NEW YORK — For women worried about aging, there’s at least one benefit to getting older: more confidence. A new survey of 2,000 American women 30 and older examined the changes in respondents’ self-confidence throughout their lives. The poll reveals nearly two-thirds (63%) believe the older they are, the more confident they’ll be.
For women whose confidence increases with age, 63 percent believe this is a result of caring less about what others think — with the average woman feeling most comfortable in her skin at age 32. Additionally, 45 percent feel more settled in their life and 35 percent are more likely to embrace the changes in their looks as they grow older.
Regardless of their confidence levels, half of the women surveyed (51%) say aging and the unknowns that come with it regularly causes them stress. Interestingly enough, that sentiment is higher among younger women. As they age however, the stress seems to decrease (58% for women 30 to 40 vs. 40% for those 57+).
Mirror, mirror, on the wall
When looking in the mirror, the average woman only likes what she sees 39 percent of the time. When it comes to what they’re most self-conscious about, their skin (46%) and their teeth (45%) come out on top, followed closely by their hair (44%).
These concerns may have grown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many women (53%) report experiencing a physical impact from the stress of the past year. For those respondents, stress caused changes to their weight (58%) and more acne breakouts (35%).
“The effects of stress can manifest mentally and physically,” says Dr. Elizabeth Houshmand, double-board certified dermatologist, in a statement. “This past year, we saw an increase in those physical signs of stress, including hair loss and thinning.”
Your self-care routine plays a big role in your confidence
Respondents aren’t letting these insecurities get them down; instead, they’re working to make positive changes for their health.
In fact, 47 percent of women changed their self-care routine as a result of the pandemic. Of respondents who did change their self-care practices, 46 percent did so because they wanted to feel healthier, while 43 percent wanted to help their mental health while staying home.
How did their self-care routines shift? For women with a new routine, they’re getting extra sleep (39%), taking more vitamins and supplements (38%), and eating a more balanced diet (37%). Six in 10 women add more self-care helped to boost their confidence during the pandemic.
“This past year and a half, women’s self-esteem and emotional stamina were tested,” adds Stacey Ramstedt, vice president of marketing, specialty hair care. “During trying times, we saw how self-care can positively impact how we look and feel. Self-care took on an important role in women’s routines and we predict that those rituals will continue to evolve, even after the pandemic, since they help to build a woman’s confidence.”