How will you age? Brave women test out AprilAge’s AgeMe app

(This article by Martha Cliff for Daily Mail Online was originally published on April 20, 2016).

There are many things that can contribute to the ageing process including smoking, skincare and genetics.

And now a new app will reveal whether whether our efforts are really paying off by fast forwarding the clock to reveal how we might appear in 10, 20, 30 and even 40 years time.

AgeMe by AprilAge Inc takes a photo of a subject and then uses technology to fast-forward the ageing process on the photograph.

Martha, pictured here at current age 24, says she makes a concious effort to apply anti-ageing products

Martha, pictured here at current age 24, says she makes a concious effort to apply anti-ageing products

Unlike other apps the AgeMe software takes lifestyle into account producing an accurate representation of the ageing process rather than an artist's representation.

The original version of the app was created in association with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, to raise awareness, develop insight and change behaviour about smoking.

The app will age anyone between seven to 70, showing natural ageing as well as the effects of a pack-a-day smoking habit, excess sun exposure or weight gain.

The app works by applies specific characteristics from the database to a user’s photograph.

The database comprises thousands of real people’s 3D head scans, across five ethnic groups, male/female, ages seven to 70. The user can choose how old they wish to see themselves become.

Here three brave FEMAIL writers lent their faces to the app to see if their anti-ageing efforts were really pulling off.

MARTHA, 24

Martha barely saw any effects of aging in her late twenties (pictured at 28)

She was even struggling to notice a difference ten years on at 35

I like to think I take good measures in order to protect my skin from ageing. Although my diet isn't exactly 'clean eating' and I haven't succumbed to sugar ban I take good measures to keep fine lines at bay.

Following the example of my mother I apply an SPF 25 moisturiser every day and even look out for foundation which includes an SPF factor.

I am by no means a sunbather as sun damage is one of the major factors in the ageing process. You will find me slathering myself in factor 50 and I have never set foot in a tanning salon.

Martha, who avoids sun beds was still pleased with her skin's condition at  the age of 47

Martha, who avoids sun beds was still pleased with her skin's condition at  the age of 47

Martha only began to see deeper lines and wrinkles develop at the age of 55

Martha at 61

Martha only began to see deeper lines and wrinkles develop at the age of 55 (left) and 61 (right)

Martha admits that her skin is clearly aged a great deal by the time she reaches 67, but says that she is happy with her ageing process as her a whole

Looking at my aged photos I am fairly impressed with how I am predicted to look in the future. In the photos I have barely aged between the age of  24 and 47 and if that's true to life I will be rather smug.

Yes it looks as though I may develop an impressive collection of wrinkles in my 60s, but isn't that to be expected? Besides wrinkles are a sign of wisdom.  

UNITY, 26

I have a fairly straightforward skin routine which hasn't changed much since my teenage years - at the end of every day I'll wash my make-up off with warm water, followed by a once-over with a face wipe and a blob of £4 moisturiser.

Unity, pictured at her current age of 26, says she has a fairly straightforward skin routine

Unity, pictured at her current age of 26, says she has a fairly straightforward skin routine

Unity noted that the app didn't much change throughout her thirties and forties

Unity at 47

Unity noted that the app didn't much change throughout her thirties and forties - apart from the odd line around the mouth (pictured aged 35, left, and  47, right)

How the app predicts Unity's skin will look at 45. She says it's not until she reaches her sixties (below) that the change becomes more noticeable

How the app predicts Unity's skin will look at 45. She says it's not until she reaches her sixties (below) that the change becomes more noticeable

In the daytime I'll use some SPF10 foundation. There's probably more I could do to look after my skin, but I balk at the idea of splashing out on expensive anti-ageing products - plus, those I've tried have left my skin feeling greasy.

Factoring in the fact that I have a healthy BMI of 23.5, enjoy the (occasional) cigarette and have minimal sun exposure, the app has been relatively kind to me. It hasn't predicted much change throughout my thirties and forties - apart from the odd line around the mouth.

The sight of my face at 72, however, is truly terrifying with drooping eyelids and a heavily-wrinkled chin - but at least my hair hasn't greyed.

Unity aged 61

Unity aged 67

Unity aged 61 (left) and 67 (right), with visible lines around her mouth and forehead

Unity, pictured aged 72, said: 'The site of my face at is truly terrifying, with drooping eyelids and a heavily-wrinkled chin - but at least my hair hasn't greyed!'

Unity, pictured aged 72, said: 'The site of my face at is truly terrifying, with drooping eyelids and a heavily-wrinkled chin - but at least my hair hasn't greyed!'

ALICE, 23

I’m quite careful to take good care of my skin - I have a very involved multi-step nighttime routine that incorporates a lot of Asian skincare products, including serums, vitamin C and glycolic acid.

I do several masks a week, including clay and sheet masks and I wear factor 50 sunscreen every day, rain or shine.

I’m fairly happy with the progression of the photos until I get to my 60s - then it gets a bit scary! There are more lines around my mouth than I expected, but my forehead doesn’t seem to have changed much at all.

It’s nice to have an idea of what might change on my face, but I don’t think this will make a difference to how I take care of my skin now. I am very glad, however, that I’ve already started using preventative measures and will definitely keep going with those in the future.

At 23, Alice takes good care of her skin and always wears a factor 50 sunscreen 

At 47, the app predicts that Alice will still look really youthful, with only fine lines starting to appear

At 47, the app predicts that Alice will still look really youthful, with only fine lines starting to appear

At 55 (left) and 61 (right), the signs of ageing are starting to hit Alice, with lines around her mouth and lips

By 67, lines have appeared around Alice's eyes, on her cheeks and around her mouth, according to the app

By 67, lines have appeared around Alice's eyes, on her cheeks and around her mouth, according to the app

By 72, the app claims that Alice will have developed lines over her face - but her neck looks wrinkle-free

By 72, the app claims that Alice will have developed lines over her face - but her neck looks wrinkle-free.