What are Glabellar Lines? – Causes and Treatment of Forehead Lines

Frown Lines facial concerns

Glabellar Lines are a term used to describe the wrinkles on your forehead, between your brows, and above your nose. When you make certain facial expressions, the skin moves along with the muscles on your forehead. Based on your face shape, skin tightness, genes, and how often you make certain expressions, the lines will begin to form on your forehead. These lines are called glabellar lines. Other names for these lines include; forehead furrows, forehead wrinkles or forehead frown lines.

While these lines don’t hinder your day-to-day life in any way, they are definitely a huge cosmetic concern for a lot of people and can take a toll on your confidence. There are multiple options that can help eliminate these lines and minimize their appearance. Keep reading the article to learn about glabellar lines and what you can do about them.


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What are Glabellar Lines?

Glabellar lines are horizontal indentations that run across your forehead skin. They might intersect with another category of wrinkles known as frown lines.

Glabellar lines vs. Frown Lines

A lot of individuals confuse the two. Frown lines are the vertical lines between your eyes. Whereas, glabellar lines appear above your brows and run horizontally. Frown lines won’t form as a result of making an angry or sad face. However, glabellar lines are most commonly form as a result of repeatedly making certain facial expressions.

Example of Frown lines or Elevenses

Emotional Wrinkles

Your face is responsible for communicating how you feel, and what you think. When you narrow your eyes or raise your brows, it is just a way to express yourself. With age, your skins collagen production reduces and your skin becomes more lax as a result. Repetitive facial movements will become less defined and change your face in terms of texture and skin, making your skin more prone to wrinkling and sagging. This in turn means your glabellar lines (see picture below) will become more prominent as you age.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Causes of Glabellar Lines

Below are some of the causes for glabellar line formation;


  • Certain people are predisposed to developing wrinkles at a younger age.
  • Our genetics play a major role when it comes to the speed of gene deterioration.
  • If you are experiencing premature wrinkling despite taking proper care of yourself, it may be due to genetics.


  • Your hormones also play a major role in how your skin looks.
  • Estrogen is responsible for blood flow to the skin, thickness, and hydration.
  • If you have less hydration, you are at a greater chance of developing skin wrinkles.
  • That is why a lot of women experiencing menopause are more prone to developing wrinkles.
  • Hormone replacement therapy for estrogen can greatly improve wrinkles in some women.

Free Radicals

  • Free radicals can lead to a number of disruptive issues in the human body.
  • They are damaging to the structural integrity of the collagen bonds that lead to the formation of wrinkles.
  • People get free radicals because of environmental pollutants, UV light, and their bodily production.


  • Glucose is an important fuel for the cells and your body.
  • When your body is exposed to excess glucose, it will break down the collagen fibers in your skin, leading to the formation of glabellar lines and other types of fine lines and wrinkles.

Sun Exposure

  • We all know that UV rays are one of the biggest culprits behind skin ageing.
  • The damage from the sun will lead to loss of natural elastin and reduce elasticity and firmness in your skin.
  • You can never fully fix sun damage. However, your skin tries to counter the damage by creating uneven repairs underneath the skin, leading to the formation of wrinkles.


  • Individuals who smoke tend to have poorer skin than those who don’t.
  • The ingredients in cigarettes will naturally damage the collagen, reduce hydration, and create issues with blood flow to the skin.
  • When your skin has less oxygen, it lacks nutrients, becomes dry and is more prone to wrinkle formation.

Facial Expressions

  • Facial expressions play a key role in the development of wrinkles.
  • These expressions create years of residual tension which reduces the elasticity of the skin, leading to the permanent fixture of the face.

Sleeping Position

  • It isn’t a major factor in wrinkle development. However, the sleeping position does play a role in how soon will the wrinkles start to form on your face.
  • If you sleep on your side, it is time to switch it up and sleep on your back.
  • If you can, use a silk pillowcase.

Home-Based Treatment for Preventing/Treating Glabellar Lines

There are a number of treatments available in the market that soften and smoothen the appearance of glabellar lines. Below are a few options you can try.

Moisturizing Treatments

Dermatologists recommend using highly moisturizing night creams over your forehead to prevent glabellar lines. The right moisturizer will keep your skin hydrated and more resilient to wrinkles. This is one of the simplest ways to try and prevent wrinkles. Look for products that contain superoxide dismutase, antioxidant vitamins E and C, green tea leaf extract and sodium hyaluronate.

Antioxidant Creams

There are specific creams that are designed to fight oxidative stress. Oxidative stress of the skin is a natural response when your skin is exposed to pollution, sun, and other harmful elements of your body. Look for products that are infused with green tea extract, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. They help to stimulate the growth of new skin cells and keep you looking younger. Pay close attention to the consistency of the cream. While dry-skinned individuals could get away with rich creams. Those with oily skin should aim for something light.

Hyaluronic Acid

This is one of those ingredients that will make your skin look plump, hydrated, and prevent the formation of new wrinkles. You can choose any of the hyaluronic acid serums available on the market. Make sure to apply it to a slightly damp face to see the best results. Once your skin gets use to the serum, you can start incorporating facial masks, moisturizers, and other types of skincare products into your routine.


Peptides can make your skin look brighter, younger, and prevent the formation of glabellar lines by promoting cell turnover. While peptides won’t necessarily correct wrinkles, they surely can prevent the formation of glabellar lines. They will keep your facial muscles from twitching and contracting. Clinical studies show that peptides are very beneficial to boost collagen production in your skin.

Cosmetic Treatments for Treating Glabellar Lines

If you have quite prominent glabellar lines, the above-mentioned treatments will not work for you. In order to improve their appearance, you will need a bit of cosmetic help. Below are some of the best options to try.

1. Anti Wrinkle Injections and Other Neuromodulators

Anti Wrinkle solutions have become increasingly popular to tackle the signs of aging over the years. Technically speaking, Botox is a brand name that is used to describe an injectable that paralyzes the muscles underneath the skin, making your wrinkles less prominent and visible.

In comparison to other procedures, Botox is a fairly affordable option that carries minimal side effects. However, it will only fix the wear and tear for a couple of months before you have to get the treatment redone. Some people don’t like the fact that they are unable to move their face much but that is how Botox works. If this aspect is unsettling for you, you might want to explore other options.

Steps for Anti-wrinkle injections;

  • Prior to the treatment, the injector will clean and mark your forehead.
  • Then they will inject the Botox/anti wrinkle into your the area. If you have low pain tolerance, you can ask to have a numbing cream applied before hand (although, it isn’t required in most cases).
  • Once the injector is happy with the outcome, your skin will be cleaned to remove any markings and your treatment is complete.
  • It can take anywhere from 3-10 days for the product to full take effect. In other words, you will not notice the results straight away.

2.  Soft Tissue Dermal Fillers

Soft tissue fillers are designed to mimic collagen and enhance the other structural components of the skin. Products in this treatment category include Restylane, Sculptra, and Juvederm. The procedure involves injecting fillers underneath the skin, massaging the treatment site and evaluating the results. Unlike Botox, fillers won’t make your face feel stiff. The results generally last for 6 to 12 months depending on the type of filler the injector uses. However, as with Botox the results are not permanent and you will have to get them redone.

Steps for filler injections;

  • Prior to the procedure, your forehead will be thoroughly cleansed to ensure there are no traces of dirt and makeup on your face.
  • Then, a numbing agent will be applied to your forehead to make the process feel more comfortable.
  • The aesthetician will mark your forehead for the administration of dermal fillers.
  • Then, they will inject the dermal fillers into the treatment site. The injector will inject, massage, and evaluate the result as he/she proceeds with the treatment.
  • Once the treatment is complete, the will clean your forehead to remove any markings.

3. Facelift

The most long-lasting, expensive and high-risk way to smooth out the lines across your forehead and entire face is to get a facelift. This type of cosmetic surgery procedure essentially involves tightening the skin and muscles around your face and neck area. The results last for approximately 10 years or even longer. However, it is a high-risk procedure that comes with an extensive recovery period.

Do Facial Exercises Work to Smooth Glabellar Lines?

When you try to do a bit of digging on the internet, a lot of people swear by facial yoga exercises to prevent ageing and glabellar lines. There is a lack of evidence and medical literature to support this claim.

As glabellar lines are the result of increased muscle activity, there is little reason to believe that making certain facial expressions will prevent glabellar lines from occurring in the first place. We personally think that they won’t make any difference. However, there is no harm in trying them if you want to.

Avoiding the Formation of Glabellar Lines

The best way to avoid glabellar lines is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Most of us are a victim of premature aging. However, prevention can help delay the process of aging. Follow the tips mentioned below:

  • Make sure to drink lots of water every day. Avoid drinking too much caffeine and keep your skin nourished from within.
  • Eat a balanced diet, rich in fiber and antioxidants.
  • Do not smoke. It will make you age prematurely.
  • Wear sunscreen daily. Make it part of your morning skin routine prior to stepping out in the sun. Also make sure to reapply throughout the day.
  • Keep your face moisturized. Aim at using a good quality moisturizer twice a day after cleansing your face.
  • Sleep on your back.
  • This one is hard but try limiting your facial expressions.
  • Use Botox to restrict muscle movement in your face.
  • Start early on your anti-aging skincare regimen.

It is important to note that how we age goes beyond what we eat, how we exercise, and what we apply to our faces. Sometimes, genes, certain diseases or gravity can take a toll. It is important to be patient with yourself. With the advancements in the cosmetic industry, one can easily get rid of their insecurities and live a confident life.

The Bottom Line

For a lot of people, forehead furrows are a very normal part of the ageing process. It is important to take great care of your skin, eat well, exercise and use good quality skincare to prevent glabellar lines and premature ageing.

If you have concerns about the lines on your forehead and are looking in suitable treatments, it is important to book a consultation with an expert. With the right treatment, you can bid farewell to these lines and lead a confident and happy life.


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