Like shiny hair or white teeth, great skin doesn’t just signal beauty—it’s also a sign of good health. In fact, we’re genetically programmed to find even, glowing complexions alluring. According to David M. Buss, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Texas in Austin, smooth and clear skin is a factor when men select a mate since it “[provides] a wealth of information…about a woman’s youth, health and hence, reproductive capacity.”
The reverse may also true: Women respond equally to cues of good health—and good skin is one of them. But it’s not just a blemish-free complexion that snares the opposite sex. In a study by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, 54 Caucasian women and men used special computer software to adjust the skintone of both male and female faces to make them look as healthy as possible. The study participants tended to make skin look rosier, brighter and more golden-toned. (Before you jump into a tanning bed—a serious beauty no-no—participants did not prefer tanned skin but rather a warmer shade.)
The study concluded that bright skin signaled youth; a yellowish skin tone (the result of plenty of beta carotene in your diet) suggested good nutrition; and rosy cheeks indicated a strong heart and good circulation—all adding up to good health.
Most people aren’t born with perfect-looking skin, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of reach. Dealing with dryness? Transform dry, parched skin by infusing it with a heavy-duty moisturizing cream. If you suffer from oily skin, wipe up excess oil with a toner and use a matte foundation. Mask blemishes with a light dab of creamy concealer and lighten up dark, under-eye circles by using a brightening moisturizer with sunscreen. Following a smart skincare regimen and using makeup designed to work with your particular skin type can help you get the flawless complexion you crave.
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