Women gain wrinkles, lose lustre of their hair as they age, but those who possess fuller and firmer lips can still belie their years, says a new study.
The study carried out at seven universities found that women with yummy lips look younger than they really are.
“When we identified people who looked young for their age, we were struck by the difference in their lips,” said David Gunn, a scientist at Unilever who coordinated the study.
“It is a feature that is strongly genetically determined and relatively easy to measure,” Gunn was quoted as saying by The Sunday Times.
The study confirms and quantifies the traditional wisdom that a pout is one of the strongest signals of sexual allure, typified by Hollywood stars such as Scarlett Johansson and models such as Helena Christensen.
The study, which analysed the faces of 102 pairs of Dutch female twins aged 59-81 and 162 British women aged 45-75, found that wrinkles, sun damage and age spots were influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. But the development of a receding hairline, greying hair, and most markedly “lip height” was determined by genes, the researchers said.
They also found there was a more than seven-fold variation in lip thickness among women over 60. The pink part of the thinnest lips measured just 3mm from the top of the upper lip to the bottom of the lower lip, while the fullest lips among those over 60 measured 2.2cm, it reported.