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How to Reduce and Prevent Forehead Wrinkles

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Let’s face it, forehead wrinkles happen.

These horizontal lines across the forehead are a natural part of aging that can be intensified by sunlight exposure and other environmental and lifestyle factors.

They can be a concern for many who seek to maintain a youthful appearance as the years go by. But maintaining healthy skin is more than just a cosmetic objective — its function is an important part of one’s overall health.

The skin is the largest organ in the body. It is made up of three layers: the epidermis, dermis and the hypodermis. It serves as a barrier, protecting the body from various external elements, including pathogens and ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.

As a person gets older, skin becomes thinner and less elastic due in part to gravity, sun exposure and a loss of collagen — a protein that gives skin its structure. Wrinkles are a part of the process.

When these creases appear on your forehead, they can be both obvious and annoying. In many cases, however, they can be made smoother and less visible with treatment and preventative steps.

What causes forehead wrinkles?

Wrinkled skin can be compared to a cotton shirt that needs ironing. We can’t simply iron out our skin, but we can address the problem by understanding the science and causes of wrinkles.

Wrinkles are caused by several factors. Some we can influence, others we cannot. These include:

  • Age: As we get older, our skin cells begin to divide more slowly. This leads to a thinning of the middle layer – the dermis. Before long, the outer layer shows signs of creasing.
  • Excessive sunlight exposure: This is especially a problem for fair-skinned people who tend to sunburn easily. UV rays from sunlight breaks down the elastin fibers and collagen in skin, weakening it and causing a lack of flexibility.
  • Smoking: This can speed the aging process of skin, although the exact reason remains unclear. Some researchers believe it could be because smoking interferes with normal blood flow in the skin.
  • Repeated facial movements and expressions: Wrinkles are more prominent when a person smiles or laughs, which is where the term “laugh lines” originated. When you smile, frown or squint, tiny grooves form beneath the skin’s surface. Because skin loses flexibility with age, its ability spring back to normal is lost and these grooves can become regular features of the face.
  • Genetics: Family history plays a part in the development of facial wrinkles.

Treatment for forehead wrinkles

There are professional treatments available to reduce the appearance of forehead wrinkles. 

Neuromodulators — such as Botox and Dysport, laser and light therapy, chemical peels, and microneedling are among the tools professional aesthetic providers can use to help erase or lessen the appearance of facial lines.

How to prevent forehead wrinkles

While some wrinkles might be inevitable, there are things you can do to reduce the premature aging of your skin. Those include:

  • Protect your skin from the sun every day. Protect your skin by seeking shade, covering up with sun-protective clothing — such as a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV protection — 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.
  • Apply self-tanner rather than get a tan. Every time you get a tan, you prematurely age your skin. This is true whether you get a tan from the sun, a tanning bed or other indoor tanning equipment. All emit harmful UV rays that speed up the aging process.
  • If you smoke, stop. Smoking greatly speeds up how quickly skin ages. It causes wrinkles and a dull complexion.
  • Avoid repetitive facial expressions. When you make a facial expression, you contract the underlying muscles. If you repeatedly contract the same muscles for many years, these lines become etched in your skin and remain even at rest. Wearing sunglasses can help reduce lines caused by squinting.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Studies suggest eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging.
  • Drink less alcohol. Alcohol is rough on the skin. It dehydrates the skin, and in time, damages the skin.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Some studies suggest moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system, which may give the skin a more youthful appearance.
  • Exfoliate and clean your skin daily with a good cleanser.
  • Apply a facial moisturizer every day. Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance. The skin care specialists at Elevate by Ochsner Health can help you find the right products for your skin type.

It’s important to know that even people who already have forehead wrinkles and other signs of premature skin aging can benefit from making lifestyle changes. Protecting your skin from the sun, allows the skin an opportunity to repair some of the damage. Smokers who stop often notice that their skin looks healthier.

If you’re bothered by wrinkles and the appearance of aging skin, learn more about treatments offered at Elevate by Ochsner Health that can smooth wrinkles, tighten skin and improve your complexion.

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