Forehead wrinkles are an inevitable part of ageing. There is simply no way to avoid this fate completely.
We have, however, become exceptionally good at prolonging our skin's youthfulness and elasticity through a range of skincare products, dermatological treatments, and cosmetic procedures — procedures that have become quite popular among Australians, with our 2023 State of Skin survey finding that 40% have had, are planning to, or are considering having one.
Botox, in particular, has become a key treatment for those wanting to minimise wrinkles and fine lines on their face. Botox — technically botulinum toxin injections — relaxes the muscles around the injection site which can cause wrinkles to appear.
When it comes to reducing fine lines, Botox is often considered one of the most effective treatments. Having said that, it can be expensive and only lasts a few months before you need a top-up.
Plus, it also requires having needles inserted into your face, which isn't overly pleasant sounding. If you're not keen on going the Botox route, there are other ways to tackle forehead lines and ageing skin.
What causes forehead wrinkles?
The short answer is 'time'. Regardless of how well you take care of your skin, wrinkles are an inevitable biological process and we all get them eventually.
The causes of skin ageing are often defined as either 'intrinsic' or 'extrinsic'. Intrinsic ageing is the part that can't be escaped. It describes the natural ageing process, i.e. the gradual degeneration of skin that begins around your mid-20s.
According to the Australasian College of Dermatologists, the process is as follows: "Collagen production slows and elastin, the substance that enables skin to snap back into place, has a bit less spring.
Dead skin cells do not shed as quickly and the turnover of new skin cells decreases between the ages of 20 and 60," .
Furthermore, your top layer of skin separates from your subcutaneous fat layer. This fat layer — which typically provides structure to your skin — also thins, causing the outer layer of skin to sag and wrinkle .
Extrinsic ageing, on the other hand, describes ageing that is brought on by lifestyle, environmental or dietary habits. These include:
Photoageing describes ageing caused by exposure to the sun, which is the greatest age accelerator. Photoageing can be particularly problematic in countries like Australia where a lot of time is spent outdoors and UV radiation levels are high.
Photoageing doesn't show immediately but can affect you later in life. It can be responsible for freckles, rough skin texture, discolouration, blotchy skin and, of course, wrinkles .
Smokers have been shown to age more rapidly and severely than non-smokers .
Not only does it affect the colour of your complexion — with smokers showing a yellowish discolouration as the years pass — but it worsens skin texture, making the skin more leathery and wrinkled.
Deep forehead wrinkles are more likely, as are wrinkles and lines around the mouth .
Wrinkles can also be the accumulative result of years of facial habits. How you smile, laugh, talk, sleep, concentrate and express yourself is informed by your facial structure and over time, these repetitive movements wear lines into your skin.
These fine lines become more common and more distinct as you age as your skin loses the collagen and elastin that would typically help it "bounce back" .
What you eat has been shown to affect your skin health, including signs of ageing, like forehead wrinkles.
A poor diet that is lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables, while containing high amounts of processed and sugary foods and alcohol, can accelerate ageing .
Our skin type and any related issues can impact ageing. Extrinsic ageing factors can also include things like eczema, psoriasis, cancers and so on, which can all become more common as you age .
A final note before we move on: it's important to remember that wrinkles aren't a bad thing. They are, after all, completely natural.
However, there are some things that exacerbate forehead wrinkles and accelerate skin ageing, namely smoking and sun exposure. And, there's nothing wrong with wanting to treat these fine lines.
Taking care of your skin with a solid skincare routine is a great first step in this process.
Are forehead wrinkles normal at 22?
Despite our skin slowly degenerating as we age, it is still uncommon for people to have forehead wrinkles in their early 20s.
Skin starts to age from your mid-20s, yet you aren't likely to see the outward effects until years — maybe even decades — later . How quickly you age is usually governed by your genetics.
However, some lifestyle and environmental factors can play a key role, particularly smoking and UV exposure.
Are forehead wrinkles reversible?
Yes and no — forehead lines are "reversible" for some people but typically only for a limited time. Forehead wrinkles can be smoothed through surgical and cosmetic procedures. However, these changes aren't permanent and your skin will continue to age, regardless.
Success also depends on how deep your lines are.
How does Botox reduce forehead wrinkles?
Botox injections effectively treat forehead wrinkles by temporarily freezing the muscles in your face. The injections use an ingredient called Botulinum toxin type A. Botox stops your muscles from contracting and prohibits dynamic wrinkles — like frown lines and crow's feet — from being able to appear.
This is also why some people use baby Botox to prevent forehead wrinkles from forming in the first place.
What's the downside of using Botox for forehead wrinkles?
One of the downsides of using Botox is that the results are only temporary. Botox will most likely wear off within 6-9 months, although different dermatologists report varying results.
It's also incredibly important to seek injectable treatments from qualified professionals, namely doctors or trained medical professionals. Wrongly administered Botox injections can result in paralysed or drooping facial muscles.
You can also experience side effects like bruising, swelling, nausea and headaches . And, while generally safe to use, some folks can be allergic to Botox ingredients and the injections also aren't recommended for anyone pregnant or breastfeeding .
Despite being on the more affordable end of cosmetic procedures, Botox can also be a significant cost. Prices of injections (measured in 'units') will vary, as will the number of units required in a patient.
Finally, the last obvious downside of Botox injections is that the procedure does require a level of comfort with needles — which can be difficult for some!
Reduce the appearance of forehead wrinkles without injectables
To reduce the appearance of forehead wrinkles, incorporate some preventative measures into your daily life. To start: limit sun exposure, quit smoking and drink more water. You can also address wrinkles through your skincare routine.
A skincare routine to reduce forehead wrinkles
For example, the Software Advanced Ageing Set includes key anti-wrinkle ingredients that help reduce fine lines and provide a youthful appearance. This includes:
- Retinol: Retinol is a key anti-ageing ingredient in skincare. Software's Retinol Complex Oil is hydrating and full of fatty acids, so will help shed dead skin, encourage skin cell turnover and improve elasticity.
- SPF: All good skincare regimens should incorporate an SPF and wearing sunscreen every day is a non-negotiable. Protect your skin from sun damage with a product like Software's Daily Sun Defence SPF50+.
- Vitamin C + Ferulic Serum: Vitamin C and ferulic acid work in tandem to stimulate collagen and improve skin elasticity.
- Ceramides: Software's Repair Balm uses ceramides, hyaluronic acid and squalane to treat and heal the skin barrier. Ceramides are vital lipids (fatty compounds) that protect the skin against environmental damage and harsh skin routines.
- Salicylic acid: This beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) is one of the gentlest active ingredients in skincare and can be used on most skin types. It helps penetrate the pores, clear them out and deliver moisture deep into the skin. In Software's Advanced Ageing Set, you can find salicylic acid in the Foaming Wash, which is a gentle exfoliant that can be used 2-3 times per week.
The Software Advanced Ageing Set provides a multi-step day and night routine to brighten and firm skin, stimulate collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and offer deep skin hydration.
For those looking for a prescription ageing solution, Software's personalised ageing treatment is tailored to you and your individual skin concerns — from fine lines to acne.
Simply take our online consult, where you can mention your wish to target forehead wrinkles, and our Aussie Software health practitioners will create a prescription treatment just for you. This is compounded at our partner pharmacy and then delivered straight to your door.
Alternate cosmetic procedures
Other skin treatments can be deployed to tackle wrinkles.
- Skin needling
- Laser treatments
- Chemical peels
- Dermal fillers
- Brow lifts or cosmetic surgeries.
Fillers can reduce the appearance of forehead wrinkles by temporarily plumping the skin, making it appear smoother.
Brow lifts and facelifts can also be used to reduce the appearance of lines and smooth forehead wrinkles. A brow lift is a minor surgical procedure that works by raising the soft tissue and skin of the forehead.
What habits can help prevent forehead wrinkles?
You can help prevent wrinkles or reduce their severity by adopting a few healthier habits.
Exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays can damage the skin and cause ageing. A daily SPF of 30 or higher should be incorporated into your skincare routine . Plus, be sure to take steps to stay out of the sun for extended periods.
When you are outside, wear hats, sunglasses and sun-protective clothing.
As mentioned, smoking accelerates skin ageing. It also makes it more difficult for the skin to heal . Best to kick the habit if you want better skin.
Review your diet
A good diet is always balanced, with the bulk of your consumption focused on fresh fruits, vegetables and valuable proteins.
Your skin will particularly love anything with essential fatty acids, including oily fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel), nuts and seeds (flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds) as well as eggs and natural yoghurts .
It also loves anything with a high water and nutrient content, i.e. fruit and veg.
On that note, remember your skin is thirsty! Try and drink more than 2L of water a day to help not only your skin but your body generally.
Photo credit: Getty Images
Real people, incredible transformations
The initial process of Software was so easy and straight forward. Got exactly what I wanted. And I LOVE that you can upload photos of your progress. I recommend software to my friends with pigmentation (melasma) too :)
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Software for ageing concerns, June 2022
Software for ageing concerns, June 2022