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You can’t judge a book by its cover, but a new investigation by the BBC’s David Robson suggests that you can tell a lot about a person by the look of their face. Here are three of the most revealing facial features:
Bone Structure: Is your face short and wide or long and thin? A study by Carmen Lefevre at Northumbria University in England found that people with high levels of testosterone often have wide faces and large cheekbones. This group, she says, is more likely to be assertive and sometimes even aggressive. Another study on capuchin monkeys found that the wider the face, the more likely the animal is to have a high rank in their group’s hierarchy.
Baby Fat: If you’ve got plump cheeks or extra baby fat on your face, you might be prone to infections. Robson reports that those with thinner faces suffer from infections less often, and when they do, the effects are less severe.
In fact, the fill of your face supposedly reveals more about your fitness level than your body mass index. And a thinner face can also indicate lower risk for depression and anxiety, since mental health is linked to overall physical fitness.
Skin Tone: Benedict Jones at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and Lefevre agree that extremely subtle skin tone tints, unrelated to ethnicity, can reveal much about a person’s lifestyle. For example, someone whose skin is a bit yellow or gold is likely to be extremely healthy. The tint, which comes from pigments known as carotenoids, is a result of eating orange and red fruits and vegetables that bolster the immune system. “When we’ve eaten enough, they layer in the skin and dye it yellow. We exhibit them because we haven’t used them to battle illness,” says Lefevre.
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A pink, flushed face, on the other hand, could signal that the person has an active lifestyle and good circulation. In women, this color may also be a sign of fertility. Jones found that women appear to take on this red flush at the peak of their menstrual cycle, when the sex hormone estradiol causes the cheeks’ blood vessels to dilate slightly. As Robson notes, this could be one reason why women are said to be more attractive during ovulation.
Are these findings true for you?
By Alyssa Fiorentino