As the old adage says- few things in life are certain except for death, taxes and change. We can think of a few more things to add to that list, such as forehead wrinkles. No matter how much sunscreen and moisturizer you apply to your face, fine lines and creases will eventually appear on your forehead. It’s a natural part of the aging process.
These fine lines usually start to appear in the late 20s and 30s as both horizontal lines across the forehead, and vertical lines between the eyebrows, known as glabellar lines but more commonly referred to as the 11s. While horizontal creases are synonymous with laughing and smiling, the 11s can often leave someone looking like they have a perma-scowl or are perpetually angry. Most people have a combination of the two types.
What causes forehead wrinkles? Plenty of things, ranging from the sun, diet and the products you put in your face. Read on to understand what causes forehead wrinkles, and how to get rid of them. Deep forehead lines can also be chalked up to excessive muscle movement that causes the outer skin layers to become permanently wrinkled. Another factor? Unlike the rest of the face, there’s no fat underneath the forehead to help deter wrinkles.
Here’s a look at what causes forehead wrinkles, and what to do to prevent them.
- Wear Sunscreen A major cause of wrinkles is UV rays from the sun, which can damage collagen and lead to the formation of lines and creases in the skin. Protect yourself by applying sunscreen every single day, even when the sky is overcast. Choose a moisturizer with a high SPF, or layer it under your moisturizer. Remember that even small amounts of sun exposure can add up to damaging amounts over time. If you don’t like the feel of SPF creams, consider wearing a mineral powder sunscreen which goes on sheer over makeup.
- Get Your Beauty Sleep It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing. Getting a solid eight hours consistently is one of the keys to fresher looking skin. While we sleep, the skin repairs and recovers. While you catch your zzz’s, the body produces more collagen, which adds support to the skin, keeping wrinkles at bay. If you usually get less than seven hours of sleep at night, it can show up on your face. Blood flow to the face is also increased while you doze, which means you can wake up to glowing skin if you give your body enough time to work its magic.
- Quit Smoking This should be a given, but if you need another reason to quit smoking, consider this. Smoking can accelerate the normal aging process of the skin. The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more wrinkles you will have – not just on your face but all over your body. The nicotine in cigarettes causes the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin to narrow, which restricts blood flow. With less blood flow, the skin doesn’t get as much oxygen and nutrients, such as vitamin A, which can lead to wrinkles. The chemicals in tobacco damage collagen and elastin, which causes skin to sag and crease. Another reason to quit? The physical act of inhaling, ie pursing your lips, may also contribute to wrinkles.
- Keep Skin Hydrated Although you may not feel parched, your skin may be telling you it’s dehydrated when fine lines appear across the forehead and around the eyes. When skin is hydrated, it appears plump and supple. Always keep your skin well hydrated and nourished, as dry, scaly skin is more likely to form wrinkles. Dry, flaky skin also emphasizes creases and lines. To keep skin well hydrated, applying moisturizer in the morning, when skin is slightly damp from a shower, as well as at night. If you live in a dry climate, invest in a humidifier. Remember to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and spray your face with an atomizer if you are in a particularly dry environment, such as a long-haul flight.
- Relax Your Face Laughing, squinting, frowning and eating can all give facial muscles a workout, but repeated movement can permanently etch creases into the face. One way to counter this is by relaxing the muscles of the face. Whether you’re lying down or sitting at your desk, try to take a deep breath and relax the muscles of your face. Yoga devotees may already be familiar with the Lion Face pose- constrict everything and when exhaling, stick out your tongue, open your eyes wide, and splay your hands out. It looks odd but instantly relaxes the face.
- Sleep On Your Back Your sleeping position can be a major contributing factor to wrinkles. People who sleep on their side, with their face scrunched up against a pillow, increase their chances of developing wrinkles. One solution is to try and sleep on your back. Some people swear by sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase, with the theory being that the smooth, silky fabric doesn’t cause creases against the face.
- Put On Your Shades Invest in a good pair of sunglasses and wear them every single day. Otherwise, constant squinting from the sun’s glare can cause permanent lines across the forehead. Make sure the shades block out UV rays, which not only protects the fragile skin around the eyes but also protects your vision. UV damage can contribute to the formation of cataracts. Keep a pair in your handbag as well as in your car so you always have a pair ready to go. Speaking of glasses, if you find yourself squinting to read your smartphone, have your eyes checked. You may need prescription glasses.
- Eat A Balanced Diet You’ve heard it a million times but it’s true- you are what you eat. Diet plays a huge role in the appearance and healthiness of your skin, as well as wrinkle prevention. Processed foods, sugar and refined carbohydrates can cause inflammation. So pass on the sweets and load up on colorful fruits and vegetables, which are packed with antioxidants. Lutein, found in spinach and kale, is thought to keep skin hydrated. Vitamin C, which is in citrus fruits and some dark, leafy greens, boosts collagen production which can help stave off wrinkles. Oily fish like salmon and mackerel contain Omega 3 fatty acids, which help keep the skin soft and supple.
- Topical Cream The gold standard for wrinkle reduction is retinol, which is derived from vitamin A. It works by stimulating collagen production and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinols also help exfoliate dead skin cells and tackle pigmentation. They’re powerful, so start slowly with a pea sized amount applied at night. Some irritation and dryness may occur so be sure to use a good moisturizer as well.
- Massage A gentle facial massage is an all-natural way to help get rid of forehead wrinkles and reduce the chances of developing them again. The concept is simple. Massage helps to reduce tension and improves blood flow to the face, stimulating cell growth. Facial massage also helps to release tension and tighten facial muscles, leaving the face looking instantly refreshed. Use your hands and moisturizer with a few drops of essential oil for a smooth massage (and to avoid tugging on the skin), or try using a jade roller.
- Peels For quick results, consider a chemical peel to help smooth away forehead wrinkles. The deepest peels are performed in a doctor’s office, where an acid is applied to the face to create a deep, but controlled, exfoliation. The acid penetrates the skin to remove damaged skin and stimulate collagen production, and the top layer of the skin will peel away post treatment. It takes 7-10 days to heal but you’ll be left with smooth, glowing skin. Microdermabrasion, where tiny crystals are sprayed against the face to remove the top layer of skin, is another effective treatment but doesn’t yield the same dramatic results as a peel.
- Facial Tape Remember when kids would say that your face could get stuck if you always made a funny face? There’s some truth to that – repeated facial movements can crease the skin on the face. Think of it as memory muscle. One way to “erase” the line is by retraining and relaxing the muscle using facial tape. Simply apply the tape across the forehead which will help keep the muscles relaxed and retrain the muscle to stop sagging. Some people wear them while they sleep to wake up to a temporarily smoother look.
- Lasers Lasers can offer quick results, and there are two types of laser- ablative and non-ablative. An ablative laser gets rid of the outer layers of the skin, which stimulates the body’s healing process and kick starts collagen production but includes a long recovery time. Non-ablative lasers work by heating up skin tissue without destroying it, so the recovery time and risk is lower.
- Homemade Masks Who doesn’t want a little more self-care in their life? One way to treat yourself is to apply a homemade mask that can help smooth away fine forehead lines and nourish skin. When it comes to DIY masks, less is more. Apply a few drops of coconut oil, which is packed antioxidants to combat damage from free radicals. Avocados are also popular; make a mask from mashed avocado and a few drops of jojoba oil.
- Start a Good Skin Care Routine When it comes to creating and maintaining good skin there’s no one single thing that can be a game changer. Achieving results is often a combination of many different factors and steps, which is why finding the right skin care routine- and sticking to it- is essential. Most people need a cleanser, moisturizer, serum and toner. But it can be difficult to know where to start, and which products are the right one for you.