Studies have shown that male faces high in symmetry are judged more attractive than faces low in symmetry even in images where visual cues to facial symmetry are reduced. These findings suggest that there are correlates of facial symmetry that influence male facial attractiveness independently of symmetry itself. Apparent healthiness of facial skin is one factor that may influence male facial attractiveness and covary with facial symmetry. Here, using real and composite male faces, we found that males with symmetric faces were perceived as having healthier facial skin than males with relatively asymmetric faces (Study 1), and that facial colour and texture cues were sufficient to maintain an attractiveness-symmetry relationship when the influence of facial shape was minimised (Study 2). These findings suggest that colour and texture cues contribute to the relationship between attractiveness and symmetry in real faces.
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