DALLAS—Sad, mad, glad--we see those facial expressions everyday but according to a study in the journal of Social Psychology and Personality Science--people who use Botox are less likely to be able to read those emotions.
Max Nelson is the clinical supervisor at the Seah Behavioral Health Center in Plano, Texas where he said Botox makes it hard for people to mimic facial expressions.
Secondary cues are a huge part of how we communicate.
He says a poker face can impact long term relationships and even parenting.
"Families that I've treated, particularly mothers, may have had the procedure and a child in certain developmental stages will have difficulty learn how to develop secondary ques because mom doesn't display them on a daily basis," Nelson said.
Stylist Christopher Paul uses Botox for the same reason almost everyone else does.
"It makes you look younger," Christopher said. "It gets all these creases out from all of your old man lines."
Christopher said that to the best of his knowledge his sometimes less than expressive expression has never been taken as mean or uncaring--but his clients have stories to tell--including a mother who was frustrated because her kids couldn't tell she was mad--really mad.
"From the Botox, yea, definitely," Christopher said. "She had a blank face because she got it all over her face, even her eyebrows. She couldn't even move her eyebrows."
That's because Botox and other similar products stop wrinkles by basically numbing muscles in the face--which can disrupt signals to the brain which helps us understand others emotions.
Great for cards--but not everyday life.
"It brings about a lot of questions," Max Nelson said. "How honest this person is, how genuine are they? How much of a relationship do you want to form with them or not with someone who is not genuine or honest with you?"
Maybe they genuine and honest but their expressions don't match their words and that can be confusing.
But not for Christopher or his friends who have figured out a way to figure him out.
"They know by the tone of my voice," Christopher said.