The world is stressful enough without worries about pesky signs of aging. But somehow, even with the amount of anxiety I'm feeling on a daily basis, I still find time to stare at my forehead suspiciously. Though I think I still have a few years left in me before I become BFFs with my Botox-wielding dermatologist, there is a prominent line appearing on my forehead that just won't go away. My personal theory is that my eyebrows are too expressive: Every time I look incredulous—so, every 30 seconds—my eyebrows shoot up my forehead, causing a crease that just lives there permanently. I have bangs now, which hides this wrinkle from the world, but I know it's still under there, waiting, encouraging the skin next to it to fold together too...
But it has to be said that if you look at your forehead, wrinkly or baby-smooth, and it doesn't stress you out, then go forth as you were. No one should feel pressured to delay or reverse signs of aging, the same way that no one who looks for solutions should be labeled as vain. Whether your course of action is to live life au naturel, or you're eyeing injectables longingly, the bottom line is that no one should feel shame.
For anyone who does desire to erase those wrinkles from their forehead, the anti-aging market can be difficult to traverse. And that's why I've invited along our guide, the wonderful adult, pediatric, and cosmetic dermatologist (and resident face genius) Dr. Karan Lal. If you want to see his qualifications, just stalk his Instagram to see the smoothest forehead you've ever encountered. Ahead, he answers all the questions we have about how to abolish forehead wrinkles from our lives.
What causes forehead wrinkles?
"Forehead wrinkles are complex," Dr. Lal says, which makes me feel slightly proud of mine. "There are some people who just have stronger and more active muscles and that can be hereditary with signs of wrinkling early on, while others develop them over time with aging."
So for people like me, who's faces scrunch up with every passing mood, wrinkles can crop up earlier than for my stony-faced peers. But that's not something to try to combat! "I once worked in a place where the women in the practice would not smile or laugh to delay time to getting Botox but that’s unrealistic and defeats the purpose of life," says Dr. Lal.
How can I stop forehead wrinkles from appearing?
Wear glasses with the correct prescription
If you're trying to avoid developing deep wrinkles, taking preventative steps can keep you out of the dermatologists office for a little while longer. A common precursor to forehead wrinkles is actually eye problems, Dr. Lal says. "Get a pair of glasses or contacts if you need them and wear them." If you are struggling with your vision, being proactive about seeing an eye doctor can prevent excessive squinting that will exacerbate or cause forehead lines.
Prevent sun damage
Preventing sun damage by wearing a powerful SPF will also allow your youthful skin to shine through for longer. "Make sure you wear sunscreen every day," commands Dr. Lal. "This will keep your skin tone even and will make things like lines and shadows less noticeable."
But even if you take all these measures, "a combination of sun damage, genes, and vision changes make us prone to developing them," Dr. Lal says. Preventative Botox is another way to treat our skin before wrinkles set in. "Botulinum toxins is a great way to prevent and treat forehead wrinkles. However once you get deep furrows, it is much harder to get them to go away completely."
How can I treat forehead wrinkles?
Is there a non-invasive procedure to treat forehead wrinkles? In short, yes and no. "There is no cream that makes wrinkles go away," Dr. Lal says, disappointingly. "Some creams hydrate the skin making wrinkles less apparent, but stay away from extreme types of claims."
Laser and light-based devices
If you're trying to avoid needles, consider some other in-office treatments. "Laser and light energy based devices can be helpful," says Dr. Lal. "But they don't come close to the magic of [injectable] neurotoxins."
A PDO thread lift
As for more intensive procedures, "PDO threads are another invasive in-office treatment that can be used to lift the forehead and treat those wrinkles," Dr Lal says.
For people who have already developed deep-set forehead wrinkles, Dr. Lal advocates for going the Botox route. "The pros of Botulinum toxin are [that they're] safe, easy, fast, and no down time." On the flip side, "Cons include potential bruising, multiple treatments, loss of efficacy over time to some agents—resistance."
All in all, we can absolutely take measures to reduce and prevent forehead wrinkles. But at the same time, we're human! Our bodies age naturally, and there is no way completely erase those signs. "Everyone will get forehead wrinkles. They are inevitable." So maybe let's try to love them, too. Even if we show our affection with a nice dose of Botox every now and then.