The relationship between shape symmetry and perceived skin condition in male facial attractiveness

B. C. Jones, A. C. Little, D. R. Feinberg, I. S. Penton-Voak, B. P. Tiddeman, D. I. Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (SciVal)


Studies have shown that male faces high in symmetry are judged more attractive than faces low in symmetry even in images where visual cues to facial symmetry are reduced. These findings suggest that there are correlates of facial symmetry that influence male facial attractiveness independently of symmetry itself. Apparent healthiness of facial skin is one factor that may influence male facial attractiveness and covary with facial symmetry. Here, using real and composite male faces, we found that males with symmetric faces were perceived as having healthier facial skin than males with relatively asymmetric faces (Study 1), and that facial colour and texture cues were sufficient to maintain an attractiveness-symmetry relationship when the influence of facial shape was minimised (Study 2). These findings suggest that colour and texture cues contribute to the relationship between attractiveness and symmetry in real faces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • Male facial attractiveness
  • Shape symmetry
  • Skin condition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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