Adopt A New Angry Face

By Minji

  • A face shows your life and you don’t want to showcase years of an angry life.
  • Adopt a new “angry face” that releases tension through wide-eyes but doesn’t cause wrinkles
  • Practice and cultivate into a life-long skincare habit

Living in LA where the traffic only seems to be getting worse, witnessing bouts of road rage is unfortunately a common occurrence for me.  Just last week, I was stuck in traffic, and heard a honk next to me.  I turned to find this elderly woman giving me the middle finger and yelling something about how I should stay in my lane and “drive safe.”

Normally, this would trigger a counter-rage emotion in me, but this time there was something else that totally distracted me that I didn’t even feel anger.  It was her face.  I could literally see the years of anger in her face.  The deep creases in between her brows. Her down-turned mouth. Deep wrinkles around her eyes.  All cautioning me to not express anger in this way.  A face shows your life and you don’t want to showcase years of an angry life.

In Korea, there’s a saying that once you’re over 40, you become responsible for your face.  Meaning, beauty at a young age, can be more dependent on your genes, but as you age and hit mid-life, it becomes more connected to your skincare habits, including your facial expressions that can permanently set into your face.  There are so many examples of people who look better with age and countless other examples of beauties who become almost scary looking in later life. 

There’s even scientific proof for this.  Many experts agree that everyday facial expressions, in addition to sun damage and smoking, are the main culprits of face wrinkles.  Repeatedly making an expression can cause the muscles in those areas to contract and collagen in your skin to break down.  Like a dollar bill — the more times you fold it in the same spot, the deeper and more permanent the crease becomes. 

On top of that, this can become a vicious cycle – if you are constantly making angry face, then you’re probably getting negative reactions from the people around you, which results in you feeling more negative emotions and further wrinkling up your face, basically setting into motion a negative feedback loop.  Yikes.

What does this mean for us? Well, in a perfect world, we would stop getting angry all together and stop giving ourselves angry lines.  Alas, this is impossible for even the best of us.  My suggestion is to work on your angry face.  Next time you feel that fire in your stomach, instead of letting that energy release in the form of furrowed brows or a scrunchy down-wards face, release the energy through one channel – your eyes.  Make your eyes as big as possible (like you just saw a ghost of something) but keep the other parts of your face stoic.  This is a perfect way to release the angry tension without creating any negative wrinkles in your face. 

Couple this with a few deep breaths and you should be able to let the anger go without having your face pay for it.  Check the mirror with your new “angry face” on to make sure you’re not inadvertently crunching up other parts of the face -especially your forehead.  Then take the time to practice in everyday life and cultivate this change to turn it into a life-long habit.  I know it sounds strange, but it’s worked for me and I can’t even imagine going back to my old angry face.