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.

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

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 digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a Rioja- and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she stalked the royals via breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.

Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a good slathering of SPF and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines. Being a product specialist on a brand for bold women (and living the single life) means that Aleesha also knows a thing or two about the must-buy sex toys, so she relishes in unleashing her inner Carrie Bradshaw on our sex & relationships pages.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group.

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.

Twitter: @aleeshabadkar

LinkedIn: aleesha-badkar