Last updated May 2023

What are forehead wrinkles?

Forehead wrinkles are the lines that form across the forehead due to facial movements and expressions. They are typically associated with someone who frequently expresses concern or worry. Forehead lines can also occur in tandem with volume loss & loss of skin elasticity as a result of the skin ageing process, causing them to become more prominent.

The underlying mechanism causing wrinkling is the contraction of the frontalis muscle. This muscle is responsible for lifting the brows and making certain facial expressions.

The frontalis muscle is activated to help lift the brow and upper eyelid to improve the field of vision; that is, it ‘opens the eyes’. Therefore, it is particularly active in those with excess skin on their upper eyelids, which causes partial occlusion of the visual field. When upper eyelid skin causes a significant reduction in the visual field, it is possible that the frontalis muscle can become constantly activated (contracted) to lift the brows/eyelids to keep the eyes more open. The more active the frontalis muscle, the more significant the presence of horizontal lines in the forehead.

Quick Facts about forehead wrinkles treatment

  • Fine lines and wrinkles from the contraction of the forehead muscle can be addressed with anti-wrinkle injections. Care needs to be taken not to cause drooping of the brow or upper eyelid.
  • Volume replacement of the forehead with dermal filler helps to balance the face and smooth forehead concavities and wrinkling.
  • Sun-damaged skin can be treated with skincare and lasers.
  • Surgical methods may be recommended if there is skin laxity present.

How are forehead wrinkles treated?

Treatment for fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead is often a compromise between moderating the activity or contraction of the forehead muscles using anti-wrinkle injections (which reduce the muscle contraction) and preserving the elevating power of the muscle. Anti-wrinkle injections help to relax the muscle so that it doesn’t pull the skin so much. They are temporary, lasting from 3 to 5 months on average

Treatment involves several fine injections into the frontalis muscle. You should start to see results after 4-7 days, depending on the type of anti-wrinkle injection used. The dose that is used needs to reduce forehead movement enough to reduce the severity of forehead wrinkling, with consideration to keeping some of the function of the muscle in elevating the brows. In those with heavy upper eyelids and constantly using the frontalis muscle to lift their eyebrows, even small doses of cosmetic injections could cause a sense of heaviness in the brows and upper eyelids. Therefore, practitioner assessment of the pre-treatment state of the brows and upper eyelids is essential in determining the dose to be used.

In addition to the dosage, the location of the injection points in the forehead is an important consideration. Often patients will request a brow lift in addition to reducing forehead lines. This can be achieved by treating the central parts of the forehead only and leaving the areas above the tail of the eyebrows. However, this can cause an unnatural arch in the brows and leave wrinkles that are located just above the tail of the eyebrows (a clear sign of cosmetic injections). A more appropriate method of treating the forehead is to inject the forehead more uniformly. Taller foreheads may require more injection points to attain a more even result.

Other methods are available to lift the eyebrows, like skin tightening devices such as the Ulthera or an eyebrow lift. Surgical brow lifts are a form of surgery that can help improve the brow’s position and the skin firmness and quality of the forehead.

It is essential to understand that anti-wrinkle injections only reduce dynamic forehead lines. That is, they only reduce the lines that occur with movement. If lines appear whilst the forehead is at rest and not moving, anti-wrinkle injections will not improve these lines. In these instances, dermal filler may be used to treat the present static lines.

Risks and side effects

After receiving anti-wrinkle injections, temporary side effects include raised red lumps at the injection points, which commonly subside within a couple of hours. Bruising may also occur. Serious complications with anti-wrinkle injections are rare and usually, only happen when a large amount of anti-wrinkle injection is used. Incorrect placement of anti-wrinkle injections can result in a droopy eyelid, also called ptosis or blepharoptosis.

Common side effects of dermal filler to treat forehead wrinkles are bruising, swelling and redness, which usually subside within a few days. Vascular occlusion is a risk in any dermal filler treatment. Using ultrasound before and whilst administering dermal filler injections reduces the likelihood of injecting in or near an artery.

Case Study

This patient came to the Victorian Cosmetic Institute wanting treatment for her forehead wrinkles. The static lines have been smoothed using dermal filler, and her frown lines have been reduced using anti-wrinkle injections.

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Other ways to treat forehead wrinkles

UV exposure seems to be responsible for 80% of visible facial ageing signs. The face is commonly exposed to the sun and with prolonged or consistent UV exposure, is prone to skin changes such as fine wrinkles, freckling, sun spots, solar damage or skin cancers. Those with fairer skin are at higher risk of solar damage and need to be particular about their sun protection.

Skincare is a way to protect the skin, including the daily application of sunscreen. The sunscreen should ideally be SPF50+, such as the Propaira 50+ Sunscreen Lotion. 

Lasers are a treatment option that can treat brown spots or pigmentation more effectively than skin care alone. Lasers such as the Fraxel laser or Ruby laser are commonly used to reduce brown spots. For static wrinkles, or wrinkles that are etched into the skin, often skin resurfacing using a carbon dioxide laser such as the Lumenis Ultrapulse laser can be performed, however, significant downtime is required.


Can I get rid of my forehead wrinkles?

Forehead wrinkles are a natural part of ageing, but there are a few things you can do to try and prevent or reduce fine lines on the forehead. Lifestyle changes that you can make to avoid premature wrinkles include:

  • Protect your skin from harmful sun exposure using sunscreen and hats
  • Manage your stress levels by getting enough sleep every night, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day.
  • Stop smoking – the chemicals in tobacco smoke have been proven to reduce collagen levels, leading to premature ageing.
  • Use skincare that is gentle and soothing for your skin.

How do I restore my forehead volume?

The forehead loses volume with ageing due to loss of fat, bone resorption and thinning of the muscles and skin. This causes concavities to form in the forehead and the bony outline of the skull to become more evident. Furthermore, the loss of collagen in the ageing process can increase the visibility of forehead wrinkles.

Replacement of lost volume can be achieved by using dermal fillers or fat transfer. These can be strategically placed to replace lost volume of the forehead. 

How long does forehead filler last?

It is commonly thought that dermal fillers last between 6-18 months. MRI results have shown that dermal fillers can last much longer, and you should try to wait as long as possible in-between procedures.

Am I a good candidate for forehead injections?

It is a good idea to get the opinion of an experienced practitioner before having this procedure. At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, you will have an initial consultation in which a doctor can assess whether or not this treatment is right for you. Typically, if you are an adult in good health with moderate facial wrinkles, you will be considered a good candidate.

How much does forehead filler cost?

The cost of your treatment will depend on your individual needs and dosage requirements. The price will be discussed in your initial consultation, which will cost between. For an estimate of the cost, check our treatment pricing page.

What do injections in the forehead feel like?

You may experience mild to moderate discomfort during and after the procedure for a couple of days.


Forehead wrinkle treatment in Melbourne

The doctors at Victorian Cosmetic Institute have many years of experience using anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers and lasers. We allow you ample time in your consultation to communicate your goals to us and use our knowledge to guide you. 

To book an appointment, please call 1300 863 824 or click the Book Online button above to schedule your consultation appointment.