|What Color is a "Healthy Glow?"
|Research shows that people are attracted to skin tones enhanced by healthy choices|
Researchers have found that the color of a person's skin affects how healthy and therefore attractive they appear, and that diet may be critical to achieving the most desirable complexion.
specialist computer software, a total of 54 Caucasian participants of
both sexes were asked to manipulate the skin color of male and female
Caucasian faces to make them look as healthy as possible. They chose to
increase the rosiness, yellowness and brightness of the skin.
that is slightly flushed with blood and full of oxygen suggests a
strong heart and lungs, supporting the study's findings that rosier skin
appeared healthy. Smokers and people with diabetes or heart disease
have fewer blood vessels in their skin, and so skin would appear less
The preference for more golden or 'yellow-toned' skin as
healthier might be explained by the 'carotenoid pigments' that we get
from the fruit and vegetables in our diet.These plant pigments are
powerful antioxidants that soak up dangerous compounds produced when the
body combats disease. They are also important for our immune and
reproductive systems and may help prevent cancer.
They are the same
dietary pigments that brightly colored birds and fish use to show off
their healthiness and attract mates, and the researchers think that
similar biological mechanisms may be at work in humans.
Ian Stephen says that while many believe that sun tanning is the best
way to improve the color of your skin "our research suggests that living
a healthy lifestyle with a good diet might actually be better."
the pigment that causes the tan color when skin is exposed to the sun
makes the skin darker and more yellow, but participants in the study
chose to make skin lighter and more yellow to make it look healthier.
Other research has recently found that toning produced by sun tanning beds comes with significant health risks.
discovery is very exciting and has given us a promising lead into cues
to health," said Professor David Perrett, head of the Perception Lab at
the University of St. Andrews, where the research took place.