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Color homogeneity and visual perception of age, health, and attractiveness of female facial skin

The Researchers: P. J. Matts, B. Fink, K. Grammer and M. Burquest

Published In: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Vol. 57, pp.977-984, 2007

Prognosis

Even skin looks healthy, youthful.

Particulars

Is beauty really only skin deep? Skin is a big part of beauty, but it’s not all superficial. We use skin appearance to make judgments about what’s going on underneath.

In this study, researchers cropped photographs of cheek skin from 170 women and girls, ages 11 to 76. They asked 353 men and women to rate each cheek sample for attractiveness, health and youth. They also asked them to guess the age of the person in the photograph (from no more than a cheek, mind you).

Raters’ guesses about the ages of the subjects tended to be accurate—and the older the subject behind the sample was, the less likely they were to be rated healthy, attractive and youthful.

Still, one factor trumped age: The skin samples with even tone and texture were rated as younger, healthier and more attractive. Even tone and texture are signs of good health and minimal sun damage—no wonder we find it so lovely!

Beauty connection

Skin is the largest organ in the body, and its appearance can say a lot about your physical health. Your diet and lifestyle have a big impact on your skin—even more than genetics.

Want even skintone? Wear sunscreen! Seriously, uneven skintone is pretty much all sun damage, and wearing sunblock (we prefer a zinc oxide formula) every day is your best protection. If you want an extra boost, foods with carotenoids, like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens and tomatoes are all proven to improve skintone. Next stop: Farmers market!

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