‍Forehead lines: Your questions answered

For many of us, the first signs of aging show up on our forehead. Those pesky lines between our eyebrows, or across our forehead, can make us look angry, sad, or tired – even when we’re not!

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For many of us, the first signs of aging show up on our forehead. Those pesky lines between our eyebrows, or across our forehead, can make us look angry, sad, or tired – even when we’re not!

So what causes forehead lines? And more importantly, what can we do about them? Come along on this deep dive into forehead lines as we discover more about this very common trait!

Are forehead lines really only skin-deep?

Forehead lines are a common sign of aging, and while they may not be particularly noticeable at first, they can become more pronounced over time. They generally begin to appear across the top of the forehead and between the eyebrows. People as young as 25 may start to notice fine lines beginning to form, particularly when making certain facial expressions. But don’t worry! There’s plenty that can be done to reverse the signs of aging on the forehead. After all, it’s all skin! 

Why do they appear?

Forehead wrinkles are caused by the movement of the frontalis muscle, which stretches from just above the eyebrows to the hairline. This muscle is engaged when we move our eyebrows, a contraction that most people repeat countless times each day. This muscle is responsible for expressions such as joy, surprise, worry, and even fear. The continual movement of this muscle, over time, causes the skin on the forehead to scrunch up, leaving forehead lines as a result. 

Some people, especially those who are naturally very expressive, raise their eyebrows many times on a daily basis. When we are young, there is hardly any effect because the skin bounces back easily. However, as we age and our skin loses collagen and elastin, these repeated movements can leave fine lines or wrinkles in their wake. 

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What type of wrinkles are they?

Forehead lines can be tricky to classify–this is because they can be both static or dynamic wrinkles. The team at Chic Laser can help you determine what type of wrinkles you have, and will advise the best course of action depending on your unique situation. 

Dynamic Wrinkles 

Dynamic wrinkles are those that are visible only while the muscles are actively engaged. In other words, while you’re making certain facial expressions–like smiling, laughing, or frowning–these lines may appear. Once your facial muscles relax to a neutral position, dynamic wrinkles disappear. The most common types of dynamic wrinkles include crow’s feet, lines between the eyebrows, forehead lines, and smile lines. 

Static Wrinkles 

Static wrinkles can be seen regardless of the muscle activity in the face–they’re always visible. These lines tend to deepen with age, and may give one’s face the appearance of being older than they really are. Static wrinkles can affect any part of the face, but are commonly found in the corners of the mouth and eyes, along the neck and even across the cheeks.  

Dynamic wrinkles can easily turn to static wrinkles for a variety of reasons. First, certain environmental or lifestyle factors (that we’ll talk about a bit further on) can contribute to the deepening of these lines. Genetic factors also play a role.

How can we prevent forehead lines?

Both dynamic and static wrinkle lines can be a source of frustration for many of us. But luckily, there are plenty of ways to prevent, and reduce the appearance of, these sometimes unwelcome lines!

Nourish, Hydrate, Protect! 

Plenty of natural preventative measures exist to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, the first of which start with nutrition and general skin care. A healthy diet can improve skin quality from the inside out. Leading doctors recommend a diet rich in healthy fats, vitamins, zinc and protein to improve the overall quality of your skin. You can safely assume that consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables will help keep your skin hydrated and glowing!

And of course, drinking enough water (6-8 glasses per day) will also contribute to soft, moisturized skin. 

Other factors, such as sun protection and lifestyle habits, can also have an impact. Dermatologists suggest using a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30, no matter the season. If you know you’ll be out in the sun for an extended period of time, bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to reapply. This will protect the sensitive skin on your face from the potentially damaging effects of the sun. 

For those who want to keep their skin looking naturally young and fresh for as long as possible, smoking is a major no-no. Smoking severely dehydrates our skin and causes discoloration and uneven skin tone. Likewise, alcohol has a high probability of drying and inflaming skin, making it a leading contributor to premature signs of aging. Those who do choose to smoke or consume alcohol should be aware that they’ll need to take more preventative actions in order to prevent these habits from showing up as wrinkles. 

What is Preventative Botox? 

Believe it or not, Botox can actually diminish the likelihood that wrinkles and fine-lines will show up in the first place! Preventative Botox is typically administered before wrinkles and fine lines start to show, or once they’ve just barely become visible. Though Botox procedures can be performed on anyone over the age of 18, preventative Botox is normally sought out by people in their late-20s to early-30s, around the time that one might begin to notice some wrinkles and fine lines starting to come out. By getting facial muscles accustomed to these injections, they become weaker over time and are able to maintain their softened, more relaxed appearance. 

How can Botox help?

Botox, also known by its official name, botulinum toxin, is an injectable treatment that temporarily prevents certain targeted muscles from moving. By restricting movement to these muscles, the treated area appears smoother, with fewer wrinkles and fine lines, within 5-7 days. 

Try this: practice making a few different facial expressions: which muscles are moving? When you’re surprised, your eyes open wider and eyebrows move up. Anger has the opposite effect: your eyebrows lower drastically, eyes squint and maybe your mouth puckers a bit. Do you notice any extra lines appearing? Below, we’ll reveal which muscles go to work during this little experiment. 

So Botox is injected directly into muscles?

Regarding forehead wrinkles, the largest muscle that can be injected with Botox is known as the frontalis muscle. This large facial muscle stretches from the eyebrows to the hairline, and is responsible for facial contractions such as lifting and lowering the eyebrows. As you can imagine, this muscle gets quite the workout on a daily basis, which unfortunately leads to forehead lines and wrinkles. As it’s such a large muscle, it’s easy to locate and treat, making it the best candidate for Botox injections! 

Another important muscle on the face is the Corrugator supercilii, a much smaller muscle located just above the supraorbital ridge (aka the brow bone). Though it’s small, this muscle works in conjunction with the  Procerus–the one between the eyebrows–to move brows down and inward. These two muscles are responsible for furrowed brows, which can often lead to frown lines and other fine lines between the eyebrows. These are also extremely common candidates for Botox on the forehead. 

Finally, some other important muscles to note are the Lateral and Superior lateral orbicularis oculi, which surround the entire eye socket. These muscles contract when we squint or laugh; this causes crow’s feet and other fine lines around the eyes.

Ok, once more, but in English this time: Basically, Botox prevents these muscles from contracting, lessening the amount that they can actually move. This reduces your face’s ability to form wrinkles in the first place. Sounds great, right? Read on to make sure you’re going about it in the safest way possible! 

Which areas are safe for Botox?

Botox has been FDA approved since 1989 for a variety of uses. Not only is it an effective treatment for the reduction and prevention of wrinkles, but it can also be used to prevent excessive sweating, help to correct lazy eye, and as a treatment for neck spasms. 

The areas mentioned above (forehead lines, frown lines and crow’s feet) have been approved by the FDA as safe areas to receive Botox treatments. For over 30 years, doctors have been using Botox as a cosmetic treatment for forehead lines and wrinkles, alike. 

There’s one aspect that you should be extremely careful about when considering Botox for this area: make sure you are working with a professional doctor who has been trained in administering Botox injections! We’ve all seen images of overly-Botoxed faces, appearing frozen, droopy or worse! This can be caused by an inexperienced provider who injects too much Botox, or who misses the mark and injects the wrong muscle. The best way to prevent this type of heavy-handed technique is by consulting a trusted doctor. The team of professionals at CHIC Laser Centre are more than qualified to assess your candidacy for Botox, and will keep you informed every step of the way regarding your treatment options. 

Botox treatment for Dynamic vs. Static Wrinkles 

Botox is effective at reducing the appearance of both dynamic and static wrinkles. As previously mentioned, not all wrinkles are the same! Because of this, different quantities of Botox may be needed to improve the look of skin, depending on the depth of the lines. Dynamic forehead lines, especially those caught early on in life, may only require about 10 units of Botox. Static frown lines, however, are much deeper and may require up to 40 units of Botox. 

I’ve heard of Dermal Fillers - what do they do?

Dermal fillers are another type of injectable treatment, also offered by CHIC Laser Centre. Usually made from hyaluronic acid–yes, the same ingredient in your favourite facial serum–dermal fillers can be injected under the skin into a variety of areas on the face, helping to restore your skin’s supple, youthful texture. The most common sites for dermal filler injections include the lips, cheekbones, and other areas of the lower face. They can also be used to reshape particular areas, such as the nose, jawline or chin. 

So what’s the difference between Botox and Dermal fillers?

As you know by now, Botox is a neurotoxin that causes muscles to relax, lessening the appearance of wrinkles. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are injected under the skin to fill in areas that appear sunken, saggy or flat. These create a more plump, voluminous look and don’t affect the muscles whatsoever. In fact, dermal fillers can be used in conjunction with Botox to achieve the desired result. The pros at CHIC Laser Centre will guide you to find the combination that works best for your face, whether it be Botox, dermal fillers, or both! 

Want to learn more? Schedule a consultation for Botox injection with our trusted team of doctors to revive your best-looking skin!