Men who have facial cosmetic surgery are seen to be more attractive and trustworthy, study claims3 min read


How a facelift can make you look more trustworthy (if you are a man)

  • Cosmetic surgeons at Georgetown University, Washington, completed study
  • Used before-and-after snaps of 24 men who underwent a number of procedures
  • Found that upper eyelid procedures increased likeability and trustworthiness
  • Also claim that brow-lifts improved perception of extroversion and risk-taking

Men who have cosmetic surgery are seen to be more attractive and trustworthy, a study by plastic surgeons has claimed.  

Researchers found that facial nip and tucks can enhance perceptions of noble characteristics.

The number of male plastic surgery patients is on the rise as social media increases the pressure to look good.   

A recent BBC survey suggested nearly 50 per cent of men aged 18 to 30 ‘might consider’ having a procedure. 

Now a study, published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, has found these procedures can increase perceptions of a number of traits, including attractiveness, likeability, social skills and trustworthiness. 


The study, published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, found that the following procedures produce these effects:

  • Upper eyelid – increased likeability and trustworthiness
  • Lower eyelid – decreased risk-taking 
  • Brow-lift – improved perception of extroversion and risk-taking 
  • Face-lift – increased likeability and trustworthiness 
  • Neck-lift – increased perceived extroversion and masculinity 
  • Nose – improved attractiveness 

Senior investigator Professor Michael Reilly, a plastic surgeon at Georgetown University, Washington, said: ‘The tendency to judge facial appearance is likely rooted in evolution, as studies suggest evaluating a person based on appearance is linked to survival.

‘Our animal instinct tells us to avoid those who are ill-willed and we know from previous research that personality traits are drawn from an individual’s neutral expressions.’ 

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In the study, before and after photos were taken of 24 men who had procedures including upper eyelid lifts, reduction of lower eyelids, face-lifts, brow-lifts, neck-lifts, nose jobs and chin implants.

Then a group of 147 people were ask to rate their perception of each patient’s personality traits including aggressiveness, extroversion, likeability, risk-seeking, sociability, trustworthiness, attractiveness and masculinity.

The study found that nose surgery improved overall attractiveness, while only a neck-life increased the perception of masculinity. 

Chin augmentation was the only procedure that did not have an effect on perceived attractiveness, masculinity or personality.

The authors believe this was due to the low number of study patients undergoing this procedure.

Professor Reilly said: ‘It is really interesting that different anatomic areas of the face have varying degrees of contribution to overall personality perception.

‘And it is also noteworthy that the study did not find a significant change in masculinity. Just one procedure, a neck-lift, was found to enhance that trait.

‘This suggests that the current menu of cosmetic procedures for men are likely not as gender-enhancing as they are for women.’

He did the same study in 30 white females four years ago and found a significant increase in femininity for many of the procedures.

Professor Reilly added: ‘Taken together, our findings suggest that both men and women undergoing facial cosmetic surgery can experience not only improved perception of attractiveness, but other positive changes in society’s perception of their persona.’   

Professor Reilly called for more studies in order for cosmetic surgery to reach its full potential.

He added: ‘Optimising patient outcomes will require a broader understanding of the potential changes in social perception that can occur with surgery.’