As if we do not already have enough aging-related insecurities to deal with, researchers have found yet another sign of aging. In addition to wrinkles, pigmentation and less elastic skin, our facial features also become less distinct and seem to blend together as we get older.
In collaboration with CE.R.I.E.S of Chanel Research & Technology, Psychology Professor Richard Russell of Gettysburg College discovered that while we are not conscious of this age indicator, we still use it to perceive the facial age of others.
Going through the images of 289 faces aged between 20 and 70, the researchers found that with age, there is less contrast between our facial features. This is mostly due to fading lip color and the dulling of skin luminance on certain parts of the face.
When shown identical pictures of a woman, where one has been digitally manipulated to increase contrast, subjects would perceived the face in the enhanced image as being younger.
This would probably explain why make-up, such as red lipstick, is generally applied to make facial features appear more distinctive.
Are you checking your face for fading contrast now?
[via Gettysburg College]