Here’s Exactly How To Get Rid of Forehead Wrinkles
Each passing day brings plenty of moments that cause you to furrow your brows. It might not be apparent at the moment, but excessively worrying about the state of the world (why is it so hot in January?), yet another baseless TikTok skincare hack (crushing aspirin to make a mask?), and Rihanna (hello, where’s the new music?) all lead to that one repetitive facial expression and, more importantly, forehead lines. As you age, those lines on your forehead begin to get deeper, more visible, and more permanent, which in turn can cause even more worry. Truth is, wrinkles are an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore temporary or long-term options to soften their appearance or delay future lines from forming. Before you make any hasty decisions, consider our guide to getting rid of forehead wrinkles first.
We polled Dr. Lauren Penzi and Dr. Marisa Garshick to get the low-down on the best products, practices, and treatments to keep forehead wrinkles at bay.
What causes forehead wrinkles?
Kim Kardashian famously said she doesn’t smile in photos to prevent laugh lines—and she was spot on. Forehead wrinkles are caused by movement in your face, especially dramatic facial expressions, “also known as the frontalis muscle,” Dr. Penzi says. “This muscle allows us to raise our eyebrows and make that ‘surprised’ look.”
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The wrinkles on our foreheads can be broken into two categories: dynamic and static wrinkles. “Dynamic wrinkles are the ones that appear with movement and expression; static wrinkles are the wrinkles that become etched in and are present at rest. Because they can arise through expressions, people with strong muscles may be more likely to notice their wrinkles, even at a young age. As we age and with environmental exposures, such as UV rays, we lose collagen and this can also contribute to fine lines and wrinkles becoming more apparent,” Dr. Garshick explains.
Can you truly get rid of forehead wrinkles permanently?
Unfortunately, it’s not likely to permanently eliminate forehead wrinkles. “Theoretically, early initiation of Botox can prevent wrinkles from forming. Over time, repeat Botox injections will weaken the facial muscles, and slow the process in which dynamic lines settle into permanent lines,” Dr. Penzi says. This only slows and weakens the process of wrinkles forming, but doesn’t exactly get rid of them altogether.
What skincare ingredient should you look for to help prevent wrinkles?
According to Dr. Penzi, retinol is one of the main ingredients to use to soften the appearance of forehead lines. “Use a retinol or retinoid product on a regular basis as these products increase cell turnover and help to build the collagen and elastin that lessens the look of wrinkles,” she explains. Other standouts include niacinamide (“this fights signs of photoaging,” Dr. Penzi adds), bakuchiol—which is a retinol alternative—and vitamin C for brightening purposes. Dr. Garshick adds that peptides are also great “to boost collagen and improve the appearance of fine lines,” especially when found in moisturizers and creams. “Skin hydration through the use of moisturizers may help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by plumping the skin and the appearance of the lines. Many people notice when their skin is dry, their lines and wrinkles are more noticeable, but when the skin is hydrated, it tends to be less apparent,” Dr. Garshick explains. Also, never forget to wear your sunscreen!
What are the best practices for preventing forehead wrinkles?
Take Kim K’s advice: limit your expressions. “Wrinkles are a function of muscle movement. The less expressive you are with your facial muscles, the less chance of having deeper etched in lines,” Dr. Penzi says.
Always wear sunscreen. Lack of sun protection can make your skin age faster. “Cumulative UV exposure can lead to collagen breakdown, which can worsen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. For this reason, it is important to wear sunscreen regularly and make sure you’re using SPF 30 or higher and reapply every two hours,” Dr. Garshick says.
Don’t smoke. “Smoking impairs the production of collagen and increases the production of tropoelastin and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), which degrade matrix proteins,” Dr. Penzi adds.
What in-office procedures are best to get rid of forehead wrinkles?
If you’ve exhausted all your options and you’re still unsatisfied, consider researching preventative Botox as early as 20 years old. “Botox is probably the easiest, safest, and most effective treatment to diminish the look of forehead wrinkles. Botox lasts on average three to four months, so you will need to keep up with this schedule in order to maintain the benefits of Botox injections,” Dr. Penzi says. However, Botox can be intimidating for some, so Dr. Garshick advises looking into in-office treatments like lasers or microneedling.
“Lasers, such as laser resurfacing or microneedling, work by creating micro-injuries in the skin to help boost and stimulate collagen production. In doing so, they also help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and are particularly good for forehead lines that are present at rest,” Dr. Garshick says. Hyaluronic acid fillers also exist, but Dr. Penzi advises seeing a board-certified dermatologist for this procedure, as hyaluronic acid “is directly injected into wrinkles to lessen their appearance, but the forehead is at a higher risk area for vascular occlusion.”
Meet the experts
Dr. Lauren Penzi is an NYC-based board-certified dermatologist who specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology.
Dr. Marisa Garshick is an NYC-based board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at Cornell University.
Why trust ELLE Beauty?
Nerisha Penrose is the Beauty Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Since joining ELLE.com in 2017, she has interviewed countless skincare professionals and has personally tested the latest and greatest products across makeup, skincare, and hair care.
Beauty Commerce Editor
Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.