Smile yourself younger

Putting a smile on your dial will wipe years off your age, according to a new study.
Photo / File
Putting a smile on your dial will wipe years off your age, according to a new study. Photo / File

Forget the facelift and push aside the anti-ageing creams - all you need to do is smile.

A study has found that the simple act of looking happy takes years off a person's age.

The German researchers say that it's probably because we consider people who are cheerful as being attractive in other ways, including being younger than they actually are.

Temporary wrinkles created by grinning also makes it more tricky to judge a person's age and so may lead those doing the guessing to err on the side of caution.

Manuel Voelkle, of the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, asked more than 150 men and women of different ages to judge the ages of the faces in more than 1000 photographs.

"Facial expression has a substantial impact on accuracy," he says.

"Relative to other facial expressions, the age of neutral faces was estimated most accurately, while the ages of those displaying happy expressions was most likely underestimated."

The study also reveals older faces are more difficult to judge than younger ones.

And, the age of those doing the judging was also important. Older people overestimated the age of those photographed, while younger people shaved a year or two off, the journal Psychology and Aging reports.

- DAILY MAIL

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