How to Get Rid of Frown Lines (+4 Key Prevention Tips)

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No, you’re not imagining things – those frown lines on your forehead that used to appear temporarily when you made certain facial expressions really are becoming a permanent part of your face. It’s a normal part of aging, but, unlike crow’s feet or smile lines, frown lines can give you an angry-looking appearance that isn’t very endearing. Fortunately, they’re not something that you’ll have to deal with forever – here’s what you’ll need to do to erase those forehead wrinkles and keep them away for good.


What are Frown Lines?

Frown lines, also known as glabellar lines, are wrinkles that appear on the forehead between the eyebrows each time you make certain facial expressions. Vertical lines are most common, but many also experience horizontal frown lines, as well as lines around the mouth that show up due to frowning.

When your skin is young and has maximum elasticity, it’ll bounce back to its smooth state once the muscles in your face relax. However, as you age, the collagen and elastin in your skin start to decline. These are the structural proteins that give your skin its firmness and elasticity. Without them supporting your skin from beneath, frown lines become deeper and don’t go away, even when your facial muscles are relaxed.

What Causes the Appearance of Frown Lines?

Frustrated young woman with headache and frowning

In addition to the natural loss of the skin’s structural proteins, frown lines are caused by several other factors too. It goes without saying that repeated frowning is a guaranteed way to ensure that these wrinkles form, but squinting also causes those same muscles to contract. The facial expressions that people make during times of stress have this effect too, as does smoking.

UV rays also play a huge role in the development of wrinkles, not just on the forehead but anywhere on the skin that’s exposed and unprotected.

How to Get Rid of Frown Lines

When it comes to erasing frown lines, you’ve got a few treatment options available to you. Professional treatments work faster when it comes to producing visible results, but at-home treatments work well too and have long-term effects, so long as you’re consistent with them.

Topical Products That Build Collagen and Elastin

Let’s start with your skincare routine. Whether you’re already following an anti-aging beauty routine or not, there are some ingredients out there that are a must if you’re trying to treat frown lines.

Vitamins A, C, and E are ones that every dermatologist would recommend, as are peptides and ceramides. Sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide are also both worthy. All of these ingredients help to build the skin’s collagen and elastin fibers, which will smooth away fine lines and wrinkles over time.

Ideally, look for a serum that contains multiple antioxidants. The vitamins mentioned above are good examples, but botanical extracts and oils are also beneficial. They’ll fight free radicals and repair skin cell damage, bringing strength and suppleness back to your skin.

Serum for skincare use

Then, look for a wrinkle cream that will nourish and thicken your skin’s outer layer. This not only keeps skin cells hydrated, and therefore healthy, but it’ll also plump up your skin in a way that makes your frown lines less noticeable.

Regular Exfoliation

One at-home frown line treatment that many underestimate is regular exfoliation. Granted, it won’t have dramatic effects on its own, but it’s a game-changer when combined with other treatments.

Rather than using a scrub, look for a product containing an alpha-hydroxy acid. This will provide additional anti-aging benefits. However, keep in mind that exfoliation does also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, making sunscreen even more important.

Injectable Treatments

Botox, Dysport, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers – there are several injectable treatments out there that can instantly erase frown lines and boost skin elasticity.

Each treatment has its pros and cons. Botox, officially known as Botulinum toxin, is the one most commonly recommended for frown lines. Your doctor will inject the Botox directly into the muscles underneath your forehead. This causes each muscle to relax, inhibiting repeated muscle movements. As a result, frown lines can’t develop and the face takes on a smoother look.

Plastic surgeon injecting hyaluronic acid in man forehead

Dermal fillers are also a popular treatment. Your doctor may recommend dermal fillers for plumping up deep frown lines, although results may vary depending on exactly how deep your lines are.

Keep in mind that both Botox and fillers are just temporary ways to treat frown lines. You’ll need to repeat your treatment every few months, which increases your risk of experiencing side effects.

How to Prevent Frown Lines From Forming & Worsening

Maybe you don’t yet have frown lines. Or perhaps you did, but one of the above treatments helped you to get rid of them. Either way, here’s what you’ll need to do to keep frown lines away:

Stop Frowning and Squinting

Chances are that you frown and squint more often than you realize. They’re natural expressions that the face makes during times of stress. However, if you really want to clear your frown lines, then you shouldn’t let them develop in the first place. Try to pay more attention to your face movements and keep your face muscles as relaxed as possible.

Sun Protection

UV rays are responsible for up to 80% of fine lines [1], meaning that sun protection goes a long way in keeping the skin wrinkle-free. Make sure that you always wear SPF 30 sunscreen on your forehead, even on cloudy days.

Other forms of sun protection are important too. A wide-brimmed hat provides a good amount of shade to the forehead, while sunglasses protect the skin between the eyebrows. Invest in a pair of UV-blocking sunglasses for even more benefits.

applying sunscreen cream on a middle aged man's face

Keep Your Skin Hydrated

As mentioned earlier, hydrated skin not only looks plump and wrinkle-free, but those skin cells will be able to function more efficiently. This means that everything from collagen production to cell regeneration speeds up, giving your face a tighter and firmer finish.

While a good facial skin care routine will help with hydration, it’s important to keep your skin hydrated from within too. A healthy and balanced diet combined with your eight glasses of water a day will have you well on your way to the skin of your dreams.

Stop Smoking

When it comes to the factors that cause frown lines to develop on the face, smoking is a double-ended sword. Not only does cigarette smoke suffocate skin cells, expose them to toxins, and destroy structural proteins, but it also causes you to squint each time you take a puff.

Quitting the habit now will go a long way in helping you to clear your frown lines, while also slowing down the overall skin aging process.


woman feeling upset frowning

Are frown lines permanent?

If left untreated, then yes, frown lines are permanent. However, if you seek treatment early on, then it’s definitely possible to get rid of frown lines.

At what age do frown lines appear?

Frown lines can start to develop as early as your mid 20’s. Once you reach your 30’s, those lines will be deeper and much more visible.


While injectables may provide a quick and instant fix, they don’t offer a permanent solution to frown lines. Instead, you’ll need to use a combination of methods. By all means, go for injectables if dramatic results are what you’re after, but don’t neglect the importance of a good anti-aging skincare routine and diligent sun protection, combined with healthy lifestyle habits. Bringing all of this together, and then sticking at it, is the secret to achieving a wrinkle-free forehead.



Avatar for Alina Jumabhoy
About Alina Jumabhoy

With almost 10 years of experience writing for the skincare industry, Alina brings her unique perspective into all of the in-depth reviews and articles she writes.