How Will You Look in 30 Years? Age Yourself in Photos

Spur Healthy Habits By Seeing Your Older Self

Computer program showing young woman what she will look like as she ages
Image Source/Getty Images

Knowing what you may look like as you age if you smoke or spend a lot of time in the sun might encourage you to adopt healthy habits while you can. The rate at which skin ages depends on many factors, including genetics, diet, hormonal factors, and lifestyle factors like tobacco smoking and exposure to environmental chemicals and the sun's radiation. While fast-forwarding the aging process can be a fun (or frightening) party game, there’s research that seeing your future self this way can help jumpstart healthy behaviors (like quitting smoking) in the present.

Websites and Apps to Age Yourself in Photos

There are online sites, software, and apps for your smartphone that can show you what you may look like as you age.

  • Apps: You can use  Appcrawlr.com to compare ratings of current apps that can be used age your facial photo or rate how old you look in photos. Some of these are simple to use, such as AgingBooth. There is also a SmokerFace app that specifically shows the effects expected from smoking and you can adjust for the number of cigarettes smoked per day.
  • AprilAge: AprilAge has been developing photo-aging software since the late 1990s in collaboration with the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada. Based on studying the effect of time on thousands of real subjects, the program has been used by police departments, anti-smoking campaigns, and television special effects departments around the world. You may be able to use their AgeMe function or a free trial of their ForMe software. You can then age your photo with or without additional external factors like smoking, sun exposure showing photoaging, and weight gain shifts in BMI.
  • In20years.com: This site lets you upload a photo with or without the added aging effects of a drug addiction. However, it requires you to give them your email address.

    The Sun Can Age You

    Photoaging from sun exposure is caused by the sun's UVA and UVB rays. Staying out the sun can help reduce these aging effects and sunscreen may also help prevent the damage. The UVA rays penetrate to the lower layers of the skin and damage the collagen. This leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. UVB rays cause sunburn, which damages the skin as well.

    Smoking and Your Skin

    Premature wrinkling was first documented in smokers in the early 1970s. Chemicals in tobacco smoke damage collagen and elastin in the skin, leading to premature sagging and wrinkles. Nicotine also narrows the blood vessels in your skin so it receives less nutrients. Smoking continues to be found by research to be a major contributing factor in facial wrinkling. 

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