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Appearance versus health – Healthy skin is beautiful skin.
Skin Institute
October 2, 2017

When it comes to skin, health and appearance are integrally connected. For the most part, healthy skin is beautiful, and beautiful skin is healthy.

However, according to our latest Skin Census survey and those from years past, people value skin health and beauty differently. For the women surveyed, wrinkles and elasticity were central concerns, while sun damage and skin cancer were lower on the list. Male respondents, on the other hand, were more focused on skin health rather than appearance.

This may reflect the value we as a society place on appearance and beauty – particularly for women. It may also show that, despite advertising campaigns and media coverage, there is a need for more education about the danger of sun damage and the prevalence of skin cancers in New Zealand.

Beauty by numbers

Our 2017 Skin Census survey, like our earlier surveys, showed that many women are worried about the appearance of their skin. When asked what concerned them about their skin, 58% rated wrinkles their top worry, while 50% said loss of elasticity. Sun damage, which relates to health and beauty, was a concern for 52%. Only 25% were worried about skin cancer.

However, when asked about the balance between the health and beauty of their skin, the average result was only slightly skewed toward beauty, with most respondents saying that their concerns were evenly split between the two.

The value of youth

A recent survey by L’Oreal Paris  showed similar results to our census, which showed that a shocking 44% of respondents believed that their appearance is the most integral part of their identity. A further 74% believe that beauty helps women get ahead at work, while 84% believe it gives them an edge in life.

These results reflect the unfortunate reality of the world. Because youth and beauty are so highly valued, it’s unsurprising that so many women are focused on the appearance of their skin.

Skin health solutions

Although focus on appearance is understandable, it can have unintended consequences. Being overly concerned about wrinkles and elasticity could lead people to use anti-aging products and treatments rather than sunscreens. Education needs to focus on the link between health and appearance, so people are aware of the dangers of sun exposure and understand how to prevent damage.

It’s also essential that people are aware of the most effective skincare products and treatments , so they can improve the health and beauty of their skin without wasting money or time. New Zealanders spend millions of dollars on anti-aging creams every year, while more effective treatments for visible signs of sun damage – like IPL and microneedling – are underused. These treatments are often perceived as being expensive, but in the long run, they can actually be more cost-effective than creams and serums.

To begin a lifetime of beautiful, youthful, healthy skin, book an appearance medicine consultation or a free spot check today.