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Corrugator Supercilii

Posted on 30th Jul 2020 / Published in: Face

General information

The corrugator supercilii is a small, slender, pyramid-shaped muscle that is located between the frontalis and the orbicularis oculi, at the inner end of the eyebrow.

Literal meaning

The muscle that wrinkles above the eyelashes.

Interesting information

The corrugator supercilii is often referred to as the “frowning” muscle of the face and is considered to be the primary muscle used in the expression of agony and suffering. Together, they also act to avert high glares from the sun and in doing so, protect your eyes by pulling your brows inward towards the nasal bridge and forming a cover.

For aesthetic reasons or as a means of prevention for some types of migraine, they are sometimes paralysed with a protein and neurotoxin called botulinum toxin (botox) in a process known as chemodenervation, or surgically severed.


Inner extremity of the superciliary arch which is a part of the frontal bone.


Deep within the skin of the forehead, just above the medial section of the orbital arch. .


Works with the orbicularis oculi muscle to draw the eyebrows towards the midline and downward; produces a wrinkling of the skin between the eyebrows and above the nose.

Nerve supply

Temporal and zygomatic branches of the facial nerve (cranial nerve VII).

Blood supply

Supratrochlear and supraorbital arteries which branch from the ophthalmic artery.

Relevant research

Patients who suffer from thyroid eye disease and have upper eyelid retraction frequently develop an overactivity of the accessory muscles of eyelid closure, which include the corrugator supercilii. The frown lines that result are characteristic of the thyroid facies (distinctive facial expressions linked to particular medical conditions). A study showed that chemodenervation of these glabellar (frowning) muscles is an effective method of rehabilitation. (Olver, 1998).

Olver, J. M., (1998). Botulinum toxin A treatment of overactive corrugator supercilii in thyroid eye disease. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 82:528-533 doi:10.1136/bjo.82.5.528.

Corrugator supercilii exercises

Exercising the corrugator supercilii is important in strengthening of the muscle and decreasing stress lines of your forehead. Start by placing the tip of your middle fingers in the center of each of your eyebrows. Tug them apart while simultaneously maintaining a frown. Hold the position for six seconds then release. Now reposition your fingertips at the center of your brow, but instead push your brows together (inward) while raising your brows. Once again, hold for six seconds.

Another exercise for the corrugators supercilii is the frown exercise. Try to squeeze your eyebrows towards the bridge of your nose. Hold this position and then relax. Repeat ten times and perform daily.

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