Duchenne Smile

Even if you have those pearly whites and love to show them off, it doesn’t mean that your smile is genuine. Well, according to a French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne, two facial muscles – the zygomatic major muscle and the orbicularis muscle have to work together in order to produce your genuine smile. If you’re smiling to a relative who just asked you when you’re getting married or to a Starbucks barista who just made you the wrong drink, you may not be using these muscles to produce a genuine smile. The zygomatic major muscle pulls the corners of your lips up, while the orbicularis muscle creates the “crows feet” in the corners of your eyes producing what is called a “Duchenne Smile” or simply a “genuine smile.” This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t show off those pearly whites, but maybe use them when you actually feel like smiling, not when you’re uncomfortable or in distress.

According to research, a genuine smile matters when it comes to your overall psychological well-being. Two researchers Dacher Kaltner and Lee Anne Harker from the University of California, Berkeley looked at hundreds of photographs from a Mills College Yearbook displaying genuine and non-genuine smiles. Kaltner and Harker additionally questioned the participants of the study on their personal lives and discovered that in fact their lives were affected by their Duchenne smiles. The participants with the Duchenne smiles showed far better well-being than those with the fake smiles, while also having better marriages and more satisfactory lives.

Most importantly, do not resist from showing off your teeth when you smile! Even if you are uncomfortably smiling to make a situation more bearable, smiling without actually showing your teeth can make you seem less attractive and approachable. Having a Duchenne smile requires showing your teeth and when you’re in fact using your teeth, you are making yourself happier and more attractive. Throw away all of those makeup products and put on your Duchenne smile! You will be irresistible!