By Aleksandra Vayntraub // SWNS
Nearly half of Americans feel nervous to go out in the real world without masks or the face-softening filters made popular on social media and video conferencing platforms, according to new research.
A survey asked 2,000 U.S. respondents — including 1,000 between the ages of 18 and 55, and 1,000 who identified themselves as mothers of teenagers — about how their confidence level has been affected by the pandemic.
Forty-eight percent of respondents have taken steps to “rethink” how they look in virtual meetings, including washing their face more frequently (46%) and wearing heavier makeup than usual (45%).
Fueled by insecurities about their appearance, another 48% have turned off their camera during a video call.
And if you’ve canceled a date because of a breakout or blemish, you’re not alone; more than a quarter of Americans have done the same. Almost a quarter (24%) of Americans have also missed a party, while others have missed school (21%) and hanging out with friends (20%) because of a breakout or blemish challenges.
Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Acne Wipeout, the survey suggests that adults aren’t the only ones struggling with confidence as they “return to normal.”
According to three in five moms, social media has influenced how teens perceive themselves; moms also believe that peer pressure on social media (42%), influencers/vloggers (39%) and Photoshopped pictures (37%) have made their own teenage child more insecure.
More than half of moms “sometimes feel helpless” when they try to talk to their teen about difficult topics, saying it’s much more challenging to discuss puberty/bodily changes (31%) than death (25%) and even alcohol/drugs (19%).
Two in five moms also noticed a negative change in their teen’s skin during the pandemic, and said puberty (21%), wearing a mask (20%) and stress (20%) have contributed to the change.
Yet more than one in three said they’re hesitant to encourage their child to take better care of their skin, and more than one in five worry it’s not their place to do so.
“Our study showed that some insecurities are ageless, as weight and acne are among the top concerns for all respondents,” said Matt Stevens, Vice President of University Medical and one of the creators of Acne Wipeout. “The pandemic has taken a toll on our already-existing insecurities and given us an even greater incentive to take better care of ourselves and our loved ones.”
For moms, that means helping their teen overcome their insecurities by sharing their own similar experiences (56%), encouraging open dialogue (55%), and admitting when they don’t know something (45%).
Because of the pandemic, 63% of those polled say they’re more determined than ever to take better care of their skin.
On first impression, respondents are most likely to associate clear skin with confidence (33%) and acne-prone skin with stress (19%).
“Our study also revealed that people have been missing out on life simply because of blemishes on their skin and as we get back to school, work and real-life post-pandemic, we don’t want to miss out on life any longer,” added Stevens. “As we begin picking up our pre-pandemic routines again, making positive adjustments to our daily health and skincare routines can help recalibrate the most visible part of ourselves and boost our overall confidence.”
POPULAR ASPECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA THAT MAKE CHILDREN INSECURE, ACCORDING TO MOMS
- Peer pressure 42%
- Influencers/vloggers 39%
- Photoshopped pictures 37%
- Filters 34%
- Follower/friend counts 29%
- Number of likes, hearts, comments, etc. 29%
- Reality stars 24%
- Movie stars 22%
- FOMO (fear of missing out) 21%
- Fillers/botox 19%