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Hot or Not: The Attractiveness Equation

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You're walking down the street and a man or woman passes by and catches your eye. Have you ever stopped to wonder why? 

At the Skin Inc. Live! stage at Skin Inc.'s Face & Body Midwest spa expo and conference, Steven Dayan, M.D., talked with attendees about the science behind beauty, what makes people more attractive than others and why people who invest in skin care, hair care and makeup are actually happier. 

So, What's the Deal with Beauty?

Dayan started his presentation by breaking down the evolutionary reasoning behind what makes a person beautiful. Humans are subconsciously attracted to beings and objects that are symmetrical. He explained, "Beauty and wellness indicate good genes." 

He went on to say that humans can assess facial attractiveness within 100 milliseconds. Subconsciously, humans interpret wide eyes as safe and inviting, while narrow eyes are seen as more threatening. The innate response in humans is to respond positively to the safe, wide eyes. This explains why people often apply eye makeup to open up their eyes and make them appear larger. 

Humans, according to Dayan, do not respond well to "large changes." Examples he gave included wearing too much makeup, having too much work done on the face or a combover. The more natural a person appears, the more attractive they seem to another person. An individual with crow's feet, for example, is seen as more trustworthy than someone who has had work done to remove theirs. 

He stressed that beauty works at a subconscious level and that if a person has to think about beauty they won't be rewarded by it. 

Turns Out All You Need is Confidence 

Dayan stressed that confidence in oneself is the most attractive thing humans can find in others. He cited a recent study that found those suffering from rosacea saw their confidence rise 21% once they began a skin care regime that combatted the effects of the condition. He said beauty and spa professionals have the ability to make people feel beautiful, which results in an increase in self-esteem and confidence. 

He ended the presentation with the following equation: Attractiveness = B (SE)x

B = Beauty

SE = Self-esteem 

X = The degree is up to the esthetician, makeup artist, hair stylist, nail technician, etc.