Do the lines on your forehead belie how young you are at heart? Wrinkles and sagging skin are an inevitable part of aging. And that happens because collagen and elastin fibers, which are important proteins that give your skin strength and suppleness, start to dwindle with age, leading to those wrinkles you see.1 While aging is the most obvious cause of skin wrinkling, lifestyle factors and everyday habits – for instance, overexposure to the sun and smoking – can contribute to premature wrinkles and even make them worse.
Frowning too much can cause forehead wrinkles, while squinting can mean crow’s feet.2
While you can definitely start using sunscreens and stop smoking, it may not be possible to arrest the skin aging process completely. However, several natural remedies can help ease your wrinkles or even delay skin sagging – and that too without your having to resort to intrusive treatments like botox or fillers. Remember, natural remedies tend to be milder, which means you have to be diligent about application and give it time to work. Don’t bail out too soon! Instead, work these remedies into your daily skin-care regimen.
1. Apply Buttermilk
Legend has it that Cleopatra bathed in buttermilk to keep her skin smooth. You should give that a shot too! Buttermilk contains lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid that can help erase wrinkles and smoothen out your skin.3 Studies have also found that treating skin with lactic acid increases collagen, the protein that gives skin structure and makes it firm.4
How to use: Dab a little buttermilk on your wrinkles and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Then wash it off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry.5
2. Dab On Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera stimulates cells that produce collagen and elastin, the proteins which keep your skin firm and elastic. Dabbing on a little aloe vera gel can help tackle those wrinkles and give you younger-looking skin all around. Of course, aloe vera is also great for keeping your skin hydrated and preventing dryness – that’s two aging-related skin problems you can shoot down in one go!6
How to use: Spread a thin layer of aloe vera gel on your forehead and let it dry on your skin. Rinse off once dry.7
3. Give Avocado Pulp Or Oil A Shot
Yummy, nutrient-rich avocados can do a lot for your skin too. Avocado oil has been found to stimulate the synthesis of elastin and collagen fibers and helps keep your skin supple and firm.8 Fats extracted from avocado have also been found to protect the skin from sun damage. They can reduce inflammation and cellular damage caused by ultraviolet radiation.9
How to use: Mash up half an avocado and apply the pulp to wrinkles. Dabbing on a little avocado oil over your forehead will also work. Give it about 20 minutes before you rinse it off.
4. Slather On Some Turmeric Paste
Turmeric has traditionally been used in skincare in Southeast Asian communities for centuries. Animal studies now show that turmeric can prevent wrinkles from forming and stop the loss of skin elasticity caused by exposure to UVB light. Turmeric is thought to work by inhibiting an enzyme known as matrix metalloproteinase-2 which degrades collagen.10
How to use: You can mix turmeric powder with a little water and apply the paste to your forehead. You can also make an anti-wrinkle cream by combining a tablespoon of powdered turmeric with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera and ½ a cup of organic coconut oil.11
5. Drink Pomegranate Juice
Here’s an unlikely ally in your fight against wrinkles! One animal study looked at the effect of pomegranate juice concentrate on subjects exposed to UVB radiation for 15 weeks. It was found that wrinkles caused by exposure to the sun’s rays were significantly reduced by pomegranate juice. Collagen and skin water content improved. Pomegranate may also inhibit the activity of matrix metalloproteinase enzymes which can meddle with collagen. And its anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and antioxidative effects contribute to the positive effect on the skin.12
How to use: Down some pomegranate juice regularly to keep those forehead wrinkles in check. Having 8 to 12 oz. of pomegranate juice a day as part of a healthy diet is considered safe, so keep to this limit.13
6. Have Soymilk And Tofu
Soy is universally valued for its high fiber and protein content. But did you know that it’s good for your skin too? One study looked at the effect of consuming 40 g of aglycone (an isoflavone found in soy), daily for 12 weeks, on the skin of middle-aged women. Fine wrinkles and skin elasticity improved significantly in those who had the isoflavone.14
How to use: Fermentation increases aglycone in soy; so nosh on soy products such as tempeh and tofu regularly. You can even get soymilk enriched with aglycone.15
7. Use Tape If You Frown Too Much!
Remember how your mom used to tell you that if you made funny faces, your face would get stuck that way? Well, there may be something to it! Years spent raising your eyebrows and scrunching your forehead can cause your skin to crease. No wonder those lines on your forehead are also known as expression lines. So the next time you feel a frown coming on, rein yourself in. Not sweating the small stuff won’t just bring peace of mind, it can also keep your skin wrinkle-free!16
Placing a tape over your forehead for some time while you’re at home can help. No, it won’t work directly on your wrinkles! But it will remind you not to scrunch your forehead when you do so unconsciously and, essentially, helps to train your facial muscles. Some people even crinkle their foreheads in their sleep and applying a tape may help break this habit.17 Just be sure not to make this a routine for long hours. Your skin needs to breathe.
8. Do Facial Exercises
We all know exercising equals good health, but did you also know that facial exercises may help improve your skin’s appearance? One study even found that 20 weeks of facial exercises made participants look about 3 years younger!18 Here’s a simple exercise that may help ease those forehead lines:
- Place your hands on your forehead with your fingertips facing inward.
- Now spread out your fingers between your hairline and eyebrows and sweep them across your forehead gently while applying light pressure. Repeat about 10 times.19
9. Get Sun Protection And Moisturize
Yes, it’s a no-brainer but it bears repeating – getting some protection from the harmful rays of the sun is the best thing you can do to keep your skin looking young and wrinkle-free. So always use a sunscreen and try to avoid going out in the sun in the middle of the day when it’s strongest. Wearing a hat with a wide brim can also help. A regular moisturizing routine is also important. Moisturizers temporarily make wrinkles less visible by hydrating your skin.20
|↑1||Wrinkles. Department of Health & Human Services.|
|↑2||Wrinkles. Department of Health & Human Services.|
|↑3||Smith, Walter P. “Epidermal and dermal effects of topical lactic acid.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 35, no. 3 (1996): 388-391.|
|↑4||Yamamoto, Yuki, Koji Uede, Nozomi Yonei, Akiko Kishioka, Toshio Ohtani, and Fukumi Furukawa. “Effects of alpha‐hydroxy acids on the human skin of Japanese subjects: The rationale for chemical peeling.” The Journal of dermatology 33, no. 1 (2006): 16-22.|
|↑5||Wilen, Joan, and Lydia Wilen. Chicken Soup & Other Folk Remedies. Ballantine Books, 2010.|
|↑6||Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D. G. Saple. “Aloe vera: A short review.” Indian journal of dermatology 53, no. 4 (2008): 163.|
|↑7||Press, Althea. Home Remedies Rx: DIY Prescriptions When You Need Them Most. Callisto Media Inc., 2015.|
|↑8||Danhof, Ivan E. “Potential reversal of chronological and photo‐aging of the skin by topical application of natural substances.” Phytotherapy Research 7, no. 7 (1993).|
|↑9||Rosenblat, Gennady, Shai Meretski, Joseph Segal, Mark Tarshis, Avi Schroeder, Alexandra Zanin-Zhorov, Gilead Lion, Arieh Ingber, and Malka Hochberg. “Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells.” Archives of dermatological research 303, no. 4 (2011): 239-246.|
|↑10||Sumiyoshi, Maho, and Yoshiyuki Kimura. “Effects of a turmeric extract (Curcuma longa) on chronic ultraviolet B irradiation-induced skin damage in melanin-possessing hairless mice.” Phytomedicine 16, no. 12 (2009): 1137-1143.|
|↑11||Brandon, Britt. Turmeric for Health: 100 Amazing and Unexpected Uses for Turmeric. “F+W Media, Inc.”, 2016.|
|↑12||Kang, Su Jin, Beom Rak Choi, Seung Hee Kim, Hae Yeon Yi, Hye Rim Park, Chang Hyun Song, Sae Kwang Ku, and Young Joon Lee. “Beneficial effects of dried pomegranate juice concentrated powder on ultraviolet B-induced skin photoaging in hairless mice.” Experimental and therapeutic medicine 14, no. 2 (2017): 1023-1036.|
|↑13||Pomegranate. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑14||Izumi, Toru, Makoto Saito, Akio Obata, Masayuki Arii, Hideyo Yamaguchi, and Asahi Matsuyama. “Oral intake of soy isoflavone aglycone improves the aged skin of adult women.” Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology 53, no. 1 (2007): 57-62.|
|↑15||Zubik, Ligia, and Mohsen Meydani. “Bioavailability of soybean isoflavones from aglycone and glucoside forms in American women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 77, no. 6 (2003): 1459-1465.|
|↑16, ↑17||Youn, Anthony. The Age Fix. Hachette UK, 2016.|
|↑18||Alam, Murad, Anne J. Walter, Amelia Geisler, Wanjarus Roongpisuthipong, Gary Sikorski, Rebecca Tung, and Emily Poon. “Association of Facial Exercise With the Appearance of Aging.” JAMA dermatology (2018).|
|↑19||Jensen, Angela. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Better Skin. Penguin, 2004.|
|↑20||Why your face ages and what you can do. Harvard Health Publications.|