When Facial Attractiveness is Only Skin Deep

  title={When Facial Attractiveness is Only Skin Deep},
  author={Benedict C. Jones and Anthony C. Little and D Michael Burt and David Ian Perrett},
  pages={569 - 576}
Whilst the relationship between aspects of facial shape and attractiveness has been extensively studied, few studies have investigated which characteristics of the surface of faces positively influence attractiveness judgments. As many researchers have proposed a link between attractiveness and traits that appear healthy, apparent health of facial skin might be a property of the surface of faces that positively influences attractiveness judgments. In experiment 1 we tested for a positive… 

Figures from this paper

The boundary of holistic processing in the appraisal of facial attractiveness

Results showed that faces were consistently rated more attractive when they were masked by an oval shape rather than by their outline, and is likely a result of the interaction between the shape of a mask and the internal features of the face.

Data-driven mathematical model of East-Asian facial attractiveness: the relative contributions of shape and reflectance to attractiveness judgements

Results indicate that faces with larger eyes, smaller noses and brighter skin are judged as more attractive, regardless of the sex of the faces, possibly reflecting a general preference for femininity.

Patterns of Eye Movements When Observers Judge Female Facial Attractiveness

The finding that the area of the nose is vital in the judgment of facial attractiveness is a major contribution of the present study and establishes a contribution of partial processing on female facial attractiveness judgments during eye-tracking.

Perception of Facial Attractiveness from Static and Dynamic Stimuli

The association between attractiveness of facial images and clips was tested on a larger sample than has previously been reported, and the importance of facial averageness, femininity/masculinity, symmetry, fattiness, skin health, and mouth expression for attractiveness proved similar for static and dynamic stimuli.

Visible skin colouration predicts perception of male facial age, health and attractiveness

Testing the hypothesis that perception of age, health and attractiveness of (non‐contextual) digitally isolated fields of cheek skin only can predict that of whole facial images suggested strongly that visible skin condition, and skin colour homogeneity in particular, plays a significant role in the perception of men’s faces.

The effect of visible skin condition on the perception of female facial age, health, and attractiveness

Evolutionary psychologists argue that humans have evolved preferences for those facial features that signal health and fertility and thus facilitate mate selection. While there is ample evidence for

Hand attractiveness—its determinants and associations with facial attractiveness

Hand and facial attractiveness was correlated with each other for each sex and mediated by shape typicality and fattiness in men and by grooming and, possibly, fattness in women.

Visible skin condition and perception of human facial appearance

There is now accumulating evidence that skin pigmentation and skin surface topography cues have a significant influence on attractiveness judgements, as they seem primarily to signal aspects of age and health.

The effects of skin colour distribution and topography cues on the perception of female facial age and health

  • B. FinkP. Matts
  • Psychology
    Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV
  • 2008
Data is presented showing that both skin colour distribution and skin surface topography cues not only significantly influence the perception of female facial age and health but also convey differential information with regard to the strength of these effects.

Predicting attractiveness from face parts reveals multiple covarying cues.

The correlated nature of the attractiveness of face parts shows that perceived attractiveness is determined by multiple covarying cues that the visual system can exploit to determine attractiveness from a single glance.



Facial shape and judgements of female attractiveness

The finding that highly attractive facial configurations are not average shows that preferences could exert a directional selection pressure on the evolution of human face shape.

Human (Homo sapiens) facial attractiveness in relation to skin texture and color.

The authors propose that skin texture is a cue to fertility and health, and found that dark skin, not light skin, was rated as most attractive.

The role of masculinity and distinctiveness in judgments of human male facial attractiveness.

Averaging in both shape and texture were found to increase attractiveness independently, showing that the increased attractiveness of composites is due to the combined action of these two manipulations, suggestive that masculinity and distinctiveness are separable components in face perception.

Human body odour, symmetry and attractiveness

A significant positive correlation between facial attractiveness and sexiness of body odour for female subjects and negative relations between smell and body asymmetry for males only if female odour raters were in the most fertile phase of their menstrual cycle are found.

The Body and Face of Woman: One Ornament that Signals Quality?

Attractiveness of Facial Averageness and Symmetry in Non-Western Cultures: In Search of Biologically Based Standards of Beauty

These findings show that preferences for facial averageness and symmetry are not restricted to Western cultures, consistent with the view that they are biologically based.

Human (Homo sapiens) facial attractiveness and sexual selection: the role of symmetry and averageness.

This is the first study to show that facial symmetry has a positive influence on facial attractiveness ratings, with the exception of the hypothesized effects of averageness of female and male faces on attractiveness ratings.

Symmetry, sexual dimorphism in facial proportions and male facial attractiveness

Here, real and computer graphic male faces are used in order to demonstrate that symmetric faces are more attractive, but not reliably more masculine than less symmetry faces and that asymmetric faces possess characteristics that are attractive independent of symmetry, but that these characteristics remain at present undefined.