Facts About the Human Face

The human face
The human face (Image: "Ginger Kerns Head Shot_121707_2247" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Saquan Stimpson/monstershaq2000 (Saquan Stimpson) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

The human face is a fascinating study of physiology and psychology. The amount of information a human face can relay is unending. While the face is complicated, it is also our most useful and most underestimated tool for communication.


It is difficult to discern exactly how many muscles are in the human face, because many are extremely small and they often overlap. Most estimates range from 40 to 90.


The human face can create 5,000 expressions. People can read even the slightest nuances and changes in facial expression and their attitudes and responses are affected by those subtle changes.

Reading Faces

Human beings are designed to interpret and understand facial expressions at lightning speed, at large distances and with great accuracy. You can distinguish a friend and whether they are surprised or happy to see you from 150 feet away within a fraction of a second.

The Power of the Smile

A person can recognize a smile from 300 feet away. Smiling is the most easily recognizable facial expression that we have, and is seen in every culture worldwide. Smiling reduces stress, can lower blood pressure and even makes us appear younger and more attractive. Smiling releases endorphins and signals to our body that all is well.

The Truth is in Your Face

You cannot control all the muscles in your face. The truth is always there in some form. Trying to control the muscles in your face results in mixed signals, which leads to others being unsure about your intentions. Even the best liars will give themselves away eventually. Changing how you feel inside will change your expression on the outside.

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