Stop frowning around! Frown lines, those pesky wrinkles that appear from everyday activities such as smiling, laughing and frowning can be managed with proper skincare and a few skin-savvy smarts!
Did you know that it takes four times as many muscles to frown as it does to smile? According to Dr. David Song, plastic surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago Hospitals, one more muscle is needed to produce a frown, rather than a smile, so why wait? Skin pesky frown lines and start smiling. Frown lines, often found around the eyes and lips, and etched into grooves on the cheeks can be managed, so read on to learn a few helpful hints on how to prevent and correct your own case of the frownies!
What are frown lines? According to Mark Lees, “Any repetitive movement of a facial expression such as raising the eyebrows, frowning, smiling, scowling, or an other facial movement will eventually cause a crease to occur…”. Frown lines, then, are the natural side-effect of these movements as the skin creases and moves over the bones of the face, and can often be seen around the corners of the eye and around the mouth. Because muscles of the face move the skin, these folds and creases actually serve an important function. However, that doesn’t mean we have to let them become full-blown wrinkles! Rather than consigning yourself, and your skin, to these frown lines, learn some typical frown-line triggers and stay ahead of this learning curve.
Many facial movements that cause wrinkling of the skin are subconscious. While concentrating, studying or even watching television, some people subconsciously draw their eyebrows together, creating a furrow between the brows. This type of frowning, which uses the Supercilii muscle, has the potential to create wrinkles or lines between the eyebrows, especially if done repetitively. And although you aren’t even aware you are doing it, overly intense use of this corrugator muscle may eventually result in deep wrinkles that won’t disappear when you stop squinting. Use an anti-oxidant rich treatment in this area to help bolster the skin. Also, be alert to those moments when you might be subconsciously squinting and relax those muscles!
Squinting is another major culprit of frown lines with many factors causing squints. Bright sunlight, overhead office lights, or reflections off of pavement or water can all cause us to squint to protect our eyes from the glare. Also, if you have prescription glasses or contact lenses, be certain that your prescription is fresh; improperly focused lenses will not only strain your eyes, it will also cause you to squint in an effort to see! Try patting a rich eye cream around the eye area twice a day to minimize the effects of squinting.
Daily habits can lead to frown lines, as well; in particular, smoking. Often, smokers get smallish frown lines around their lips and deeper lines in the nasolabial fold due to the repetitively inhaling smoke from the cigarette. In addition, smoking releases vast quantities of free radicals in the body—guaranteed to damage both internal organs and the skin, as well as interfere with the production of collagen. Pamper this delicate skin with a cream specifically designed to prevent and reverse this type of frown. Another habit that can lead to frown lines is the way you sleep! Do you consistently sleep on one side, or burrow your face into your pillow? Believe it or not, this can encourage frown lines. Folks who sleep on their backs have gravity working for them, so give your sleeping habits a flip and try sleeping on your back a few nights, instead.
For an extra-special treat, give your frown lines a mini-massage before bedtime to ease stress, tension and encourage smooth, wrinkle-free skin. To start, place a dab of moisturizer on the inside of your thumbs. Then, massage the area in-between your eyebrows, pressing lightly with an upwards motion. Also massage your jaw line, along the connecting point where your neck and jaw meet, and along your hairline. Pressure points in these areas will help relax tension in the face and hopefully, minimize any need for frowning!
Now that you know what may trigger a frown line, strive to be aware of expressions or movements that may encourage their formation and change it up! If your eyes are sensitive to the sunlight, wear sunglasses. Are you a smoker? Consider the many benefits your body, and skin, will enjoy if you quit and when deep in thought, don’t furrow your brow. Instead, give yourself something to smile about (and use fewer muscles when you do!)—no more frownies!