What Makes a Face Beautiful?

Is she beautiful?

Many of you will disagree on the answer. Beauty, after all is subjective.

Or is it?

Everyone has a different opinion as to what is beautiful. But there are some facial features that most people will agree are attractive. Research, conducted at the University of Regensburg in Germany, sought to determine which features are considered beautiful. The photo above was computer generated using a morphing program that incorporated responses from hundreds of people on what makes a face attractive.

Data from their studies showed that surface characteristics (such as smooth, evenly pigmented skin) were more important in determining beauty than other factors (such as symmetry or face shape).

They also found that for female faces, “baby face” characteristics, such as large eyes, was attractive. For men, full dark eyebrows were rated as attractive. (This is good for me.)

So if you are a woman who wants to be beautiful:

  1. Focus on the smoothness of the color and texture of your face. Fine lines and uneven dullness can easily be improved by moisturizing everyday.
    • Try a moisturizing cleanser like Kiehl’s Ultramoisturizing Cleansing Cream
    • At night use a moisturizing night cream like Oil of Olay’s Regenerist
  2. Splotchy colors can be prevented by wearing a moisturizer with a sunscreen everyday
    • Try Olay’s Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer with SPF 30
  3. If you have irregular pigmentation, namely brown spots, try a cream such as Black and White with 2% hydroquinone, a bleaching agent.
    • Aveeno also has facial creams that smooth pigment. Try Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30.
  4. Use concealer to cover minor blemishes.
  5. If you have uneven redness, try a moisturizer such a Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Moisture Lotion SPF 15.
  6. To get that wide, baby-like-eyes look
    • Apply a light shade of shadow just below your brow
    • Apply a medium shade of shadow to your main lid
    • Apply a line of darker shadow along the crease of your lid to the outer edge
    • Apply eye liner along the length of your upper lid, just above your lash line. Then repeat on your lower lid, meeting the lines at the outer corner of your eye.

What if you are a man and want to have a beautiful face?

  1. Try growing some eyebrows, Dawg.

Post written by Jeffrey Benabio, MD

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29 thoughts on “What Makes a Face Beautiful?”

  1. Great Post! I have had a good skin care routine for years. Some people might say I use too many products but the compliments keep coming, so I must be doing something right. 🙂 One doc I worked with said I was using snake oil and wasting my money…just use vaseline. OMGosh …the horror! I do go in the sun though but try to use a facial sunscreen.

  2. She’s beautiful. But is she a good person? 🙂 Lucky you have bushy eyebrows. I have to work on making my eyes larger I guess. Bring out the tooth picks!

    I like Neutrogena products – they seem to work for us glow-in-the-dark types!

  3. Dr Val…I LOVE that you said that!

    Whenever I compliment a child/girl/woman…I always work in a remark after the compliment that it’s even more important to be beautiful on the inside and explain why.

    Only with people I am close too. Inner beauty is what makes outer beauty RADIATE. 🙂

    Dr. B…I am a Jafra girl and have been since 1988. I am going to do a post about it soon. I LOVE AND BELIEVE IN THEIR PRODUCTS! 🙂

  4. I believe it. My husband loves to admire French and Asian women, and frequently mentions how beautiful their even skin tone is.

    I read an article, I think in the Times, that consisted of an interview with one of the ladies of a French skin care dynasty. She commented that their products sell well because they emphasize brightness of skin, not reduction of wrinkles. Maybe a philosophy more of us should embrace?

    In the meantime, if anyone can suggest a sunscreen that works on oily skin (Olay and Neutrogena both clog pores and turn me into an oil spill), I’m all ears.

    I’m off to go buy an eyebrow pencil for my husband!

  5. a feminist pre-med says:

    How do we know that this isn’t just a result of constant media images? If the media inundates the airwaves with a supposed ideal, then how are we to make our own decisions. Its a “chicken or the egg” situation.

    And the structure of this post points out the double standard of beauty between men and women. “So if you are a woman who wants to be beautiful”–Women have to color their face, shrink their pores, conceal, bleach, et cetera ad nauseum. God forbid a woman actually feel good about herself without the mask of crap on her face. I’m not against make-up and other cosmetic products, per se, just the idea that women NEED to wear it in order to “be beautiful” or “enhance” her beauty.

    And males? They could maybe try growing more eyebrows. Whoop-dee-freaking-doo.

    The message seems clear: if you are not the “ideal” woman, do everything you can to change to become the ideal. If you are not the “ideal” man…eh, who cares.

    I really enjoy reading this blog, but these kinds of posts make me uncomfortable about the field of dermatology.

  6. Hi Jeffrey! I have oily, blemish-prone skin and as an Asian am prone to hyperpigmentation whether or no t I picked the pimple. I use daily sun protection, but hte brown spots still stay a long time and are really hard to conceal. Do you have any recommendations on treating these spots? Whitening products tend to break me out. = (

    Btw, I alsow anted to add that I love your blog and your refreshing style of writing. It’s good to find solid advice in an industry filled with marketing gimmicks and old wives tales. I’ve linked you on my brand new beauty blog. If you have time to drop by, and like what you see, I’d love for you to link my site.

  7. Have you done any research or have an opinion on the oil cleansing method (OCM)? This link:
    gives the basics, but there are MANY sites touting this as beneficial, and just as many comments from people saying it works.


  8. Jeff: It certainly sounds tempting – not unlike the Japanese cleansing oils which I love but cannot afford. I do find those help with oily skin.

    K: Good news for you! After a long long search I have finally found a sunscreen that does not aggravate or breakout my oily, blemish prone skin. In fact, it seems to help. Give The Body Shop’s Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Lotion with SPF 15 a whirl, I love it.

  9. SeaSpray-
    Glad you liked the post. Unfortunately there is a lot of snake oil out there. Feel free to ask me to help sort things out when I can.

    Dr Val-
    Like I said in the Botox post, ultimately it is more important to be heard than seen. Oh, and the eyebrows are 100% natural.

    Try a mineral like Peter Thomas Roth http://thedermblog.com/2008/03/27/peter-thomas-roth-instant-mineral-powder-sunscreen/

    Feminist Pre-med-
    Well said. This post is certainly biased; it is done so for humor for the readers of this type of post, women. The original article points out similar characteristics of beautiful male faces, but it was too long for one post.

    Don’t judge dermatology based on my blog — it is not at all representative of my or any other daily practice of dermatology.

  10. Emily –
    I am glad you enjoy my site. Thank you. Try Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30.

    I have not heard of it, but will certainly have a look. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. I totally love your blog, thanks so much for all the product reviews and info you post here. You’re so right, although there are some symmetrical aspects, true beauty comes from the inside!

    The other day I stumbled upon this blog: http://chiactivate.wordpress.com anyways, the people there claim that this face massager thingie makes anti-aging and skin care products up to 70% more effective cos it allows them to penetrate deep into the skin. My question is: have any of you experience with this or a similar product? Does it work or would you recommend me to try it out? Please remove the link if it’s against your blog policy. i don’t want to advetise for them, but rather have an expert’s opinion about it. ty so much!!!

  12. That’s interesting- I’ve always heard that it’s all about symmetry.

    And I appreciated the humor of the post- it in no way made me feel oppressed.

  13. Jess-
    The site you linked to looks like a type of microdermabrasion. Certainly a nice way to give your face a smoother, refreshed look. I am skeptical about any claims of improving wrinkles.

  14. hehe interesting! I’m always interested in this kind of “subconscious universal” thoughts towards beauty. I’ve read articles that trace back beauty to the days of Cleopatra. Anyway, it is also funny how cosmetic companies are taking advantage of the point you made regarding evenly pigmented and smooth skin- L’Oreal launched a product recently with a campaign focusing on that saying that it’s uneven skin not wrinkles that makes you look “old” or “unattractive”. Lots of interesting stuff on your blog!

  15. You say men should grow eyebrows? Was that sarcasm? Most men have pretty thick eyebrows naturally. I find when I do a bit of light eyebrow shaping it has some pretty dramatic affects on my overall appearance.

    I would describe my skin as “very dry” in the forehead and nose area and I’m in search of a moisturizer that will do the best possible job of getting rid of that. Also I have uneven sort of splotchy skin that may be caused by UV rays and my face and neck get red after a shower even if I don’t use hot water. I wash my face with Garnier Nutri-Pure. Yes I’m a man. 🙂

    Is there something or a combination of facial products that can help all these things?


  16. joanna utley says:

    i need the refreshed glow no wrinkles look

  17. It is not often one finds an interesting website, but this one covers many good areas of interest with so many derm subjects.

    Good Job Doctor Jeff.

  18. Hi Dr Benabio… This is an informative & beautifully written blog. I enjoy reading your posts.

  19. she z so sweet like honey.dr pls my skin is so dry and very much oily every time so give me a solution for it.and after finishing my comment i would like to say dat u has done a grate………….i wish in maldives also their be a inteligent dr like u so that our face will also be glowing always.

  20. dr we apreciate u……..

  21. she luks great… my skin is oso very dry n oily, i want somethin which wud make my skin glow. can u recommend a great glowing cream… im oso a maldivian n im veri hapi to c ur comments abt this blog….

  22. my face is full of acne and scars which seem to be black spots.people comment lookng at me.its being years am facing.Ihave tried soo many treatments and spended so much,but there was no such results.Please help me to get a clear and beautiful skin.

  23. Hi, just wanted to say that I have been using Latisse, for about four weeks, but I have been using in in AM & PM, I realize that I am not following the correct procedure, my eyes are a little sore, but I can’t tell if I have increased growth or not. Since my eyes are sore, I will back up to only once a day, just wanted to let people know that you need to follow the directions, it is not the more you use the faster you see growth. I would like to add that Dr Benabio, is a very wonderful person, to take time to help people. I respect him & admire his effort to make the public aware of different treatments that are out there, to help save money on useless creams, & treatment. Thanks

  24. Very interesting article as always Dr Benabio. Overall good health really reflects itself in the texture and tone of the skin. Good health also creates positive feelings and I think these reflect on our faces, giving a real sense of beauty.

  25. Jorge de Sousa says:

    What makes a beautiful face? The EYES (shape and expression), WELL DEFINED LIPS (not thin lips or over the top full lips. Angelina Jolie has beautiful eyes but her lips are so over the top they are grotesque, like a trout); The NOSE ( big or hooked nose look good in men but not in women ); SKIN ( a spotless, silky skin is the canvas of the face); the BONE STRUCTURE ( the pleasant shape of the face ); the SIMMETRY ( the right position of eyes, nose, eyebrows and lips ); the EYEBROWS ( well defined and,specially in men, dark and rather thick; the eyebrows are the frame of the face and they help to give it expression ); finally the TEETH ( symetric, healthy, white teeth can even make a witch passable )

  26. Different people have different opinion on what makes face beautiful. For me face is beautiful when it shines and has no dark circles without make up or cosmetic. Good health and regular washing face helps to keep your beautiness intact.

    Iohn wood,
    Medical researcher,

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