Have you ever considered whether, if you’re unhappy with your looks and want to rejuvenate your skin – you might actually lose some of your ability to recognise other people’s emotions? It seems highly unlikely that anyone wanting get rid of their wrinkles using botox injections even considers whether they’re choosing between smoother skin and their innate ability to recognise another person’s emotions. So what is the link between such beauty procedures and people’s emotional communication?

Researchers studying human brain activity and communication have found that we recognise other people’s emotions in our own facial muscles by invisibly reproducing the facial expressions of the person we’re speaking to. This mechanism of mimicking facial expressions helps us to understand what emotions the other person is experiencing. Meanwhile, beauty treatments involving the use of botulinum toxin purposefully weaken some facial muscles, which form unwanted wrinkles, in order to smooth the skin of the face. This can limit our ability to mimic other people’s expressions, and thus our ability to understand their emotions.

No further research has yet been carried out to determine how strongly human communication skills are affected after such procedures. However, it is an interesting fact that in order to look younger or more beautiful, we do not even consider that we might be interfering with the mechanism used to recognise emotions, given to man by nature.