Forehead wrinkles can be frustrating, but they’re nothing to furrow your brow over. As annoying and stubborn as they may be, lines on the forehead in particular are also very common, because our eyebrows are responsible for so many of our expressions. When it comes to getting rid of wrinkles, it all comes down to collagen; one way or another, your skin needs more of it to fill the lines. (That, or the muscles that created the line in the first place get frozen up.)
Whether you’re looking to smooth your lines via skincare products, or you want to go straight to the hard stuff—i.e. Botox, fillers, and lasers—there’s a forehead wrinkle solution for you.
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ARE FOREHEAD WRINKLES REVERSIBLE?
Yes—well, sort of. “In some cases if lines are not deeply set into the skin, you can totally reverse them,” says New York-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner. However, he warns, “If lines are deeply etched into the skin, you may not be able to completely eliminate them.” Even if your lines are deeper, injectables like Botox can still make a big difference.
WHAT SKINCARE INGREDIENTS ACTUALLY WORK TO SMOOTH WRINKLES?
The biggie? Retinol. “Retinol stimulates collagen to help the skin resist wrinkling,” explains Zeichner. With any retinol product, it will take at least three months until the skin-smoothing results are fully realized. Retinol can make your skin sensitive, so it’s important to moisturize and wear sunscreen when using retinol products—and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid it altogether, as it can potentially lead to birth defects.
For those looking for an over-the-counter formula, try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Night Serum with Pure Retinol. It is blended with 0.3% pure retinol (the most potent form of retinol) to visibly reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles—even the deep ones. It also contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid and soybean oil to keep skin moisturized. If you’re looking for a natural alternative, rosehip oil is a plant-based alternative that offers vitamin A (the purest form of retinol) as well as other antioxidants.
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DO INJECTABLES WORK TO GET RID OF FOREHEAD WRINKLES?
If you can stomach the needles, Botox and other neurotoxin-based injectables are highly effective at smoothing away forehead wrinkles. “Injectable wrinkle reducers work by relaxing muscles under the skin,” explains Zeichner. Essentially, if you can no longer make the facial expression, your face won’t be able to create the wrinkle.
The results typically last three to four months, but if your lines aren’t too deep, Zeichner says that injectables can smooth them away completely. “Just like hanging a sheet on a clothesline and allowing it to unfold in the wind, neurotoxins allow the skin to fill in lines on its own by preventing be repeated facial expressions that cause the wrinkles to begin with,” he explains.
WHAT OTHER PROCEDURES WORK TO REVERSE WRINKLES?
In addition to injectables and skincare, lasers and chemical peels are in-office procedures that dermatologists offer to help get rid of forehead wrinkles. “Resurfacing lasers cause controlled damage to the skin, taking advantage of its ability to heal itself and create new collagen,” explains Dr. Zeichner.
On the other hand, chemical peels deeply exfoliate the top layers of skin so that it appears less wrinkled, leaving you with a more youthful tone and texture.
The earlier you address a wrinkle, the better your outcome will be when it comes to neurotoxins.
I WANT TO PREVENT FOREHEAD WRINKLES. AT WHAT AGE SHOULD I START?
“The earlier you address a wrinkle, the better your outcome will be when it comes to neurotoxins,” advises Zeichner. In other words: If you’re thinking about getting Botox, consider doing it sooner rather than later. “I recommend considering it when wrinkles begin to stick around, when your face is at rest,” he says. For some that may be in your early or mid 20s, for others it may be later.
And remember, sun protection is key to prevent all signs of aging from loss and damage of collagen. “The stronger the skin foundation is, the better the starting place for it to age from,” reminds Dr. Zeichner.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
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