Sometime during the pandemic years, the two razor-fine lines running horizontally across my forehead have gone from emotion-activated — popping up only when I raised my eyebrows — to just sitting there, all the time. I first noticed when I started zooming into my face in summer-vacation selfies where my brows were relaxed, but the two pesky forehead lines seemed to almost catch the light.
I thought the admittedly faint indents might be in my head, and not actually dashed across my 26-year-old forehead. (Of course, there's nothing inherently wrong with wrinkles, and it's up to the individual how they do or don't treat theirs. For me, they're something I'd rather not have at the moment.) However, at my first facial since 2019, esthetician Georgia Louise immediately noted that my forehead skin was "very, very dry," which is a strange thing to hear when it's 80 degrees and humid in New York City, and therefore "especially prone to creasing and cracking." Those kind of fighting words out of Cate Blanchett's facialist had me thinking about where I might go after this facial to get some baby Botox.
However, as a seasoned esthetician and not a plastic surgeon, Louise had no vested interest in selling me on the merits of Botox. Instead, she offered me some sound advice on how I might actually delay injections and soften my fine lines with a few careful tweaks to my skin-care routine.
Start Skin Care At The Forehead
I thought about it and realized that I normally pump, squeeze, or pipette-drip the specific product onto my fingers and then instinctively press into the center of my face, cupping around my nose and cheeks. "See, you want to be pressing your products into your forehead first," Louise explains. "It's a large surface area — from your brows to your hairline — and you want to give it lots of attention, and lots of product. Instead of just sweeping what's left on your hands across your forehead, start there."
Press And Lift
In terms of finger-to-face motion, Louise is also a big proponent of facial massage, specifically upward and outward lifting. "When you press the products into your skin you want to be lifting up," she reminds me. "Never take the motion down, only up, and make sure you're working out as well, not just on the middle of the forehead."
Dab Some Eye Cream On The 11s
Another helpful tip, one I already knew about but rarely remembered to implement: Use eye cream on your forehead. "People with thin skin under their eyes usually find the same issue with the skin on their forehead," Louise says. "One little easy thing to do is start using your eye cream to spot treat your 11 lines, or really any forehead wrinkles. It will help add collagen and smooth lines."
Take A Collagen Supplement
When it comes to hydration, drinking lots water is vital. But Louise says that mixing in a collagen supplement could potentially be helpful. "If I were you, I might try a marine collagen powder," Louise recommends. "Our skin starts losing collagen in our 20s, and a collagen supplement can be helpful in maintaining skin's elasticity and preventing rapid collagen loss."
Try To Relax
Just being aware of forehead lines is enough to cause stress and anxiety, but Louise offers a different perspective. "Now that you know your forehead skin is susceptible to creasing, you can be more aware of how you move your face to make sure you're not activating your frontalis muscles too much," she says. "That doesn't mean you shouldn't be expressive; just try to be mindful about not holding tension in your forehead when you're relaxed."
I know the decision to get forehead Botox is probably in my future, but now I have some hacks to treat my two small lines before they get deeper. Some might say it only delays the inevitable, but with the cost of Botox and my general cynicism around "preventative" injectables, I'll choose, for now, to pay closer attention to my forehead, give it some extra TLC, and maybe invest in regular facials again.