A Botox-free face can help you age well

Helen Mirren shows how grace and beauty come with age.
photo: Caroline Bonarde Ucci
We now know why the Jersey housewives railroad, backstab, and generally throw each other under the bus every time they encounter each other.

According to a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, women whose wrinkles have been "softened" with Botox injections lose the ability to mimic other people's emotions.  In turn, this cripples their ability to process facial feedback signals, which are central to understanding what others feel.

Botox, then, can not only make you look like a scary woman with her eyebrows up near her hairline; it can compromise your ability to build strong relationships with the people around you.

Is this living well?

Fighting age with diet, exercise, and skin care is smart.  Supple muscles, strong bones, well nourished and hydrated skin, hair and nails make people beautiful regardless of their age.  Yes.  It is disheartening when your 3-year-old asks with great curiosity just how you can make your forehead look so "bumpy" when you talk.  (I know.  Because it happened to me).  But knowing that she can read your feelings via facial expression and you can empathize with hers are crucial to living a full life.

Sure.  A girl needs some cheats.  Highlights in the hair, strategically placed bronzer, and a retinoid skin cream are all fair game.  But let's not kill ourselves trying to look younger.  After all, Mother Nature has the upper hand in this battle.

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