Women who use creams, botox or cosmetic surgery in a bid to look younger do so primarily to avoid a 'feared self', experts have said.
According to researchers from the University of Bath and Qatar University, many women are afraid of an image of themselves in which they appear wrinkled and old.
This fear inspires them to attempt treatments and services that can help to roll back the years and improve their appearance.
The researchers studied 297 women aged between 27 and 65 and found that many women persist with cosmetic surgery and other aesthetic treatments, even if they do not think the treatment is working.
Dr Rana Sobh, of Qatar University, commented: "This study is more evidence for the belief that when someone is thinking negatively about themselves, and they try and fail to improve their situation, they will be motivated to try again.
"When people dwell on a negative future, they are motivated by fear, yet as they move away from this feared state - say a wrinkled skin - they become less motivated to carry on using a product or service."