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Can wrinkles disappear overnight? The hoax of before and after photos.

 

Beware to base your judgment of an anti-wrinkle/skin rejuvenation products on before and after photos provided by commercial vendors. In a strictly controlled setting of an unbiased clinical study, before and after photos might be a useful adjunct to other methods used to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment for wrinkles or skin aging. Otherwise, before and after photos are often unintentionally or intentionally misleading. In fact, some unscrupulous skin care providers have a "bag of tricks" to create a false impression of skin rejuvenation.

For instance, the position of the lighting source has a dramatic effect on how wrinkles appear to a viewer. When light comes from the side, wrinkles appear deeper, whereas placing a light source in front of the face makes wrinkles much less noticeable. You can make a little experiment to see that for yourself. Take a lamp or a flashlight and then position yourself in front of a mirror. Then place the lamp / flashlight so that the light comes to your face from the side and look in the mirror. Then do the same with light coming to your face from the front. You face will appear "years younger" although there has been no real change in wrinkles or skin texture.

Another method involves using the light of different brightness and/or tint. Due to the nature of light waves, wrinkles and other small details are easier to notice if the light has greenish-bluish rather than yellowish-reddish tint. On top of lighting effects, some unscrupulous beauty specialists use tightening makeup that temporarily smoothens the skin. The effect, of course, is transient but long enough to take a photo. To sum it up, unless photos come from an unbiased clinical study with full disclosure of the conditions under which they were taken, they can not be assumed to be reliable. In some cases, a good observer may be able to tell whether a particular set of before and after photos reflect a genuine change, or a magic trick.

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