Our mothers warned us not to frown, but did we pay attention to them? Not always … Now that we are grown, it’s easy to see why we were warned to keep smiling, no matter what! Frown lines – also known as glabellar lines or glabella frown lines – are those deep vertical lines that appear between our eyebrows, making us look stern.
What exactly are glabella lines?
Glabellar lines are caused by the constant use of small muscles (such as the corrugator supercilii muscles, procerus, and orbicularis) in an area called the glabella, which is located in your forehead between your eyebrows. Facial expressions, such as frowning and squinting, constantly contract these muscles, and, over time, these repeated actions can cause wrinkles both with movement and at rest.
Are glabellar lines a result of aging?
Skin proteins, such as collagen and elastin, keep our skin healthy and youthful. As we age, the rate at which these proteins are replenished decreases, so our skin loses its elasticity. This increases the chances of our frown lines becoming deeper.
At what age do facial expressions cause glabellar lines?
Depending on our face shape, skin tightness, and genetics, we commonly develop glabellar lines in our thirties. Our facial expressions continue to affect our faces as we age, and a lot of this is because our skin becomes looser due to weakening collagen bonds in our skin.
Can lifestyle factors cause these deep lines to form?
Unfortunately, yes! Our lifestyle choices play a big role in developing glabellar lines. To prevent this outcome, we want to avoid the following six pitfalls:
- Ultraviolet (UV) rays and sunburns
- Smoking and vaping
- Skin dehydration
- Chronic stress
- Lack of proper nutrition
- Poor skin hygiene
Now that you’ve taken the pinch test, how did you do? How many seconds did it take for your skin to return to normal?
What causes these lines to get worse over time?
Our facial expressions (such as frowning, smiling, laughing, and squinting), contract the muscles in the glabella area again and again, and, over time, these repeated actions can cause the muscles to stay contracted even when we aren’t frowning causing wrinkles at rest. Think of them as emotional wrinkles! In addition to looser skin and collagen breakdown, glabellar lines can also be caused by fat loss. Adding to this, our genetic makeup, hormones, and exposure levels to free radicals also contribute to the severity of our glabellar lines.
When we were young, we didn’t realize that we’d end up with these deep frown lines that make us look older, worried, and slightly angry! But now that we have these unsightly glabellar lines, how can we minimize them?
Can we get rid of glabellar lines?
As our skin matures, glabellar lines become deeper and more pronounced. We engage our facial muscles constantly to express our emotions, so we can’t stop using them. Yet, this constant muscle activity in the glabella area is what causes these deep furrows to develop. We don’t want to stop being expressive, so what can we do about these deep glabellar lines? The good news is that there are clinical treatments and home remedies that can minimize the appearance of these lines.
How can we permanently fix glabellar lines?
Plastic surgeons can offer a surgical option to cut innervation to these muscles. Although this is a more long-lasting option, there are significant downsides to taking this surgical approach.
It is important to note that a conventional facelift will not affect muscle contraction or eliminate these furrows.
A facelift can tighten the skin of your whole face while addressing other specific concerns.
How can we treat glabellar lines only?
For a more low-risk option than surgery, botulinum toxin injections are at the top of the list of injection choices for relaxing the muscles around the brow. These injectable treatments can effectively smooth out glabellar lines and keep them from worsening. The active ingredient of these treatments, botulinum toxin-A, is a neuromodulator that can temporarily relax or paralyze the facial muscles in the glabella area – lessening the repetitive muscle movements that contribute to these frown lines.
Can we get rid of glabellar lines without botulinum toxin treatments?
Dermal fillers are another option. Skincare specialists can inject dermal fillers under the skin to fill in the frown lines and smooth out the appearance of your forehead. Dermal fillers are often a soft gel of hyaluronic acid to add volume to your skin and fill in the creases of these deep glabellar lines.
According to studies, the use of dermal fillers made with hyaluronic acid may help Botulinum toxin results last longer. The combination increases the longevity of both the filler and the Botulinum neuromodulator.
Chemical peels decrease the appearance of wrinkles by using a chemical solution to remove the old outer layer of the skin, revealing the newly rejuvenated and tighter skin underneath. This causes the glabellar lines to be less noticeable.
What are some topical treatments for treating glabellar lines?
Hyaluronic acid can improve the appearance of wrinkles with its ability to help the skin stay hydrated. This improves the skin’s overall condition and also diminishes the appearance of new wrinkles.
Peptides are proteins that are short chains of amino acids serving as foundational blocks for collagen, keratin, and elastin. They trigger collagen production, which improves skin elasticity and tightness.
Antioxidants (such as vitamins E and C) help to prevent damage and repair skin cells. Skin creams infused with antioxidant ingredients (such as green tea extract and vitamin E) stimulate new skin growth for a more youthful appearance.
- Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that reduce signs of aging and help repair sun damage. They also enhance skin shedding, reduce inflammation, and neutralize free radicals in the skin that may be causing collagen damage.
How can we avoid getting glabellar lines?
While developing forehead furrows is often a natural part of aging, we can prevent glabellar lines by taking good care of our skin and living a healthy lifestyle. To avoid glabellar lines, we should:
- Eat a diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants
- Avoid smoking and excessive drinking
- Utilize sunscreen and sunglasses daily
- Keep our skin clean and moisturized
Do facial exercises help to lessen frown lines?
There is no scientific evidence that facial exercises can effectively reduce the appearance of frown lines – but these exercises can indeed relax the muscles that affect the glabella area, which can temporarily improve the appearance of your frown lines. Massaging this area every day will help keep your forehead looking smoother and more relaxed in the long run.
Are glabellar lines just a cosmetic issue?
Usually, these frown lines are just wrinkles that we’d love to part with. But, sometimes, these deep lines can cause heaviness over the eyes affecting the visual field.
The constant tension from deep contracted muscles can cause headaches that are often relieved with botulinum toxin treatments.
Health concerns can be quite serious. For instance, there is a link between wavy horizontal forehead lines and a cardiovascular condition called atherosclerosis. A skincare specialist can diagnose this condition in patients who might just be checking in for cosmetic purposes.
With atherosclerosis, plaque builds up in the arteries, causing a narrowing of the arteries and reducing their elasticity over time. This reduction of elasticity leads to less-oxygenated blood reaching the major organs of the body – causing a number of symptoms, including deep forehead creases.
How damaging is sun exposure to facial skin?
Most skin damage comes from prolonged and unprotected sun exposure. One of the best ways to care for our skin and prevent glabellar lines is to apply sunscreen daily in order to lower our risk of developing skin cancer – and, of course, to reduce our susceptibility to glabellar lines!
Can Sofwave™ treatments minimize glabellar lines?
Sofwave™ treatments can help greatly diminish facial wrinkles, including deep glabellar lines. Since 2020, when Sofwave unveiled its SUPERB™ technology for treating wrinkles and lax skin, it has become the go-to option for many skincare providers because of its proven success in rejuvenating skin and reducing wrinkles. Unlike dermal fillers, which can require multiple and repeated injections, Sofwave™ patients can often achieve their desired results with just one treatment.
Is Sofwave™ effective and safe for all skin types?
Yes! Sofwave™ is appropriate for all skin types, which means that you don’t have to worry about a negative outcome. Sofwave™ ultrasound procedures simply prompt your body to do its thing and produce more collagen and elastin – two essential building blocks in your skin that Sofwave is proven to affect.
How does Sofwave™ technology work?
This innovative ultrasound technology uses seven transducers operating simultaneously to emit synchronous beams of ultrasound that heat a significant amount of tissue at a precise depth of 1.5 mm in the mid-dermis.
The Sofwave™ ultrasound beams heat the mid-dermal tissue at just the right depth and temperature to rejuvenate collagen and elastin fibers, prompting the skin to renew itself.
Are Sofwave™ treatments safe?
The precision of these ultrasound beams means you don’t have to worry about the procedure causing any damage to your skin or your underlying structures such as nerves, bones, blood vessels, or glands in the face and neck.
And, during the treatment, the system’s Sofcool™ cooling mechanism protects your skin from burning and ensures your skin’s safety.
Has Sofwave™ been cleared by the FDA?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared Sofwave™ SUPERB™ technology for lifting the eyebrow and also for lifting the lax submental tissue (beneath the chin) and neck tissue, which can affect the appearance of lax tissue in the submental neck regions.
The FDA has also cleared SUPERB™ technology for a non-invasive dermatological aesthetic treatment to improve facial lines and wrinkles, and to improve the short-term appearance of cellulite.
And, in August 2023, the FDA cleared the way for Sofwave™ to market its SUPERB technology for the treatment of acne scars!
What do Sofwave™ treatments feel like?
Before a Sofwave™ procedure, a topical anesthetic cream is applied to your skin, so you feel more comfortable while experiencing what is, for most patients, a tolerable level of discomfort as the ultrasound energy is delivered.
After the procedure, there is little to no discomfort, and you can return to your activities. Sofwave™ treatments take only about 45 minutes, so it’s possible to schedule a treatment over your lunch hour and then go back to work with your skin fully refreshed!
Can Sofwave™ minimize glabellar lines?
Sofwave™ is indeed the new-generation ultrasound treatment your skin will truly thank you for. With Sofwave™ promoting more natural collagen and elastin production in your skin, your youthful good looks can be revived, and those deep glabellar lines can be minimized for a more refreshed appearance!
Without those deep glabellar lines giving you a “frowning” look, you can begin to feel good about your appearance again – which can lead to an improved quality of life and better relationships! That’s what we all want, right?
So, why go through life looking older than you are? With Sofwave™ providers located all over the globe, there is sure to be a provider near you! To find one, visit Sofwave’s Provider Finder Page.