Feet

What Causes Crow’s Feet

What Causes Crow’s Feet



One minute you’re a young lad getting carded for everything. Before you know it, you’ve got lines around your eyes that remind you of your older relatives. 

Crow’s feet (or the lines at the corners of your eyes) are similar to death and taxes; everyone gets them. So why do some guys seem to get them less intensely than others? There are a couple of reasons. 

Let’s talk about how your skin works, what causes crow’s feet, and what you can do about them. 

How Your Skin Works

Your skin is your largest organ, and it’s got a huge responsibility. It holds in your internal organs and protects you from pathogens and environmental factors that could make you sick. 

Your skin also takes a pretty significant beating. It’s exposed all day, every day, to whatever happens to be in your environment, and most guys aren’t taking special care of it. 

Honestly, when was the last time you even used body lotion?

Collagen and Elastin

There are two important proteins that are abundant in your skin. Collagen and elastin make up over 80% of your skin, so it’s essential that your skin is making a lot of these proteins to stay healthy.


This is the most abundant protein in your skin. It keeps your skin looking full and plump. Trust us, you want skin that is plumped up because when your skin loses volume, fine lines and wrinkles begin to form. 

Plump skin = youthful skin.


This protein gives your skin its ability to snap back into place when it has been stretched. It works with collagen to give your skin structure and form. Without elastin, your skin would essentially hang on your bones like a sheet over a skeleton.

Collagen and elastin play key roles in developing crow’s feet, which we’ll cover later. 

Cellular Turnover

Cellular turnover is also essential in keeping your skin youthful. Cellular turnover refers to the rate at which your skin makes new cells and sheds dead ones. The faster this process happens, the younger your skin will be, and the less you’ll notice fine lines and wrinkles. 

The skin is constantly making new cells in the dermal layers. These skin cells travel up to the epidermis, where they eventually die, slough off, and make room for new ones. This process keeps your skin looking healthy and also determines how quickly you’ll notice signs of aging. 

How Crow’s Feet Form

Now that you understand how your skin works, we can talk about what happens when it starts to not work as well. 

There are numerous reasons why your skin cells start to malfunction or simply work slower than they used to. 


The skin you have now doesn’t look the same as it did when you were a teenager, and there’s a reason for that. Your skin starts making fewer new skin cells and producing less collagen and elastin every year after you turn twenty

Happy birthday. Here’s your adult card, welcome crow’s feet. 

You’ll actually lose one percent of your collagen and elastin production every year after age twenty. That doesn’t seem like much, but by the time you hit age forty, you’re making 20% less collagen and elastin, which leaves a lot of room for your skin to begin to sag and look hollow. 

That’s one way crow’s feet begin to form. The skin surrounding your eyes is thin, to begin with, and has fewer sebaceous glands to provide moisture. Dry skin that is less plumped up with collagen and supported by elastin sags and forms wrinkles. 

You’ll also experience a slower rate of cellular turnover as you age. When you were a wee babe, your skin renewed every seven days. By the time you’re in your thirties, it takes about 14 - 28 days to renew. The older you get, the slower the process. 

Age isn’t the only reason you see lines, though. Your risk factor for crow’s feet increases every time you step outside. 

Sun Exposure

The sun damages our skin, but the risk isn’t just related to skin cancer. You’ll see signs of photodamage, or premature aging, before you may ever have a cancerous lesion develop. 

The sun damages your skin with two particular types of rays: UVA and UVB. These rays attack both the deep layers of your skin and the epidermis, attacking skin cells and causing them to malfunction. 

Sun-damaged skin cells can’t produce collagen and elastin effectively, causing the skin to sag more quickly than it would just via aging alone. The sun is a source of free radical damage, but free radicals also come from other external sources and some internal sources. 

Free Radical Damage

Free radicals are molecules that aren’t balanced. They have one electron and are in constant search of other molecules that have electrons they can steal. When they find them, they steal the electron and cause damage to the cell where the molecule lives. 

That’s a sciency way of saying free radicals hijack your skin cells and cause them not to work properly. Some free-radical damage happens naturally, inside your body, but most of it happens because of external stressors like:

  • Sun
  • Pollution
  • Cigarette smoke (even if you're not the one smoking)
  • X-rays
  • Industrial chemicals

These toxins attack your skin and cause damage to your skin cells’ DNA. This mutates the way your cells work, which can cause signs of aging like crow’s feet.

Lack of Good Skin Care

We know you probably don’t take great care of your skin, but that’s okay. We’re confident you can change with the right motivation (like getting rid of crow’s feet). 

Not taking care of your skin can cause it to age faster than it would with time alone. Using the wrong products can also cause your skin to age faster. Products that contain chemicals that can dry your skin, cause irritation, or strip it of its natural moisture can leave your skin looking dull. 

Because your skin doesn’t renew as quickly as you get older, a lack of good skincare can mean you end up with layers of dead skin cells that can give your skin a rough texture. Getting rid of dead skin cells helps kickstart your cell turnover, which can help improve your skin’s overall appearance and texture. 

How To Cage the Birds

Getting rid of crow’s feet is easy once you know your options. It all starts with better skincare and a few lifestyle changes. 

Skin Care, but Make It for Men

Ever try to buy a moisturizer made just for men? If you go to a big box store, it can seem virtually impossible. The selection is slim, and the products you’ll find might not even be formulated for men’s skin. 

Disco is the skincare brand created by a dude, for dudes. 

Our skin care contains ingredients proven to work with the perfect pH balance of a man’s skin. Men’s skin is different from women’s, and Disco fills the gap, making high-quality, natural skincare accessible to those of us with a y chromosome. 

Don’t worry, you don’t need a million products to get started. 

The Disco Starter Set has everything you need to take care of your skin and start fighting the signs of aging. From our facial cleanser to our hydrating moisturizer, you’ll find ingredients that are:

  • Plant-based and natural, to work with your skin not against it
  • Anti-aging. Like phytic acid, vitamins C and E, and macadamia oil. 
  • Easy to use. No lengthy instructions or goopy feeling. Just products that work and absorb quickly so you can get on with your day. 

Better skincare is a great start, but to tackle the crow’s feet, you need a specific eye treatment. Disco’s Repairing Eye Stick is the solution. Packed with caffeine, pycnogenol, and niacinamide, our eye stick depuffs, smooths wrinkles, and erases dark circles. 

Clean Up Your Act

Lifestyle factors have a lot to do with getting rid of crow’s feet. Getting enough sleep, always wearing sunblock, and not smoking will all help your skin age more slowly and look healthier.

If you’re still living hard like you did in your early twenties, slow down bro. Future you will thank you for taking care of yourself now. 

Let’s Disco

You don’t have to let crow’s feet ruin your deep, brooding eye game. Take better care of your skin and fight the signs of aging with the skincare line formulated for men. Disco makes it easy to care for your skin without spending a lot of time in the bathroom.



An Overview of Your Skin|Cleveland 

Mechanisms of cellular rejuvenation - Denoth‐Lippuner - 2019 - FEBS Letters - Wiley Online Library| Wiley

Why does skin wrinkle with age? What is the best way to slow or prevent this process? | Scientific American 


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