New Aging Research Reveals How Color & Contrast Ages You!

Psychology Professor Richard Russel of Gettysburg College Revealed collaborated with researchers from Chanel Research and Technology to study skin related issues and facial appearance. Last week, Professor Russel revealed that his research found that the contrasting nature of facial features is one of the signals that people unconsciously use to decipher how old someone looks. It is an invisible sign of aging that no one can easily discern or point out, but it is prominently present.

As a face ages, the difference in redness between the lips and the surrounding skin decreases, as does the brightness difference between eyebrow and forehead. This is why lipsticks and highlighters work! Contrasting colors of eyes, hairs and other features can make one look youthful. (Young children and babies have brighter looking eyes and paler skin!)

How to Look Younger with Makeup
The only difference between these two photos is that the left one has more color contrast. The lips have a little color added and some features are slightly darkened. No wrinkles or sunspots have been changed at all. The under eye circles and other aging signs remain the same, but the left one still looks younger because of the color contrast.

In one research experiment, Russell and his team measured images of 289 faces ranging in age from 20 to 70 years old, and found that through the aging process, the color of the lips, eyes and eyebrows change, while the skin becomes darker. This results in less contrast between the features and the surrounding skin -- leaving older faces to have less contrast than younger faces.1

To sum it up, increase the contrast in your face to look younger without getting any work done! If you are a Photoshop-my-face kind of gal, increase that color contrast before you send your family photo newsletter out. Or simply add a touch of blush, lip color or anything that gives you a bit more color where age has robbed color from you.

This study isn't a reason to rush out and buy tons of makeup, but it is reassuring to know that some signs of aging can be slightly countered.


  1. Wow contrasting colors really makes a big difference!

  2. Definitely add some colors for a huge difference!