With some famous parents and children – such as actresses Goldie Hawn, 71, and Kate Hudson, 38 – the family resemblance is strikingly clear. Picture: AP

You might often hear from relatives and friends that you have your mother’s eyes, or your father’s smile.

But if you actually want to gauge family resemblance, you should look at the tip of your nose, a study suggests.

This, along with the groove between the nose and top lip known as the philtrum, are the facial features most likely to be "handed down". In addition, the cheekbones and shape of the eye’s inner corner are highly influenced by genes.

With some famous parents and children – such as actresses Goldie Hawn, 71, and Kate Hudson, 38 – the family resemblance is strikingly clear.

Other stars with "mini-me" offspring include model Cindy Crawford, 51, and her daughter Kaia, 15. But with many other parents and their children, the similarities are less clear at first glance.

Research published in the journal Scientific Reports used computer imaging and shape analysis to measure which parts of the face are most likely to be inherited.

The team from King’s College London looked at the faces of 952 identical and non-identical twins.

They scanned faces using 3D cameras, and then calculated the points of similarity between siblings.

Non-identical twins only share half their genes – and while identical twins share all of them, some of their features may still differ slightly. Using computer calculations, the scientists created a "face heritability" map to determine the likelihood of various features being the result of genes.

They found that the tip of the nose was around 66 percent likely to be inherited, and the philtrum around 62 percent. About 4 249 different areas of the twins’ faces were scanned, and each was given a score of between zero – showing no heritability – and one which would be completely inherited. 

Professor Tim Spector, director of the TwinsUK study based at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, which provided the participants, said: "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."

The researchers added: "To our knowledge, this is the largest face heritability study ever done."