When you shoot Botox into your face to freeze it into a mask of dispassionate youthful non-expression, you might also be harming your ability to perceive emotions in others, a new study says.
The report, via Forbes and published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, indicates that freezing your facial muscles can interfere with seeing emotion in others.
Says David Neal, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, “if muscular signals from the face to the brain are dampened, you’re less able to read emotions.”
Botox and Restylane, popular with consumers seeking to freeze the wrinkly effects of age, were tested against a gel that amplifies facial signals.
“When the facial muscles are dampened, you get worse in emotion perception, and when when facial muscles are amplified, you get better at emotion perception,” says Neal.
Part of this is due to the fact that since you’re not smiling or frowning, you get less feedback from others on what your face is doing.
This might make you think twice before heading under the needle next time at the dermatologist, unless you are already dead inside anyway.