What makes you beautiful? Your hormone levels


I have already posted about the features of an attractive female face. But what lies behind these observations?  Could it be that your hormones make you beautiful?

A few years ago scientists at the University of St Andrews took photos of 59 women aged between 18 and 25 every week for six weeks. They also took urine samples and measured their oestrogen levels. By taking readings over the whole menstrual cycle they were able to come up with meaningful estimates of how much oestrogen the women had in their blood streams.

It turned out that when they later got a panel of both men and women to assess the women’s attractiveness, the ones with the highest oestrogen levels were the most attractive. The correlation was direct and strong, conclusive proof that attractiveness is simply an indicator of fertility. We are, in the end, looking at our reproductive opportunities when we look at a beautiful woman. As always proves to be the case, evolution is the key to attractiveness.

So there you are – how attractive your face is is simply down to your hormone levels. And what affects your hormone levels? This is pretty much programmed by your genes.

Time to give up and live with the face you were born with? Well not quite. There was one other factor that they looked at in this study. They only found the correlation in pictures of women without make up. When the women used make up, the correlation disappeared. So you can beat your genes with a bit of lipstick and some blusher.

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Here is the press release – I imagine the publication will come out later.


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