We first met Gemma almost a year ago. Training every day in the gym, at the pool, on the pitch and game days, finding the right products that worked to reduce the build-up of sweat, breakouts, an uneven skin-tone and a dryness to her body was proving very difficult.
Wanting your skin to look good even when you’re training is important as this makes you feel good and when you feel good you feel more confident and this helps your performance.
Gemma takes up the story, “We feel very self-conscious, especially when you’re photographed after training or at an interview after a game, given society expectations and the influence of social media. The attention we get about our looks can be intrusive and create additional stress and anxiety, which can impact the concentration and performance on the field. People expect us to look flawless off and on the pitch and this has brought an added layer of pressure and can have significant effects on mental well-being and athletic performance!
“What I like about Skin:Genius is their 360-degree approach to skincare. They understand there are many external factors that can affect the skin and that you need to look at the whole picture, including your skincare routine. Using natural ingredients that work with the skin make their products inclusive for everyone, kind and really effective. I can feel a difference straight away as soon as I use a product and my skin has never felt and looked so good. I know using Skin:Genius gives me confidence in my performance.
“The last thing any of us want is for the focus on appearance to detract from the recognition of our athletic abilities and achievements. I feel extremely passionate that this doesn’t happen, especially with so many young people in sport. There can be a pressure for women in sport to have a certain image that fits into the media’s version of what a female athlete should look like. Expectations can be unreal and unfair. Playing sport makes you hot and sweaty, make-up doesn’t last and our hair is always tied back. We want everyone to enjoy the sports and leave criticism and expectation of looks behind.”
Research shows the impact expected looks can have on the game with:
The constant pressure to look perfect can lead to body image issues, self-esteem problems and increased levels of stress and anxiety. These mental health challenges can affect an athlete's confidence and focus, ultimately impacting on performance.
When female athletes are preoccupied with concerns about their appearance from the pressure to look a certain way, it can divert their attention from their sport and training. This distraction can hinder their ability to fully engage in their sport and make quick decisions during competition.
Eating disorders and exercise habits
In pursuit of the "perfect" body, some female athletes may develop unhealthy eating patterns or overtrain. This can lead to severe negative consequences on their health and athletic performance and have long-term consequences.
“To address these issues, it’s essential for sports organisations, media, sponsors and fans to focus on the athletic achievements and skills of female athletes rather than their appearance,” says Gemma. “Promoting body positivity and providing mental health support will all help towards alleviating the pressure and move towards a more inclusive and empowering environment for women in sports.
“I feel very strongly about helping women in sport, especially young people entering the game. I know I can rely on Skin:Genius to back us with their trusted skincare.”