You are here: HOME > RESOURCE > LIP INK World > Cosmetic Industry News > Jun-07 > Concealers Do Not Cheer Up Women with Severe Acne

Concealers Do Not Cheer Up Women with Severe Acne


It did not matter how severe or what kind of acne woman has - use of concealers doesn't improve self-esteem or reduce stress.

"The women who used foundations to cover these kinds of marks reported having a lower health-related quality of life than did the women who didn't wear the same kind of makeup," said Rajesh Balkrishnan, the study's lead author and the Merrell Dow professor of pharmacy at Ohio State University.

While it may seem obvious that anyone with a severe blemish on their face contends with psychological issues, until this study, no one had systematically evaluated how such blemishes affect women psychologically, said Balkrishnan.

"Though they may not have much effect on physical health, severe facial marks may have a significant impact on self-image and over time, that could adversely affect a woman's health," he said.

"In this case the psychological impact often outweighs the physical aspects of the problem - the women in our study reported having more problems with social and sexual functioning than with physical functioning."

There are special types of acne concealers, a corrective type of skin-colored foundations meant to conceal serious acne blemishes.

"The women who used foundation to cover blemishes may have had a tougher time psychologically dealing with their blemishes than did the women who didn't use corrective makeup," Balkrishnan said.

"Although it's difficult to say why this is, it may be that the women who didn't wear makeup to cover their blemishes felt more confident in their appearance."
The overwhelming majority of women (90 percent) reported that they used some type of corrective foundation to cover the acne, although the researchers did not record the brands of makeup that the women wore. Overall, the women were in good physical health.

The researchers asked each woman to rate their health in general - answer choices ranged from excellent to poor. The women were also asked questions about any recent problems with physical or mental health, and how often poor physical or mental health kept them from doing their usual activities.

The survey also asked women to describe what they thought life would be like if they didn't have to contend with the blemishes.

Not surprisingly, having a severe facial acne blemish negatively affected how most of the women perceived the quality of their lives. But the women who wore foundations to conceal their acne blemishes reported having a lower health-related quality of life than did the seven women who said that they did not wear this kind of makeup.

The women who didn't wear makeup did not necessarily have less severe blemishes, either, Balkrishnan said.

"Overall, the women who used foundation treatments felt that they were worse off physically and mentally than the women who weren't using these treatments," Balkrishnan said.

Whether or not they wore makeup, participants overwhelmingly felt that without their blemish other people would see them in a less negative light, and that the overall quality of their lives would improve.

But the more fearful a woman was of being negatively evaluated in public, the lower she rated her health-related quality of life.

Researchers aren't certain exactly how severe blemishes affect a woman's mental health, and a study like this one may help in designing better treatments, including corrective cosmetics, for women, Balkrishnan said.