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Beneath the Mask Women Wear: A Phenomenological Analysis Investigating Skin Concerns and the Use of Makeup.

Ruda, Jessica (2018) Beneath the Mask Women Wear: A Phenomenological Analysis Investigating Skin Concerns and the Use of Makeup. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Acne is highly problematic when it is visible on the face and has been found to have detrimental effects on a person’s psychological state. It has been associated with elevated levels of depression, anxiety and lower body satisfaction (Matsuoka et al, 2006; Miller & Cox 1982). Cosmetic camouflage provides an immediate and temporary remedy to the appearance of acne scars, but also the psychological distress caused by concealing an individual’s flaws. The current research aims to address the literature gap by providing a phenomenological understanding of lived experience of skin concerns and the use of makeup. Ethnographic interviewing was conducted with five females. Based on the interview data gathered, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was conducted and four themes were generated; makeup and self (1), ritual practice of makeup (2), insecurities and makeup as a camouflage (3), and positive influence of makeup (4). The data showed that acne can cause significant psychological distress and makeup is a coping mechanism providing a mask for women. Ultimately, makeup integrates into women’s self rather than providing an external appearance. The limitations of the research are discussed.

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