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In International journal of cosmetic science

BACKGROUND & AIMS : Previous investigations have aimed at investigating parameters affecting age perception on several ethnicities. Perceived health has been a newer focus on Caucasian skin, yet little is known on the skin features used to estimate the health status of Chinese women and we aimed to investigate whether these cues are the same as those used for age perception.

METHODS : Age and health appearance of 276 Chinese female volunteers was estimated from their photographs by 1025 female naïve Chinese graders 20-69 years old. Models were built to predict perceived age and health from topographic, colour and biophysical measured variables, in two subsets of the studied volunteers: below and above 50 years. Machine learning-based predictive models for age and health perception were built on the collected data and the interpretability of the models was established by measuring feature importance.

RESULTS : Age perception was mostly driven by topographic features, particularly eye bags and eye lid sagging in the group below 50 years old. Wrinkles, notably from the lower part of the face and oval of the lower face, were found to be more relevant in the group above 50 years. Health appearance was primarily signaled by skin imperfections and global pigmentation in the subset below 50 years, while colour related parameters and skin hydration acted as health cues for the subset above 50 years.

CONCLUSION : Distinct skin features were acting as cues for age perception and/or health perception and varied per age subset. Their contribution should be borne in mind when designing products for "younger looking skin" and "healthier looking skin".

Messaraa Cyril, Richard Thibaud J C, Walsh Melissa, Doyle Leah, O’Connor Carla, Robertson Nicola, Mansfield Anna, Hurley Sarah, Mavon Alain, Grenz Annika


China, perceived age, perceived health, skin ageing, skin health