Getting fine lines and wrinkles is a natural part of life, but it’s okay if it’s something you want to delay happening or reverse altogether. Forehead wrinkles, in particular, can be a bit of a nuisance. When those horizontal lines, or “elevens,” sit at the center of your face, it’s tricky to conceal. Not to mention, any facial movements or raising the eyebrows tend to make those wrinkles stand out even more.
If you’re looking for ways to smooth out the lines, rest assured it is possible to get rid of forehead wrinkles and prevent them from forming altogether. Some methods are temporary fixes, while longer-lasting options will require a visit to the dermatologist’s office. Ahead, learn more about forehead wrinkles, including what causes them, how to smooth them out, and professional treatments that can help get rid of them for good.
What Causes Forehead Wrinkles?
There are a few causes for forehead wrinkles, but the main culprit is repeated movement of the muscles in that area, such as making dramatic facial expressions or raising your eyebrows, says Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Naturally, getting older also makes wrinkles and fine lines more apparent because of the gradual decrease in collagen and elastin production. “These [collagen and elastin] proteins give the connective tissue beneath the skin structure and elasticity,” says Michelle Henry, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan. “As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen, [which] leads to the appearance of forehead wrinkles and crow’s-feet.”
Other factors that contribute to and can accelerate the formation of wrinkles is UV exposure, genetics, and lifestyle habits such as excessive drinking, smoking, or not drinking enough water, explains Hardik Doshi, MD, a celebrity facial plastic surgeon.
How to Prevent Forehead Wrinkles
The greatest way to deal with forehead wrinkles is to avoid their development in the first place, Doshi says. Prioritizing a few things in your lifestyle can have a big impact in maintaining a smooth forehead.
Invest in an anti-aging skincare routine.
First things first: Invest in a skincare routine with ingredients that help reduce signs of aging. Try incorporating retinol into your regimen, which is a potent vitamin A derivative, explains Engelman. “Retinol can help increase cellular turnover and encourage the formation of new skin as well as the production of collagen and elastin, all of which help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles,” she says. One of her go-to picks is the SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream because it helps to prevent wrinkles and improve the look of existing fine lines with “little to no irritation,” according to Engelman.
Other key ingredients worth adding to your routine are vitamin C, which promotes collagen production and protects against harmful environmental stressors, and hyaluronic acid, which gives the appearance of hydrated, plump skin, says Doshi. Dermatologists typically recommend starting your anti-aging routine sometime in your 20s and 30s for the best results.
Apply SPF daily.
Daily SPF application (yes, on cloudy, rainy, and snowy days, too) is another non-negotiable if you’re looking to prevent forehead wrinkles. “Collagen and elastin fibers in the skin are destroyed by UV radiation,” says Doshi. “I advise daily use of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, as well as protective clothing and headwear if you will be outside.”
Have healthy lifestyle habits.
Smart lifestyle choices can prevent the development of wrinkles, such as avoiding smoking cigarettes, which can compromise skin elasticity, and eating a balanced diet. Too many refined carbohydrates can speed up skin aging, says Doshi. Staying hydrated helps to keep your body functioning optimally; applying moisturizer helps to keep your skin functioning optimally, which ultimately “lowers the likelihood of wrinkles developing,” he adds.
How to Get Rid of Forehead Wrinkles
The truth is, once wrinkles are noticeable on the skin, it’s hard to diminish their appearance, says Engelman. However, some options, ranging from cosmetic procedures to cupping therapy, can help.
A surgical facelift
A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic procedure that removes facial skin and fat to help give the appearance of a tighter and smoother complexion. “A facelift can endure for around five and a half years,” says Doshi. Expect swelling and bruising for a few weeks following surgery.
Neuromodulators, such as Botox Cosmetics, Dysport, Xeomin, and newcomer Daxxify (which is set to be available in 2023), are among the most popular semi-permanent solutions for smooth skin, says Henry. They work by paralyzing the muscles found in the forehead. “By temporarily relaxing the face muscles, Botox can prevent wrinkles for up to three to four months,” she says. When the body metabolizes it, the wrinkles come back. Hyaluronic acid or collagen-based fillers are another option. “Fillers can be injected into forehead wrinkles to smooth them out and add volume,” says Doshi. These therapies tend to last one to two years. The depth of the wrinkles plays a role in how well these injectables will work, Doshi says, so if you have very deep creases, these fillers may not be the best solution for you. A board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon can talk about the best option for you.
Scalpel and needle-free methods may not be as visible or long-lasting, but they can help. One to try is cryotherapy, which is when a professional will use extreme cold to freeze skin tissue. “Cryotherapy is an amazing way to reduce facial wrinkles,” says Engelman. “Back in the day, we put our faces in ice baths to reduce swelling. In our office, we often recommend GlacialRx, which is effective because the precision cooling reduces puffiness, which lessens the appearance of wrinkles.”
For a DIY alternative with similar effects, you can try ice rolling with a tool like the Skin Gym Ice Coolie Roller. This form of facial massaging works by stimulating the lymphatic system, which helps eliminate toxins, puffiness, and ease tension, says Doshi. The coldness also helps constrict blood vessels, which can help soften the look of fine lines. “As a result of the constricting blood vessels caused by cooling, the skin appears tighter and is momentarily less red, giving it a more youthful and vibrant appearance,” he says.
Cupping therapy is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that utilizes suction cups to increase blood circulation, encourage cellular repair, ease muscle tension, and boost the cell regeneration process. The suction cup brings blood flow into the area it’s on. “This floods the tissue with new blood and encourages the growth of new blood vessels,” says Doshi.
Facial cupping also causes mechanical trauma because of the vacuum-like suction, which stimulates the production of healing agents like white blood cells and platelets. “Therefore, face cupping aids in boosting collagen-producing cells to lessen the visibility of scars, fine lines, and wrinkles,” says Doshi. It’ll take time to see results from facial cupping, but you might find it worth adding to your routine, especially when you’re really looking to indulge in self-care. Wildling has a facial cupping system that includes two different-sized cups.
When in doubt, it’s best to always consult with a board-certified dermatologist for the best treatment plan for you.