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Why Everyone Needs Skin Positivity

Why Everyone Needs Skin Positivity

Written by Yoppie

12 Nov 2021

What is skin positivity? 

Why is it important?  

How can I practice skin positivity? 

How is the industry changing to accommodate? 

You may have heard it called skin positivity, acne positivity, or skin neutrality, but the results are in - people are LOVING their skin again. If you’re sick of hating on your own face, it’s time to get a dose of skin positivity. And the best part? It’s free. Let’s look at what it all means, why it’s important, and how to try it...

What is skin positivity? 

In recent years people have been falling back in love with their skin and its blemishes, texture, colour, and everything else. Instead of spending hours concealing acne, covering under-eye bags, and trying not to draw attention, people are embracing supposedly ‘imperfect’ skin, and it’s producing a whole new type of confidence. 

According to Stylist, the skin positivity movement began in 2015 when vlogger Em Ford shared a video discussing negative comments she received about her acne. It went viral, and years later even celebs are getting the message. Songwriter Alicia Keys proudly goes makeup-free in photo shoots. Actor Saoirse Ronan left her acne on display in the movie Lady Bird to remove stigma. The #nomakeupselfie trend spread online and raised millions for charities. It’s good times for natural skin! 

British Skin Foundation ambassador Lex Gillies said in Vogue: “Posting a makeup-free selfie (or a filter-free selfie) should not be a radical act, but it certainly feels that way. The more people embrace their real skin online, the sooner we can all accept the fact that every single person has ‘flaws’… perfect skin does not exist.”

Yes. A thousand times yes. 

Why is it important?  

Two words: Social. Media. Very few people in today’s world can avoid its gravitational pull, but we’re waking up to the damage it does to confidence. Years ago the conventional beauty standard of flawless skin may only have been apparent to us when we happened upon a magazine. Nowadays we just need to pick up our phone to see what we “should” look like. With photo filters and apps that edit our faces until they’re barely recognisable, it’s no wonder we start to hate how we look in the mirror. 

Research in the British Journal of Dermatology in 2018 found patients with acne had a higher risk of developing major depression. Another study by the British Skin Foundation found 20%+ of respondents said they had thought about or attempted suicide. As more young people join social media (*cough* and apps like TikTok are accused of adding skin filters without asking), it’s not a crazy concept to think skin negativity could get much worse. 

The answer may lie in radical skin positivity, and we’re here for it. 

How can I practice skin positivity? 

It’s all about building positive habits. Don’t worry if you don’t want to go makeup-free, you don’t have to. Here are a few other ways to kick-start your positive journey with your skin:

  • Recognise self-talk: If you look in the mirror and immediately start noticing ‘flaws’, try to distract yourself with something else. It’s not easy to turn negative thoughts into positive, and that’s OK. Silencing the negative is enough, and can produce a more neutral outlook on your skin. Try saying “Nope! Not today, Brain” and walking away.
  • Focus on things you like: If you don’t consider your skin to be your best feature, we bet there’s something you do like about your body. Love the striking colour of your eyes? Hair that’s always being complimented? Got a noteworthy derrière? Everyone has something they love about their body, so instead of focusing on your skin, give other areas some love and positivity. 
  • Fill your feed with good images: Social media is a scary place. If you don’t keep it in check it can spiral out of control. Clear your feed of content that doesn’t support your skin positivity goals, and follow hashtags like #skinpositivity, #skinneutral and #acnepositivity that embrace imperfect skin. Look for images that don’t filter skin to make it ‘flawless’, and instead, highlight textured skin - real skin. 
  • Remember you’re not alone: According to the NHS, around 95% of people aged 11-30 are affected by acne. Ninety-five per cent!! Talk to others who have skin conditions similar to yours, and help make acne feel less isolating. 
  • Here’s a fun one... give yourself a high five in the mirror: No really, hear us out. There’s research into why this works, and Mel Robbins wrote a whole book about it. The idea is to stop looking for validation from external sources, and instead develop a habit of lifting yourself up every day. Is high fiving yourself in the mirror silly? Absolutely. Are we onboard? Heck yes.  

How is the industry changing to accommodate? 

The beauty and skincare industry has made billions by providing us with products that help ‘fix’ what we perceive as imperfections, but even brands are getting the message now. We’re over feeling like we’re not good enough or don’t measure up to what is considered beautiful. 

In recent years, more brands are embracing our desire for a more natural skin look, and working harder to understand what we need. At Yoppie, for example, our range of sheet masks aims to help people feel confident in their skin throughout their menstrual cycle, rather than making them feel like they should hide away during ‘acne week’! 

Be wary of brands whose adverts rely on making you feel less-than, and shop from those who lift you up, and give you confidence in the skin you’re in. You deserve it. 

Want to tell us how you’re embracing skin positivity? We’d love to hear from you. Our Full Stop FB group loves to talk about topics like this, or you can DM us on Insta at @itsyoppie.  Don't forget that our personalised menstrual care package can get full-cycle care from organic tampons to hydrating face masks (and more) delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox so you can get on with enjoying life in your skin!

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