Adults feel comfortable in their own skin despite pressures to look ‘perfect’, study finds

A study of 2,000 adults found that although the general perception is that social media and celebrities can leave you feeling low in self-esteem on how your skin looks, many are content with who they are. More than two thirds of those polled prefer their ‘natural look’, with 65 percent favouring it on others. A third believe celebrities should encourage natural beauty and believe it is important for influencers and those in the spotlight to celebrate both perfections and imperfections.

It also emerged 18-24 year-olds feel most strongly about influencers, with 31 per cent feeling empowered when they see natural images of those in the spotlight, compared to just 14 percent of those aged 45-55.

And while eight in 10 men are comfortable in their own skin, this drops to 73 percent for women.

The study, commissioned by Skin Proud, encourages people to share their proud skin moments on social media with the hashtag #Iamskinproud.

Nora Zukauskaite, global head of marketing at Skin Proud, said: “It’s great to see how proud and confident the nation already are – we should all be embracing our skin, because ultimately that is what makes us who we are.

“We want to encourage people to feel proud of every freckle and mole – there are no filters here at Skin Proud, after all there is no better natural glow than confidence.

“Everyone has unique skin and therefore different skincare needs, whether you need to inject targeted moisture or control excess oil, there is an innovation to suit every skin type within our range.”

The research also found 81 percent of women wear make-up an average of four days a week, with 12 percent of men also turning to cosmetic products on at least three days.

Of those who wear make-up, 32 percent would confidently share a bare-faced photo.

And during the current lockdown period, 69 percent have been wearing less make-up than usual.

As a result, more than half have gone to the supermarket make-up free, while 28 percent have done a video call with a friend and a sixth with colleagues – all bare-faced.

An eighth of make-up wearers would feel confident going on a date without any cosmetics on, with a quarter happy to show the real them at work and 45 percent when shopping.

It also emerged more than a quarter of adults have felt comfortable looking natural while on video calls during the current pandemic and 34 percent have even taken more care of their skin than usual.

A further 39 percent of 18-24 year-olds have felt less pressured to look a certain way while isolated at home, with more than a quarter saying they will be confident in embracing their natural look when the lockdown is lifted.

The study also found that while four in five adults believe it’s important for younger generations to grow up being proud of their skin, three quarters think everyone should celebrate both perfections and imperfections.

A fifth of those polled, via OnePoll, said they personally embrace their natural freckles and 12 percent do so with blemishes.

For inspiration, mums and partners were found to inspire respondents to celebrate their bare skin the most, but a quarter said they encourage themselves.

But when it comes to skincare routines, only a quarter of respondents wear SPF, a fifth exfoliate and 53 percent moisturise.

Almost one in four women also do face masks, while 55 percent cleanse and an eighth use products with calming ingredients.

It also emerged Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lawrence and Billie Eilish are top celebrities who empower natural beauty.

Skincare expert Dr Ewoma Ukelegh said: “There is no doubt that for most people, skincare can be confusing with complex product names, extensive ingredient lists and an abundance of technical information.

“There’s no such thing as good or bad skin – good skin is the skin you’re in.

“As a medical doctor and a clinical skincare expert, science is always at the forefront of what I do.

“My clients rely on me to give them honest recommendations based on effective formulations that I think will work for their skin.

“I was really impressed with the Skin Proud range and the actives included within the formulas which enhance your skin and make the most of what you’ve got. It’s so simple and achievable for all.

“Something that’s really important to me in the industry is how inclusive brands are and not many are doing that in a meaningful way in skincare so it’s positive to see that Skin Proud are encouraging us to all be comfortable in our own skin.”

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