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Don’t let your skin make going back to school more stressful: Curology is here to help

Our research shows that social media has increased the pressure to look perfect 24/7. It’s time to set your own standards.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Dec 14, 2023 • 4 min read
Teenage girl using Curology products before school
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Dec 14, 2023 • 4 min read
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Summary

After polling 2,000 American teens and young adults between ages 14 and 22, we learned that the back-to-school season can be especially stressful for those dealing with acne—and that social media only makes things worse. When social filters make skin look smooth and blemish-free on TikTok and Instagram, Gen Z students say the standards of beauty become impossible to achieve.

It’s only natural to feel butterflies the night before you begin a new school year. Whether you’ve spent your summer away from your friends and classmates, or are starting totally fresh at a brand-new campus with new people, the idea of walking down those locker-filled halls can spark some nerves. 

First-day jitters are perfectly normal—but when you’re frustrated with acne or other skin concerns, that anxiety can be a lot harder to calm.

After polling 2,000 American teens and young adults between ages 14 and 22, we learned that the back-to-school season can be especially stressful for those dealing with acne—and that social media only makes things worse. When social filters make skin look smooth and blemish-free on TikTok and Instagram, Gen Z students say the standards of beauty become impossible to achieve.

And that piles on the pressure. According to our research, more than a third of students (35%) are worried about “living up” to the image they’ve created of themselves online, and 39% wish they could wear a filter IRL. 

Curology infographics 1

Being able to magically “erase” redness or acne in a TikTok or an IG post may feel good in the moment—especially when the likes come pouring in—but it can actually become a crutch. After all, there are no filters in real life! That’s likely why students with severe acne are twice as likely as those with “almost clear” skin to feel the pressure to “live up to” their online image.

The thing is, so many of the images we see online just aren’t real—or realistic! Acne is the number one reason students edit their photos with filters. And even though the results of those filters are impossible to fully recreate in-person, 72% of students still feel like they have to look “perfect.” 

Curology infographics 2

It's no wonder nearly half of respondents (49%) are anxious about going back to school this year—and why students who use filters or editing apps to alter their appearance online are 22% more likely to feel that particular stress.

Breakouts can also make back-to-school especially stressful. More than half (59%) of students with acne are worried about going back to school and socializing in-person after the end of summer vacation—and almost half of them (49%) say they’d rather stay at home than go out in public when they’re dealing with a breakout. Not to mention, more than nine out of ten students said acne has impacted their self esteem and confidence.

Here at Curology, we’re invested in helping you feel confident in your own skin, no matter where you are in your skincare journey. After all, a breakout shouldn’t be the reason you miss out on making new friends, creating amazing memories, or enjoying your time in school to the fullest! We don’t want your skin to make you feel like your best life is one lived behind a screen.

While true confidence comes from within, we know for many people, what’s on the outside plays a role, too. We found that more than three-fourths of students (77%) agree having clear skin makes them feel confident and empowered, which is even greater for those with acne, with 83% agreeing. 

Curology infographics 3

The good news is there are steps you can take to get closer to clearer, healthier skin. If you want to find the right skincare routine for you, Curology is here to help! 

It’s our mission to make effective skincare more accessible to all through our teledermatology offering, which pairs you with a licensed dermatology provider who can not only prescribe you proven-effective ingredients to tackle your greatest skincare concerns, but are also there to answer any questions you have along the way. 

We’re serious about our mission. That’s why, through our Curology Access Program, each month we provide a credit of up to $485 to 200 teenagers from families that qualify for the National School Lunch Program or young adults who provide documentation of financial need. So far we’ve invested nearly $3 million to help over 6,000 young people get closer to their skincare goals.

This school year, take the stress out of skincare by following the advice of one of Curology’s licensed dermatology providers—and live your life confident, happy, and unfiltered.

• • •

The Curology Consumer Insights Back to School Study, June 2023 surveyed 2,000 young adults, aged 14-22. Samples sizes may vary.

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Curology Team

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