You’re more likely to have your mother’s cheekbones than her eyes, new research suggests.

Researchers studied the facial features of 1,000 female twins to find parts of the face that are likely to be controlled by genetics.

They used their results to create interactive face maps that reveal the features you’re most likely to inherit from your parents.

Kim Kardashian (pictured) bears more than a passing resemblance to her mother Kris Jenner

Kim Kardashian (pictured) bears more than a passing resemblance to her mother Kris Jenner

Parents and children are likely to have similar cheekbones and noses, the researchers found

Parents and children are likely to have similar cheekbones and noses, the researchers found

Kim Kardashian (left) bears more than a passing resemblance to her mother Kris Jenner (right) as the pair share the same striking cheekbones

FACIAL FEATURES MOST LIKELY TO BE GENETIC 

  • Shape at the end of the nose
  • Cheekbones
  • Inner corners of the eyes
  • Area above the lips
  • Area below the lips 

Biological traits such as facial features are influenced by genes and ‘environmental’ factors including the socioeconomic conditions a person grew up in.

Professor Giovanni Montana, from King’s College London, said: ‘The notion that our genes control our face is self-evident.

‘Many of us have facial traits that clearly resample those of our parents and identical twins are often indistinguishable.

‘However, quantifying precisely which parts of the face are strongly heritable has been challenging so far.’ 

A 3D map of the face. Areas in red are more likely to controlled by genetics while regions in blue are the least likely to be determined by genes, according to the research

A 3D map of the face. Areas in red are more likely to controlled by genetics while regions in blue are the least likely to be determined by genes, according to the research

A 3D map of the face. Areas in red are more likely to controlled by genetics while regions in blue are the least likely to be determined by genes, according to the research

The end of the nose appears bright red on the map as it is thought to be a highly heritable facial feature

The end of the nose appears bright red on the map as it is thought to be a highly heritable facial feature

The end of the nose appears bright red on the map as it is thought to be a highly heritable facial feature

David Beckham (pictured) resembled his son Brooklyn as a teenager

David Beckham (pictured) resembled his son Brooklyn as a teenager

The two share a similar shape at the end of their nose

The two share a similar shape at the end of their nose

Brooklyn Beckham (right) and dad David (left) when he was a teen. The two share a similar shape at the end of their nose

Researchers used computer image and statistical shape analysis to shed light on which parts of the face are most likely to be inherited.

They found that the shapes of the end of the nose, the area above and below the lips, cheekbones and the inner corner of the eye were highly influenced by genetics.

The team took scans of twins’ faces using 3D cameras and custom built statistical software to generate thousands of points that were perfectly aligned across the face.

A profile view of the interactive face map. The bridge of the nose is shown in a cool blue as it is not thought to be highly heritable

A profile view of the interactive face map. The bridge of the nose is shown in a cool blue as it is not thought to be highly heritable

A profile view of the interactive face map. The bridge of the nose is shown in a cool blue as it is not thought to be highly heritable

Tom Hank (pictured) bears a striking resemblance to his only son Colin.

Tom Hank (pictured) bears a striking resemblance to his only son Colin.

The father and son appear to have similarly shaped upper lips and chins

The father and son appear to have similarly shaped upper lips and chins

Tom Hank (left) bears a striking resemblance to his only son Colin (right). The father and son appear to have similarly shaped upper lips and chins

A profile view of the face map. Biological traits such as facial features are influenced by genes and 'environmental' factors including the socioeconomic conditions a person grew up in

A profile view of the face map. Biological traits such as facial features are influenced by genes and 'environmental' factors including the socioeconomic conditions a person grew up in

A profile view of the face map. Biological traits such as facial features are influenced by genes and ‘environmental’ factors including the socioeconomic conditions a person grew up in

HOW DID THEY MAKE THE FACE MAPS? 

Researchers studied the facial features of 1,000 female twins to find parts of the face that are likely to be controlled by genetics. 

The team took scans of twins’ faces using 3D cameras and custom built statistical software to generate thousands of points that were perfectly aligned across the face.

They then measured how ‘curved’ each face looked at each one of those locations. 

The researchers compared how similar these measurements were between identical twins, who have the same genes, and non-identical twins, who only share half of the genes.

The researchers then calculated the likelihood that each facial feature is determined by genetics.

This likelihood is known as ‘heritability’, which ranges between 0 and 1.

A larger number implies that it is more likely that the shape of the face is controlled by genes.

They then created maps, representing the heritability of each part of the face using different colours.

Reese Witherspoon, 40, and her 17-year-old daughter Ava could be mistaken for twins. Parents and children are likely to have similar cheekbones and noses, the researchers found

Reese Witherspoon, 40, and her 17-year-old daughter Ava could be mistaken for twins. Parents and children are likely to have similar cheekbones and noses, the researchers found

Reese Witherspoon, 40, and her 17-year-old daughter Ava could be mistaken for twins. Parents and children are likely to have similar cheekbones and noses, the researchers found

They then measured how ‘curved’ each face looked at each one of those locations. 

The researchers compared how similar these measurements were between identical twins, who have the same genes, and non-identical twins, who only share half of the genes.

By seeing which parts of the face are the most similar in shape in a pair of identical twins, the researchers then calculated the likelihood that the shape of that part of the face is determined by genetics.

This likelihood is known as ‘heritability’, which ranges between 0 and 1. 

'Practically twins': Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles Lawson shared a  photo collage of her  daughter (top left) and her granddaughter Blue Ivy, demonstrating their striking resemblance

'Practically twins': Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles Lawson shared a  photo collage of her  daughter (top left) and her granddaughter Blue Ivy, demonstrating their striking resemblance

‘Practically twins’: Beyonce’s mother Tina Knowles Lawson shared a photo collage of her daughter (top left) and her granddaughter Blue Ivy, demonstrating their striking resemblance

Like mother, like daughter

Like mother, like daughter

Beyonce at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City with her daughter Blue Ivy in 2016. The mother and daughter share a strikingly similar facial structure

A young Clint Eastwood (pictured) closely resembles his son Scott

A young Clint Eastwood (pictured) closely resembles his son Scott

Scott (pictured) has inherited his dad's distinctive furrowed brow

Scott (pictured) has inherited his dad's distinctive furrowed brow

A Clint in their eyes: Scott Eastwood (right) could stand in for his actor dad (left) with his distinctive furrowed brow 

A larger number implies that it is more likely that the shape of the face is controlled by genes.

The researchers have published ‘atlases’ showing how heritable each part of the face shape is.

Professor Montana said: ‘By combining 3D models of the face with a statistical algorithm that measures local changes in shape, we have been able to create detailed ‘face heritability maps’. 

Young Goldie Hawn, (left), shares a similar smile and chin to her celebrity daughter Kate Hudson

Young Goldie Hawn, (left), shares a similar smile and chin to her celebrity daughter Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson also has similar eyes to her mother Goldie

Kate Hudson also has similar eyes to her mother Goldie

Young Goldie Hawn, (left), shares a similar smile and chin to her celebrity daughter Kate Hudson (right) 

Paul McCartney (pictured) shares a strikingly similar nose to his son James

Paul McCartney (pictured) shares a strikingly similar nose to his son James

James (pictured) has taken on a similar sense of style to his dad

James (pictured) has taken on a similar sense of style to his dad

Here comes the son: James McCartney (right) has the style of Beatle dad Paul (left), and shares a strikingly similar nose

‘These maps will help identify specific genes shaping up the human face, which may also be involved in diseases altering the face morphology.’

‘This study also shows us that even identical twins can vary quite a lot on facial features, but because of the key areas being genetically controlled, we perceive them as being ‘identical’,’ added Professor Tim Spector, director of the TwinsUK study at King’s College London.

The software for analysing 3D scans could also have other uses in medical imaging, engineering and facial recognition technology, he added.

The research was published in Scientific Reports. 

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