Making Under Eye Wrinkles Worse: 10 Habits to Avoid

by Linda Robison

Are under-eye wrinkles bothering you?

Surprisingly, everyday habits you might not think twice about could be aggravating them. Yes, we all know aging is natural, but certain routines can accelerate it or worsen its effects.

Are your under eye wrinkles caused by sleeping habits?Sleeping incorrectly can contribute to under-eye wrinkles and more.

In this guide, I'll uncover common habits that contribute to under-eye wrinkles or may worsen their appearance, along with simple tips for minimizing their impact.

Under eye wrinkles are natural

The appearance of creases, criss-cross lines, crow's feet and deep wrinkles around the eyes, are a common and natural part of the aging process.

However, there are ways you can minimize and even slow down their formation. Keep reading to find out how.

What causes eye skin to wrinkle

Before we talk about habits that cause eye creases, let's understand why we all get them.

Under-eye wrinkles, also known as crow's feet or laughter lines (although there is nothing funny about them), develop for several reasons, including:

  • Loss of collagen and elastin
  • Repetitive facial movements such as squinting or smiling
  • Sun damage, exposure to UV rays
  • Genetics 
  • Natural aging process

Basically, you can't stop them from forming.

But you can slow down the process by avoiding simple everyday habits, listed below …

10 Habits that make under eye wrinkles worse

1. Sleeping on your side:

Sleeping with your face pressed against a pillow can cause creases and lines to form around the eye area and your face. And, this is the hardest habit to break!

If you cannot change sleeping habits (which is very hard to do when you're asleep), consider using silk pillow cases or even a facial sleep pillow.

Sleep pillow to reduce under eye wrinkles from forming when you sleep.This is my face pillow. Looks a little worn out, but I've had it for years. And it still works great. I can't sleep without it. I even take it with me when I travel. The "claw" part (marked in yellow) is where you place your face. So it's always suspended without touching the pillow.

Whether you sleep on your right or left side, this pillow keeps your face (and eye area), lifted, preventing it from being crunched or squished against your regular pillow.

I no longer wake up with creases on the sides of my face. I found this on Amazon, but there's a wide range of anti-aging face and eye pillows available in the market.

2. Sleeping with eye masks:

Who knew!😯 

Sleeping with eye masks repeatedly over long periods can contribute to under-eye wrinkles due to the constant friction, pulling on the delicate skin, moisture trapping leading to dehydration, and potential irritation from the materials.

3. Facial Tension While Working:

Try putting a mirror next to your computer and see how your face scrunches up while you work or when you're focused on something.

Woman making face in mirror.

It turns out that this habit could lead to wrinkles around your eyes.

When we're deep in thought, we often tense up our facial muscles without realizing it. This tension can cause wrinkles around our eyes.

The eye muscles, used for squinting or furrowing brows, can create wrinkles when they're constantly tensed up. Over time, these wrinkles can become permanent.

What to do? Be aware of facial tension and take breaks to stretch and rest the eyes.

Finish your day with a simple face massage. It's powerful for releasing tension that causes wrinkles. An at-home face lift massage is free and offers benefits like muscle relaxation and a lifted appearance.

4. Using Strong Anti-aging Products Incorrectly:

Many of us love our retinols and/or chemical peels. We know these active ingredients are proven to help slow skin aging and improve the depth of wrinkles.

But, studies suggest that overusing or misusing them leads to irritation, possibly contributing to the formation or worsening of wrinkles over time.

Using retinols or chemical peels incorrectly :

  • when they are too strong for your skin's tolerance
  • without allowing for a break-in period
  • when not intended for the delicate eye area

can cause inflammation. And, inflammation can damage the skin. 

Always follow the directions on the package and if you're new to anti-aging active products, start at the lowest dose available.

Don't overload your skin with too many products at once. Introduce one at a time and use it consistently for 4–6 weeks to assess how your skin responds.

Taking a gradual approach allows you to monitor your results and adjust accordingly. Or check with a qualified skincare specialist.

5. Squinting Frequently:

Constant squinting or nearsightedness can lead to repetitive creasing around the eye area, eventually etching lines. Get your eyes checked and get corrective glasses or contacts. 

6. Excessive Sun Exposure:

Sunglass and sunscreen! We all know this, but it needs to be repeated. Prolonged exposure to the sun will damage the collagen and elastin fibers.

Studies show that sunscreen can help reverse some signs of damage. So protect the delicate skin around your eyes when outdoors.

7. Using harsh eye makeup removers:

Harsh makeup removers or scrubbing too vigorously can dry out the dermis and make lines and creases look worse. I use a balancing facial cleansing cream.

Not only does it dissolve makeup quickly, it hydrates too. It's loaded with skin healing nut oils. 

8. Excessive Consumption of Salty Foods:

Boy am I guilty here!! I love salty foodsA high-sodium diet can cause fluid retention and puffiness around the eyes.

When this happens over and over again, the skin stretches, and soon you've got permanent fine lines etched into the skin.

If you suffer from puffy eyes eating a lot of salt will make it worse. 

9. Dehydration:

How many ounces of water have you had today? Me? None as of this writing. Many of us are guilty of not drinking enough water. 

While this won't necessarily lead to aging eye skin, can cause dryness and the accentuation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated and plump.

10. Too Little Sleep:

Not getting enough sleep speeds up skin aging because it increases cortisol, which breaks down collagen, and reduces growth hormone, which helps repair skin cells.

One study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology linked poor sleep quality to the increased formation of wrinkles.

Another study in the journal Sleep found that people reporting worse sleep had more signs of skin aging, including eye wrinkles, compared to those who slept better.

Final takeaway: Habits that lead to under eye wrinkles

Of course, we know that getting wrinkles around the eyes is something that happens as we get older.

However, some everyday habits can make them look worse or even speed up this process. So, being mindful of the 10 habits listed above. 

From getting more sleep, doing daily eye massages, to using potent skincare products properly. It's important to be gentle and protect that area to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay for as long as possible.

Also, check out the top at-home eye wrinkle remedies to keep the eye area looking smooth and slow down aging.

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