Skip to Content

What Is a Duchenne Smile?

In this post, we’ll talk about the Duchenne smile.

As explained in Better Help,

This type of smile is a natural expression of enjoyment, made by contracting the zygomatic major muscle and the orbicularis oculi muscle. It’s often quite involuntary, and experienced during times of genuine happiness or enjoyment.

This type of smile was named after Guillaume Duchenne, a French anatomist who studied many different expressions of emotion, focusing on the smile of pure enjoyment.

He identified the exact facial movements that make this smile different from other types of smiles.

What makes this smile so attractive?

As mentioned in Betterhelp, this type of smile is different from a fake smile in several ways. First, the Duchenne smile uses both the zygomatic major and the orbicularis oculi.

A fake smile, instead, doesn’t engage the eyes but involves only on the lips and possibly the cheeks.

Second, the Duchenne smile is a natural sign of enjoyment. In the past, the consensus among researchers was this smile is almost impossible to fake. More recent research calls that into question.

Now, researchers spend more time trying to find out how we benefit from and how we can produce this type of smile.

Also, as explained in Healhtline, this kind of smile influences how other people see you: it makes you seem trustworthy and generous, which may make people respond positively to you in a variety of settings.

Not to mention, always according to Healthline, smiling with your eyes and your mouth can help you lift your mood, calm you down, and help you deeply connect with other people.

Photo by Guilherme Almeida from Pexels

The Truly Charming