Objective: Facial attractiveness has been reported to be influenced by visual features such as facial shape and the colour and texture of the skin. However, no empirical studies have examined the effects of facial skin radiance on facial attractiveness. The present study investigated whether types of skin reflection (i.e. radiant, oily and shiny, and matte) and the position of the reflection on the face influence facial attractiveness and other affective impressions.
Methods: A total of 160 female participants (1) estimated the ages and (2) evaluated attractiveness and other impressions of unfamiliar female faces in a total of seven skin reflection conditions. These conditions incorporated three types of reflection (i.e. radiant, oily and shiny, and matte) and three positions of the reflection on the face (i.e. entire facial skin, only cheeks, and only T-zone).
Results: The facial images of radiance on entire faces were rated as appearing younger than the facial images of oily shine on entire faces and the matte faces. Attractiveness ratings and other positive impressions increased in the order of the matte (ranked lowest), the oily shine on entire face, and the radiance on entire face (ranked highest) conditions. The reflection position also influenced facial attractiveness: attractiveness ratings and other positive impressions were higher in the radiance on entire face condition than in the radiant cheeks and the radiant T-zone conditions. Interestingly, the radiant cheek faces were rated more radiant and healthier but less feminine and less bright than the radiant T-zone faces.
By Hanako Ikeda, Yuriko Saheki, Yuichi Sakano, Atsushi Wada, Hiroshi Ando, Keiko Tagai