How Realistic Is TikTok’s “Cool Old” Filter? We Asked Experts

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How Realistic Is TikTok’s “Cool Old” Filter? We Asked Experts featured image

In this day and age, it feels like there’s a new TikTok filter catching eyes and stirring up debate on the daily, whether it be one that changes your hair color, gives you freckles or any one of hundreds of others. One of the apps latest shape-shifting trends that has taken over many of our For You pages is that of the “cool old” filter. Users everywhere are using the filter to predict what they will look like when they’re older. But before you start to panic (or rejoice) over the results, here’s what the experts have to say about the accuracy of this future-telling filter.


Old doesn’t meen boring 🎉 we’re gonna be fun & gorgeous 💅💄👒 #capcut #capcuttemplate

♬ Forever Young – Alphaville
TikTok: cyberquince

Similar to the viral hair-changing filter, users are achieving this cool old prediction not through the TikTok app itself, but by generating the “after” image on FaceApp and then utilizing TikTok’s transition features to emphasize the transformation. Many users were stunned by the filter’s attention to detail, occasionally cutting the individual’s hair or adding a beard to better fit an “older” style, which had many spiraling if they were unhappy with the outcome. But, New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD assures that, though impressive, the filter is not drawing up a holistic picture of aging.

“The filter used in these TikToks does show periorbital and lower facial rhytids well,” she says, “but it does not really account for the profound volume loss that comes with age as well as neck and lower face laxity.” Additionally, Dr. Levine notes that the filter cannot accurately take into account external factors like the degree of sun damage one faces over their lifetime, so she deems the viral trend to be “somewhat accurate, but it does not take into account all aging factors.”

Scottsdale, AZ facial plastic surgeon Kelly Bomer, MD, adds that “though the renditions are fairly accurate, I think this filter could create fear about looking older.” She continues on to explain how, in helping younger patients who are hoping to maintain youthfulness, “the recipe is a bit different for each person, but starting with sun protection, healthy diet and  good exercise and flexibility routines is very helpful.” She also notes that “in some cases people in their teens and 20s are good candidates for Botox and fillers to enhance facial symmetry, nose and chin contours and reduce premature facial creases due to excessive movement the eyebrows and or chin, but it is important that injectors are very careful in this young population to not harm these youths with unnatural outcomes.”

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