How to Get Rid of Forehead Wrinkles, According to Dermatologists


Getting rid of forehead wrinkles might seem like an uphill battle—especially if you already have fine lines. Luckily, there are a number of options for you to try. From at-home skin care creams, such as topical retinols, to in-office treatments like Botox injections and prescription options, there’s something for just about every budget—and every crease—on this list. Read on for everything you need to know about getting rid of wrinkles on your forehead.

What causes wrinkles?

Though we might think of wrinkles as a natural part of the aging process, there are a few reasons you may see them creeping up earlier than you’d like. “Wrinkles are dynamic, so the more expressive we are the more lines we’re likely to have,” says Elizabeth K. Hale, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone in New York City. You read that right: Your own facial expressions are working against you. But wrinkles can also be caused by “overexposure to ultraviolet light,” Dr. Hale says, as well as other things in the environment that get into our skin and break down collagen and elastin. In addition to aging and sun exposure, studies have also shown that wrinkles can be made worse by certain lifestyle factors, like smoking and drinking.

How to avoid wrinkles in the first place

All of the experts we spoke with acknowledged that prevention is your best weapon. One easy way to fight wrinkles? You guessed it: avoiding sun damage. “Hands down the best way to minimize wrinkles is preventing them from forming in the first place,” says Kim Eickhorst, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Connecticut. “If we can minimize our skin’s exposure to the sun, we can minimize collagen breakdown, and thus the arrival of dreaded wrinkles. While facial sunscreen has come a long way in recent years, don’t forget the advantage of just plain covering up with clothing, hats, and sunglasses.”

One large study also demonstrated an association between a healthy diet and fewer facial wrinkles, and other lifestyle factors like getting adequate sleep and keeping stress to a minimum may also help keep wrinkles at bay.

EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen

“Elta has long been high on the dermatologist leader board due to its ease of use and patient tolerability,” Dr. Eickhorst says. “Elta’s formula is smooth and silky, and it’s one of the few combo chemical and mineral sunscreens that gives great sun protection (SPF 46) but doesn’t pill upon reapplication, burn my eyes, or make me look like a relative of Casper the Ghost.” The SPF comes from a combination of zinc oxide (mineral protection) and octinoxate (chemical sunscreen), plus niacinamide and hyaluronic acid calm and hydrate skin.

How to get rid of forehead wrinkles

Even if you’ve already started to see forehead lines, our experts emphasize that it’s never too late—really!—to start using an SPF to prevent more sun damage. But what about the wrinkles you’ve already got? There are a number of products you can try at home to help get rid of forehead wrinkles.


Retinols are by far the top recommended ingredient from the dermatologists we spoke with. But like most at-home treatments, they do have their limitations. “It’s important to have realistic expectations when utilizing creams to target wrinkles,” says board-certified dermatologist Jeaneen A. Chappell, MD, FAAD, founder and CEO of Chappell Dermatology in Dallas. “Generally speaking, wrinkle creams work best on fine lines versus deeper wrinkles.” There are tons of different creams and skin care products available, so it may take a little trial and error to find one you like.

Eau Thermale Avène RetrinAL 0.05

“This cream is well tolerated, even for sensitive skin. Results can be optimized by applying it to the full face, not just the forehead,” Dr. Chappell says. It contains Retinaldehyde, a retinol alternative that might be more well tolerated on sensitive skin, plus vitamin E, which provides antioxidant protection.

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

If you struggle with other retinols, this budget-friendly option might be right for you. “It contains encapsulated retinol, to allow for slow and deliberate release of retinol into the deeper layers of the skin and avoid epidermal irritation,” says Fatima Fahs, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Michigan and founder of Dermy Doc Box. “It has the bonus of licorice root to help with hyperpigmentation, plus soothing niacinamide.”

Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reform Treatment Serum

This is a gentle retinol that helps with collagen production, acne, acne scarring, and hyperpigmentation, says David Kim, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist at Idriss Dermatology in NYC. “This gentle retinol is suitable for all skin types, including people with sensitive skin.”

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment Cream With Peptides

Multitaskers rejoice! “This product combines retinol and a stable form of vitamin C into one,” Dr. Fahs says. “Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is a form of vitamin C that can be safely and effectively combined with retinol so you can brighten and tighten your skin at the same time.” This super-lightweight lotion also contains hyaluronic acid for added moisture. Win-win.

Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Anti Aging Retinol Serum

“This formulation has a beautiful, lightweight texture. The inclusion of dimethicone and glycerin allows it to give a nice, hydrating finish,” says Dr. Fahs. “The addition of COQ10, an antioxidant, helps brighten the skin.”

RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Wrinkle Night Serum

“This is one of my favorite drugstore retinols because of the capsules! You get the perfect dose of retinol every time—not too much and not too little,” Dr. Fahs says. The capsules are also perfect for travel, she adds.


Looking for a Botox-like effect without the needles? Argireline might be your answer. This peptide prevents wrinkles by inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters—as Botox does. While not as effective as the famed botulinum toxin, this one can be bought over the counter and applied topically.

The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%

“A few small studies are saying that argireline is helpful, and in my opinion, it’s worth a try,” says Aleksandra Brown, DO, FAOCD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Virginia. “For some it might be what works, and it can be relatively affordable.”

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has long been touted as a wrinkle-fighting ingredient, but solid research is tough to come by because most products use vitamin C with other active compounds, making it tough to parse exactly what” being done by the vitamin C versus another ingredient. Still, vitamin C has been ​​shown to protect against photoaging, so it’s worth adding to your wrinkle-fighting repertoire.

IS Clinical Super Serum Advance Plus

This lightweight serum packs a powerhouse of ingredients—from peptides to vitamin C, plus antioxidants for a product that works on wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and even scars. “This serum has Tripeptide-1, which can stimulate collagen production; kojic acid; and vitamin C to brighten the skin,” Dr. Kim says.

Mother Science Molecular Hero Serum

“This serum uses a novel ingredient, Malassezin. It’s a powerful antioxidant that is 10 times more powerful than vitamin C, without the risk of irritation,” says Corey L. Hartman, MD, FAAD, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama. This unique ingredient promises to combat fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.


According to studies, peptides may help with collagen production, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines.

Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum

Perfect for all skin types, this serum with retinol and peptides is designed with nonirritating ingredients. “It’s a newer retinoid that is really elegant,” says Renee Beach, MD, FRCPC, dermatologist and founder of DermAtelier on Avenue in Toronto. Bonus: Hyaluronic acid and glycerin help lock in moisture.

Kiehl’s Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum With Ceramides and Peptide

“This retinol-based powerhouse blends ceramides and peptides to deliver antiaging benefits while minimizing irritation, making it perfect for sensitive skin due to its fragrance-free formula,” says Swati Kannan, MD, FAAD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of California in San Diego. While this product still contains retinol, the “microdose” is intended to be used daily and tolerated by just about everyone.

In-office and prescription treatments

If your budget allows, treatments that can only be performed by a dermatologist will trump just about any over-the-counter option. “Nothing can quite take the place of going to visit your dermatologist,” Dr. Hale says. Likewise, all of our experts agreed, botulinum toxin—Botox—is still the gold standard when it comes to getting rid of wrinkles.

Botulinum toxin (Botox)

Though botulinum toxin (a.k.a. a Botox injection) is used in almost every subspecialty of medicine, it is widely known as the go-to cosmetic injection your dermatologist may suggest to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

“Forehead wrinkles are created by muscle movement, so preventing the movement that’s creating them to begin with is getting to the root of the cause,” Dr. Brown says. “It is by far my favorite for those who are open to injectables because it works every time and has very high patient satisfaction rates.”

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Tags: antiaging products, face wrinkles, shopping, skincare procedures

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