Frown Lines: Why You Get Them And How To Reduce Them

Written by Harini Natarajan

Frown lines often appear between your eyebrows and on the forehead and are caused by multiple factors. With age, your skin loses elasticity, and frown lines become prominent. Moreover, creases and folds are common in areas where the facial muscles contract during expressions. Genetics may also play a role.

While you can use filters and other treatments to soften the frown lines, healthy lifestyle habits can also help reduce the appearance of early frown lines. In this article, we have discussed natural ways and treatments to smoothen frown lines. Keep scrolling.

What Are Frown Lines?

Frown lines, also known as the “elevens,” are the creases and deep wrinkles that form between the eyebrows, on the bridge of your nose, and the forehead. Repeated movement of the underlying muscles during facial expressions like frowning and squinting causes frown lines. Aging is another factor. With age, the skin loses its elasticity, leading to wrinkles and frown lines. Several other factors may also contribute to developing frown lines. Let’s take a look at them.

Factors Responsible For Frown Lines

1. Sun Damage

Long-term exposure to UV rays causes oxidative stress, affecting skin elasticity, leading to photoaging, wrinkles, and fine lines (1).

2. Genetics

Your skin’s resilience, thickness, and health also depend on your genetic map. If you are genetically predisposed to saggy skin or wrinkles, you are likely to develop these lines on your face.

3. Dryness

Hydration and moisturization are crucial for maintaining plumpness and skin elasticity. Dry skin is susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. It can also make the frown lines prominent.

4. Smoking

Smoking is related to wrinkles. It reduces collagen synthesis and degrades the skin. (2). Over time, smoking may also constrict the blood vessels, lowering the supply of oxygenated blood to various parts of your body, leading to loss of elasticity and frown lines.

5. Stress

Stress affects your skin health and speeds up skin aging and degradation (3). Moreover, under stressful situations, you are more likely to frown, among other worrying expressions, increasing the possibility of developing frown lines.

Frown lines can be classified into different patterns and types, depending on the muscle contraction pattern.

Types Of Frown Lines

The most common patterns that you will see are:

  1. The “U” Pattern: In this pattern, the eyebrows are mildly pulled inward, and the outer eyebrows are elevated a bit to give a U-like pattern.
  2. The “V” Pattern: The most common frown pattern where the eyebrows pull inwards and elongate the contraction, resembling the ‘V’ pattern.
  3. The “Omega” Pattern: In this pattern, the inside eyebrows are lifted, and the outer eyebrows are lowered simultaneously to resemble the Greek letter omega.
  4. The “Converging Arrows” Pattern: The inward eyebrows come closer (without lifting or lowering of middle and outer brows), forming a frown line that moves upward like an arrow.
  5. The “Inverted Omega” Pattern

This is the most uncommon frowning pattern and involves the nasal muscles. Unlike the omega pattern that lifts upward, resembling the Greek letter omega, this pattern has a downward movement of muscles. It is common in people with a flattened nose.

In the beginning, the lines may not be deep. At this stage, it is possible to smoothen their appearance naturally. For deep frown lines, you may go for cosmetic treatments. However, these may not erase them permanently, and you may have to go for regular touch-ups. In the next section,  we have discussed the natural ways to improve the appearance of frown lines.

How To Improve Frown Lines Naturally

Following a healthy skincare routine and taking care of your body can help you tackle the appearance of frown lines. These tips will not eliminate them but may help smoothen the lines.

1. Follow A Good Skin Care Regimen

Follow a regular cleansing-toning-moisturizing routine. Apply emulsions to keep the skin hydrated and maintain its elasticity. You may use serums with anti-aging ingredients to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Also, exfoliate once a week to promote the cell turnover rate. Always apply sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage and photoaging.

2. Include Retinol In Your Routine

Retinol and its derivatives are popular anti-aging ingredients that help improve the appearance of wrinkles and promote collagen development.  They are often used in anti-aging products and creams to keep your skin youthful (4). While this ingredient is suitable for most skin types,  if you are new to it, do a patch test to avoid allergic reactions.

3. Use Stick-On Pads

You can buy anti-wrinkle stickers and silicone pads to adjust your expressions by physically preventing you from frowning. These silicone pads also hydrate your face to keep it plump and smooth.

4. Regularly Massage Your Face

Facial massages are a great way to strengthen your facial muscles and prevent them from sagging.  You may try forehead massaging and work on the frontalis muscles every day for a few minutes to prevent forehead frown lines.

Here is a video that you may follow to smoothen your forehead:

5. Incorporate Antioxidants In Your Diet

Include green veggies, vitamin C-rich foods, and other rich antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. They improve the skin’s resilience and help prevent free radical damage, one of the main reasons for skin aging.

6. Relax Your Face

The best way to prevent frown lines from appearing is to relax your facial muscles. Identify other expressions that cause the lines – be it squinting in the sun or reading small fonts constantly. You can then find easy solutions for them, like wearing sunglasses and enlarging the font.

7. Quit Smoking

A useful lifestyle change to achieve better skin is to quit smoking. Using nicotine patches or replacing the habit with other oral simulations, such as chewing gum, may help you quit the habit sooner.

While the above natural, non-invasive methods can work for your frown lines, they take longer to deliver results. For quick results, you may opt for clinical treatments.

Cosmetic And Clinical Treatments To Eliminate Frown Lines

1. Botox Treatment

Botox is the most popular and celeb-preferred cosmetic treatment for all types of aging issues. This treatment involves injecting a tiny amount of a toxin called botulinum into the area of the visible lines. This paralyzes the muscles in the affected region, causing them to relax involuntarily in a week (5).

Once the muscles relax, the lines disappear, giving you a smoother forehead. However, with botox, frown lines will reappear in a few months. Hence, you need to get botox injections at regular intervals.

2. Dysport Treatment

Although relatively newer than Botox, Dysport is gaining popularity with its ability to reduce wrinkles and frown lines effectively. The cosmetic procedure works like Botox by paralyzing and relaxing your facial muscles. However, it is more targeted towards the glabellar lines (glabella is the area between the brows and above the nose).

It is often considered the best treatment for deep frown lines. The effects may last for four months, post which you have to take the injections again. However, after multiple Dysport treatments, the effects may last almost a year. Consult an experienced medical practitioner for these injections to avoid any side effects.

3. Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a new-age treatment for skin rejuvenation and wrinkles. The process involves exfoliating the top layer of the skin cells to promote cell turnover rate, giving you smoother and younger-looking skin.

4. Peptides Injections

Peptides are naturally present in your skin, but a deficiency in these compounds can increase the appearance of lines. These chained amino acids are injected into the skin below the lines to improve your skin’s integrity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and frown lines.

5. Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers for frown lines involve injecting gel-like fillers containing hyaluronic acid. The skin naturally produces hyaluronic acid and is relatively safe. These fillers uplift the wrinkled skin folds and fill out spaces, making your face look plumper and smoother.

Fillers are normally prescribed for deeper frown lines that may not be treated completely by Botox. They are also administered as a secondary treatment after Botox. Dermal fillers like Bellafill, Restylane, and Juvederm are commonly used for this procedure. They may last for several weeks, you may have to go for another session after that.

6. Other Treatment Options

  • Thermage: This skin tightening treatment uses radiofrequency to strengthen the collagen fibers and minimize the appearance of facial lines.
  • Ultherapy: It uses ultrasound waves to lift the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles.

While invasive treatments can quickly minimize the frown lines, they may cause side effects like bruises, redness, swelling, itching, and pain. Consult your dermatologist to understand the risks and after-effects of these procedures.

To Conclude

Multiple factors cause frown lines between the eyebrows and the forehead. Facial exercises, massages, and a regular skincare routine can help minimize frown lines when they are faint during the early stage. However, deeper lines may not completely go away. Invasive cosmetic treatments may give temporary results. If you are concerned about their appearance, it is better to consult a dermatologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make frown lines less noticeable?

You may use facial massage or stick-on pads to make them less noticeable.

Do frown lines go away?

Frown lines do not go away completely and may reappear if you discontinue certain treatments (like Botox and fillers).

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Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    1. Ultraviolet Radiation, Aging and the Skin: Prevention of Damage by Topical cAMP Manipulation
    2. Smoking affects collagen synthesis and extracellular matrix turnover in human skin,
    3. Brain-Skin Connection: Stress, Inflammation and Skin Aging,
    4. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety,
    5. Prospective Randomized Comparison of OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) and AbobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport) in the Treatment of Forehead, Glabellar, and Periorbital Wrinkles,


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