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The Connection Between Makeup and Mental Health

By HERWriter
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Mental Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Would you be caught out in public with no makeup on? A large number of women feel uneasy by the idea, which could indicate some major body image issues.

A new survey from The Renfrew Center Foundation found even more surprising results that show how makeup goes more than skin deep for many women.

The survey, which included data for 1,292 women 18 and older, stated that “almost half of women have negative feelings when they don’t wear makeup,” according to a news release sent from the foundation through email.

To be specific, 44 percent of women surveyed suffer from negative emotions when they go natural. For example, 16 percent of women felt unattractive, 14 percent felt self-conscious, and 14 percent felt like without wearing makeup they were “naked/as though something is missing.”

A small minority of 3 percent actually felt more attractive when they decided to go natural.

Wearing makeup is more than a physical experience for many women. Beyond positive or negative emotions, there is more of a psychological response to makeup.

The survey stated that 48 percent of the women surveyed “wear makeup because they like the way they look with it,” and 32 percent went as far to say that it “makes them feel good.”

Another 11 percent of the women wear it out of duty, and 44 percent use makeup to cover up skin imperfections.

The desire to wear makeup starts young. According to the survey, “of women who wear makeup, almost half started wearing it between the ages of 14 and 16, yet more than a quarter of women began using it between the ages of 11 and 13.”

The survey is the first of its type conducted by Harris Interactive for The Renfrew Center Foundation, and the Center also decided to do a campaign linked to the survey.

The survey’s purpose was to “identify if there is a link between wearing makeup and a positive or negative body image,” said Susan Kleinman, a dance and movement therapist for The Renfrew Center of Florida.

The campaign is called “Barefaced & Beautiful, Without and Within,” and it urges women to go without makeup for one day on Feb. 27. Go to http://www.renfrew.org/news-events/news/barefacedandbeautiful.html/

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.