It’s safe to say that social media has an obsession with how to look younger and eyebrows.
The first one is as old as time, but the second one is a relatively new trend that might just have some staying power. A quick peek at the #eyebrows tag on Instagram brings up 9.5 million posts about arches — some showing off, some demonstrating how to get the perfect pair and others promoting products to get those #eyebrowgoals.
Eyebrows are big business, raking in millions — and that number probably won’t go down anytime soon, thanks to a new study published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology. For the study, researchers analyzed the photos of 763 women between 20 and 80 years old with various skin tones, all without makeup. They used a computer program to measure contrast between their eyes, brows and lips; basically, how much those features stand out against the skin around them.
How to look younger? Brighter eyebrow and lip colors
The researchers found that the younger women had “higher contrast” faces, while older women showed less contrast — mostly due to how their natural lip and eyebrow colors faded as they aged.
Next, the researchers used Photoshop to create two version of each woman’s face with differing levels of contrast. They then asked people to compare the photos and 80 percent said the high contrast photos looked younger than the lower contrast version. The results were similar across a wide swath of ethnicities, leading the researchers to believe that contrast is a true “cross-cultural” cue for age.
And the hue of the eyebrows in all the women made the most difference, according to the study authors.
“We know that lips get less red with age and eyebrows get lighter, for instance, and those are both things that you could address with makeup, if you wanted,” said study co-author Richard Russell, associate professor of psychology at Gettysburg College.
So, it’s safe to say that an extensive brow grooming routine is how to look younger — and while eyebrow pencils and colors might be expensive, they’re much cheaper than a facelift.