Editorial note: an earlier version of this article was first published on March 3, 2009. It was updated on August 13, 2020.
- Identify whether you have static forehead wrinkles or dynamic forehead wrinkles
- Use preventative measures to decrease the occurrence of forehead wrinkles
- Consider advanced forehead wrinkle treatments
- The forehead wrinkle treatment that’s right for someone else isn’t always right for you
There is a common cosmetic concern we hear, which goes something like this: “people always say I look angry or worried because I have wrinkles on my forehead. What wrinkle treatments will get rid of these forehead lines?”
The thing is, different wrinkles require different treatment modalities. Forehead wrinkle treatments should be chosen based on the underlying cause, and the extent of the damage to the skin. Most people automatically think of wrinkle-erasing creams, or even Botox® as the most immediate solution. However, while those can be good options, they may not always ‘hit the mark.’
In this article, we’ll explain how you can get rid of forehead wrinkles. As you may expect, we’ll also be stressing the need for prevention measures (always the best cure to anything!).
Identify whether you have static forehead wrinkles or dynamic forehead wrinkles
When cosmetic-focused doctors look at patients with wrinkled skin, they may ask them to squint or make emotional facial expressions. Then, in an instant, they can tell you the problem.
You see, we have two main types of wrinkles. These are dynamic wrinkles and static wrinkles.;
These stand apart from folds, groves and sagging skin, which are aging features that can be incorrectly labelled as ‘wrinkles.’ If you’re interested, we explain wrinkle treatments in more detail here. We also explain sagging skin solutions, here.
Dynamic wrinkles are those that are present only during animation (i.e. during active movement of the face). These are best treated with Botox®. This injectable neuromodulator will temporarily stop the underlying frontalis muscle from pulling on the skin, which creates the furrows and wrinkles in the first place.
A quality (undiluted) Botox® injection will typically last 3 to 4 months. You can read more about Botox® treatments here.
Static wrinkles are those that are always present, even when the face is at rest. If these creases are deep, a combination of Botox® and a filler material will be needed.
Botox® can be used to stop the primary culprit (i.e. the frontalis muscle pulling the skin).
Fillers (also called “volumizers”) can raise the dermal defect, so that it appears smoothed out (kind of like blowing up a flimsy balloon until it is round and tensile – except, not quite so much!).
Dermal filler injections are temporary, usually lasting 6 to 12 months. There are long-lasting fillers, which can maintain their effects for up to 5 years. Common options we carry, and are trained in, include:
- Juvéderm® – made with hyaluronic acid (HA).
- Bellafill® – made with polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres (this one lasts up to five years).
- Radiesse® – made of calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA).
- Sculptra® – made of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA).
When combining Botox® with dermal fillers, this can be referred to as a non-surgical facelift. The effects are similar to a traditional facelift (with cutting), but they are temporary. That said, a non-surgical facelift is much cheaper, and doesn’t come with downtime. It can also be ‘built up’ over time, to keep the look you want for longer periods.
Use preventative measures to decrease the occurrence of forehead wrinkles
If you were to examine your forehead wrinkles in a mirror, you’d notice that they appear in the exact spots where your face expresses emotion. Our squinting, furrowing, smiling, duck-facing, and eyebrow raising habits are not just communicating for us – they’re creating wrinkles for us!
At times, these constant movements are hardly noticeable; think of all the occasions you find yourself concentrating deeply on something you’re reading. Did you know you are probably crossing your eyebrows the entire time? If you do this, you have found the source of your ‘frown lines’!
Not only that, but our exposure to UV light can do great damage to our skin, and its ability to heal itself. This is called free radical damage. We’ve explained how it works here. Our human vulnerability to free radical damage is why sunscreen is an absolute must for those who want to treat aging skin of any kind.
If UV rays weren’t enough, these days, even blue light from our devices is being linked to aging! This is why some beauty products are specifically designed to protect against it.
Over time, the collagen, elastin, water, fat and other components in our skin, muscle and bone start to degrade. This makes it harder for the skin to ‘bounce back’ to a smooth shape when it’s being ‘knitted’ by our facial expressions all day.
So what are we to do with these seemingly unavoidable causes of forehead wrinkles? Below are our top tips!
Wear sunscreen daily (in any season), and reapply every 2 hours
This rule applies on cloudy days, and when you’re indoors – not just when you’re in the sun. Choose a tinted sunscreen for blue-light protection (specifically, look for iron oxides in the ‘inactives’ section of the ingredients list).
Try our high-SPF face and body sunscreens, here.
Pro tip: to ensure you’re protected all day, reapply over makeup every 2 hours by using a powder sunscreen. Try the Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-on Shield SPF 50 w/ EnviroScreen™.
See related on our blog: What makes a good sunscreen? Here is how to decode them all
Wear sun protective clothing
Sun protective clothing includes sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat, so you are not squinting in bright light all day. The squinting can only contribute to your frown lines, making them even worse.
Hydrate your body, including your skin
Drink water all day. Dehydrated skin adds to the appearance of wrinkles, and makes it harder for your skin to function properly. To boost your skin’s ability to hold on to water, use a hyaluronic acid (HA) serum.
Try from our shop:
Note that alcohol can dry out your skin. If you’re worried about forehead lines, you may want to reconsider that glass of wine or beer with friends.
Follow a good skincare regimen
There are products that can do wonders for your skin’s appearance, even if you’ve already got wrinkles. Moisturizer, exfoliants, retinol and peptides are essential for treating forehead wrinkles, as they are for treating any wrinkles.
Plus, follow our tips on: “The best facial skin care routines for every age, broken down decade-by-decade.”
Use tape on your forehead wrinkles
This might sound kind of funny, but the idea is to prevent your facial muscles from tensing. Or at least, to remind you not to move them! There are some products made for this, such as silicone pads or face wraps. Obviously, wear these when you’re at home and no one’s looking!
Sleep on your back
To keep you from squishing your face skin all night, try to train yourself to sleep on your back. This may help to prevent wrinkles from all-night facial positions.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Lifestyle habits can contribute significantly to the appearance of skin. Above we mentioned free radical damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays. But our planet’s star is only one source of free radicals. For example, smoking puts the body under a lot of free radical stress. This is bound to show up in the skin as premature aging.
The amount of antioxidant foods we take in through our diet can help to offset the free radicals that are wreaking havoc on our skin (and body!). So, eating healthy is pertinent to feeling good and looking good.
See this link for a study on how diet affects skin dryness (in short: get your vitamin C and omega 3s! Avoid excessive fat and carbs!)
Stress is also a contributor to our overall health. But, if you think about those repetitive facial expressions we mentioned earlier, you can see how stress-induced frowns and sad faces could cause permanent forehead wrinkles, too. Balancing stress in our lives is not just for physical and mental health – it can also benefit our skin, by extension.
Consider advanced forehead wrinkle treatments
Maybe you feel like you’ve got the above tips down pat. You want something more dramatic than a Botox® or filler injection. Fear not; we’ve got you covered. There are some ‘big’ procedures you can opt for, if you really want to tackle those vertical and horizontal forehead wrinkles.
There are non-surgical, in-clinic, anti-aging tools we can use these days. One of these is the popular Fraxel® DUAL laser skin rejuvenation technique. You can also take laser treatments a ‘step up’ with Fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing.
These ‘big’ laser treatments do come with downtime. However, they can do a lot in fewer sessions than say, routine photofacials or chemical peels. Plus, they can help with brown spots and other skin issues at the same time. And – bonus point: they’re a lot cheaper than plastic surgery.
Then, of course, you can seek full-on plastic surgery with a forehead lift. There are multiple ways to do this, so a plastic surgeon should advise you on the one you need (e.g. a brow lift may be the solution, rather than focusing on the frontalis muscle alone).
Keep in mind that surgery always carries bigger risks than less-invasive options. Scarring and infections are just some of what you can be left with.
The forehead wrinkle treatment that’s right for someone else isn’t always right for you
To conclude, we’ve seen that there are injectable treatments to deal with forehead wrinkles, whether they are dynamic, static, horizontal or vertical. There are also lifestyle habits and skin care routines one can take. If those aren’t enough, non-surgical and surgical cosmetic procedures may be an option.
Every individual requires a customized approach to meet their goals and expectations when treating forehead wrinkles. Plus there are considerations such as budget, pain tolerance and recovery time allowance – all of these may affect the solution you choose.
Getting a fractional CO2 resurfacing procedure or a surgical forehead lift three weeks before your wedding is not going to be a wise choice. However, an easy, ‘lunchtime’ Botox® session can have you looking fantastic in that time frame, at an affordable price, too.
If you’d like someone with experience to take a look at your forehead lines in Vancouver, we can help. Our Surrey skin and laser clinic has been smoothing out wrinkles for over 20 years, using a variety of methods. We’ve seen it all. Book a consultation, and we’ll be glad to help!