Think plastic surgery will make you more attractive while shaving a decade off your appearance? A new study says that's bogus. Thanks to the honesty of strangers, researchers found plastic surgery makes a person look only 3.1 years younger on average, and only very slightly better looking, NBC News reports. The study looked at 49 plastic surgery patients who went in for face, neck, eye, and brow lifts at the same clinic. Strangers were then asked to rate before-and-after photos.
Still, the results aren't so bad, argues one of the study's co-authors. “The takeaway is that patients will definitely appear younger after aging facial surgery on average," he says. “There’s a range—the highest level was a patient who looked 9.4 years younger." But an unimpressed Michigan plastic surgeon won't be citing the results: “Removing three years is more in the territory of spa treatments, not plastic surgery." Previous research has pegged the benefit at 7 years, and LiveScience thinks the difference might be explained by the fact that this study included people who had less extensive work done.