Facial Exercise: FlexEffect® Board Archive Re: Brow lines.


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Scowl lines Jul 5, 2001   


Has anyone who uses their forehead muscles very expressively during speech found the forehead exercises useful to erase lines in this area, especially scowl lines. I'm finding this a very stubborn area as although immediately post exercises the scowl lines are improved they revert back to their usual state almost immediately I begin to make facial expressions again. I'm beginning to be tempted by the thought of getting Botox injections in this area as I think maybe as long as I continue to use my forehead muscles expressively then the lines will remain. Is it actually possible to build the muscle enough to counteract lines caused by repetitive facial expressions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Hi Rah...

yes it is.  that is one area I had great success in!  I did not have a lot of lines there to begin with, but ones I had were definite....no more.   I was lucky not to have deep lines there.  There are no noticeable lines in my forehead at this writing.  Before you consider Botox do a lot of research and read all the info (for and against)...there is not a lot of info against, so trust people who have had the injections to inform you.  Botox will deaden the muscle....in time I think this will cause the muscles to atrophy....Botox is only good for apprx 3 mos at best.  I know many people who have rcvd these injections, some did not even last 3 mos..and some did not obliterate all the lines that they were expecting it to.   Botox is the most poisonous toxin in existence, from all reports.  If you decide to
try this, please find a good Derm. Ctr....and hopefully see and speak with some individuals who have rcvd the injections.  but give flexing a good, dedicated attempt first. 


Thanks Jean,

I will definately give the exercises a good go before I consider Botox, maybe I'm just being a little impatient because I've had such good results from FlexEffect generally and this area is a stubborn one for me. I have found some useful tips in the Workshop, so I'll persevere a while longer!  


Hi Rah

The frown lines are very stubborn. And depending upon how deep they are will depend on how much success you'll have in alleviating them.  Check out Tori's picture on the Before and After page. You should be able to reduce them but if they're extremely deep, you may not be able to eliminate them. Botox will work; however, I have read numerous complaints from people who've had Botox of this area and then had drooping brows. Check out this web site before you Botox.....you might just change your mind. http://www.faceforum.com/cgi-local/index.cgi

This is a cosmetic facial surgery discussion board. You will hear positive as well as negative comments from people using Botox. It will definitely give you a very balanced view concerning its use.

I always recommend that flexers do the exercises for at least 9 months to the effected area. By that time you should be seeing some definite changes for the better. If it is still not alleviated to your satisfaction, then you may want to try Botox. Remember, Botox does NOT actually eliminate the lines. It masks them by paralyzing the muscles. The apparent elimination of the line comes from interstitial swelling. When Botox wears off, the lines return.

Good luck,



Forehead lines  Jun 28, 2001   

I have about 4 obvious forehead lines and two vertical lines above my nose (deep).   Any suggestions on other exercises that would help that area.  Is it unusual to have both problems on the forehead? Thank you


Hi Laura

Flexing will help; however, if you have deep ingrained lines, flexing may alleviate them to a degree but not eliminate them. The frown lines are probably (along with the naso-labial lines) the most stubborn ones. Even Botox is only minimally effective for deep set lines. If you are considering Botox, go to the Archive page and read up on it  to get a good sense of the complications many people have in using Botox.  I would recommend that you Flex for a period of 6-9 months to see what you can accomplish in reducing the lines before you do anything else. It's not unusual for people to have vertical as well as horizontal lines. The amount depends on the degree of skin damage you've sustained over the years.


Hi Laura

The two vertical lines above my nose have been greatly reduced by flexing for only about two months, and the forehead lines are drastically reduced. I know we're not supposed to see results until much longer than this, but I'm seeing big improvements. As I talked about in an earlier post, I'm getting a layer of muscle under my forehead that almost looks like a pad inserted under the skin, but I'm starting to do massage on it much more frequently, and that helps. There are several of Deb's flex exercises that work on this area, so if you don't have the program, I think you'll be glad if you get it.


Hi Laura,

I have the exact same problem as you.  I have seen some improvement in one of the vertical lines between brows.  It is almost gone.  The other line there is much deeper and very stubborn.  I don't expect it will ever be totally gone but it has improved.  Horizontal lines are very deep and very stubborn also but I have seen improvement in these as well.  I do have sun damaged skin so I don't expect they will ever be gone but are not as bad (deep) as they were.  In addition to doing the exercises I also massage the area and I believe doing both has really helped smooth out the lines. 



Scalp Flex  Mar 30, 2001 

Hi, I find that I'm not feeling very much when I do the scalp exercise and was hoping for receiving some tips on performing it and how else to tighten up the forehead and scalp areas.

As always - Thank you!!

Hi Leslie

This one took me awhile also...As the frontalis becomes stronger you'll begin to feel it.  Double up on Brow Smoother that should speed it up.


Hi Leslie

The important thing is do you feel the fatigue of the frontalis muscle after you've exercised? If not you may not be getting the hang of it quite. Your fingers should be on the side of your head above and behind the temple area. When you raise your brows you should feel the muslces of the scalp pushing your fingers down. The only way you would not feel the muscle move would be if your fingers were too low down on the sides of your head. Therefore, if you feel nothing, move your fingers higher.

Hope that helps.



Frown furrows Mar 17,2001     

Hi!  Love your site and Deb's book.  I've been doing facial exercises for a couple of months now, with good results, especially around the eyes and cheeks.  One problem area that remains are frown furrows between my eyebrows.   Even when my forehead is relaxed, the area remains corrugated.  It seems as if the more I build up the muscles in this area, the more obvious the furrows are.  What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for your help,

Hi Megan

Quite possibly nothing. Remember lines/wrinkles on the face are signs of damage to the skin. Facial exercises can help reduce them and fill them out but by no means is a certainty that they'll eliminate them. Sometimes you have to go a step further. It's fairly easy to over build the corrugators, this may, in time help to reduce the line, but remember, it can take some time. Will it totally get rid of the line? Probably not, especially if it is a deep line. Even laser surgery will not eliminate these lines.. that's how stubborn the frown lines between the brows can be. Botox will "eliminate" them in the fact that it hides the lines by freezing or blocking impulses to the muscle and skin which causes the skin to totally relax to such a point that the line doesn't show. However, the minute Botox wears off, the line
returns. Also anytime you are blocking nerve impulses you have to understand that you're causing atrophy of the muscle to occur thus potentially promoting sag. And preventing/reversing sag is
what facial exercise is ALL about. Over time as you continue to perform the exercises the brow will smooth out making the line less noticeable, but it can take time. I would encourage you to hang in there to see just how much you can accomplish before you consider any other alternative. With a couple months of facial building under your belt, you're really just getting started. 



Thanks for your quick response.   Actually, in this case, I am pretty sure the skin is not damaged -- there are no lines or wrinkles in the skin itself.  The bumpiness on the surface of the skin between my eyebrows appars to be due to bumpiness of the muscle underneath the skin.  This bumpiness seems to have increased with the facial exercises -- almost as if I have overstrengthened certain muscles relative to other ones.  If any of the exercises in the book in particular target smoothing out the corrugator versus making it more bumpy, please let me know!  Again, many thanks! 



If there are no lines present just increasing bulk, then it is definitely muscle growth. I would not back off the exercise just yet because it sounds like to me that you're corrugators are just now building. Once the muscle has built and strengthened it should flatten and smooth out. The total process may take as long as 9 months or so. It sounds like to me that you're going through that initial awkward stage as the muscle begins to grow. Stick with it for now!



Drooping eyebrows tried everything    Feb 8, 2001     

Hi Guys,

I asked a similar questions a few months ago and Jason gave me an answer, but I think I still need more help or advice.  Let me first say, that I don't have a problem with those vertical lines between the brows. It looks like what's happening is the forehead/eyebrow area is starting to droop downward and inward (toward the nose). The upper lids look a little more creepy and heavier, the brows look like they are sitting lower on my face than a few years ago and I look like I have a constant "slight" frown, no lines really, just a skin fold. I'm starting to look tired and a little angry (even when I'm not)

I stopped doing the brow exercises, where you pull them apart and push them together, because I thought that this built the muscles in between the brow and I looked like I was frowning all the time. I stopped these months ago.

Jason told me to press down (above the brows) and try to raise them. Is there anything else I can do the raise the entire brow/forehead area, without over building the muscles in between the brows? I hate when these muscles get overbuilt.

When I lift the skin at the outer corners of my brows, this seems to take away all of the problems. The upper lids look smoother, less heavy, my eyes look wider and I look alert, awake and happy, the way I feel most of the time.

I do the scalp flex, the upper lid stretch (both trying to close the eye and the one where you try to open the eye), I do the one where you push up on the brows and try to frown, and the opposite where you push down and try to raise the brows. I also do the brow smoother. Any ideas??? I think I have tried all the ones for that area in the book and the cards that I have.

Thanks so much, sorry for the long message.


Hi Linda,

Maybe Jason or Deb have a few more excercises up their sleeves? But I do want to tell you that while I saw results all along during the first year (which was up Thanksgiving), I've seen my most dramatic improvement since then - AFTER the year mark.


THANK you, Sadie! 

This is most encouraging!  I'm only at the 3 month mark now, and I THINK I see some results (I'll be taking photos soon to compare) but it's nice to know that there's a whole lot to look forward to.  Now, even if I DON'T see big results in the 3-month photos, I'm encouraged to keep on.


Hi Linda,

I'm not sure I'm picturing what your forehead fold looks like properly, since you say you don't have a vertical line between brows, but do have a drooping "downward and inward (toward the nose)," so it seems like a more horizontal heaviness, non?  I've been trying to wrestle a vertical fissure over my nose from frowning (although I guess Deb would say it isn't due to that, but other factors), and I started doing an opposite exercise lately since the frowner exercises were creating a neolithic look and the line appeared deeper, although it did flatten the surface. I don't know if you can apply this technique to your problem, but I invert the exercise over the line and also in parallel adjacent to it on either side:  with both hands, I pull the skin OUT as far as I can and then raise my brows and hold for a count of 6-10.I don't know if that is a useful suggestion to you, but I have noticed in my case it's looking better. The line immediately plumps up and then gradually deflates! It's a bit tricky because there isn't a lot to grab onto. I suppose you could adapt it, but I just tried it horizontally on myself and it's not working too good! I'll play around with it and see if I can get a "flexing" feeling. Sorry I can't be more helpful. Do Deb/Jason/Olympia have an opinion? I also was searching the old postings, and found one from Olympia who said she put a piece of tape over her problem area on the forehead at night since she frowned in her sleep. I've tried that for a few nights and I do look better in the morning. I catch myself unconsciously contracting those muscles all the time, day or night.

p.s. I've been doing this program since mid-April 2000

Hi Linda,

You didn't mention how long you've been doing the exercises or how regularly, but I would personally wait one year, at least, before giving up. To my knowledge, the exercises that you mention are the best ones to help tighten the forehead.

Try also to assess the forehead in terms of the thickness of the frontalis muscle. Has it improved. Skin texture/tightness, too.

If you've had improvement but still not to the degree you wish, it may be time to explore other options. The degree of sag does play a role in how much lift you can achieve. If the sag has been severe, try to assess how much you've reversed it. If you are considering a brow lift, continue the exercises right up until the time of the procedure. Working the muscle will increase blood flow and make the muscle stronger assisting with healing post-operatively.

Good luck.


Hi Linda. 

I do the exercises Jason recommended..seems to work well...I have another one too:  Place the index fingers of each hand on the left and right sides of your forehead, with the thumbs against the jaw line.  Push up with your fingers and lift the brow, while at the same time pulling the brow downward..looking down to create as much resistance as you can...Repeat ten times.   You will notice a 'firming' action taking place...smoother forehead and softening of 'character lines'.  I do alternate my brow exercises..don't do same ones all of the time...I don't know if that is good, but it seems to work.


Eyelids / Forehead   Jan 29,2001     

Two questions: I've been flexing for 5 months. I'm noticing that on my upper eyelids, they seem puffier and I have dark shadows in the corners of my eyes that were not there before. Will this go away?  2nd question: My forehead lines seem to be getting worse. Will that go away? I love doing the program though, it feels great - should I back off those exercizes for a while? Thanks!


Hi Renee

After five months, try and evaluate whether the upper lid is puffy immediately after exercising (post exercise swelling of the muscle) or whether the muscle is beginning to build (present all the time). The upper lid should begin to look fuller and firmer. If this is the case, the muscle may have begun to over-build a little and you can back off this exercise performing 2-3 times a week. The lines on your forehead should not be worsening by this time. Generally, during the first three months is when most people seem to see a temporary worsening afterwhich they see steady albeit sometimes slow improvement. We may need to examine technique. Post back and let me know after what exercise you see the lines. After I perform mine, I see no lines at all. I can also give you a couple of different exercises that will help to minimize this as well.


Hi Jason

The upper eyelid is puffier all the time which probably means I'm building.

The forehead lines are there all the time also. When I'm doing "Brow Smoother", the second part of the exercize "once reaching the scalp, firmly pull fingers downward and at same time raise brows", that's what I'm thinking might be causing more lines.  Also the exercize "Bridge of Nose" has the same kind of movement.



The upper eyelid on the left side is droopier, not puffy as I stated before.  My right eye is fine. The left side has always had more droop, but it's more pronounced now. Is that normal by this stage?


Hi Renee

The upper lid should also be firmer and smoother not just puffy. Be sure to evaluate that. Also try doing these two exercises for the brow and forehead.

Place four fingers of each hand on brow. While holding the brow down with your fingers, raise your brow. You should be holding the brow in position to where you see no lines on the forehead while raising your brow. Hold for a minimum of 6 seconds and then do this exercise. Place three fingers just below the eyebrow. While pushing up with fingers, frown. You should be pushing the brow up against the muscles. At the same time you can push apart the brow so that no frown lines are created between the brow. Clear as mud? Hold for a minimum of 6 seconds and repeat 10 times. While performing either of these two exercises you should hold the brow in position so that you don't see any lines form when you contract the muscles.

Get back with me and let me know how it goes.


Hi Jason

Thanks Jason, I'll try those exercizes.  The upper eyelid puffiness is mostly morning, but in my left upper lid, it is droopier all the time. It always has been droopier than my right side but it's gotten worse.  Is that different than puffiness in that in time the exercize will lift the droop? Thanks!


Hi Renee

Early morning puffiness isn't unusual for most people. Once up and about, gravity and activity have a way of assisting the body in getting rid of edema accumulated during the night while being supine. The muscle for your L eyelid may be weaker than your R. If you're exercising daily, back off the L lid and allow it to rest. It may need more recovery time particularly if it is substantially weaker than the R. Allow it to rest for 3-5 days before starting in again. Then do the exercise every other day.

If the increased droop was due to muscle fatigue, it should turn around fairly quickly. If it doesn't, you may need to start thinking about the possibility of something neurologically occurring. This, however, does not seem to be the case with what you've told me. If the droop does not improve or worsens, you need to see a physician to ascertain what's going on.



Thanks for porviding such useful info. Dec 25, 2000    


I purchased Carole Maggio's facercise book because it received such rave reviews on Amazon.com.  Before using the book, I had NO forehead lines.   After using the book, I have developed several forehead lines.  I was extremely worried and emailed Ms. Maggio, as advised by other Amazon users.  I never heard from her.  I bought a book called FaceBuilding which said that fingers need to be placed on lined areas to prevent new lines from forming.  Although the book relieved some of the stress, I still needed more information.  I looked and looked and happened upon this site.  Many of the problems I am having are being addressed and I am finding the information very useful.

I wish more people knew about this site.  I like the fact that your site tries to address every aspect, including skin care. GREAT SITE! Keep up the good work


  PS:   Isn't it possable that lines will increase?      

I have read the posts saying that facial exercises will not increase lines, but I am sure that doing exercises recommended by Carole Maggio increased my forehead lines.  I have also read posts here that say the same thing.

Will these lines go away on their own if you stop doing the exercises?  Do you have to do the exercises for the rest of your life?

What are considered wrinkles anyway?  My lines are present in the morning but go away after I wash my face.  They also have a reduced appearance by late day due to oily skin (I am a black
american).  Also, the lines stay for about 10 seconds after I lift my forehead styling my hair, etc..

The lines are visible to the naked eye (mine) because I know they are there.  I assume that these lines will become worse with age. 

As stated in my previous post, they were only noticeable after I started doing the facercise program by Carole Maggio.  I did stop doing the program but the lines were still there. 

How long does it take to reverse damage possibly caused by doing exercises inappropriate for your face?


Hi Bettie

Lines are created when there has been damage to the skin resulting in a lose of collagen and elastin fibers. At this point, you will see lines. They are more prominent after expression (such as lifting your brow up) because fluid is pushed out of the fold as the muscle is contracted. Without any skin damage, your skin is resilient enough to maintain a line free face throughout most of your life. Once the damage has occurred and lines have set in, you've got your work cut out for you. Facial exercising will help reduce the lines by increasing muscles, thus pushing the lines out. Folds become less deep thus decreasing the effect of the line. Additionally, building muscle creates more collagen. Facial exercises are (in my opinion) much better at reversing SAG than getting rid of lines. The theory goes like this: You can have great muscle tone, either due to youth or exercising, but can have greatly damage skin due to sun exposure and other environmental factors. Think about it. How many young (especially fair white-skinned) people have you seen with lines already on their faces? I've seen quite a few. That's why so many people on the board use skin care products to help repair what may have already been damaged while doing facial exercises at the same time to reverse age related sag. Hope this helps to answer some of your questions.


Hi Jason

I take your explanation that I must have lost some collagen previously and the face exercises just brought that damage to the surface.   As a black female, who stays out of the sun, it is hard to believe that my skin was so damaged that a little frowning would cause lines, but it did so there is really nothing for me to do.   I guess I will take the 'do nothing' approach and hope that my face reverts back to the way it looked before I decided I needed to look better.


Hi Bettie

While it is true that black skin is more resistant to the effects of the sun's rays, black skin will be damaged no differently than white skin. It just takes a little more sun exposure. The key to avoiding any sun damage is TOTAL avoidance of the sun. You would probably be surprised if you were to total up within a week the number of minutes you actually sustain sun exposure, walking from the parking lot into work; driving through town while the sun shines through the windows of your car; sitting down at the table with the blinds open and the sun shining in. There are literally hundreds of times we are exposed to the sun. Over time, these "few" minutes of sun exposure add up to hours and hours, and then eventually show on our face. Therefore, it's important to either wear protective clothing/hats or sunblock in excess of spf 30. Facial exercise will actually not increase skin damage but it may reveal some of the damage that's already been done, especially as you get started and begin pushing out the fluid that has plumped up the lines. Lines occur in areas of expression because the damage is already present and usually, without taking precautions, increasing daily. Add aging on top of sun damage and environmental factors, including a poor diet, and you've got some serious skin issues to resolve!


Hi Jason

I bought a product called FaceLift that has retinol A.  It said that I should notice results within 3 months.  While using the products, I have been doing the forehead exercises.  I hope everything works out for me


Hi Bettie

Just to let you know -- I also tried FaceLift.  My face reacted very badly.  I have sensitive skin, so maybe you won't have the problems I've had.



I, too have sensitive skin, thus, if I am going to have any problems, it'll show up within the next week or so.  So far, I am very impressed with the product.  However, I am unsure if I should continue to use it after I get the results I seek.  I don't want to run the risk of further damaging my skin.  I have basically made a mess of things.


Hi Bettie:

I have been doing these exercises for the past 2 + years.  I have not experienced any increase in facial lines and I assure you I go all out in terms of pulling on the tissue to create resistance and extremely strong in contracting the muscles I'm isolating. 

Re: :Will these lines go away on their own if you stop doing the :exercises?  If you had the lines before exercising, they will undoubtedly stay.  Carol's program is based on isometrics and visualization, I've seen it and in all fairness, I don't believe her program or any other facial isometrics or resistance program would create lines. Not possible.

Re:  Do you have to do the exercises for the rest of your life?  Yes, it's like any exercise program. As you progress with FlexEffect, you can reduce the number of days working out, BUT you must increase the intensity of the workout.  In other words, longer and slower counts and really go for broke!


Hi Bettie:

I would like to tell you to keep flexing; you will be pleased with the benefits and results..hope you do.  In the interim while deciding to or not to, or taking the 'do nothing' approach..whichever you decide is best...you might consider seeing a dermatologist for suggestions and information and recommendations.   There are many things that you can do to help your skin.  Many, many.   Try this route (along with flexing I hope)..and get some concrete information on various things or professional strength products which will be extremely beneficial to any skin problems you now experience...and to ward of any further ones from occurring. Flexing can and will enhance any skin care program you find best suited for you.



I believe Face Lift is probably an excellent product; however it does not contain the % Retinol that would give you optimal response I don't think.  Could be wrong.  I have never tried it but it is highly advertised and sounds impressive and researched.  If you desire the total benefits; however, you need an rx for Retin A or Renova....you can get in lesser % if you desire to see how it will work for you. 99% of the people I have spoken to have had markedly excellent results from use of these products.  You must learn all about how to apply it however...and always use a high spf sunscreen at all times..not everyone is in agreeance about these products...so consult your dermatologist or Dr. for rx best suited for your skin type and results you wish to realize.  Essential oils are also intensely restorative...do your research here...and get these from a highly responsible and informed source.i.e.  essential oil Univ., Natures Gift..I use these as a 'cushion', 'enhancers' and 'insurance against future damage'.  Depending how young you are and how much skin damage already is evident....and the optimal insurance:   keep flexing!


Hi Jean

I have  been using it for a week or two and am about to stop using them.  I had some lines under my eyes from birth (yes, I have looked at all old photos and the lines were there).  The lines have been lessessened and I don't want to risk any permanent damage so I probably will not using the product next week.


Hi Jason/Jean    

Carole Maggio responded to my email of a month ago and said she would call me to discuss the problems I am having.  I figure that I must have done the exercises wrong and put too much stress in one area.



Re: Frowner..makes no sense  Oct 20, 2000

Movement of your facial muscles in and of itself will not cause damage to the skin. Any lines that develop are due to skin damage, ninety percent which are cause by the sun or by atrophy of muscles causing the skin to fold and drape. The lines that seem to have occurred as you exercise are due to a life time of accumulated skin damage. Working the muscles and putting stress on the skin as you exercise has brought them to the fore.

I enjoy doing the exercise Frowner. I have performed this exercise for two years. I notice immediately after performing Part B of the exercises there will be some temporary lines on my forehead. Performing part A afterwards smoothes them away. I would think that if the exercises themselves caused lines that by my age and the length of time I have been doing them I would have lines.

Now, if you don't like this particular exercise, try this one:

Placing your index fingers above each eyebrow length wise, push your fingers down while raising your brows. Hold for a count of six. Repeat ten times. This exercise will help exercise the corrugators but without causing any lines. It's also great for the entire forehead.

Hope that helps.



Frowner  Oct 19, 2000

Hi Deb

I've been doing frowner for a couple of months now, and it seems that my frown lines have got worse. I only had faint lines before now, and I was hoping to smooth these out. I thought it would be one of the first things to improve because they weren't very bad. Now, however, I seem to look bad tempered all the time because the lines are deeper. It's not very attractive. Will they smooth out in time? Should I carry on, or am I making them worse? I'm sure I'm doing the exercise correctly because I can definitely feel the muscles working. Thanks.


I agree about frowner causing lines. I've found the same problem. We don't want to GET lines and wrinkles from doing these exercises. It's not very encouraging. I had very faint lines before, and now they are very noticeable.


Jason. Hi.

I have the same problem. However, I had NO lines two months ago. They can't set in in only two months.  I read all of Deb's literature in the book of exercises.  She says that lines come over a long period of time.  This has been only two months.


I have to agree with Sheila. I had no furrow  lines a month ago, and now I have 2 new lines. This is quite upsetting, as these lines are very noticeable and now look worried all the time. Perhaps these 2 exercises (Part A and Part B frowner) should be redesigned as there seems to be somewhat of a consensus that these 2 exercises are NOT working. I am very hesitant to continue with the frowner for fear of creating irreversible damage. Jason, are you saying to continue with these? Did other beginners have this exact problem? Did they continue? If so, did the lines get worse before they got better. I really need some re-assurance on this one.

Thanks. Alice


Anytime a line develops, it is because the skin/dermis has been compromised at some point in time mostly due to previous sun damage. Simple movement does not in and of itself cause lines. Over time, free radical damage from diet, sun, age, smoking, etc, all have their cumulative effect. This is why children don't have problems with lines and wrinkles even though they move their faces as much as any older adult. The younger you are when you begin to protect your skin THE BETTER OFF YOU ARE insofar as preventing lines and wrinkles. Exercises will help to alleviate furrows, lines and wrinkles. But damage already done is damage and short of deep chemical peels or laser resurfacing, it's all in your skin. Retin A, AHAs may help to soften lines and wrinkles but even they are limited.

I have performed frowner for almost two years without any evidence of line formation, so apparently the skin has not been too compromised by all the horrible sun exposure I've had. Did the exercise cause the lines. In my opinion, no. Did it reveal a weakness in the dermis of the skin. In my opinion yes. Benefits of continuing the exercise? Prevent further weaking of the muscle/skin; prevent atrophy and sag of the area.

You may want to reverse the way you do frowner. Do part B first then do A. The reason the lines may appear to be worse at first is that the lines were already set/present. You're challenging this area for the first time and muscle growth has not yet occurred. It should smooth out. However, once you have a line in place, it is difficult to get it out, and the frown lines between the brows are some of the most stubborn just as bad as laugh lines. FlexEffect is great at reversing sag and diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. But it is not a cure all for them. Once you have a line you can fill it out most of the time but to completely get rid of it you often need to break out the chemicals. In my own case, I had deep nasolabial furrows with a noticeable line. I have been able to greatly reduce the furrows and the line is much fainter. It has taken a lot of work. But if you're dedicated you CAN do it.    Good luck,



Cheek and  Brow  Oct 17, 2000

Hi Deborah!

I have sent you a message regarding my concern about my face always looking severe, straight.  My friends told me that before they become to know me, they thought I was a very scary or a bad person just by looking at my face and was surprised how nice I was after.

Deborah please help me is it something from the inside because I somehow always feel kind of sad without realizing it. What kind of exercise can help me have good developed cheeks because I don't, Which exercise can help with my frown brow. Please give me your advice and the appropriate exercises and I will be grateful. Thank you for your time and understanding; God bless



Here are two exercises for you to try. Please remember that facial exercises take time and depending upon the severity of the problem may take several months to see positive results especially if draping, sag or heavy lines/wrinkles are present.

Tagets the area between brows

Part A: Place the middle fingertip of each hand in the center of each eyebrow. Pull the brows apart and hold. At the same time frown. Hold for a count of 6. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise B: Place the middle fingertip of each and in the center of each brow; push brows together and hold. At the same time, raise brows. Hold for a count of 6. Repeat 10 times.

You may want to reverse A and B depending on the lines you have between your eyebrows. My personal experience shows that reversing them helps to smooth out the temporary lines that occur
as fluid is pushed out of the area.

Wink: lifts the upper cheek below the corner of the eye.

Working one side at a time, place the middle and ring finger just below the outer corner of the eye.  Firmly press downward and hold. Contract the muscle by drawing the corner of the mouth up to meet the outer corner of the eye. Hold for a count of 6. Repeat 10 times.

Let us know how it goes.



Question on FROWNER part B    Oct 2, 2000

I am really unclear how to do part B of the FROWNER exercise.The vertical lines between my brows appear to get deeper when I do this exercise and I am afraid I could be making the lines worse. Could someone explain Part B to me please.Been Flexing for 2 1/2 weeks....happy so far and feel optimistic about my future flexed-up face!! Thanks for your help.


Hi Alice,

You must have only the book because Deb does a wonderful demonstration of this exercise on the video. Let's see, though, if I can clarify the book's explanation.

For this exercise you are literally pushing the eyebrows together with your finger tips while trying to pull them apart with the muscles. This is accomplished by raising your eyebrows as though you've been completely surprised.

When I do this exercise, I reverse part A and B. I do B first then A. The reason for this is that part B will cause some very temporary lines or temporary worsening of the lines (this is due to muscle contraction and water being pushed out of the area) while part A will completely smooth them away.
Hope that helps to make it all as clear as mud! :-) If you need further help just ask and I'll try to explain it better.


Hey Jason,

Great idea about reversing A and B!



Forehead lines    Sep 27, 2000

Hi Deb, Jason and/or Olympia,

I've always had horizontal lines running across my forehead but recently I've noticed that they are now lumpy.  It's hard to describe, but it looks like there is more loose skin now causing bundles of skin to form across my forehead.  Could I be doing something wrong here?  Been doing all 40 exercises for almost 6 months now.  Am making progress on my pouches so I know something positive is happening.  Am I sagging faster than I can flexeffect?  Thanks for your response



You should begin to feel some positive results to your forehead after six months. Scalp Flex is going to be about the best exercise for the forehead you can do. You should also be doing the massage as well.

As Deb has said in the past, and I concur with this opinion as well, if you have severe drape and the skin has been well compromised by sun damage, age, etc., you sometimes are better, depending upon affordability, having some kind of procedure done (whether laser resurfacing or brow lift either or both may be in order). THEN after you have healed, continue your exercises so that it does NOT EVER HAPPEN AGAIN! When sag becomes advanced, it is my opinion that you're not going to get the kind of results you want in the TIME you want. If time is NOT a factor, continue your exercises, but be realistic. If it took you 40 or 50 years to develop this problem, it's going to take some time to reverse it. You can do it, but patience (and dedication) must be a virtue you hold dear.

If cosmetic procedures are a definite out, stay with the exercises. They will help reverse the sag, but six months is way too short a period of time to tell anything at this point. Good luck, and hang in there!


Hi Scilla

Jason is right, but what you described sounds very familiar to me. So, just in case I'm going to put another spin on it.

If you have been training for 6 months and show positive changes elsewhere, then that tells me your are training is on target (doing everything right)

Before you ever started training, raising your eyebrows would form lines on the brow that were thin and very close together (tight closed fan).  Now that you've built the  forehead,  raising your brows will now show lines that are more like thick rolls (I know this doesn't sound attractive but it will be in the long run)  Once the muscle has thickened (as yours has) it can no longer squeeze the skin down to nothing (causing very thin-skin close lines)  Unfortunately, facialbuilding can not prevent other factors at time from playing into the look of the skin that has nothing to do with training and what you are describing sounds like fluid.   At times, mine does the same thing. Our faces show everything going on inside the body (face coloring, dark circles, puffy eyes, fluid retention, allergies, dehydration... you name it)  Now that you've made changes, when these other factors kick-in ... SURPRISE...  a whole new look! I'm not trying to make light of this, but fact is... your making progress.  Does the brow  look fine today.   If not, but you feel I might be on to something... lay off the brow area for awhile until all looks better (fluid gone). Then hit it again.  Let me know if you think this might be the problem.

PS.. you'll find the lips do the same thing... When you use to pucker.. (fine,thin,lines) Now ...(thick rolls)



Question on brow and message to Mea   Sep 25, 2000

Hello to Deb, and the rest of the trainers,

Well it has been a long time since I've visited this board, (Deb, it looks great!!!)   but I never stopped doing my exercises. I love it. Even though I don't do the whole face everyday, I do something everyday. But alas I have a question, and I can't figure out what I might be doing wrong.

When I was doing the frowner, I did step A (pulling brows apart) but for some reason didn't always do step B (pushing brows together) As a result, I think I overbuilt the Corrugator, because I started to develop a look of a constant slight frown, even when I didn't feel like I was frowning. Sometimes would catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and was shocked that I looked like I was upset (frowning), when I felt fine and at peace.

So, I didn't panic, like Deb said, we are all a work in progress, I just stopped all brow work to let the muscles rebalance out again. Now I'm ready to begin, but I want to make sure I'm doing it right and what to know what I should be feeling or concentrating on, when doing step B of the frowner. When I push the brows together, and try to raise them, am I not only trying to hold them TOGETHER, but also DOWN?? Right??

If I know what the objective is, then I can do it more effectively. Can someone explain what I should be feeling or trying to concentrate on?

Thanks Guys,

The web looks great. I think I might have some pictures to send soon, since I started doing these exercise last August 1999, when I turned 40. I can honestly say I like the way I look today, better than this time last year. I looked at some old videos of me (4-3 yrs. ago) and I'm starting to look like that again.

Love ya Deb, thanks for all your help and all your trainers help, (Jason, Olympia and the rest, you guys are great).

P.S. this is to the doubting thomas named MEA, it's just fine if you don't believe Deb, go ahead and keep thinking that she is trying to hide something, because she's not posting pictures. Those of us who follow Deb's advice and expertise will get better and better looking with time, while you will continue to grow wrinkled and saggy as you sit in front of your computer, arguing with Debbie and her trainers. HA HA!


Hi Linda:

I'm so glad your back girl.  Okay, RE: Frowner part B.  First let me preface by saying I don't' think you've overbuilt the Corrugators....it's just that the Frontalis has fallen far behind since you neglected that area.  Been there done that with my Caninus and Cheek area...oy vay what a look that was for a while! 

So, here's how I can describe Part B:  You're pushing the brows together and holding and at the same time raising them - what it feels like is essentially this:  it feels like your struggling to push up your eyebrows against the resistance of pushing the brows in.  This is a toughie....you'll find that area pretty weak at first until you build it up.  It's almost as if you won't be able to push those eyebrows up and out....so don't despair. Gradually build up the resistance and allow for your muscles to adapt.

Hope this helps!

All my best,


When doing Frowner, it isn't necessary to push the brows down just apart. And yes, doing both steps A -&- B (although I think on the video the name is brow smoother which actually is not the same as brow smoother in the book, unless I'm mistaken) is essential. I, too, have at different times over-built this area and have had to actually back off for a couple of months even. Over building can give you what I call the Neanderthal, or Deb's very apt description, Darth Vadar look.

At this stage in my training, I go for a more intensive fatigue or burn feeling, doing longer counts with fewer reps. But you should be feeling some fatigue to the muscle after performing the exercise regardless as to the count or number of reps. If you aren't feeling anything at all after the workout, it's time to step things up a bit.

Hope I've been of some help!



Vitamin E benefits and over built brow   Sep 24, 2000


Am curious as to the benefits of applying vitamin E topically to the face.  Is it strictly for a nighttime moisturizer or are there other benefits as well. My skin can use all the help it can get and vitamin E is something I can afford as opposed to other skincare products out there. 

Another question, I seem to have overbuilt the Corrugators as I have two bumps now over each brow. (looks like I'm frowning all the time). Am backing off Brow Smoother and Frowner for a while. I have horizontal lines across brow and vertical lines between brows. This area still needs alot of work. I was wondering if you could tell me how to do the massage for this area.



I'm wondering if you can do brow smoother only ABOVE where it's built up too much?


Hi Bonnie:

Sounds like you and Linda have a similar problem.  I agree, you should back off those two exercises for a few weeks and let those muscles atrophy a bit to where you like them then jump pack in again.

Re: Massage for the Forehead:  Place your fingertips just above  your eyebrows and press, firmly moving fingers up and out toward scalp in a circular motion.  (The next part is pretty much Brow Smoother so we won't give you that part).  So, go on to this:  Using both the center and ring finger of each hand, pat firmly across your forehead from side to side in rapid succession.

All my best,


Forehead wrinkles    Aug 28, 2000

Hi Deb......

Botox is used to keep the eyebrow area muscles from contributing to forehead creases. Yet those seem to be the same muscles that raise the eyebrow so that it doesn't droop over the eyes. How do you strengthen the muscles that prevent eyebrow drooping without making them stronger so that they contribute to raising your eyebrows in a way that makes forehead wrinkling worse. Hope you can follow the question. thanks.

Hi Winter,

Any wrinkle that is formed is due to a decrease in collagen and a breakdown in the connective tissue of the dermis. Movement in and of itself is NOT the cause of wrinkling but coupled with the degradation of the skin, mostly from photo aging, the line becomes progressively more pronounced.

Making the muscle stronger will NOT increase the line, rather over time it will reduce and smooth out lines and wrinkles as the muscle firms, grows, and repairs the dermis. This occurs in large part due to the increase in blood that is supplied to the area.

In the meantime, you must avoid further damage and assist with the repair. That means wearing sunblock (spf 30 or greater) and assisting the skin to exfoliate, i.e. increasing the cell turn-over rate.

Botox is a neuro toxin, and as such, paralyzes the muscles causing them to atrophy. The effect tends to diminish lines. The down side of this is, as the muscle weakens, it tends to sag more over time.

If you would like to see a comparison on a large scale of what muscle atony, atrophy are like from paralyzed facial muscles, a trip to the hospital will provide some shocking results in patients having suffered cerebral vascular accidents. This is where the idea of Botox actually had its conception. It was noticed that stroke victims, involving facial paralysis, exhibited, within time, a nearly line free, smooth face. However, they also exhibited considerable droop. It was discovered that by "freezing" certain muscles with a neuro toxin a similar result could be achieved. However, droop will occur. It is not as noticeable because the muscles usually being treated are the corrugators or orbicularis oculi muscle on the outer aspects, which are small. But anytime muscle wasting occurs, sag soon follows.

I apologize for the long response but I hope that answers your questions.


Hi Jason

Excellent response... Thanks for the time in detail.


4th week of Flexing    Jul 26, 2000

I'm now in my 4th week of doing flexeffect.  I can feel firmness around my outer eyelids.  I can see changes all over my face. 

I still have a furrow line between my eyebrows from frowning so much.   I'm going to start putting tape on that area at night--hopefully, it will soon diminish.

I'm still taking pictures of myself about every two weeks.  I'm comfortable with my results after 4 weeks.   I'm comfortable doing all those exercises, now. 

Let's stay with the program,

Hi Lucy

Thanks for the up-date.  Be sure to incorporate the massage involving the brow area!



Scalp Flex    Jul 24, 2000

Hi,  I have the video but do not have the book.  I was wondering if someone could tell what the Scalp Flex exercise is??  Thanks

Hi Bonnie

The very first exercise on the video is Scalp Flex.  There are a few editing errors on the video...that's one of them!  Sorry for the confusion.



Eyebrows Jul 23, 2000

How do you raise your eye brows?  I think that will also make your eyes appear fuller and larger.  Please let me know asap


Hi Keo

By building the muscles of the forehead you should be able to lift the brows to some degree. Here ya go:

BROW SMOOTHER....   BS00847A.gif (3051 bytes) sorry, time's-up

Let me know how it goes :-)



Drooping eyebrows  Jul 23, 2000

Help!  I'm a 17 year old female and my eyebrows droop, it makes me look depressed and upset all the time, and not too attractive I might add.  I literally force the muscles in my forehead to stay uplifted all day so I look normal.  If I let the muscles relax my brows lose their arch and become straight and very
low.  I have done so much research online trying to find some effective exercises to help fix this problem, please tell me you have a solution.  Thanks!



At 17 years of age, the drooping cannot be attributed to muscle atrophy (unless a medical condition, which you did not mention, exists) but in your case is more a genetic disposition. In light of that information, I would seriously doubt that exercises are going to permanently lift your brows. However, if you are constantly contracting your brows to increase their height I would advocate that you resistant train these muscles. The constant partial use of the muscles to keep your eye brows up, will in time cause lines there as you get older.

At your age, you may want to consider shaping the eyebrow itself and using cosmetics to give your eye a more open look. There is also the option of cosmetic surgery; however, cosmetic surgery for the brow is often done because the brow is drooping due to aging, that is, muscle atrophy. A cosmetic surgeon experienced in doing brow lifts would, I'm sure, be able to tell you more. Keep in mind, though, exercise cannot change what genetics have given you, only emphasize it.  Hope I have in some way helped



I found that doing the scalp flex helps drooping eyebrows its somewhere up on the discussion board I had the exact same problem where I had to hold it up and if I relaxed everyone wanted to know why I was so miserable! Also another one I do is where I take the index fingers and hold the eyebrows up as high as they'll go and close my eyelids down for the count of 20 do it 3 times.I hope it works for you, but be patient and you'll get results
good luck!



Forehead lines    Sep 19, 1999


I like this message board.

Since I've been doing the forehead exercises I've found that the lines seem more pronounced.  Is this a common occurance in  the early stages? I wondered if I was building the muscle of the eyebrow or right above the eyebrow too much too soon and maybe this was causing the upper forehead to wrinkle more.  Any suggestions??   Thanks alot.  I have been doing additional exercises that made sense to me. . . holding eyebrow down and pushing up with forehead muscle. . . also putting fingers under eyebrow and then pushing down with eyebrow.  I've also been doing the eyebrow exercise you have in your book.  I've been doing your program for two months and only missed one day. Hoping to soon see visible results.  Thanks alot!  I appreciate your kind help and obvious dedication to all of us!!


Hi Mary

For some, lines can be more pronounced for awhile. For others, the brow area can become full and smooth immediately. No one knows until they begin their training just which muscles will respond faster than others (causing definition) Everybody's different.   I wish we had a way of knowing  how to program our workouts in advance, but  for now, the only way to find out is to bring all the muscles into play. With all the muscles responding (gaining size) you are then able to determine your needs.  When looking for visible results... look for..  1. Firmness to the touch2. Lift (usually starts at top around brows, eyes, cheeks)  3. Changes in skin (color,texture etc.)  4.  Many lines diminished... Calls for some serious patience...(old damaged calls replaced with healthier more vital cells.) But well worth the wait!

Hang in there



Vertical Forehead Lines     Sep 10,1999

I recently purchased your video and started your program five days ago and it's great! My face is a little sore in the jaw area and upper cheeks, so I know it's working. I was thinking about skipping the first exercise for the forehead (Brow Smoother?) because I have no horizontal lines. I don't want my skin to become more taught in this area because the vertical lines may appear worse. After I get the vertical lines under control I was going to add the first exercise back into my routine. Would you advise this?

Thanks a bunch,

Hi Chris

Doing Brow Smoother will not cause what vertical lines you  have to appear worse. If anything, the tautness you spoke of is a thickening of the brow causing lift, not pull .  Remember...It just doesn't get any better when you are able to   PREVENT the horizontal lines.  Also, you will  get the vertical lines under control a lot faster by doing the Brow Smoother at the same time... This muscle, and the one you are targeting to alleviate the vertical lines terminate into each other. They work as a team...when one is relaxed, the other one is lengthened to the same degree and vise versa. Go the the top of the page and click on Isometrics to Resistance once there, scroll down to the bottom of the page and read about  facial muscles (in the box) next to the drawings.   Let me know how it goes.



Thought you'd like to know      July 29, 1999

Hi Deb

I want to let you know something. Yesterday, I went to get microdermabrasion at a local's doctor's office where I have been purchasing some facial products for over a year. The nurse, who does the procedure, was telling me that my upper lip sure looked good - i.e., no wrinkles, etc.. I told her I was doing your exercises and had her feel the muscles on the sides of my face, etc.. She wanted me to show her the "tight upper lip" exercise, which I did. She was absolutely fascinated and called in the doctor, who is a head and neck surgeon. He too was fascinated and had me show him a couple of the exercises. The one that he was really impressed with was the "frowner" -  I think that's the one. Anyway, when the nurse    was getting ready to do the procedure she was looking at my face first. I still have a line, not  exactly between my brows, but more on the side of that area, right next to my left eyebrow. What they were so impressed with was the fact that when I frown the line is very deep, but yet when I don't frown, the line is hardly noticeable and they both felt that the line should be very deep all the time, given the depth of it. The doctor asked me if I did an exercise for this area and of course I told him I did. They asked me a lot of questions about your program and I answered them to the best of my ability. I just thought you would like to know.









Hi Linda

When working the brows ...  Do not push brows up. Put your middle fingers in the center of each brow and pull them apart, hold very firm and  try not to allow your brows to create a frown.

No such thing as your lower lids building to the point of looking bulky. In fact, you need the build to keep up with the cheekbone area.  But, anytime you work(stress) an area for the first time you will more than likely see some puffiness. In time this will no longer be the case. 

When working the lower lids, you only need to hold the lids down and in place just enough so that the lids have to fight to close.  Do not take it to discomfort.  If you have been training harder than you need to, don't worry about it (no damage) I too have done it,  but it's just not necessary and besides who needs all the puffiness?  Sounds to me like you're gonna be one success story big-time!

Keep us posted                                                                                                                            


The eye's have it       June 6, 1999

Hey Deb:

Ok - I stole this one from "another" program, but I use it everyday, and it works for sagging eyes - keeps the eyebrows up: Place the three middle fingers of each hand right under each eyebrow.  Push the eyebrows up and out as high as you can and hold. Now, try and force or squeeze the eyebrows downward and hold to a count of 6.   Do exactly the same as you do for any of your exercises, 10 sets.  When you do this, right away you'll see the eyebrows lift - it's like instant gratification - but it also works cumulatively in the long run. 

The other tip is:  I frown at night when I sleep, so when I wake up in the morning I look angry.  So I put a piece of tape right between my eyebrows.   The tape keeps you from causing those frown lines we're working so hard to get rid of.  Enough of my tips already - see ya!


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