The wrinkles between your eyebrows, also known as frown lines, are one of the most common signs of aging, and the bane of any skincare regime. Maybe you furrowed your brows with concentration as you read this, or maybe you've just been unlucky enough to inherit them. Whatever the reason, it’s never easy to hide.
Many accept aging gracefully, and more power to them. We all will get wrinkles and bumps in our skin as we age, but for many of us, we seek a solution.
Luckily, there is some hope! There are several things you can do to treat deep frown lines or prevent them from appearing in the first place. In this article, we'll introduce you to a few of these methods.
What Are Wrinkles, Actually?
Wrinkles are not sinister creatures out to destroy all you hold dear, although they may feel that way, especially when they form between your eyebrows. They’re actually just folds or creases in the skin, and they appear most often as a result of natural aging.
While it might seem like you woke up one day and suddenly had wrinkles where there were none before, that’s not really how it happened. Skin aging is caused by the breakdown of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid – the components that keep your skin youthful and plump. As their levels decrease, skin loses its elasticity, suppleness, firmness and ability to retain water. This is a gradual process, and your wrinkles were likely there long before you first noticed them.
There are a number of different factors that determine how much and when our skin ages – genetics, unhealthy lifestyle habits (such as smoking, for example), sun exposure, pollution, diet, stress, medications, and more. It can be overwhelming to try and think about just how many aspects of your life may be influencing your skin, so this article summarizes some of the most impactful actions you can take if you want to help prevent or reduce your wrinkles.
Why Do Some People Get Frown Lines?
The skin around your eyes is delicate and thin. It contains very little collagen and fat, so it’s more likely to develop wrinkles and sag than thicker, tougher skin on other parts of your body.
Other causes of deep wrinkles include:
- Genetics. Some people inherit the tendency to develop deep wrinkles from their parents.
- Aging. As you age, your skin can become drier and thinner because of a decrease in collagen production and natural moisture retention.
- Facial expressions. The repetition of certain facial expressions — such as frowning or squinting — may contribute to the development of deep wrinkles between your eyebrows over time by causing the skin to fold under pressure from muscles that move the face. These creases eventually turn into permanent lines when the skin becomes less elastic with age.
- Exposure to sun and other environmental factors. Frequent exposure to sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet (UV) light can speed up the development of deep wrinkles between your eyebrows by damaging collagen fibers in your skin, resulting in fewer new fibers being produced, which leads to sagging skin and wrinkling in time. Other factors such as the aforementioned smoking of cigarettes or frequently spending time outdoors can also increase exposure to UV radiation and reduce collagen production in the process, which results in more severe wrinkling over time.
Wrinkle Reduction Exercises
This might sound ridiculous, but exercises and massages can in fact prevent and reduce wrinkles, though probably not for the reasons most people might initially imagine: according to celebrity dermatologist Audrey Kunin, they actually increase nutrient delivery to skin cells.
So what sorts of exercises is Kunin talking about? Well, it doesn’t actually matter, because it’s not really about stressing specific muscles so much as it is about simply applying pressure and de-stressing the fact. You can rub your forehead, your cheeks, and your eyebrows – just make sure you loosen your face and try to relieve tension.
This is why facial massages make your skin glow. The act of lightly touching and stroking your face helps to increase circulation and promote lymphatic drainage, which gets rid of toxins. It also relaxes the muscles in your face, which can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
So there you have it – some simple but effective tips on how to reduce wrinkles. Remember, wrinkles are a natural part of aging, but that doesn’t mean you have to just accept them. With a little bit of effort, you can help to keep your skin looking young and fresh for longer.
Medicinal and Preventative Creams
There are in fact a number of over-the-counter creams specifically intended to reduce wrinkles. Unfortunately this is a space where shuckstery and snake oil solutions are common, so you should make sure that you specifically look for creams containing retinol, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, niacinamide, peptides and vitamin C. These are all ingredients that, according to studies, improve the appearance of the skin.
Most anti-wrinkle creams should be applied once daily before going to bed. You should apply it evenly over the wrinkled area in a thin layer and gently pat it into your skin until it is no longer visible (usually about 15 minutes).
Since sun exposure is one of the most aggressive drivers of wrinkle development, anyone worried about their skin should be sure to use sunscreen to protect themselves when they are likely to spend a lot of time in the sun.
However, here, too, you’ll want to be somewhat mindful of the specific products you use. You’ll want to avoid sunscreens with excessively high SPF ratings (45+) as they can cause your wrinkles to appear deeper than they actually are, but you also need to make sure that your product of choice does have an SPF above at least 30 in order to still offer adequate protection from sun damage.
Skin Care Regimens
You can also minimize deep wrinkles between the eyebrows by using a gentle cleanser to wash your face every morning and evening, exfoliating with a mild exfoliating scrub two or three times a week to get rid of dead skin cells (don’t exfoliate too much though – that actually ages your skin faster), applying an alcohol-free toner after cleansing and before applying serums or moisturizers (this helps better absorb the serums into the skin), using an anti-aging serum that has retinol in it at night before going to bed (retinol stimulates collagen production), and using a daily hydrating moisturizer during the day. You can also use natural topical solutions like coconut oil on deep lines if you still don’t feel like you’re seeing much improvement.
There are seven different types of dermal fillers available today that can be used to get rid of deep furrows between the brow. Botox is capable of relaxing overactive muscles and smoothing out skin for up to six months per treatment session. Dysport and Xeomin work similarly on a cellular level but can provide benefits for as many as nine months before additional injections are needed. Juvederm, Restylane and Belotero add volume where it has been lost due to natural aging processes, thus filling in existing wrinkles while maintaining facial structure. Sculptra and Radiesse smooth out fine lines while stimulating collagen production over time; this increases facial fullness gradually so that wrinkled skin becomes less noticeable as patients age.
However, we do not recommend using any of these injectables as they produce, at best, temporary improvements in the appearance of your skin, and come with a number of risks of their own, including the potential for your face to be marked by features that don’t look very natural and can be difficult to properly fix.
All said, it’s a combination of these treatments and changes in lifestyle that works best to help reduce and get rid of furrows between the eyebrows. Facial massages, exercises, diligent use of sunscreen, daily moisturizer use, reduction of alcohol and caffeine intake, nightly hydrating face masks, and a generally healthy lifestyle are all valid and effective actions to take to protect and restore your skin.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.