Monday, January 25, 2010

Skin Tone and the Perception of Age

The focal point of the anti-aging world has historically centered around skin care that works hard at minimizing wrinkles, facial lines and sagging skin. Anti-aging always meant anti-wrinkle. More recently, however, the focus has dramatically shifted to the skin's tone and coloration, particularly since recent research concluded that the evenness of the complexion plays a critical role in the perception of one's age.

Case in point. A team of biologists in Europe used 3D technology to understand the impact of skin tone and discolorations with respect to beauty and aging. 430 participants were asked to guess the ages of digital images of 169 females between the ages of 11 and 76. The digital images were photoshopped to present healthier and even skin tones. Most were judged to be younger than their actual age. These results confirmed that skin tone greatly impacts a woman's perceived age, and in some cases, actually erred on the side of youth by up to 12 years.

Healthy skin reflects light evenly resulting in a youthful glow. Mature skin, on the other hand, lacks collagen and moisture and absorbs light which visibly translates to a dull complexion giving an older, more aged appearance. In fact, when light hits a rough and irregular surface, the light scatters and actually highlights imperfections. This research is invaluable to cosmetic companies to help 'set the right tone' of the anti-aging movement. Expect to see more effective *primers, *concealers and *foundations on the market that will even out skin tone and present a much more youthful complexion.

*If you have found a great primer, concealer, and/or foundation, please share it with us. Email us at and tell us all about it!