What Are Frown Lines?

As we get older, signs of age can appear on the skin. These include wrinkles, such as crow’s feet, bags under the eyes, and expression lines. Many people find these lines upsetting and search for ways to eliminate them. There are many non-medical solutions for improving aging lines, and there are also medical treatments you can try.

Frown lines often develop in two main areas, in between the eyebrows and on the forehead. Although their title implies that they come from too much frowning, this is not the only reason. In fact, the causes of frown lines are a little more diverse than that.

Frown Lines Causes – Why Do Frown Lines Appear?

With the passing of the years, the amount of collagen and elastin in our skin diminishes for various reasons (i.e. sun exposure, pollution, smoking, and aging). This causes the skin to be less firm and flexible, allowing the skin to sag, which can result in wrinkles in addition to easier formation of frown lines.

Another factor influencing the development of frown lines is the tiny muscle movements we make with our faces every day, including yes, frowning. Over time, this can turn into permanent lines on the skin.

As we age, the skin on our faces becomes much thinner and weaker. This leaves it more vulnerable to damage, which may appear in the form of wrinkles and lines either on the forehead and between the eyes or elsewhere.

In addition, the sun’s rays are incredibly damaging to the skin. If you spend a lot of time in the sun without using sunscreen, over the years you may end up developing signs of age, including frown lines.

Genetics also play a role in whether you will develop fine lines or not. If your close family members developed frown lines early, you may as well.

Smoking is also a factor. Smokers are much more likely to develop frown lines. Finally, stress is a big cause of wrinkles under the eyes, including frown lines.

frown lines
Frown lines are predominantly caused due to aging. Image/Shutterstock

How to Get Rid of Frown Lines: Natural and Home Remedies

There are a number of home remedies and lifestyle changes which can do a lot to reduce the appearance of frown lines and prevent them from developing. Here are some suggestions [1]:

Healthy Diet – Following a nutritious diet can do a lot to enhance the quality of your skin. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and include omega fatty acids to provide your skin with additional hydration. Add foods for healthy skin complexion with antioxidants to help repair damage to the skin, and anti-inflammatory properties to lessen skin redness. For example, nuts, lean meats, seafood, berries, carrots, onions, eggplant, and grapes.

Sleep Well – Sleeping poorly can really affect your skin, and it can contribute to the development of lines and other wrinkles on the face. It’s important to get a good, solid sleep every night of at least 7 or 8 hours. This could reduce your development of frown lines.

Use Sunscreen – The sun can do incredible damage to the skin if you don’t protect yourself. It’s important to use sunscreen every time you leave the house, in every season. The compound damage over time can be considerable if you don’t. This can help to prevent the development of additional wrinkles or frown lines.

Follow a Skin Routine – To keep your skin in good condition, it’s crucial that you follow a regular skin care routine every day and week. Cleanse and moisturize your skin one to two times a day and exfoliate once or twice a week. This could slow the development of wrinkles.

Drink a Lot of Water – Drinking water is very good for the skin, so you should try to consume about 8 glasses a day at least. Adequate hydration can help reduce dry skin and also helps maintain adequate blood flow and nutrient delivery to the skin which can in turn reduce wrinkle formation.

How To Treat Frown Lines

Treatment for frown lines takes several forms. There are medical procedures which are usually very effective. However, there are also less invasive methods you can use which work well.

Anti-Aging Creams – There are a number of anti-aging creams on the market which are very enriching for the skin. These creams typically are full of antioxidants like vitamin E to protect and repair damage to the skin barrier while also hydrating the skin. There are many affordable products available which are effective at reducing signs of aging such as Beverly Hills MD, StriVectin, Obagi Skin Care, and Murad Skin Care.

Microneedling – This procedure involves using a device which inserts many tiny holes into your skin. Sometimes a retinol serum is applied to the skin for increased penetration after the procedure to enhance collagen formation. The tiny holes in the skin stimulate the production of collagen which can reduce wrinkle and frown line formation.

Chemical Peel – This process involves applying different formulations of acids to exfoliate the skin. By removing the outer layer of skin, you can improve sign of sun damage, which can ultimately help smoothen out the skin and reduce wrinkles and frown lines.

Botox – You can get Botox for frown lines, which is a very effective way to reduce frown lines. This involves an injection of a neurotoxin into your skin. This reduces or prevents muscle movement, which can diminish the appearance of lines or prevent the formation of frown lines.

Dermal Fillers – You can get fillers for frown lines. This involves inserting gel-like substances into your skin to give it more volume. As a consequence, this smooths out lines on the skin, and it can enhance the contour of the face. However, using filler in some areas such as between the eyebrows carries more risks than benefits, so alternative methods are often favored to reduce frown lines.

Facial Massage – Getting a regular facial massage can be very helpful for the skin. It stimulates the blood flow and improves lymphatic drainage, which improves the health of the skin and gives it a radiant glow. In addition, it can help to lessen lines on the face.

Silicone Pads – Products like SilcSkin Multi-Area Pads are made of medical grade silicon. When applying these to the skin, they hydrate wrinkles, refine collagen structure, and reduce facial lines with prolonged use.

Can Retinol Help Frown Lines?

Retinol is derivative of Vitamin A, and it’s very potent at removing signs of age from the face. It stimulates collagen production, reduces collagen degradation, and helps with skin exfoliation. Consequently, this helps to eliminate frown lines.

People Also Ask

Q: Are Frown Lines Normal?

A: Yes, they are perfectly normal. In fact, most people will develop them at some point in their lives. They are nothing to worry about, and there are a number of treatment approaches you can take to get rid of them.

Q: Which Muscles Cause Lines?

A: Many of the frown lines on the forehead and between the eyebrows are caused by frequent movement of the frontalis muscle (forehead), corrugator supercilia (medial eyebrows), and the procerus (between the eyebrows) [2]. Crows feet are typically caused by the orbicularis oculi (muscle surrounding the eye).

Q: What Causes Lines Between the Eyebrows?

A: There are many possible causes of frown lines between the eyebrows. Sometimes this problem occurs because of age and loss of collagen and elastin in the skin over time. There are other triggers like sun damage, stress, smoking, and frequent use of facial muscles. In addition, there’s a genetic component. If your parents have frown lines, you may also end up with them.

Q: Are They Permanent?

A: There’s a possibility that they could be permanent. There are a number of treatments as well as lifestyle changes you could make to reduce your lines if they are already formed. Additionally, you can try to prevent the formation of frown lines with the tips suggested in the article if you do not currently have facial lines at rest.

Q: Are Lines Unattractive?

A: No, they are not unattractive at all. They indicate a life well lived filled with laughter and emotion a lot of the time. They give the face character. Despite this, many people want to get rid of them. Society pushes us to look younger and get rid of the signs of aging. However, don’t let this get you down. Aging is a natural process.

How Do I Cover The Lines?

You can use makeup to cover up frown lines. Begin with a good concealer and apply it to the areas where you have lines. Then use foundation over the concealer. Finish it off with some powder. This should really help to lessen the appearance of frown lines.


Some people say that if you smile a lot you won’t get frown lines, but that’s not really true. There are a number of possible causes of this problem including the sun, genetics, smoking, repeated muscle movements in the face, stress, and loss of collagen with age.

It is possible to improve the appearance of these frown lines by following some lifestyle recommendations and seeking treatment. Following a healthy diet, sleeping well, drinking water, and using skin care products like Rodan + Fields, Clinique and Instantly Ageless are all helpful in diminishing lines. In addition, there are treatments like chemical peels and neurotoxins (i.e. botox or dysport) which can be very effective.

Whatever approach you choose to take, we hope it reduces your fine lines and leaves you feeling confident and happy with the condition of your skin.

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Kurt Ashack, MD, FAAD

By Kurt Ashack, MD, FAAD

Dr. Ashack is a private practice dermatologist Grand Rapids, Michigan and an assistant professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.


[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-frown-lines#daily-habits
[2] http://elanamie.ie/frown-lines