2nd August 2018

The Science Behind a Beautiful Face

Last Modified: April 30, 2024

Have you ever looked at a person and found them attractive without knowing why? Sure, it's not a good idea to judge a book by its cover. Beauty is only skin deep, after all.

But the first thing we see when we look at someone isn't their winning personality. It's their appearance.

So what exactly makes a beautiful face different than an average one? Is it something that we can even define?

Actually, yes it is. And it's a pretty complicated process.

To learn more about finding a beautiful face, read on!

It's Survival

A lot of what we find attractive in today's day and age are actually things that our prehistoric ancestors thought of as survival skills back in their day.

When someone had fewer blemishes on their skin, they were healthier. When they weren't too skinny, they were fed well. When they weren't too plush around the middle, they were also a capable workman.

Back in the days that we had to hunt and forage for our food, these were all the things that ensured that our offspring would be able to survive and carry on our genes.

Life finds a way, right?


If you were to sit down and look at a series of pictures, you would easily be able to pick out who you find attractive and who you don't. And it's quite possible that everyone else would pick out different people than you did.

However, if someone asked you to tell them why you found a person attractive, you would probably have a hard time explaining exactly why.

Science explains some of it. for example, symmetry is one of the ways that our brains deem a face attractive.

This just means that the more both sides of a face look like each other, the more attractive we find a person. This doesn't mean that they have to be perfect mirror images of each other, but the closer the better.

Most people have very subtle differences in terms of symmetry between the sides of their faces, so we get used to seeing it this way and our brains learn to like it.


Another thing that our brains like seeing are features that are close to the averages. In this instance, average isn't a grading system but instead the actual measurement.

As we go about life, we look at thousands and thousands of different faces. Our brains take all of those faces in as data and use them to determine which faces we like the best.

When we find a face that has characteristics that meet the standards set by those averages, we find them more attractive.

These averages take all aspects of our faces into account, like the size, shape, and placement of our features.

Nature vs Nurture

A psychologist and a team of students at the University of Texas in Austin conducted an experiment with a group of babies. They showed each baby two faces, one more scientifically attractive than the other, and studied the length of time that the babies looked at each face.

They discovered that babies looked at the more attractive faces for a longer time than they did the unattractive ones. This sort of leads us towards the idea that we're born with an idea of beauty, right?

However, familiar things are also attractive to us. A psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Pittsburg did research working with two groups of teenagers. One of the groups were British and the other was Hazda, which are a group of hunter-gatherers in East Africa.

The group from Hazda were never introduced to the idea of Western culture or beauty.

She showed both groups images and asked what they found more attractive. One of the images was a composite of an average of 5 British faces, one was an average of 20 British faces, one was an average of 5 Hazda faces, and one was an average of 20 Hazda faces.

Both groups found the more average face to be attractive, or the composite of 20 faces. However, the British preferred the British faces and the Hazda preferred the Hazda faces.

So our idea of beauty must also be learned, right?

What About Personal Preference?

All of the research we've done earlier talked about averages. But what does that say for all of our personal preferences? It's clear that not everyone finds the same people attractive.

This goes hand in hand with the last study we talked about. We tend to find people who look the most like us attractive.

Our different experiences and associations account for a lot of our physical preferences too.

What Features Are Best?

So now that you know a little more about the science behind our physical preferences, let's talk a little bit about the exact features that we tend to find the most attractive.

Most men say that the lips are the most attractive part of a female's face and they tend to spend more time focusing on fuller, more colored lips.

People also tend to gravitate towards others who do not have facial blemishes or skin discoloration. We also tend to prefer high cheekbones and a tapering chin.

Also, as eyes are one of the features on our faces that pop the most, they are the ones that people look to for attractiveness. They are the emotional powerhouse of our face and when they are wide and bright, people tend to find us more attractive.

The Science Behind a Beautiful Face

A beautiful face may change from person to person, but there is still a science behind it. Everything from our genetics to our experiences to our species' will to survive comes into play when an attraction is concerned. At the end of the day, it's our biological drive to give our genes a chance to succeed.

If you're interested in learning more about how you can enhance your natural beauty, contact us today!

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 2nd August 2018
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

"We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves."

For everyone that walks through our clinic doors, you may think you are alone, but you are not. Our patients all have a different story to tell but all come from a similar place.
Make An Appointment

Related Posts

7th April 2024
Achieve a Balanced Smile with Chin Fillers in Coventry

A beautifully balanced smile is more than just the perfect alignment of teeth – the chin plays a crucial role, too, providing the foundation for facial harmony and a visually captivating smile. Our Multi-Award Winning Medical Aesthetic Clinic in Birmingham is proud to extend our expertise to clients in Coventry and beyond, offering non-invasive chin […]

Read More
29th June 2023
Can Chin Filler Migrate or is it Just a Myth?

Introduction Chin fillers have gained significant popularity as a non-surgical cosmetic procedure to enhance and improve the appearance of the chin. However, concerns about migration, or the movement of the filler material from its original injection site, may arise. In this article, we will explore the topic of chin filler migration and provide you with […]

Read More
29th June 2023
Are There Any Chin Filler Side Effects?

Introduction Chin filler is a popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure that can enhance the appearance of the chin and jawline. While it offers numerous benefits, it is important to understand the potential side effects associated with chin filler treatment. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the topic of chin filler side effects, addressing common concerns […]

Read More
1 2 3 7
birmingham medical spa practitioner

Book Your Treatment Today

Dr Aesthetica offers professional Botulinum Toxin and Dermal Filler treatments in the Birmingham area. We aim to solve your cosmetic related issues with non-surgical interventions.
Book Now
We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves.
Dr Aesthetica, Unit 1, 1431 -1433 Bristol Rd S, Birmingham, B31 2SU
calendar-full linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram