Evaluation of soft-tissue morphology of the face in 1,050 young adults

Ann Plast Surg. 1999 Mar;42(3):280-8. doi: 10.1097/00000637-199903000-00009.


Anthropometry of the face has always been an interesting subject for artists and plastic surgeons. Since ancient times, many rules have been proposed for the ideal face. The authors measured directly vertical and horizontal proportions of the face and inclinations of the soft-tissue facial profile in 1050 young Turkish adults. Differences between the facial measurements of subjects from seven different geographic regions were analyzed. Some of the measurements were compared further with the measurements of other populations in the literature, and the validity of the neoclassical canons were tested. The special head height measure was shorter than the special face height in the majority of our study group (women/men: equal height, 13%/15%; longer special head height, 28%/30%; shorter special head height, 59%/55%). Faces with three equally high-profile sections were not seen in women or in men. When the forehead height was compared with the nose height, equality was present in a small percentage of the population (women/men: equal height, 17%/18%; longer forehead, 41%/ 42%; shorter forehead, 42%/40%). The nose height was equal to the lower face height in a minority of the population (women/men: equal height, 10%/11%; longer nose, 9%/11%; shorter nose (81%/78%). The forehead height was shorter than the lower face height in the majority of the population (women/ men: equal height, 8%/9%; longer forehead, 12%/13%; shorter forehead, 79%/78%). The intercanthal distance was shorter than the nose width in the majority of the population (women/men: equal width, 20%/19%; wider intercanthal distance, 35%/37%; narrower intercanthal width, 65%/68%). The population was distributed evenly in regard to the variations of the orbital proportion canon (women/men: equal intercanthal width and eye fissure length, 31%/36%; wider intercanthal distance, 34%/27%; narrower intercanthal width, 35%/37%). The mouth width was greater than 1.5 times the nose width in the majority of the population (women/men: equal width, 6%/5%; wider mouth, 53%/54%; narrower mouth, 41%/41%). The nose width was narrower than one quarter of the face width in the majority of the population (women/men: equal width, 4%/3%; wider nose, 30%/39%; narrower nose, 66%/58%). The nose inclination was equal to the ear inclination in a very small fraction of subjects (women/ men: equal inclination, 3%/3%; greater nose inclination, 88%/87%; less nose inclination, 9%/9%). To sketch an outline of the average facial profile in the population studied, a convex facial profile is revealed, with the forehead and the chin retrodisplaced minimally with respect to the midface. The neoclassical canons were found to be invalid for the majority of the population in this study, and different proportional analytic results were obtained.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Beauty
  • Face / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Turkey