STYLE

Smiling Is Making You Look Old, According To New, Sad, Research

05/17/2017 11:29 EDT

Victoria Beckham might be on to something.

The 43-year-old singer-turned-fashion designer is known for never smiling for fear of looking "a little daft" in paparazzi photos, but researchers say if you crack a smile, you'll also create cracks in your skin.

According to Melvyn Goodale, co-author of a new study and director of the Brain and Mind Institute at the University of Western Ontario, people who smile in photos tend to look two years older than people with a straight face.


Goodale says the reason is simple: when people smile, their grin forms wrinkles around the mouth and eyes while a straight face keeps the skin looking smooth.

The study also found that people who made a surprised expression tended to look the youngest.

"The striking thing was that when we asked participants afterwards about their perceptions, they erroneously recalled that they had identified smiling faces as the youngest ones," Goodale noted. "They were completely blind to the fact they had 'aged' the happy-looking faces. Their perceptions and their beliefs were polar opposites."

So there you have it — even though you think smiling makes you look young, science (and Posh Spice) says it does the opposite, and that's nothing to smile about.

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