When too many anti-wrinkle injections are used, for example in the forehead, you may notice that the skin looks frozen and shiny. To explain this phenomenon we will use a series of diagrams.
Light reflecting off wrinkled skin
The diagram below shows the effect of light on normal skin which has not been treated with anti-wrinkle injections. Imagine this is the skin on your forehead. When light shines on the skin it hits the wrinkles and bounces off at all angles. When someone looks at this disorganised light bouncing off the skin it looks matt and dull.
Light reflecting off smooth skin (after anti-wrinkle injections)
When anti-wrinkle injections are injected into the skin it relaxes the muscle (see our ‘How anti-wrinkle injections work’ article) and makes the surface of the skin smooth. When light shines onto skin without wrinkles it bounces off the skin in a uniform way. The skin appears to be shiny like the surface of a mirror.
How to avoid the shiny effect / frozen look
The way to avoid the shiny or frozen look is to go easy on forehead lines. If the patient in Picture 1 was to receive multiple injections into the forehead it would completely smooth the skin out, get rid of any wrinkles and undulations on the skin and it would look very, very shiny with no movement. The correct way to soften lines in this patient would be to use very minimal injections (Picture 2). This would soften lines but would not be entirely smooth and would look more natural.
Picture 1: 20 units of anti-wrinkle product to the forehead
Picture 2: minimal units used to treat the forehead