Saira Khan: Be wary of using FaceApp to alter your appearance…

Never one to miss out on anything trending on social media, I jumped on the bandwagon and this week had a go at FaceApp.

I couldn’t wait to see what I’d look like in my 80s, and share the image with my family and friends – many of whom had already sent me their own aged pictures.

I was prepared to have a laugh and a joke about how I’d look – after all, it’s just light-hearted entertainment, isn’t it?

But I was very shocked to see myself as an old lady. Immediately the worry set in and I started to have thoughts of botox, fillers and cosmetic surgery.

As I stared at those deep-set wrinkles, all I could think was: “I can’t allow this to happen to me. I must do everything I can to keep my face from going downhill.”

But as soon as I had these thoughts, the anger set in.

I felt so annoyed with myself for thinking like that.

Here I am, a mature woman who owns her own natural skincare company, advising women to be confident in their own skin – and after one ridiculous photo, I felt crushed.

Why did I let it make me feel so bad? I knew the image was an exaggeration and not an accurate prediction.

The fact is that it’s not just time but environmental factors – such as sun damage, pollution, lifestyle and genetics – that actually determine how well or badly our skin ages.

I soon deleted the app because I didn’t like the way it made me feel about myself.

It worries me greatly that we’re all so concerned with the way we look. I believe that these ageing images can end up having a devastating impact on the young and vulnerable.

And I’m not the only one concerned.

Dr Rekha Tailor, a non-surgical cosmetic specialist and founder of Health & Aesthetics, says: “I’ve already seen a rise in patients seeking botox as a result of the app.

“And the age of these people is dropping significantly.”

When you have teenage girls using botox as part of their beauty regime, you know that something is seriously wrong.

I have kept the photo of myself produced by FaceApp. I have looked at it several times and I have to say the more that I do so, the less offended I am by what I see, because it reminds me that I am ageing every day and there’s little I can do about it.

Of course I will try to look the best I can, but I cannot turn back the years and, frankly, nor would I want to.

I will be grateful to live my life to a good age, and as long as I’m healthy, I will welcome those deep-set wrinkles. 

Because they will be the lines of a woman who has life experience and, hopefully, wisdom to share.

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