MERZ: Ideal proportion of the face

BEAUTY lies not only in the eyes of the beholder, but it can be calculated and calibrated using a mathematical equation called The Golden Ratio.

Symbolised by the Greek alphabet F (phi), it is also known as the Divine Proportion.

To find out your facial Golden Ratio, measure the length and width of your face; then divide the length by the width. The ideal result is 1.618:1 as it is believed that a beautiful face is 1.6 times longer than its width.

A measure of beauty

Dr Louis Leh, Medical Director of Leh Clinic in Penang and three-term President of the Malaysian Society of Aesthetic Medicine who is also actively involved in educating the new generation of aesthetic medicine practitioners, said the Golden Ratio represents a mathematical relationship that is consistently present in all things considered beautiful, either in the natural world or in man-made objects.

It can be translated as a mathematical measure of beauty. An aesthetically pleasing face is one with the most symmetry, balance, proportion (and skin clarity) in facial features in terms of the measurable ratio of one facial feature to another.

In experimental models and tests, the Golden Ratio has been found to be consistent in different cultures, ethnicities and social backgrounds. People considered beautiful shared the same universal attributes when assessed by different groups of people from different ethnicities and cultures. Dr Leh noted that diverse physical attributes from various ethnicities share a common phi denominator that is considered beautiful.

"The Golden Ratio can also be applied to all ages. It may be applied during the initial treatment plan for achievable goals, maintenance of achieved facial beauty, and a plan for future treatment sessions, in a sequential and logical manner. After all, everyone wants to look their best, at all times," Dr Leh said.

Quantifying attractiveness

Dr Lim Ting Song, Medical Director of Clique Clinic in Petaling Jaya, is actively involved in academic research and training in Asian facial and body aesthetics.

He said when facial features are in certain proportions, the face is aesthetically pleasing, however he feels beauty still lies in the eyes of the beholder and what looks beautiful to one person, may not to another.

Preferring to use the term "attractiveness" to describe a look that's pleasing and soothing to the eyes, he concedes that the Golden Ratio is the closest guideline to quantify this "attractiveness" as studies show a wellproportioned face is defined by facial symmetry, the Golden Ratio and the horizontal thirds.

Dr Lim added that the Golden Ratio applies to both male and female faces and although certain gender dimorphisms in facial features make a person look more masculine or more feminine, these do not dictate "attractiveness".

Applying the same concept of achieving proportioned face, hairstyle can add value to "attractiveness". A higher volume of hair, for instance, will make a face look slimmer and longer, just as make-up can enhance certain features of the face to be optically closer to the Golden Ratio.

The first of its kind in Asia

Merz Aesthetics is conducting The Merz Aesthetics Advancement of Techniques (MAAT) Golden Ratio Search, its first scientifically-based search for Well-Proportioned Faces in Asia, using this established scientific correlation of facial symmetry, proportions and ratios to determine physical beauty.

The search took place in 10 countries: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam and each country's most Well-Proportioned Face will be unveiled at the 38th International Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ISDS) Congress held in Bangkok this November.

Submissions were assessed in each country by three local panels, comprising two aesthetic medicine doctors and a representative from Merz Aesthetics. Each country uploaded 12 proportioned faces which is open for public voting on Facebook between Oct 7 and 14.

Merz Country Manager (Malaysia) Goh Sin Hua said, "The MAAT Golden Ratio Search is the first of its kind in Asia. It seeks to provide information to empower women to better understand facial proportions relative to attractiveness.

"It is also an integral part of the first medical guidelines to provide a holistic approach in aesthetic studies to achieve well-proportioned faces in Asians. The guidelines will be launched at the 38th ISDS in November.

"The MAAT Golden Ratio Search aims to create awareness on symmetrical face ratios relative to beauty. This knowledge will allow women to take charge of their own facial proportions and live their lives to the fullest."

Vote for the most well-proportioned face at the Golden Ratio Search Malaysia Facebook page. For more information, visit and Instagram at @mygoldenratiosearch.