When it comes to skin imperfections, I’m not typically one to make a fuss. A pimple in my teens didn’t freak me out like it did my friends. To be fair, I was lucky because they were rare — and all the women I know have cellulite. So, what’s the big deal?
My laissez-faire attitude, however, doesn’t apply to the creases in my forehead. I was around 50 when they transformed from tiny wisps to ravine-like wrinkles. It was then that I changed my tune. Maybe it’s because my forehead wrinkles are one of the first things people see when they look at me, and there’s no good way to hide them. (I look awful with bangs.) It could also be that wrinkles remind me that I’m aging. Whatever the reason, I don’t like them — and I don’t know a single woman who does.
Fortunately, there are a number of things we can do to combat these lines. Here’s a list of effective crease-smoothing tips and treatments for preventing and reducing fine lines and maintaining a wrinkle-free complexion.
What causes forehead wrinkles?
Like many skincare concerns (think: liver spots, fine lines, and sagging), age is arguably the biggest factor in the development of forehead wrinkles. That’s because collagen protein and elastin production decrease as we grow older. There are, however, other culprits. Additional causes of forehead lines include:
- UV sun exposure
- Poor forehead muscle and facial muscle strength
- Repetitive facial expressions
- Dry skin and a buildup of dead skin cells
- Lifestyle habits
Note: If you’re aging prematurely and can’t figure out why, consider making an appointment with a dermatologist who can assess and address your skin concerns.
Can you get rid of forehead wrinkles?
Yes — well, sort of. Just like the age-old question of whether or not you can make pores disappear (spoiler alert: you can’t), you can’t completely get rid of wrinkles. This is especially true if you’re dealing with very deep lines. But don’t worry; while you can’t erase them, you can certainly reduce their appearance.
What actually works to fight forehead wrinkles?
While there’s no magical skincare solution that instantly remedies forehead wrinkles for good, there are several things you can do to minimize their appearance and prevent new creases from forming.
Be Sun Smart
There’s nothing wrong with having fun in the sun, but if you’re headed outdoors, be sure to apply a generous amount of sunscreen. Long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays spurs premature aging and — you guessed it — wrinkles. Experts advise applying moisturizer and SPF 15 or greater sunscreen every day to help slow the effects of the skin aging process and reduce the risk of fine lines and wrinkles.
Believe it or not, research shows that excessive stress leads to the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. This means that your constant worry can negatively impact your anti-aging routine. The more stressed you are, the more cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) your body produces. As a result, your skin cells don’t replenish natural collagen and elastin as efficiently as they should. (And what’s the biggest culprit behind forehead wrinkles? Loss of collagen and elastin.) Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to reduce stress and support skin elasticity at home. These activities include:
- Getting quality sleep
- Exercising daily
- Talking to a therapist
- Practicing yoga
- Exploring nature
Drink More H2O
Keeping yourself adequately hydrated is crucial for maintaining healthy and vibrant skin. Without enough water, the body becomes dehydrated and skin loses moisture — thus increasing the likelihood that fine lines and wrinkles will develop. To keep skin supple, aim for at least eight glasses of H2O a day.
Use Face Primer
Face primer won’t rid your forehead of lines and creases, but it will make them far less noticeable. How does it work? Face primer prepares the skin ready for foundation by blurring fine lines and softening wrinkles, which creates the illusion of a silky-smooth complexion.
Sunglasses provide sun protection and keep you from squinting (a repetitive facial expression that leads to crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles). The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends sunglasses that are polarized and designed to block 99+ percent of UV light. If you wear sunscreen of SPF 30-plus as well, you’re further protecting your skin from sun damage and protecting your youthful appearance.
Focus on Quality Sleep
Not getting enough quality Zzzs is detrimental to your health. It may even cause your skin to age prematurely, leading to the pesky forehead wrinkles we all love to loathe. To support the health of your skin and keep wrinkles at bay, make sure you’re getting the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye each night.
Pro Tip: To cut down on the formation of wrinkles, sleep on your back. This prevents the face from scrunching up against the pillow. Additionally, use a silk or satin pillowcase (as opposed to cotton).
Eat a Balanced Diet
Are your forehead wrinkles making you blue? A poor diet may be to blame. According to experts, certain foods cause inflammation in the body — and this inflammation can lead to more fine lines and wrinkles on the face. Foods that are processed, high in fat, and loaded with sugar are also known to contribute to the appearance of wrinkles. To promote wrinkle-free skin, consider nixing dairy, white flour, and alcohol. Instead, reach for healthy whole foods that are rich in skin lovin’, free radical-battling antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin D. These include:
- Olive oil
- Dark chocolate
- Sweet potatoes
The gold standard for wrinkle reduction in dermatology, topical retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that support proper cell turnover and collagen production. In so doing, retinoids help to reduce the appearance of forehead wrinkles. But, smoothing out lines and creases isn’t the only thing retinoids can do. These vitamin A derivatives also soften skin, even out texture, and fade dark spots. If a flawless complexion is what you’re after, retinol is for you.
What do I do when my wrinkles persist?
If you’ve tried all of the above and your wrinkles show no improvement, you could, of course, consider more extreme treatments. The two most common are Botox and chemical peels.
What about Botox?
If you don’t struggle with needle phobia, Botox injections that combat deep forehead wrinkles are worth considering. Widely used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, Botox injections also prevent new wrinkles from forming. But, Botox fillers aren’t for everyone. They are quite expensive, and even when they’re administered by a board-certified dermatologist, they can have uncomfortable side effects, including:
- Pain, puffiness, or bruising at the injection site, especially in those with sensitive skin types
- Dry eye
- Double vision
- Allergic reactions
- Flu-like symptoms
Consider a Chemical Peel
On the more extreme end of the skincare products spectrum, chemical peels are on the more extreme end. They can be harsh, but are effective in improving skin tone, texture, and clarity — all of which are vital to minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In a chemical peel, a powerful exfoliating chemical solution is applied to the wrinkled areas of skin, in this case, the forehead. Eventually, the outermost layer of dull skin peels away and is replenished with smoother, more radiant skin below. In addition to wrinkles, chemical peels can improve the appearance of age spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.
The Final Word
While it’s true that forehead wrinkles can be incredibly frustrating — aging is inevitable. In other words, wrinkles are a perfectly normal and healthy part of life. It may be difficult to get rid of these lines entirely, but there are simple steps you can take that may make them less noticeable. And with the right skincare routine, you just might be able to slow the effects of skin aging and prevent the formation of wrinkles from before they start. After all, the best way to manage forehead wrinkles is to not get them in the first place!