It’s often said that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, however scientists have long been fascinated by trying to identify formulas for attractiveness.
On this blog, we have previously looked at the measurements hailed as “perfect” for noses, lips and buttocks - now we can reveal what science says about face shape.
The recent study, conducted by researchers at the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal, aims to provide a guide for plastic surgeons to ideal mid-face proportions.
The study involved analysing photographs of 55 women with idealised facial proportions - the images were selected from a stock photography website after running a search for “beautiful young woman not smiling”.
Some 13 facial measurements were taken, but only eight were found to be statistically significant in terms of attractiveness. The researchers recorded the average measurements from the women’s faces (see below).
The most important measurements were:
- The distance between the eyes (59.2mm)
- Eye diameter (11.5mm)
- Nose length (43.6mm)
- Distance from the inside of the eye to top lip (53.8mm)
- Width from cheekbone to inside of the eye (13.1mm)
- Diagonal of cheekbone to chin (98.9mm)
- Distance from cheekbone to hairline (86.9mm)
- Distance from cheekbone to chin (83.5mm)
The overall conclusion from the study was that a heart-shaped face, with broad cheekbones and a narrow chin, was the most attractive. This face shape can be seen on celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Eva Longoria.
Writing in the journal, lead author Dr Gary Linkov, says: “The notion of ‘mathematical beauty’ implies the existence of ideal facial contours, dimensions, and ratios that, when present, create a harmonious, balanced, and attractive face.
“A heart-shaped mid-face is the quintessential symbol of youth and remains the overarching goal of mid-facial rejuvenation. However, few objective criteria exist to describe mid-facial position, whether in the ideal or aged state. We felt that these parameters might be useful to clinicians looking to find means of quantifying ageing changes, as well as postoperative improvements.”
Although some measurements recorded in the study - such as the distance between the eyes - cannot be cosmetically altered, others can be manipulated with injectable filler or fat transfer.Cheeks, in particular, lose volume with age. This can be restored with fat or filler in order to give a fuller, more youthful looking face. One finding of the study was that cheekbones should be as wide as eyebrows for maximum attractiveness - augmenting the volume in the cheeks can help to achieve this appearance.
Ocean Clinic’s Head Surgeon Dr. Kai Kaye says: “Enhanced volume added to key areas of the face such as the cheeks and lips can make you look younger and more beautiful. However, if you don’t want a cosmetic procedure, contouring with makeup can help create the illusion of the desireable heart-shaped face.”
Meanwhile, women who have experienced facial skin sagging, resulting in jowls that have altered the lower proportions of their face, can have their jawline restored through a mini facelift.
To find out how your facial proportions could be enhanced, contact Ocean Clinic Marbella for a free consultation.