Meeting Abstract

Face colour, health, lifestyle and attractiveness



Perrett D, Re D, Whitehead R, Stephen I, Coetzee V, Lefevre C, Moore F, Xiao D & Ozakinci G (2011) Face colour, health, lifestyle and attractiveness. 34th European Conference on Visual Perception, Toulouse, France. Perception, 40 (Suppl 1), pp. 23-24.

Skin colour has a marked influence on facial appearance: enhanced skin redness and yellowness increases perceived health and attractiveness. We have investigated the associations of skin colour (measured spectrophotometrically) with health and lifestyle in five studies of Caucasians. In Studies 1&2 (n=89, 50) we found raised baseline cortisol levels were associated with decreased skin redness and self-reports of current illness (colds and flu). Thus low skin redness indicates physiological stress or illness. In Studies 3 and 4 (n=93, 37) we found participants reporting modest exercise levels—one bout of vigorous exercise per week—differed in skin colour from those reporting less exercise, in a manner consistent with increased resting skin blood flow. In Study 5 (n=38) we found that skin yellowness was associated with dietary intake of fruit and vegetables: increased consumption enhanced skin yellowness within six weeks. We used a successive presentation paradigm to measure perceptual thresholds for change in facial attractiveness due to change in skin colour. Colour thresholds were equivalent to a diet change of 1.2 portions of fruit and vegetables per day and possibly one hour vigorous exercise a week. We conclude that even small improvements to diet or exercise may induce perceivable benefits to skin colour and attractiveness.

Perception: Volume 40, Issue Suppl 1

Publication date31/12/2011
Publication date online01/08/2011
Date accepted by journal01/11/2011
Publisher URL
Conference34th European Conference on Visual Perception
Conference locationToulouse, France

People (1)


Professor Gozde Ozakinci

Professor Gozde Ozakinci

Professor and Deputy Dean of Faculty, Psychology