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Frown Lines: Causes and treatment

Frown lines, also known as glabellar lines or "11 lines," are the vertical wrinkles that form between the eyebrows on the forehead. 

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What are frown lines?

Frown lines are a natural part of the ageing process, but these types of wrinkles can also develop due to other factors like sun exposure, genetics, and lifestyle choices such as smoking. Over time, the repeated contraction of the muscles between the eyebrows causes the skin to lose its elasticity and develop creases or lines.


They typically appear as two parallel lines or a single deep furrow and are caused by repetitive muscle movements, such as frowning, squinting, or concentrating.

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How to get rid of frown lines?

These lines can vary in severity, ranging from mild to deep, and they may become more pronounced with age. Frown lines, or glabella lines, can contribute to an aged or tired appearance, as they can make a person look perpetually angry or worried.


Various treatment options are available to reduce the appearance of frown lines. These include:

  • Topical creams: Some over-the-counter creams and serums contain ingredients like retinol or peptides that may help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including frown lines.
  • Dermal fillers: Injectable dermal fillers, such as hyaluronic acid-based products, can be used to fill in deep frown lines, making them less noticeable. The results are immediate and can last several months or more, depending on the specific filler used.
  • Laser resurfacing: Laser treatments can stimulate collagen production and promote skin rejuvenation. Fractional laser resurfacing can target frown lines specifically, reducing their appearance over time.
  • Anti-wrinkle injections: Botulinum toxin type A, commonly known as Botox, is a popular non-surgical treatment for frown lines. It temporarily paralyses the muscles responsible for frowning, smoothing out the wrinkles. The effects of Botox for frown lines typically last for a few months before another treatment is needed.
  • Chemical peels: This treatment involves applying a chemical solution to the skin, which exfoliates the outer layer and encourages new skin cell growth. Superficial peels can help improve the appearance of frown lines, but multiple treatments may be required for optimal results.

What can cause frown lines?

  • Repetitive facial expressions – repeatedly frowning causes furrows between the brows, which can deepen over time as skin stops ‘bouncing back’ into place.
  • UV exposure – frequent exposure to the sun’s damaging rays can destroy collagen and elastin in the skin, two proteins that contribute towards elasticity. This makes skin more likely to sag and form wrinkles.
  • Smoking – nicotine in cigarettes narrows blood vessels, which in turn deprives the skin of vital nutrients and oxygen. It also damages collagen and elastin fibres in the skin, reducing the ability of the skin to ‘bounce back’ into place after facial expressions.
  • Ageing – a natural part of ageing is the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, as well as the loss of subcutaneous fat, which gives skin a plump and firm look. As these disappear, skin sags and wrinkles start appearing.
  • Diet – scientists suggest that eating too much processed sugar can cause increased collagen breakdown, reducing skin’s elasticity.

Safe and effective treatment

Your safety is our top priority and making our patients feel welcomed and reassured when entering PHI Clinic. To ensure maximum standard of patient care, all of our treatments are only ever carried out by our experienced and highly qualified team, who receive regular in-house and external training from industry experts. 

At PHI Clinic we do not offer same day treatment as initial consultation to ensure patients have time to reflect on their bespoke treatment plan before choosing to proceed. 

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Frown lines frequently asked questions


PHI Clinic
102 Harley Street,
W1G 7JB,
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 7883 317963

Opening Hours

Monday & Tuesday - 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wednesday & Thursday - 9:30am to 8:00pm
Friday - 9:30am to 5:30pm
Saturday & Sunday - Closed

Opening times can change, if your appointment is outside of these times please contact the clinic for confirmation.