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Facial coloration including rosy cheeks biggest indicator of healthiness, say researchers

Facial coloration

(NaturalNews) Your face can reveal a lot about your personality, the state of your health and attractiveness. It is a window into your health and emotions. When you stare into a mirror and dark circles, puffy eyes, acne or other undesirable facial flaws are staring back at you, your face is telling a tale about possible nutritional deficiencies, poor digestion, lack of sleep or other physical or mental health issues.

Dr. Alex Jones, lecturer in psychology at the University of Swansea, has spent a great deal of his career researching the human face and the kind of information it holds about us. Facial appearance plays a significant role in how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about others. It influences who we are attracted to, and who we choose to approach or avoid.

Writing for The Conversation, and published in The Daily Mail, Dr. Alex Jones reveals what your complexion has to say about your lifestyle.

What are our faces telling us?

We are attracted to healthy-looking faces and seem to avoid those who look unhealthy. But what makes a face look "healthy" in our eyes is the question that intrigues Dr. Jones the most.

While he notes that the influence of body mass index (BMI) on face shape or the smoothness of skin definitely play a role in how healthy others perceive us to be, he found that there is another determining factor.

His new research sheds light on how facial skin tone or coloration affects people's perception. After analyzing a lot of faces, he concluded that lighter, redder and yellower skin were seen as the healthiest.

He further notes that these facial features seem to be linked to biological processes. A lighter skin, for instance, has been associated with the ability to absorb more vitamin D, while redness of the skin may indicate more efficient circulation and blood supply to the skin.

A yellow glow, the sign of a healthy diet

While a lighter or redder skin is seen as a sign of good health, it is yellowness that seems to be particularly relevant for a healthy complexion. People with a yellow tinted skin tend to eat healthier diets packed with fresh fruits and vegetables.

As reported by Dr. Jones, carotenoids, or antioxidants that give fresh produce their vibrant color, are essential for good health, and are responsible for creating a healthy glowing skin. Tanning has been found to have the same effect. However, he notes that the yellow color conferred by a healthy diet is preferred to the yellowness brought about by tanning.

Overall skin tone and upping antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables seem to be the secrets to a healthy and rejuvenated look. But according to Dr. Jones, it isn't as simple as that.

Have you ever heard of the deep red-colored phytonutrient, astaxanthin? It is another powerful antioxidant that supports a healthy lifestyle.

Lighter skin under the eyes and rosy cheeks, the ultimate signs of good health

Dr. Jones notes that overall skin color or glow is not the only significant factor in how we perceive a healthy appearance.

Dark circles under the eyes or rosacea, for instance, are both seen as unhealthy signs. This indicates that not only overall skin tone but the colors in certain areas of the face could be relevant, too. To put this to the test, Dr. Jones asked observers to rate photographed faces, after subtly changing them to have lighter under-eye skin and redder cheeks, for how healthy they thought they were.

He has identified that while an overall yellow glow generally was the contributor to looking healthy, lighter skin under the eyes and rosy cheeks seemed to play larger roles.

Finally, he adds that it is not surprising that cosmetic products such as concealers and blushers are so popular given these results. They improve the coloration of the areas that matter the most to creating a healthy-looking appearance and glow.

But, as Dr. Jones mentioned, while makeup can do a lot to improve your appearance, nothing beats a good night's sleep and regular exercise to look your best.

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