While Botox injections can help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles to help you look younger, they could also end up sabotaging your relationships. As per a recent study from the University of South California and Duke University, people who received Botox treatments were found to be less able to read other people’s expressions. Consequently, they were less able to respond adequately in both personal and social scenarios, a sure recipe for relationship trouble!
Apparently, humans register facial expression of others, like worry, happiness, or pain, through mimicry; the inability to reproduce these expressions on account of having used Botox often means lesser empathy and a less-than-perfect emotional understanding of your partner or friends. Regular communication is a combination of speech, expressions, and gestures. Eliminating one can often mean the difference between successful and failed communication.
For those interested, the detailed study can be found in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. The experiment was conducted using three groups of people. Apart from the Botox group, there was a second group that had no Botox-like reduction in muscular feedback, while the third had an amplified muscular response thanks to a gel that can be best described as anti-Botox. It was found that the use of Botox removed wrinkles through muscle paralysis, but it also ended up eliminating facial clues to expressions in the subjects studied. For example, due to the immobilization caused by Botox, there were no longer any furrows between eyebrows that could indicate worry or any crow’s feet that could be indicative of a smile. It was always known that users of Botox were less expressive; it now appears that Botox inhibits communication both ways.
Ironically, most people use Botox to make a better impression on others; in doing so, they may end up achieving exactly the opposite effect. Maybe there are bigger things to worry about when using Botox than a “frozen” face–frozen relationships maybe?