Seven in ten women believe they are ‘too tough on themselves’, research shows

women hard themselves skin
(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

TV presenter Lisa Faulkner has urged women to be gentler with themselves, after new research revealed seven in ten believe they are ‘too tough on themselves’.

Researchers found that women frequently worry about their career and how they could be a ‘better’ parent, along with their appearance.

Indeed, this latter concern is a particular worry - specifically in relation to their skin (opens in new tab).

Almost two thirds wish their skin was smoother, half would like to be more tanned and half also long for less body hair.

A third even wish they had a different skin tone altogether.Commissioned by Dove, the research of 2,000 women found worries such as these tend to manifest when they are having a shower.

The personal care brand teamed up with TV presenter Lisa Faulkner, who has suffered with skin worries herself.

‘I’ve used make-up to cover up,’ she said, ‘and dreaded social occasions when I’ve suffered with skin issues such as rosacea.

women hard themselves skin

‘It’s easy to forget how amazing our bodies are when we focus on our perceived imperfections.

‘We all need to be a bit more gentle on ourselves and our skin, and use our shower time to relax rather than worry.’

The research also found a quarter feel unattractive when they have ‘problematic skin’.

Similarly, a third worry other people are looking at them and 17 per cent actively avoid having their photo taken during bad skin days.

Not only are women hard on themselves when it comes to their appearance – the research found they are also vigorous with their skincare routine.

During a typical week, those polled will ‘thoroughly’ scrub their skin five times a week.

More: Here’s what a lack of sleep *really* does to your skin – and it’s not good news (opens in new tab)

And during this period they will also shave twice, wax once and pluck hairs using tweezers twice.

And these routines, along with prolonged to exposure to the sun and long soaks in the bath can – according to experts – strip the skin of its microbiome.

However, the Dove study carried out through OnePoll found two thirds of women do not know what the skin microbiome is.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, who has partnered with Dove, said: ‘The microbiome protects your skin from unfriendly organisms, helps manage pH levels, and also produces nutrients.

‘The best way you can protect your skin microbiome so it can protect you, is by being gentle – in both the products you use and the pressure you apply.’

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.