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Last updated: Jun 13, 2022
5 min read

How to get rid of forehead wrinkles

 

Disclaimer

If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

If you’re in your late 20s, you may notice fine lines or wrinkles appearing on your forehead. Forehead wrinkles come from repeated facial expressions over time, meaning you can’t do much to prevent them. Even though forehead wrinkles can’t be prevented fully, there are some tactics that may delay their onset. 

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What causes forehead wrinkles?

Forehead wrinkles (or wrinkles anywhere for that matter) are caused by repeatedly creasing skin and muscles while making facial expressions. Repeatedly raising your eyebrows––as we all do in surprise or fear, for instance––eventually forms fine lines that can deepen into wrinkles. 

Skin is typically firm and bounces back easily when we’re young––that’s why you don’t see wrinkles until later in life. As skin ages, its elastin and collagen production decreases. These are important components that help maintain skin tone and structure, so having less makes it easier for wrinkles to form (Strnadova, 2019). 

You also lose what are called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) over time. Like hyaluronic acid, GAGs draw water into the skin, making skin look plump and youthful. The loss of these proteins means less moisture in the skin, which contributes to wrinkles on the forehead (Ahmed, 2020). 

Risk factors for forehead wrinkles

While they might be unwelcome, don’t be surprised if you start seeing forehead wrinkles in your late 20s or early 30s. The appearance of forehead wrinkles is a natural part of the aging process that everyone experiences to some extent. 

That said, there are environmental factors and personal habits that can accelerate aging, causing wrinkles and fine lines on the forehead to form sooner. 

Sun damage is the biggest external factor that contributes to wrinkles. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun cause elastin and collagen fibers to break down, leading to cell damage and premature aging. Smoking is another factor that can speed aging as the toxins in cigarette smoke are known to cause skin damage (Shanbhag, 2019).

5 tips for preventing forehead wrinkles

There is no way to totally prevent forehead wrinkles, but there are some easy steps you can take that may delay the formation––and are important for overall skin health

1. Avoid too much sun 

One of the best tactics to ward off signs of aging and conditions like skin cancer is practicing sun safety when you’re young. The earlier you start consistently using sunscreen, the more UV damage you’ll prevent (Gabros, 2022).

Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily––especially when you know you’ll be out in the sun. Reapplying is important, particularly if you’re swimming or doing other prolonged outdoor activities. Wearing a hat and protective clothing can also guard your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

2. Quit smoking

Cigarette smoke is another major culprit in premature skin aging and forehead wrinkles. Smoking cessation—or even better, never starting in the first place—can go a long way to keeping your skin looking young and healthy (Krutmann, 2017).

3. Stay hydrated

Dry skin can exacerbate the appearance of wrinkles. Be sure to drink plenty of water each day and use a good moisturizer. Hydrated skin looks and feels more full and firm.

4. Eat a balanced diet

Some studies suggest that eating foods rich in antioxidants (like vitamins A, C, and E) may reduce the risk of UV-induced skin damage, plus fine lines and wrinkles. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect skin from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage cells (Shanbhag, 2019).

5. Stress management

We all recognize the look of worry when someone’s in a stressful situation—the tense face, raised eyebrows, and furrowed brow. When performed repeatedly, these types of facial expressions could lead to more forehead wrinkles. 

Of course, there is no way to remove stress entirely from your life, plus some stress is good. Practicing stress management techniques like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and spending time in nature is beneficial for your overall well-being––and may hold off some wrinkles.

Forehead wrinkle treatment

Even though you can’t ward off forehead wrinkles forever, the good news is there several treatments available effective at reducing their appearance. 

Botox

A popular treatment for facial wrinkles is Botox injections. Botox works by weakening muscles at the injection site to decrease repetitive muscle movement and improve the appearance of forehead wrinkles (Padda, 2021). 

Topical retinoids

If needles aren’t your things, topical retinoids are another option to deal with unwanted fine lines and prevent future wrinkles. Products like tretinoin (brand name Retin-A) and adapalene (Differin) are popular retinoids used to achieve younger-looking skin.

Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A (retinol), which help with forehead lines by increasing skin cell turnover (how quickly skin sheds dead cells and makes new ones). Topical retinoids also boost your skin’s ability to replenish collagen, the structural component that keeps skin plump and smooth (Yoham, 2022).

Another benefit of retinoids is they can improve the appearance of sun damage, a big contributor to wrinkles (Szymański, 2020).

Antioxidant serums

Beyond a healthy diet, you can also reap the benefits of antioxidants by using a facial serum. Many skincare products contain antioxidants that may slow signs of premature aging. For example, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by boosting the firmness and elasticity of skin (Zasada, 2019).

Chemical peels

This cosmetic procedure utilizes strong acids to remove surface layers of old, dead skin cells to reveal tighter-looking skin below. Chemical peel treatments are typically performed by a healthcare professional and come in three categories (superficial peels, medium-depth peels, and deep peels) based on how much they penetrate skin (Pathak, 2020).

Injectable hyaluronic acid fillers

You may be recommended hyaluronic acid injections for forehead wrinkles. These are injected directly into the target area and work by “filling” crevices in the skin, lessening the look of wrinkles. 

Hyaluronic acid also draws moisture to the area, helping to create a more youthful appearance. Fillers start working quickly but don’t last forever—depending on the type of filler you get, repeated treatments may be needed every few months (Walker, 2021). 

While getting older is inescapable, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it. If you have skincare concerns, talk to a dermatologist or skin care specialist who can go over the options and find a treatment that’s right for you. 

References

  1. Ahmed, I. A., Mikail, M. A., Zamakshshari, N., et al. (2020). Natural anti-aging skincare: role and potential. Biogerontology, 21(3), 293–310. doi:10.1007/s10522-020-09865-z. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32162126/
  2. Gabros, S., Nessel, T. A., & Zito, P. M. (2022). Sunscreens and photoprotection. StatPearls. Retrieved on June 2, 2022 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537164/
  3. Krutmann, J., Bouloc, A., Sore, G., et al. (2017). The skin aging exposome. Journal of Dermatological Science, 85(3), 152–161. doi:10.1016/j.jdermsci.2016.09.015. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27720464/
  4. Padda, I. S. & Tadi, P. (2021). Botulinum toxin. StatPearls. Retrieved on Jun 2, 2022 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557387/
  5. Pathak, A., Mohan, R., & Rohrich, R. J. (2020). Chemical peels: role of chemical peels in facial rejuvenation today. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 145(1), 58e–66e. doi:10.1097/PRS.0000000000006346. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31881607/
  6. Shanbhag, S., Nayak, A., Narayan, R., et al. (2019). Anti-aging and sunscreens: paradigm shift in cosmetics. Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 9(3), 348–359. doi:10.15171/apb.2019.042. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6773941/
  7. Strnadova, K., Sandera, V., Dvorankova, B., et al. (2019). Skin aging: the dermal perspective. Clinics in Dermatology, 37(4), 326–335. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2019.04.005. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31345320/
  8. Szymański, Ł., Skopek, R., Palusińska, M., et al. (2020). Retinoic acid and its derivatives in skin. Cells, 9(12), 2660. doi:10.3390/cells9122660. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7764495/
  9. Walker, K., Basehore, B. M., Goyal, A, et al. (2021). Hyaluronic acid. StatPearls. Retrieved on May 23, 2022 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482440/
  10. Yoham, A. L. & Casadesus, D. (2022). Tretinoin. StatPearls. Retrieved on Jun 2, 2022 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557478/
  11. Zasada, M., Markiewicz, A., Drożdż, Z., et al. (2019). Preliminary randomized controlled trial of antiaging effects of l-ascorbic acid applied in combination with no-needle and microneedle mesotherapy. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 18(3), 843–849. doi:10.1111/jocd.12727. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30070034/