Researchers at St. Andrews University have found that people find healthier faces more attractive. Diet and exercise actaully makes people look more attractive than make up. Women all over the world are applying make up to try to improve their good looks, when really they should be applying themselves to a better lifestyle.
Diet and exercise both have a direct impact on the quality and color of our skin. When people follow a poor diet the skin becomes dull, dry and often eyes become sunken. Exercise and vitamins revitalise the skin, helps to hydrate it and makes the skin tighter and smoother. Healthy people simple look more attractive.
“We knew from our previous work that people who have more blood and more oxygen colour in their skins looked healthy, and so we decided to see what other colours affect health perceptions. This has given us some clues as to what other skin pigments may relate to a healthy appearance.”
How the face looks can give an insight into a persons health, and it is thought that humans have learnt how to spot these signs, and this is essentially how we determine if someone is attractive.
For example, skin that is flushed with blood is full of oxygen and this reflects a healthier heart. Rosy cheeks are attractive because it tells us that a person is fit and healthy. Smokers, diabetes and heart disease patients all have duller, grey skin as a result of low oxygen levels.
Many people prefer a slightly yellow tone. This is because of the presence of carotinoid pigments which we get from fruits and vegetables, such as carrots. A person with a healthy diet is considered more attractive.
The pigments in the skin are actually anti-oxidants that help to eliminate harmful compounds that are produced when we fight of diseases. So extra pigment means that a person will recover quicker from an illness. Antioxidants also help to boost the reproductive system and suggest increased fertility in men and women.
“What we eat and not just how much we eat appears to be important for a healthy appearance. The only natural way in which we can make our skin lighter and more yellow is to eat a more healthy diet high in fruit and vegetables.”
So before you head to the local cosmetics shop to find some new make-up head to the green grocers and buy some healthy salads and then do some exercise. Then take another look at yourself and ask, do I need any make-up?
The full details of the study have been published in the International Journal of Primatology and has been funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Unilever Research, and published with support from the ESRC and the British Academy.