Life’s greatest moments of joy, sorrow, stress and triumph can be traced in the expression lines on our face. They’re our personal storylines, weaving a complex tale that all too often reveals itself in the form of crow’s feet, marionette lines around the mouth and parallel grooves, or “goal posts” between the brows.
But did you know that those same expression lines may cause observers to mistake older adults as appearing angry or sadder than they actually are?
In a 2013 Penn State University study, participants were asked to assess the emotion they perceived in photographs of 64 faces. Older adult faces were viewed as sadder and angrier than those of their younger counterparts, even though all of the faces studied were “neutral,” according to the researchers.
Expression lines can cause the mouth to drop, resulting in the appearance of a frown. And those “11s” between the brows and crow’s feet around the eyes may also result in features that observers often interpret as anger or sadness, says a lead study researcher.
Certain at-home skincare solutions can visibly improve the effects. For instance, hyaluronic acid, a humectant that’s capable of retaining 1,000 times its weight in water, helps plump the skin’s cells to keep skin of all ages looking smoother longer. In addition, a daily regimen featuring a broad-spectrum sunscreen, retinoids, peptides, antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids will help stave off the creases and keep skin looking younger.
So smile and find your expression. Just lose the wrinkle.