How to Measure a Face With the Golden Ratio

Updated March 16, 2017

The golden ratio (or golden mean) is a numerical constant that has been studied by scientists, mathematicians, historians and artists alike for its aesthetic appeal. Rounded to approximately 1.6, the golden ratio can be found in architecture, art and nature. Scientists interested in beauty have looked at the golden mean to explain why people find some faces more attractive than others. It's hypothesised the more closely your facial measurements correspond to the golden ratio (or "divine proportion") the more beautiful you are.

Refer to a photo of a person's face. The face needs to be looking straight into the camera. It needs to be straight and parallel to the camera.

Measure distances on the face, including the width of the face to the height of the face; the width of the mouth to the width of the cheek; the width of the nose to the width of the cheek; and the width of the nose to the width of the mouth.

Compare these numbers to the golden mean. To get a ratio, divide the larger number (for example, the height of the face) by the smaller number (the width of the face). The closer the ratio is to 1.6, the closer your facial proportions are to the mathematical standard of beauty.


If you want to quickly see how a face measures up to the golden mean ratio, overlay a facial mask over a person's photo. These masks demonstrate what the golden mean would consider an attractive face via a grid-structure. You can also enter facial measurements into a golden ratio facial calculator.

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About the Author

Lexi Sorenson has been writing professionally since 2008. She has published articles in periodicals such as "The Maryland Gazette," "The Hamilton Spectator" and "Make." In addition to blogging, she writes fiction in her spare time. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from McGill University.