There is no magic formula to turn back the clock on aging. As the years roll by, the steady onslaught of time is perhaps most noticeable on your skin. Besides being the largest organ of the body, your skin is also reflective of your internal well-being. In other words, the appearance of your skin is an indicator of how healthy you are and vice versa.
Time may be the most dominant reason for skin aging, but it alone is not responsible for adding years to your face. The skin gradually loses its elasticity and suppleness with advancing age due to several factors, some of which are beyond your control while others can still be avoided. You may not be able to escape skin aging altogether, but you can certainly delay the process and mitigate its effects.
Some of the most common physical manifestations of skin aging include the surfacing of wrinkles around the eyes, fine lines around the lips, and age spots on the hands.
The most conspicuous and stubborn wrinkling pattern to appear on the face develops in the form of vertical or horizontal creases on the forehead. Once these forehead wrinkles set in, it can be hard to get rid of them, and they usually stick around for a lifetime, unless certain cosmetic procedures are performed, such as cosmetic injections and laser resurfacing.
Moreover, there is reason to believe that deep-seated forehead wrinkles can be more than just a harmless cosmetic concern.
A research paper presented in 2018 established an association between deep forehead wrinkles and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Results of the study showed that the cardiovascular mortality risk of the subjects tended to increase with their wrinkle score.
Although the exact logic behind this relationship is yet to be established, the researchers suggest that it may have something to do with atherosclerosis or plaque buildup inside your arteries.
Because the blood vessels in the forehead are relatively small, they may be more vulnerable to plaque buildup. Thus, the appearance of forehead wrinkles could actually result from and be a sign of vessel aging. However, these results have not been confirmed and future studies are warranted to establish these findings.
What Causes Forehead Wrinkles?
- Aging: Collagen is the primary structural protein that is responsible for keeping your skin firm and supple. As you grow older, there is a natural decline in your body’s collagen synthesis, causing your skin to lose its elasticity. The age-related decrease in collagen production is perhaps the major contributor to the development of wrinkles and fine lines, which become more prominent and permanent over the years.
- Sun Damage: Exposing your skin to the UV rays of the sun can accelerate skin aging like nothing else. The only good thing about sun-induced skin damage is that it is something you can control, unlike time and genetics. Whether spending a day at the beach or running errands, sun protection is essential. You can protect your skin by seeking shade, covering up with clothing, and using sunscreen that is broad spectrum, SPF 30 (or higher), and water resistant. You should apply sunscreen every day to all skin that is not covered by clothing.
- Smoking: People who smoke are more susceptible to premature skin aging due to the ill effects of nicotine, a major component of tobacco. Nicotine causes your blood vessels to shrink and stifles the blood supply to your skin. As a result, your skin does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients that travel through the blood, and the damage begins to show in the form of premature aging of the skin. Exposure to the other chemicals in cigarette smoke only makes the damage worse by directly hampering the production of collagen and elastin, the two essential building blocks of your skin. Thus, with every puff of cigarette smoke, you are virtually making your skin lose its inherent flexibility and youthfulness.
- Repetitive Facial Expressions. The permanent creasing of the forehead due to repetitive facial expressions is caused by the frequent contraction of the underlying muscles for many years. Wrinkles that develop on the skin due to repeated contractions of the underlying muscles attached to it are known as dynamic wrinkles. When the muscle contracts, the overlying skin bunches together, forming ripple-like lines between the muscle mass. Repeated contraction of the same muscles reinforces this wrinkling and makes the resulting lines more permanent. Forehead wrinkles often result from frowning or squinting too much.
- Low Water Intake: Inadequate water intake can leave your skin parched and lackluster. If your skin does not get the hydration it needs, it will turn dry, tight, dull, and flaky. The drier your skin, the more prone it is to wrinkling.
- Poor Diet: Consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet helps to supply your body with a wide array of skin-friendly nutrients. Your skin, just like any other part of the body, needs a good dose of certain vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. If you do not supplement these nutritional needs through your diet, the deficiency will begin to show on your skin. An undernourished skin is increasingly susceptible to premature signs of aging.
- Unfavorable Sleeping Positions: If you have spent a good part of your life sleeping on your side or your stomach, the repeated compression of your face can give rise to wrinkles on your chin, cheeks, and forehead. These facial creases are referred to as “sleep lines.” As your face remains partially smashed into the pillow for several hours a night, every night, the blood flow to your facial skin gets restricted, resulting in weaker skin that is more prone to wrinkling. For younger people, as their skin is generally more resilient, it can instantly bounce back to its normal state even after being compressed the entire night. Adults, however, have a lower level of collagen and elastic tissue and should consider sleeping on their back as much as possible. If you are in the habit of sleeping on one side more than the other, the sleep lines will be largely limited to that particular side of your face.
- Stress: People who are prone to taking a lot of stress, either as an inevitable result of their hectic lifestyles or a force of habit, tend to age more rapidly. The primary stress hormone, which goes by the name of cortisol, is majorly to blame, as it has been associated with the degeneration of the collagen in your skin, among other things. The higher the stress level, the higher the production of cortisol in the body. Over a period of time, increased levels of cortisol renders your skin cells unable to naturally rebuild the elastin and collagen as well as they used to. Moreover, the premature appearance of wrinkles is largely attributed to the unhealthy lifestyles associated with chronic stress.
Medical Treatment for Forehead Wrinkles
- Botulinum toxin injection (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin) is a cosmetic treatment strategy used to address wrinkles caused by repetitive muscle movement. It keeps these dynamic wrinkles from getting deeper and thereby becoming more pronounced and permanent with repeated contractions of the underlying muscles. It is commonly used for smoothening the wrinkles that appear on the forehead, between the eyes (glabellar region), around the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet), and in the lips.
- Injectable fillers, such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Radiesse, provide a temporary solution to wrinkles. This treatment works on the mechanism of volumizing the face, after which the doctor may recommend skin resurfacing techniques to address the deeper lines that are beyond the scope of injectable fillers.
- Laser skin resurfacing, which also goes by the name of laser vaporization and laser peel, can make your facial wrinkles, scars, and blemishes visibly lighter. As the name suggests, this technique helps bring fresh undamaged layers of skin to the surface. With the advancement in laser technologies, plastic surgeons have now acquired a new level of autonomy in laser surfacing, permitting extreme precision, especially in sensitive areas.
- Chemical peels help accelerate the process of skin regeneration by increasing skin cell turnover. As you shed the worn-out layers of the facial skin at a faster rate, the visible signs of skin aging tend to fade out, at least to a certain degree. Thus, chemical peels not only reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, but they also help to smoothen the overall texture of the facial skin. People with a minimal degree of wrinkling can opt for over-the-counter chemical peels that are usually mild in intensity and do not pose any real threat. However, it is still better if you run it by your dermatologist first, just to avoid any undue side effects later. Deeper chemical peels, on the other hand, can only be administered by an experienced clinician or doctor as the risk involved is much greater. Deep chemical peels can even result in some degree of scarring or changes in your skin tone. This type of invasive treatment has a more profound effect and warrants a longer recovery period as well as greater precautions such as little to no sun exposure until the skin has healed adequately.
- Dermabrasion involves the use of a small high-speed, rotating metal brush or file to scrape off the damaged epidermal layers. This erosion inadvertently triggers the growth of new skin cells. As fresh layers of the skin surface to the top, your face appears visibly smoothed out. Dermabrasion is typically used for treating acne scarring, substantial wrinkling and leathering from the sun, and uneven pigmentation. A relatively less invasive form of this technique, known as microdermabrasion, is used for addressing mild to moderate photoaging. This involves the use of tiny particles that pass through a vacuum tube to gently erode the aging skin and stimulate skin regeneration.
- Retinoids are synthetic derivatives of vitamin A that have emerged as a popular treatment for photoaged skin. They can reduce skin discoloration, breakdown of elastic tissue, and fine wrinkling by enhancing the natural production of collagen and elastic fibers. Note that retinoids can irritate the skin and cause dryness and photosensitivity – an extreme sensitivity to the sun. They are available by prescription only.
Which Treatment to Choose?
There are a number of cosmetic treatments available to diminish the appearance of your forehead wrinkles, but each one comes with its own set of precautions and side effects. Only a qualified board-certified dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, or a health professional trained in facial aesthetic treatments would be able to advise the ideal treatment option for your particular problem and skin type.
It is important not to make any hasty decisions as you will have to live with the consequences if something goes amiss. You must also know what to expect from each treatment option, in terms of both positive and negative outcomes before deciding to go through it or not.
To save yourself the disappointment later, it is important to remember that these treatment methods can improve your condition only to a certain degree. You must get down to the brass tracks of the entire process by discussing it with your clinician. Staying informed will help you realistically manage your expectations.
Some points to consider when deciding on a treatment option:
- Botox injections are largely ineffective against deep-seated wrinkles brought on by aging and sun damage. Combination treatments are the best.
- Dermal fillers are helpful to address volume loss.
- If you wish to correct sagging skin, deep wrinkles, and extra fat, the only appropriate option is cosmetic surgery.
- Laser facial resurfacing has been associated with changes in the skin pigment (color) and is, therefore, not suitable for dark-skinned people.
Home Remedies for Forehead Wrinkles
Here are some natural ways to delay or diminish the appearance of forehead wrinkles. These are less invasive and safer alternatives to standard medical therapies.
1. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Keeping your skin well hydrated by drinking enough fluids is perhaps the easiest way to ward off premature signs of skin aging. Low water intake is damaging to your health, but the damage is most visible on the skin. This is mainly because the water you drink reaches all the other organs before it makes its way to your skin.
Our body loses water every day, primarily in the form of sweat and urine. It is, therefore, important to make a concerted effort to replace the loss of fluids on a daily basis.
If your skin does not get the hydration it needs, it will inadvertently turn dry and flaky. Dry skin is more susceptible to premature aging, whereas well-hydrated skin is far more resilient against it.
Drink a minimum of 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. This might seem like simple stuff, but works wonders for general skin care, rather than just wrinkles.
2. Exercises to Reduce Wrinkles on the Forehead
The visible signs of skin aging are not limited to skin laxity and superficial photodamage alone. The development of wrinkles and fine lines can also be traced back to a loss of fat and muscle volume beneath the overlying skin.
There are a number of facial exercises that are specifically designed to address these deeper substructural issues, presumably by inducing underlying muscle growth. In fact, these simple facial exercises or facial “yoga” have gained a lot of popularity among the general public to set back facial aging.
Here’s a forehead smoothening exercise that will help release the tension pent up in your forehead muscles and diminish the appearance of wrinkles and lines:
- Make a fist with both hands and put the middle and index finger knuckles in the middle of your forehead.
- While applying gentle pressure, slide your fists out to each side.
- Repeat this exercise routine 3–5 times a day.
3. Apply a Cold Compress
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery proposes cold therapy as a safe, effective, nontoxic, and noninvasive alternative to conventional wrinkle-reducing treatments. Cold compress application for the reduction of wrinkle appearance has yielded significant clinical success with high subject satisfaction and no serious adverse events.
Treating your skin with such focused cold therapy supplies it with adequate hydration, nourishment, and oxygen and leaves it well stretched and visibly smooth. In fact, cosmetic cryotherapy has often been employed in procedures relating to the breast and upper or lower limbs to provide satisfactory firmness and is also used in antiwrinkle therapy such as cryopeeling.
1. Apply Aloe Vera Gel
The fresh gel extracted from the aloe vera plant is recognized as a certified skin salve due to its wide range of beneficial attributes. Different concentrations of this gel have been found helpful in improving the viscous and elastic properties of the skin structure.
Aloe gel also works as a hydrating agent, which helps restore moisture to the skin, thereby keeping it soft and supple. Aloe vera gel with a concentration of up to 0.5 percent is safe for topical application and can help moisturize your skin without any toxic aftereffects.
This natural skin healer owes much of its therapeutic potential to its synergistic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and UV protective properties.
2. Try a Coffee Mask
A 2013 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine demonstrated the antioxidant activity exhibited by the coffee plant (Coffea arabica), which was found to be mediated by potent antioxidant polyphenols, especially chlorogenic acid, condensed quinic acid, and ferulic acid.
The findings of this study showed that the topical application of the coffee extract diminished the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation and visibly improved the overall appearance of the skin.
- Take one organic egg and separate its white from its yolk.
- Transfer the egg white into a bowl and whisk it.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground coffee beans to the bowl.
- Continue whisking the solution until the coffee is well mixed and froth forms.
- Wash your hands and make sure that your fingers and nails are squeaky clean before you move on to applying the mask.
- With light circular motions, smooth the mixture onto your freshly cleansed face.
- Let the mask sit for 20 to 30 minutes until it dries, and then peel it off from your skin.
3. Massage Your Skin with Manuka Oil
In an animal study conducted on mice to test the efficacy of manuka oil in treating wrinkles, it was found that the topical application of this oil suppressed the UVB-induced increase in skin thickness and wrinkle grading in a dose-dependent manner.
Manuka oil was also found to inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines, thereby reducing the UVB-induced skin inflammation.
All in all, significant improvement in the appearance of the wrinkles was reported in terms of reduced length, depth, and coverage area. The topical application of 10 percent manuka oil had a mitigating effect on the loss of collagen fiber content and epidermal hyperplasia, which accounts for its efficacy in diminishing the appearance of wrinkles.
- Simply put a few drops of manuka oil on your fingers and massage it on your forehead until it gets absorbed by the skin.
The following remedies, unlike the ones listed above, are not backed by scientific evidence nor are they approved by our doctors.
Nonetheless, these complementary therapies have yielded successful outcomes for a considerable number of general users, which speak for their effectiveness. If you do intend on using these anecdotal remedies, you must do it at your own discretion.
1. Apply Honey and Lemon to Improve Your Skin Quality
Honey is reputed to be a natural humectant, which means that it helps restore and seal moisture in the top layer of your skin. This viscous skin tonic is, therefore, a godsend for people with particularly dry skin, which is often considered to be a precipitating agent for premature wrinkling.
Honey works especially well when combined with lemon. Both these ingredients work together to lighten the appearance of facial wrinkles and leave you with a well-moisturized, evenly toned, soft, and supple skin.
- Mix equal amounts of honey and lemon juice in a bowl until they are completely blended.
- Apply this solution on your wrinkled skin.
- Then, gently massage the mixture in circular motions for 5 minutes so that it seeps deep into your skin.
- Let it dry for the next 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off with water.
- Use this method daily or at least four times a week.
You can use raw honey (preferably manuka honey) to give your entire body a deeply hydrating massage every time you take a shower.
- Apply a generous amount of honey to your skin from head to toe, including your hair and lips.
- Let it sit on your skin for a few minutes so that it penetrates deeply.
- Finally, rinse off the honey that remains on the skin surface by stepping into the shower.
Pampering your skin with some honey will leave it smooth, matte, and hydrated.
2. Give Coconut Oil a Try for Its Moisturizing Effect
Coconut oil is one of the most easily available ingredients that you can add to your wrinkle-fighting arsenal. This all-natural moisturizer is readily absorbed by the skin and helps protect it from free radical damage. A lot of people struggling with wrinkles or skin sagging stand by coconut oil as a safe and effective skin healer.
- Because coconut oil turns solid at room temperature, you will have to melt a small amount of coconut oil in a bowl.
- Soak a cotton ball in the oil and dab it on your skin, applying it evenly all over your face.
- Use clean fingers to gently massage the oil deeper into your skin for at least 5 minutes.
- Leave it on overnight to allow enough time for the skin to absorb the oil.
- Rinse your face with water the next morning.
While these remedies are largely preventative measures to delay the onset of skin aging, they also help reduce the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines in people who already have them. Besides, all the ingredients used are completely nontoxic and safe, so there’s no harm in trying.
How to Prevent Forehead Wrinkles?
Adopt the following preventative measures to minimize your risk of developing forehead wrinkles.
- Some people are given to repeating certain facial expressions, usually out of habit. This repeated contraction of the same underlying muscles for many years can deepen the creases that develop on your skin as a result of it. You must try to overcome such a habit as it will only leave you with permanent wrinkles and fine lines on your face. For instance, if you unknowingly frown, furrow your brows, or squint too much, ask your family and friends to stop you the minute they notice you making such expression.
- Consume a wholesome diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to meet the nutritional needs of the skin. Eating right plays a very important role in preventing the precursory skin damage that ultimately paves the way for premature skin aging. Conversely, consuming a diet rich in sugar or other refined carbohydrates can speed up the process of skin aging.
- Limit your alcohol intake as it can be very rough on the skin. It can be extremely dehydrating for the entire body, and the damage is most pronounced on the skin.
- Sunscreen and moisturizer are two of the most foundational elements of an effective skin care routine, and the same holds true for your average antiaging regimen. You must unfailingly use a premium-quality sunscreen and an antiaging moisturizer to give your skin some much-needed protection, especially when stepping out in the sun. Choose a sunscreen that is broad spectrum, water resistant, nonfragrant, and noncomedogenic and offers an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply it on all the exposed areas of your skin at least 20 minutes before going out. Much of the skin damage responsible for premature wrinkles stems from the UV rays of the sun. Meanwhile, an antiaging moisturizer essentially helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines.
- Wear sun-protective clothing and accessories such as sunglasses or hats to keep the sun out.
- Always take your makeup off before going to bed. Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing makes for an infallible nighttime skincare routine.
The Difference Between Fine Lines, Wrinkles, and Furrows
The skin is the body’s most external and largest organ, which comprises three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis (also known as the subcutis).
The surface or outermost layer is referred to as the epidermis, which contains regenerative layers of skin cells and provides a waterproof barrier to your body from the outside elements.
The layer underneath the epidermis, called the dermis, contains connective tissue (i.e., collagen) and other fibers that give the skin strength and elasticity along with hair follicles and sweat glands. The deep-most layer, which falls underneath the dermis and is known as the subcutis or hypodermis, is primarily made of fat.
Wrinkles are usually classified depending on how deep they penetrate into these skin layers. When the damage is limited to the superficial layer or upper dermis, fine lines may appear etched into the skin. Medium wrinkles extend deeper to reach the mid-dermis, whereas deep wrinkles extend all the way to the deep dermis and subcutis.
- Alam M, Walter AJ, Geisler A, et al. Association of Facial Exercise With the Appearance of Aging. JAMA dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885810/. Published March 2018.
- Palmer FR, Hsu M, Narurkar V, et al. Safety and effectiveness of focused cold therapy for the treatment of hyperdynamic forehead wrinkles. Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25654195. Published February 2015.
- Herman J, Rost-Roszkowska M, Skotnicka-Graca U. Skin care during the menopause period: noninvasive procedures of beauty studies. Postepy dermatologii i alergologii. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3907896/. Published December 2013.
- Binic I, Lazarevic V, Ljubenovic M, Mojsa J, Sokolovic D. Skin ageing: natural weapons and strategies. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3569896/. Published 2013.
- Binic I, Lazarevic V, Ljubenovic M, Mojsa J, Sokolovic D. Skin ageing: natural weapons and strategies. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3569896/. Published 2013.
- Kwon OS, Jung SH, Yang BS. Topical Administration of Manuka Oil Prevents UV-B Irradiation-Induced Cutaneous Photoaging in Mice. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3677636/. Published 2013.