If you’re an expressive person – a very good thing, if you ask us – it’s likely your forehead will eventually make you look weathered before your time. Since it makes up almost two-thirds of your face, keeping it smooth, taught and even-toned can do wonders for maintaining a youthful complexion, and it can prevent you from potentially making the mistake of cutting bangs, which can often exacerbate other issues like dark under eye circles and crow’s feet after a certain age.
A lifetime of squinting, furrowing and incredulous brow-raising can all contribute to deep horizontal lines and so-called ‘elevens’ between the eyes. But never fear, as there are effective ways to repair, refine and transform an aging forehead, according to our partner Dr. Stephen Ronan, one of the nation’s top plastic surgeons and founder of Blackhawk Plastic Surgery and Med Spa.
Your best course of action, of course, is to hop on board with your very own personalized treatment plan and start treating fine lines before they become full-fledged creases forever ironed into your skin. Here are a few of the treatments Dr. Ronan recommends to keep your forehead in beautiful condition.
“Injectables deliver immediate results by limiting muscle movements that cause the skin to lift, pull and furrow, ultimately causing wrinkling,” Ronan says.
“You’ll need to revisit them every three to four months for maintenance, but the results outweigh any inconvenience of a 15-minute appointment which, by the way, you can do on your lunch break.”
During a chemical peel, also known as chemoexfoliation or derma peeling, a surface-layer chemical solution is applied topically to the skin to create a controlled wound and essentially peel off the surface layer to reveal new skin underneath. A chemical peel can be used to turn back the clock on your entire face, chest and hands, and the forehead always yields a noticeable transformation.
“Bear in mind there are varying levels of depth, but as a whole, chemical solutions aim to damage the skin in a controlled way, which forces it to heal and promotes surface renewal,” Ronan says. Count on this: your complexion will be smoother with more clarity and fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
“We essentially use a laser to remove the damaged outer layers of your skin while stimulating collagen production underneath,” Ronan says.
The three types:
CO2 lasers – the highest intensity available so more commonly used for scars and deeper wrinkles.
Erbium: YAG lasers – less powerful but more precise and with less downtime.
The Pearl Fusion – Dr. Ronan’s favorite because it blends the best of the CO2 and Erbium while eliminating their downsides.
Non-ablative lasers, on the other hand, refer to a specific type of technology that neither removes, nor damages the skin’s surface. It works by producing microscopic zones of heat-induced injuries while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. Non-ablative lasers are less expensive, less aggressive and able to target smaller areas with precision and fewer side-effects. They do, however, require between three and six treatments to see desirable results.
While the jury is still out whether ablative or non-ablative is best, both aim to renew the skin on your forehead.
“A forehead lift is a more permanent surgical alternative to target wrinkling and sagging while repositioning the brow,” says Ronan, who specializes in the procedure.
“It reduces sagging skin around the eyebrows, forehead and upper eyelids. In some cases, I’ll perform this procedure along with facelift surgery for optimal results.”
A brow or forehead lift involves the surgeon making a short incision behind the hair line over each lateral brow. The lateral brow is elevated creating a higher arch, and little or no skin is removed. Old-school ear-to-ear incisions and the use of cumbersome scopes are a thing of the past – the over-done, startled look you used to see in many patients is now obsolete and the natural look is in.
Medical-grade skincare, available only through physicians, can help renew the forehead and diminish wrinkles. Look for products packed with retinol to stimulate collagen, plump the skin and help fill in fine lines. Experts advise starting with a .25 or .50 formulation every other night, then stopping use once you’ve begun to see results (prolonged use can dry out the skin and cause sun sensitivity). Product we love? SkinMedica Retinol Complex .25 (it’s gentle and not too drying).
“Hyaluronic acid is one of the best skin-hydrators and wrinkle-plumpers available,” Ronan advises. You’ll want to make sure yours is highly concentrated to effectively target stubborn forhead creases and fine lines. Try SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, which gives a boost of suppleness and radiance to deflated skin and helps up the ante on your favorite moisturizer.
Written by: Stephanie Simons