Keen on looking younger? A smile may not be the right way, but a look of surprise may take a few years off, says a study.
While smiling could make you appear two years older, the surprised look could just drop a few years from your visage, the researchers said.
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“We associate smiling with positive values and youth,” said Melvyn Goodale, Director of the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University, Canada.
However, the study, appearing in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, showed the opposite.
Smiling faces were considered to be the oldest, while surprised faces were regarded as the youngest.
For the study, participants were shown the images of people with smiling, neutral and surprised expressions.
Goodale said the ageing effect of a smile stems from people’s inability to ignore the wrinkles that form around the eyes during smiling. A look of surprise, on the other hand, smoothens any wrinkles.
“It may seem counter-intuitive, but the study shows that people can sincerely believe one thing and then behave in a completely different way,” Goodale said.