Frown Lines Treatment & Prevention Options

Written by WD Staff, Skin Care Specialists on January 15, 2021 One Comment

fown lines

Frown lines, also known as eleven lines or simply the elevens, are the vertical wrinkles that appear between your eyebrows above the bridge of your nose. Frown lines differ from forehead lines, which are the horizontal lines on your forehead. Your frown lines may be dynamic (meaning they only appear during certain facial expressions) or static (meaning they are visible all the time, even while the face is at rest).

frown lines
An example of frown lines

What Causes Frown Lines?

Like all wrinkles, frown lines develop with age as the body produces less collagen and elastin. Collagen is a structural protein that supports and plumps the skin, while elastin gives skin its ability to “bounce back” after stretching or compressing during facial expressions.

When collagen and elastin are no longer present in their youthful abundance, years of facial expressions become apparent as wrinkles. Frown lines are the result of years of frowning, squinting your eyes, or furrowing your brow.

You’re most susceptible to developing frown lines if you have a genetic predisposition for wrinkles, spend lots of time in the sun, smoke, or have poor lifestyle habits such as lack of exercise, proper nutrition and adequate hydration.

  • UV Overexposure: UV radiation, either naturally from the sun or synthetic via a tanning bed, diminishes collagen production and speeds the aging process. UV overexposure can cause early onset aging, resulting in the early onset of wrinkles.
  • Smoking & Air Pollutants: Free radicals from cigarettes or air pollutants damage skin.
  • Stress: Cortisol has several negative effects on the skin. Stress causes repeated furrowing of the brow, and is frequently paired with lack of sleep, poor eating habits or dehydration, all of which can lead to more visible frown lines.
  • Poor Diet: Insufficient nutrition can lead to wrinkles if the body doesn’t have adequate protein, essential amino acids, or vitamin C, each of which are required for collagen production.
  • Dehydration: Wrinkles are more apparent when skin is not properly hydrated.

Can Frown Lines be Prevented?

While there is no way to completely prevent frown links, there are several good habits that can minimize their severity:

  • Avoid Sun Exposure To skirt the damaging effects of the sun’s rays, avoid sun exposure when possible, especially tanning beds. If you’re going to be outdoors, wear protective clothing, a wide brimmed hat, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
  • Eat a Well-Balanced Diet Eat high quality, grass fed meat and fish for protein. Choose fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin C, anti-oxidants, and healthy Omega-3 fats.
  • Stay Hydrated Drink water daily and avoid dehydrating beverages such as coffee and alcohol. Choose a daily moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid, a natural collagen booster.
  • Exfoliate Clear away dead skin cells by gently exfoliating to stimulate new cell growth for a more youthful and even skin appearance.

Frown Line Treatment Options

While frown lines are not bad for one’s health, you are definitely not alone if you’d rather not have them. Frown lines are among the most commonly treated facial wrinkles. The ideal time to begin treating the elevens is as early as possible, while they are still dynamic in nature. However, there are still great treatment options for more severe frown lines that appear statically (with no facial expression).

Here are today’s most effective frown line treatment options:


Botox is the most common method for diminishing frown lines. This injectable medicine freezes the muscles that contract to form your eleven lines. With consistent use, frown lines become less visible.

It may take up to two weeks before results of Botox are visible. If after two weeks you’re not seeing the results you desire, you may need more than the typical four injections. Results of Botox generally last for 3-4 months before subsequent injections are needed.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal Fillers can be used on their own or in conjunction with Botox when frown lines are more prominent. Dermal fillers work by physically plumping the skin with a gel-like substance, or by stimulating the body’s natural collagen production. The number of treatments needed will vary depending upon the dermal filler used.

Results of dermal filler injections may be immediate and depending upon the type used, can last anywhere from 6 months to several years.

Brown Lift Surgery

Plastic surgery is an option when eleven lines are severe, or when you’re looking for more dramatic results between and around the eyes. A brow lift, sometimes called a forehead lift, raises the brows to reduce both frown lines and forehead lines. Some types of brow lifts will improve the appearance of the upper eyelids as well.

By removing fat and skin, a forehead lift tightens the musculature of the forehead. This procedure is most often performed in those above the age of 50 who haven’t seen the results they desire with Botox or dermal fillers alone.

Want to eradicate your frown lines? Contact us today to learn which treatment options are right for your specific needs.

WD Staff

A united group of skin care specialists from Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, Austin's leader in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery. Articles posted under WD staff are authored through combined contributions from our entire team, including Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, Aestheticians, Physician Assistants, Aesthetic Nurses, and Patient Coordinators.

One Response to “Frown Lines Treatment & Prevention Options”

  1. Avatar Selena says:

    Very helpful post, I’ve always dealt with deep frown lines and I’m only now considering addressing them. Thanks for the post

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