The biology of facial beauty

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2005 Dec;27(6):317-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2494.2005.00286.x.


It was once widely believed that standards of beauty were arbitrarily variable. Recent research suggests, however, that people's views of facial attractiveness are remarkably consistent, regardless of race, nationality or age. Facial characteristics are known to influence human attractiveness judgements and evolutionary psychologists suggest that these characteristics all pertain to health, leading to the conclusion that humans have evolved to view certain bodily features as attractive because the features were displayed by healthy others. Here we review some of the fundamental principles of sexual selection theory that apply to human beauty and summarize the major findings of human beauty perception.