Why Does Botox Make Forehead Look Shiny?

I notice shiny foreheads in Botox users.

Doctor Answers 11

Good observation on Botox and shiny skin

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Dear Beach,

BOTOX does not just effect the muscles of facial expression. They also have an effect on the pilosebasceous units and the piloerector muscles of the actual skin. Between the freezing of the forehead that is typical for many forehead treatments (think Marcia Cross of Desperate Housewives) and the effect on the skin muscles, the result is this shiny skin. This effect is actually the desired effect of meso BOTOX where tiny doses of Botox are diluted in about 10 milliliters of saline and injected all over the face.
Practitioners of meso BOTOX claim that this treatment creates a glow to the skin.
There is a topical botulinum toxin product under development and although the effects on the bigger lines around the eyes appear to be modest, it is possible that it may be useful to achieve the aesthetic result seen with meso BOTOX.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Botox is being used off label for acne

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Botox works for acne by inhibiting the sebaceous glands secretions. This might be why your skin becomes shiney. Also, less wrinkles mean a smoother, shinier surface. It also decreases the sweat gland secretions. Probably a combination of all these factors.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Shiny forehead effect

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Botox doesn't have to cause a shine when injected into the forehead.  There are a combination of factors comin in to play that create this shiny, glass-like appearance.  Botox has an effect on not only the muscles of the forehead, which when overly relaxed by perhaps too much botox can cause not only a lack of  any movement but also a smooth, shiny, almost glass-like appearance.  A definite no-no for anyone  that wants to combat wrinkles but still look natural.  Botox can also effect the oil and sweat producing glands in the skin which can also change the overall appearance of the skin.  One more reason that less is best for a great result.  (more can always be added if need be)


Dr. Grant Stevens


Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Shiny forehead

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I have never seen a "shiny" forehead from use of Botox or Dysport.

My sense is that this may be a perception based upon the light reflecting on a forehead that may have less wrinkles post botox than pre botox.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

Botox and forehead

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The shiny skin is due to better light reflection. The smoother the surface and the less there are surface irregularities (lines/wrinkles), the better the light reflection and the shinier the forehead will look. In someone in their 30s/40s, this looks natural. However, in more mature persons, this can look artificial, especially in contrast to the rest of the face which usually has some lines. The answer to the problem is to inject just enough Botox to relax the lines, while maintainig harmony with the way the rest of the face looks.

Khaled El-Hoshy, MD
Detroit Dermatologic Surgeon

Shiny foreheads from botox

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Smooth surfaces are more likely to reflect light uniformly and appear shiny. There is no other plausible reason for that.  Its certainly not related to the Botox itself.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Proper Botox Technique Will Not Cause Shiny Forehead

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The shiny forehead you have observed on some patients who have received Botox injections is normal.  A board-certified facial plastic surgeon with expertise in Botox uses only enough of the neuromodulator to relax the muscle underneath the forehead, and it can inhibit the pilosebaceous glands, which might result in a shiny forehead.

Botox Should Look Natural, Not Shiny

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In my practice, I use very fine needles and the least amount of Botox necessary to relax the dynamic muscles that cause brow wrinkles. If Botox is done correctly, there are no tell-tale signs – including shiny foreheads! Please consult a board-certified dermatologist with expertise in Botox injection to make sure you receive the most natural results possible.

Melda A. Isaac, MD
Washington DC Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Oily or shiny forehead after Botox

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Any of the oil or sweat glands can be activated by the neurotransmitter that Botox blocks. In some cases this can produce cessation of activity such as dexcreased sweating. But in other circumstances denervation can lead to increased activity of the oil glands. We commonly see this following surgery of the nose, for example following rhinoplasty. Surgery may disconnect nerves which normally travel to the oil glands of the skin. People commonly report an oily nose after nose jobs for this reason. Botox may act in a similar way by "chemically" blocking the nerves and leading to increased activity of the oil glands.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Botox and shiny heads

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I never saw a shiny head after Botox.  But, you may be seeing an illusion because the muscles are no longer animating and so the forehead appears flatter and may reflect more light.( just a hypothesis)

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.