My affinity for the latest shoe, coat, belt or bag was sparked by my stylish pops. A staid grey suit? No problem.
The man could instinctively work a wisely chosen Windsor knot, gleaming Tiffany cufflinks, and wingtips polished to perfection.
And, although his best “accessories” were likely his ruggedly handsome wrinkles—I was not pleased to find them on my (not yet middle-aged) forehead. Would makeup, face cream or a needle “fix” my formerly smooth brow?
First I strolled into Sephora and was instantly confused by a barrage of wrinkle-camouflaging cosmetics. So, instead of slapping my credit card on the counter and buying blind—I sought out expert opinion and dialed up LA-based hair stylist and makeup artist, Gina Forestieri.
Gina, the self-proclaimed “queen of the shag and all things textured”, said the easiest fake it, is of course, bangs. “Not only for coverage, but for a preventative— because your forehead is the first thing on your face that the sun hits.” Unfortunately, though, my face looks best bang-free (refer to any photo circa 1990 if you need heavily hairsprayed proof).
With that in mind, Gina insists on starting out with a good primer, which stops foundation from sinking into wrinkles (especially at the end of a long day). And if you have dry skin, make sure your foundation is moisturizing as that also fights the “foundation wrinkle sinking” phenomenon.
Gina also emphasizes steering clear of caking on light-colored foundation, highlighters or concealers. “Anytime you highlight something, you’re bringing it out. And when you darken something, you’re pushing it back. You don’t want to make your forehead as bright as the rest of your face.” Opt instead for a bronzer or a lightly applied blush in a natural shade.
And lastly, it may be time to ditch the super dark (or lightly-colored) locks, which can emphasize facial aging. “You want to reconsider harsh tones around the face. If you like to dye your hair black, you might want to come up to a soft brown or even if you’re used to doing a platinum blonde—as you age, you might want to add some gold tones to soften that color up,” she said.
And what about the boxes of StriVectin cream stacked up at my local Costco? I’m not a needle fan- so I would gladly slather cream on my forehead ten times a day to avoid getting pricked. I’d heard the cream had been touted as “Better than Botox”. Was this claim true?
I sat down with Dr. Lavinia Chong, MD, a cosmetic surgeon in Newport Beach, California, and she quickly burst my needle-free fantasy.
StriVectin falls into a family of “cosmeceuticals” that use a variety of ingredients such as peptides, botanicals, Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and retinols which are, according to Dr. Chong, “excellent ‘polishers’ which will diminish the appearance of fine lines—however it is doubtful that they will match the neurotoxins [like Botox] in terms of smoothing furrows and deep animation lines or wrinkles.”
All that said, however, Chong does feel strongly these cosmeceuticals are “essential in the armamentarium of anyone who wishes to age well.” So, I guess this means I might have slap on cream and potentially belly up to Botox if I want to totally steamroll wrinkles.
And Dr. Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD, further backs this notion in a RealSelf Q & A citing that research found “the creams were no better at reducing wrinkles between the eyebrows than salt water.”
Pile on the fact that StriVectin “is pricey” and I’m definitely not shelling out a precious penny for an overpriced clinically ineffective cream.
I think the best takeaway on “too good to be true” skincare comes from Dr. Chong: “Research all products which [appear] to overpromise. The OTC anti-aging industry manipulates our desire to remain ‘young’, attractive and relevant by suggesting that their product will deliver.”
With all this knowledge in my back pocket, the last stop on my list was with Dr. Dean Vistnes, from Palo Alto, California.
Taking my 36-year-old (sunscreen-wearing/non-smoking) forehead into consideration—Dr. Vistnes felt that injections of Botox or Dysport would be the best solution. By weakening the underlying muscles responsible for raising my eyebrows— “the lines of muscle animation will soften and fade and last approximately three months before wearing off,” he advises.
Say Vistnes, anything less “invasive” like laser resurfacing (or the use of skin products) would only serve to “improve overall skin health and appearance and would do very little (or nothing) for dynamic wrinkles due to underlying muscle activity.”
So, my to-do weekend list for a less-wrinkled future could include: a good primer and bronzer, soft brown highlights via Gina’s skilled hand and maybe a yoga-breathing class (for the needle phobia, of course). It may be all worth it if the cashier starts carding me again for that bottle of Chardonnay.
Tweet us @RealSelf to tell us what methods you’ve tried to get rid of your forehead wrinkles with the hashtag #Fix!
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