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The Language of Facial Expressions

The Language of Facial Expressions

Posted: May 9, 2019

Silent Communicator

Facial expressions are a nonverbal communication. They convey social information between humans, as well as most other mammals. Humans can adopt a facial expression voluntarily or involuntarily, and the neural mechanisms responsible for controlling the expression differ in each case. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

No Faking Microexpressions

Involuntary facial expressions or microexpressions are brief, involuntary facial expressions that appear on a person’s face according to the emotions being experienced. Unlike regular, pro-longed facial expressions, it is DIFFICULT TO FAKE a microexpression. There are seven universal microexpressions: disgust, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise and contempt. They often occur as fast as 1/15 to 1/25 of a second. The face is the best indicator of a person’s emotions. Yet, it often is overlooked. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Universality of Microexpressions

Dr. Paul Ekman, whose research is the premise of the show Lie to Me, did groundbreaking research decoding the human face. He showed that facial expressions are UNIVERSAL. People in the US make the same face for sadness as indigenous people in Papa New Guinea who never have seen TV or movie characters to model themselves after. He also found that congenitally blind individuals since birth, also make the same facial expressions, even though they never have seen other people’s faces. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Decoding Microexpressions

Microexpressions are deciphered looking at the position of the eye brows, presence or absence of wrinkles on the forehead, if eyelids are open or tense, if the white of the eyes are showing above and below the eye, what the muscles of the mouth, jaw and neck are doing. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


The model is expressing surprise. Her brows are raised and curved. Her forehead is wrinkled- well sort of…Does she have Botox on board?. Her eyes are wide open with the white of eye above and below showing. Her jaw has dropped open. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Botox and Microexpressions

Because microexpressions involve the collective movement of different areas of the face, Botox treatments done correctly don’t have to wipe out microexprssions completely. I believe Botox should be used to enhance the beauty quotient of an individual by reshaping faces not by obliterating and freezing all muscle movement.

To see me for Botox Cosmetic facial reshaping, fill out our contact form or call us at (949) 721-6000 to schedule a consultation.

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