What Are The Causes Of Under-eye Wrinkles?

under-eye wrinkles

For most people, under eye wrinkles are the bane of facial beauty. On further thought, it’s likely that you may feel flustered as to the causes of under-eye wrinkles. And why won’t you?

Wrinkles generally, and under-eye wrinkles specifically, are just about the most common reason for aesthetician visits. Under-eye wrinkles cause your eyes to look puffy. They also give you a general appearance of fatigue and ill health.

So you are not out of line in seeking to understand how under-eye wrinkles form. You are also in the right place to get the knowledge you seek.

In this article, we will dive deep into the causes of under-eye wrinkles. We also inform you of the best methods to get rid of under-eye wrinkles. This way, you will stand a better chance of having a youthful look for much longer. Let’s get started.

Understanding Under-eye Wrinkles

It may surprise you to know that there are different forms of wrinkles under the eye. Of course, this differentiation is based on the movement or otherwise of your skin.

Now, the different forms of under-eye wrinkles are:

Static under-eye wrinkles

These are wrinkles that develop regardless of the movement of the under-eye area. With static wrinkles, you see them even while your facial muscles are at rest. Very commonly, static wrinkles are usually due to environmental factors, habits, or ageing.

Wrinkle folds

These develop when some facial features start to sag. In the course of sagging, a part of the face folds over another, causing the creases. It commonly occurs between the nose and mouth and beneath the eyes.

Dynamic under-eye wrinkles

These wrinkles are the direct opposite of the static type. You see them when your facial muscles are in use. Dynamic wrinkles caused by a smile, for example, can eventually become static.

Typical spots to observe dynamic wrinkles are the forehead and the glabellar region (between eyebrows). Lines around the eyes (crow’s feet), also form part of dynamic wrinkles.

dynamic under-eye wrinkles

Causes of Under-eye Wrinkles

Here, we are going to get into the origins of under-eye wrinkles. These causes are wide-ranging with differing levels of impact. But they add up nicely to produce a significant effect on your looks.


Ageing, as you may already deduce, is the most visible cause of wrinkles. Collagen and elastin are essential proteinaceous substances in your skin architecture. Collagen is found in many parts of the body like the joints and dermis.

It is a solid material — some forms are as strong as steel. Thanks to this quality, it gives your skin the firmness it has. It also works to boost the creation of new cells to replace old and worn-out structures.

When you smile, your muscles contract – fold – and straighten out again. The elastin in your body is responsible for the return to the original state.

As you get older, the production of these proteins in your body reduces gradually. Little wonder that, without an attempt to arrest it, your skin progressively gets more wrinkled with age. These substances are responsible for the structural integrity of the skin. Without them, some wrinkling is inevitable.

Exposure to UV radiation

There are several effects that you notice with excessive sun exposure. One of these is photosensitivity. Photosensitive people experience an unpleasant effect on exposure to the sun. They are confined to exposing as little as possible of their body to the sun’s rays.

Another effect of sun exposure is sunburn, which is simply an irritation of the skin, when mild. If severe, sunburns can cause your skin to peel and blister. Essentially, the energy of the sun causes your skin cells to die.

The sun causes a thickening of the lower layers of the skin. This prevents the protein components of elastin and collagen from performing their function of renewing the skin.

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for anyone to be found squinting in the sun. These squints, coupled with the skin thickening, are some of the reasons you have under-eye wrinkles from UV radiation.


On many accounts, smoking has been touted as particularly harmful to the skin. Studies, however, suggest that tobacco takes a relatively long time before it results in wrinkles. Smokers often have fine lines develop around their lips because of their habit.

This effect is because the nicotine in cigarettes constricts the blood vessels. The constriction reduces the flow of proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients to the dermis. However, these body substances are necessary to establish and enhance the firm structure of the skin.

Also, the other substances in the cigarettes, coupled with the nicotine, cause oxidative stress. This stress leads to a reduction in the production of the structural proteins and renders the ones available to be broken down. Reduction in these compounds is among the causes of under-eye wrinkles.

Air pollution

This is an insidious cause of under-eye wrinkles. While it is well known that pollution causes several conditions, its effects on the skin go under the radar. Polluted air contains a high amount of particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and other harmful chemicals.

In places with significant air pollution, NO2 has been shown to have substantial effects on ageing, contributing to skin wrinkling. The same is reported of particulate matter.

Sleeping positions

Weirdly enough, the way you position your body while you sleep can contribute to you developing under-eye wrinkles. Sleeping on your belly is seemingly very convenient for you.

But while you do this, you will likely press down the side of your face on your pillow. This causes a crinkling of the skin under and around the eyes close to the bed. If this continues for a long time, the effects on your under-eye skin are undesirable.

Furthermore, because it is just one side on the bed, the wrinkling also happens on one side. Without the symmetry, your appearance may worsen.

cause under-eye wrinkles

Facial expressions

This cause of under-eye wrinkles may leave you a little flustered. You may wonder how you will exist without making facial expressions.

Well, it is simple. When you smile or frown, you are moving the muscles on your face. By doing so, lines and creases are going to form.

If this occurs repetitively, as they usually do, a pattern of creases is left on your face. Add to this the effects of ageing and reduction in elastin plus collagen and, the results become quite significant.

Habitual rubbing

Some people are in the habit of frequently rubbing their eyes and the skin around them. The effect of this is similar to moving the muscles around. This action stretches the skin there considerably.

Because the skin in that area is thin, the structural proteins there may get easily worn down, creating folds where they did not previously exist. The result is prominent under-eye wrinkles.

Another primary reason that may result in rubbing your eyes is if you have allergies. Skin irritation, as well as inflammation in the chosen area, can dry out the skin. This effect on the skin is simply undesirable.


The lack of proper hydration is terrible for your skin. Adequate amounts of fluids allow your skin to retain its plump and youthful look. On the other hand, without enough water in your body, lines quickly form and stay from the folding of your skin. The result is a wrinkled appearance.


This factor determines many things that happen in your body. Therefore, there are no surprises that it may also cause under-eye and general facial wrinkles.

You should not worry if you have genes that make you prone to skin wrinkling. Many expert studies have shown that external factors contribute more to your skin health than your genes. So, you still have some level of control.

Related article: Botox for Forehead Wrinkles in Maple: How Long do the Results Last?

Preventive Measures for Under-eye Wrinkles

The cliche used to refer to many medical events applies here: ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Without a doubt, there are treatments for under-eye wrinkles that can significantly boost your appearance. But with your skin, you should explore efforts to stave off the appearance of wrinkles before they happen.

This often means starting early and paying attention to the causes of under-eye wrinkles peculiar to you. While some wrinkles are inevitable with increasing age, you may be able to reduce the appearance of under-eye wrinkles.

Use sunscreen regularly

You cannot limit your sunscreen use to just summer days. UV radiation from the sun is readily available all year round and even on cloudy days. Using a sunscreen with significant SPF will help protect you from the damaging effects of the sun.

Dress appropriately

Your sunscreen use might be wasted if you do not compliment it with appropriate dressing. You should invest in a good pair of sunglasses capable of protecting your eyes from the sun.

Wearing that has the advantage of preventing you from squinting, which can further contribute to wrinkling. Add to this a wide-brimmed hat for full protection.

Reduce smoking

Smoking has a considerable contribution to under-eye wrinkling. It also follows that if you can cut out smoking, your skin will look better for it. You may not be able to cut out smoking at once, especially if you have become too used to it. But you may start with little reductions until you can finally quit.

Change your sleeping position

This one may be a bit difficult, as with any habit. But with constant efforts, you will get the desired results. The ideal position you should change to is your back. When you sleep on your back, you avoid any crump to the skin of your face, essentially reducing wrinkling.

Alternatively, you may invest in special pillows that allow you to sleep on your belly without putting pressure on your face – and eyes. Such pillows have been designed to stave off the effects of ageing as much as it is possible.

Avoid pollution

If you reside in an area with significant air pollution, you should consider moving to one where you experience such effects much less. The results of such an action will leave you looking younger and fresher.

Avoiding much polluted areas is not only good for your skin. You will enjoy better general body health by being away from those harmful contaminants.

Hydrate and moisturize

Surely, making sure your body stays hydrated helps your overall body health and your skin particularly. Consuming adequate amounts of fluids can help with this.

Also, you may practice using moisturizers more after activities like bathing. Doing this helps to keep the moisture in your skin and improves its appearance. You may use topical products with ingredients like retinol. This is immensely beneficial for skin health and will help with wrinkles.

Don’t go heavy on cosmetic products

Yes, cosmetic products have their benefits on the skin. But using too much of them can have harmful effects on your skin. They can clog your pores and reduce aeration, in the process worsening your appearance.

Avoid stress

Stress is a primary cause of under-eye wrinkles. When you are stressed, your body engages in oxidative processes. These processes reduce collagen and elastin production while facilitating their breakdown. Stress also enhances the other general effects of ageing.

By avoiding stress as much as you can, your skin feels better for it. You will also feel good and will exude a natural glow that makes you look good.

Treatment for Under-eye Wrinkles: When All Else Fails

Even with your best efforts, you may not be entirely successful in keeping the wrinkles away. If that happens, there are other means for you to achieve a youthful, refreshed look. Some of them are:


There are fillers made from naturally occurring substances that can be injected under your eyes. This treatment has been effective in helping many people get rid of those under-eye wrinkles. Most filler treatments are temporary and would require a repeat procedure.

Chemical peels

Your aesthetician applies this to your face intending to remove dead skin cells. In the process, the growth of new cells is stimulated. With this, the lines around your eyes are reduced. This method is limited in that it is ineffective for deep wrinkles or extensive sagging.


You must have heard of the use of botox for under-eye wrinkles. Botox causes the muscles in your face and around the eyes to relax. This removes any creases or folds and gives a wrinkle-free appearance.

botox for under-eye wrinkles


This treatment is a new, increasingly popular method of exfoliation. Dead skin cells are removed, and blood circulation to the under-eye areas is improved.


This method involves using tiny needles to make holes in the skin, after which serum is applied. The idea is that the production of collagen is stimulated as the skin heals. You are left with a smooth face with an improved texture.

Laser resurfacing

Laser resurfacing serves to remove the old layers of the skin using lasers. By doing so, a new, fresh skin layer emerges. The lasers also stimulate collagen and elastin production, providing a firm and smooth texture to your skin.

Final Take

Depending on the cause of your under-eye wrinkles, you can take adequate steps to reduce the effects. There are also easy methods to prevent under-eye wrinkles from surfacing. If all else fails, you are not without effective treatment options to retain your youthful look.

If you are looking for a way to deal with your wrinkles, look no further. Contact our medical spa in Toronto. Here at Canada MedLaser, we offer botox, dermal filler injections, and microneedling treatments for under-eye wrinkles.

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