Does the Face App Accurately Depict How We Will Age? Doctors Weigh In

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July of 2019 will be remembered for two events: the great Manhattan blackout and the rise of the #FaceAppChallenge.

The Face App, a program that takes your uploaded image and “ages” it using artificial intelligence, has us completely stopping in our tracks for a few reasons, but mainly by allowing us to see what we—and our favorite celebrities—will look like down the road. Dover, OH facial plastic surgeon David Hartman, MD says the app skillfully adds 35 to 55 years to these celebrities’ faces—and the bad news is that it does a pretty accurate job.

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“The Face App does a reasonably accurate job at morphing facial photos to predict where a face is heading,” Dr. Hartman says confidently. Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, DDS agrees, noting that the app does have some scientific basis for predicting how we’ll look in the future.

“Overall, we see facial skeletal bone resorption—shrinking cheekbones, brows, and jawbones—and the loss of youthful, soft tissue volume in the cheeks, lips and around the eyes in these photos,” explains Dr. Hartman. “There’s also a general deepening of wrinkles in the forehead, around the mouth, and in the throat area.”

However, genetics isn’t the only culprit: “It does indeed play a role in how well we will age, but, lifestyle—diet, exercise, sun exposure, skin care, and rejuvenation treatments—also play a critical role,” says Dr. Hartman.

So how do we keep—or slow—these harsh realities from actually surfacing? “The use of retinol, periodic skin laser treatments, radiofrequency microneedling, peels and facials can all dramatically improve the smoothness, thickness and tightness of our facial skin,” says Dr. Hartman—but that’s just the beginning.

Neuromodulators absolutely soften and smooth the ‘angry 11’ lines between the eyebrows, horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet on most, but not all faces,” says Dr. Hartman, explaining that in some cases, the lines are simply too deep because the soft tissue has fallen too much. “Rejuvenation in some faces requires surgical procedures such as face lifting, brow lifting and eyelid rejuvenation surgeries in order to restore the appearance of a more rested, youthful face.”

Dr. Goldstein reminds us that aging also effects our smile—as seen here—but there are definitely ways to prevent it. San Francisco, CA cosmetic dentist Swati Agarwal, DDS agrees, pointing out the yellowing and loss of teeth in Gordon Ramsey’s photo. “Patients can keep their teeth as long as they look after them,” she says. “Regular check-ups and professional cleanings are a must—a minimum of twice a year—and yellowing teeth can easily be fixed with a quick round of in-office whitening.”

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