Despite the name, frowning isn't the only cause of wrinkles or "frown lines" -- formally known as glabellar lines -- on the forehead. In reality, these pesky lines appear as the skin on your forehead loses its collagen and elastin over time, which reduces it tautness and smoothness. It takes a consistent skin-care regimen -- and the optional inclusion of professional treatments -- to turn back the clock on forehead frown lines. Try a combination of methods and stick with the ones that produce the best results for you.
Massage a light layer of wrinkle treatment cream into the frown lines once daily after cleansing but before your makeup application. Gently rub the cream into the frown lines and the surrounding areas of your forehead, including the areas with finer lines, until there is no greasy residue. Seek creams that contain ingredients such as collagen- and elastin-boosting retinol or vitamin C ester, skin-hydrating hyaluronic acid, the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid and SPF protection.
Follow the wrinkle cream with the application of a wrinkle spot treatment, which targets deep creases such as glabellar lines. Massage this cream into the lines just as you did the wrinkle cream. Choose a spot treatment with a skin relaxer or toner -- such as gamma-amino butryic acid or dimethylaminoethanol, known as GABA and DMAE, respectively -- to smooth out deep frown lines.
Apply a very light coating of petroleum jelly to the wrinkles on your forehead each night after washing your face. Thoroughly massage the jelly into your skin to reduce the feeling of greasiness, especially if you have naturally oily skin. This trick helps your skin retain moisture, which plumps it up and reduces the appearance of lines.
Drink plenty of water -- about 8 to 10 glasses daily -- to provide your skin with the moisture it needs to retain its smoothness and elasticity. Likewise, incorporate more protein, low-glycemic carbohydrates, fruit and healthy fats, such as omega-3s, into your diet to help your skin stay flexible and supple. Top off this skin-healthy lifestyle with a regular regimen of adequate sleep, which helps your body maintain a regular level of cortisol. Sleep deprivation leads to excess cortisol production, which ages the skin more quickly.
Consider botulinum toxin type A (Botox) injections for a quick and effective, though costly, solution for reducing the appearance of glabellar lines. Turn to a credentialed physician or dermatologist certified by an agency such as the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Request a complete medical evaluation from your physician before undergoing such injections and be sure to educate yourself on all potential side effects.
If you wear makeup, use an illuminating foundation primer. This type of primer, which features a subtle sheen produced by tiny flecks of minerals, reflects light away from the dark grooves of deep frown lines, making them appear lighter and less noticeable.
Avoid smoking and excess sun exposure. Both of these practices cause your skin to release enzymes that break down its collagen content. If you do venture out for a day in the sun, protect your face from long-term damage with SPF 15 or 30 sunscreen lotion.
Always read and follow any directions provided by the manufacturers of wrinkle-treatment products before using them. Consult your dermatologist before making major changes to your skincare regimen.
- Patient's Guide: Forehead Wrinkles
- Woman's Day: How to Fight Forehead Wrinkles
- The New York Times: Cosmetics Break the Skin Barrier
- Perricone MD: Learn How to Prevent and Treat Forehead Wrinkles
- Life Extension Magazine, November 2004: All About Supplements
- NCBI PubMed.gov: Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Botulinum Toxin Type A for Patients with Glabellar Lines.
- American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Botox Injections