How To look younger?

Smile to look younger

Smile is regarded as the best makeup that a person can wear. But it has been a question for researchers to find whether the act of smiling can make a person look younger. Some say that smiling can make you look older as the wrinkles around your eyes and mouth get highlighted. Some say you look younger as it gives you a youthful appearance. Well we have come up with a few studies that were conducted by researchers around the world to find if you look younger or older when you smile.

One of the first researches that we would like to talk about is the one conducted at the University of Missouri-Kansas (USA). In this study young volunteers had to evaluate computer images of men. These men had expressions that were categorised in to three types, neutral, happy and sad. This study did not include any women. This was remove factors that could confound the volunteers such as the use of makeup.

The results vindicated the fact that when a person is happy and smiling she will look younger. Perhaps a smile on the face has the same effect as good botox injections. Therefore being a cheerful smiling person will make you look younger than your actual age.

Does smiling make you look younger or older?

When you are above 40 then the act of smiling will make you look younger. For people below 40 the act of smiling will make them look older.

That’s what researchers Theo Gevers and Albert Ali Salah from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) found out.

For this research purpose they created a database with smiles of hundreds of volunteers. These volunteers were filmed and photographed as they smiled spontaneously when visiting a science museum.

When the volunteers agreed to participate in this research, they were photographed with a voluntary smile like while saying the letter X.

Then among the volunteers 481 were asked to show emotions of anger, happiness, surprise, sadness and fear.

Lastly they were asked for their age.

Emotions database

Now with the help of these database of emotions, the researchers were out to perform computerized analysis of the images. This research included looking for characteristics to indicate the age of the participants.

All the images allowed the researchers to develop a computer program capable of estimating the age of the person in a photo, automatically adjusting for each emotion expressed.

Now you will ask why a computer program. The reason an automated program was used because it eliminates the bias imposed by human judgement. As humans our judgement will be altered by our mood, gender, prejudices etc. This is the reason why a computer program was used.

Not to anyone’s surprise the program seemed to be better than humans at judging the age of others. When people looked at the photographs they had made an error of average 7 years, the computer was off by average 6 years.

To smile or not to smile?

When the program started to work the researchers then started to evaluate each of the emotions expressed in the photographs in their emotion database.

Interesting results were shown when the results were assessed. When the person was smiling spontaneously the computer thought they were younger than in all other poses. But don’t get excited with this result as it is applicable only when the person was around 40 and older.

For people who were younger than 40 years of age a neutral expression made them look younger.

This maybe because when you are younger you don’t have a lot of wrinkles but the act of smiling makes wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.

Importance of smiling

Smiling can help you to be stress free. We have mentioned a lot about the effects of stress on aging in our blog. Being stressed results in the formation of the hormone cortisol.

We have proteins called collagen and elastin in our body. Collagen is responsible to keep the skin wrinkle free. Elastin is responsible to maintain elasticity of the skin. In other words these proteins keep the skin wrinkle free and prevent skin sagginess. In short they prevent the signs of aging.

Now cortisol is known to damage both elastin and collagen. This is the reason why one looks older when depressed.

Chronic stress can promote the signs of aging and must be prevented. This can be easily done by smiling more. A smile can help you to get rid of stress and cortisol. Therefore smile to look younger.

Can smiling give you wrinkles?

No smiling doesn’t cause wrinkles. As mentioned above the act of smiling will make wrinkles around your mouth and eyes. But this are temporary wrinkles. In scientific terms they are called dynamic wrinkles. Or wrinkles that occur due to facial expressions and movements. They will go as long as you stop smiling. So don’t worry. You won’t become older if you smile more often. In fact you will look better as smile is the best makeup that you can wear. 

What causes wrinkles and saggy skin?

You must not worry about the dynamic wrinkles, but you must worry about your static wrinkles. This are the wrinkles that make you look older as they are permanent in nature. They occur due to several factors like the suns UV radiation, pollution and cigarette smoking.

The above causes create free radicals in your body. This free radicals damage collagen and elastin in your skin which results in wrinkles and saggy skin. So you must avoid the above causes to look younger.

One thing that you must do is to use a sunscreen with good SPF. Quitting wrong habits like smoking and drinking alcohol can also prevent signs of aging.

In conclusion

Yes a smile on your face will make you look younger. It is the best makeup that you can wear. When you are below the age of 40 a neutral face is the youngest possible face. But ones you cross the age of 40 it is important that you smile as frequently as you can.

Smiling also will help you to prevent chronic stress which is another cause of skin aging. Also smiling causes static wrinkles which are a result of a particular facial expression. They will go as you stop smiling.

Therefore smiling is important for you to look younger.


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