Oestrogen is a natural female sex hormone, secreted by the ovary and is necessary for normal development of breast, female genital tract and secondary sexual characteristics. It is also required for the maintenance of pregnancy. A recent research conducted has revealed that the hormone is very vital to the physical appearance of a woman. Infact women with high levels of the sex hormone oestrogen have been found to have prettier faces.
The team of psychologists photographed the faces of 59 young women aged between 18 and 25 and analyzed their sex hormone levels. A group of volunteers comprising of an equal number of males and females were then asked to rate the attractiveness of each of the faces. Surprisingly, women with the highest hormone levels were rated as being more attractive.
It was also found that these faces tended to have classically feminine features, such as larger eyes and lips and smaller noses and jaws. Oestrogen levels during puberty are believed to play a very important role in the appearance of a woman by affecting bone growth and skin texture. The results are also consistent with previous studies that have established that female attractiveness also fluctuated throughout the menstrual cycle, peaking at a woman's most fertile days.
When women in the photographs were wearing make-up, no relationship between attractiveness and oestrogen was found, revealing that make up can be used by less attractive women to compensate for the attractiveness.
Make-up can improve appearance across the board, but it will obviously help people who are less attractive more. Women are effectively advertising their general fertility with their faces, said Miriam Law Smith, Head of the study.