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And others shy away from it due to conditions such as eczema, hyperpigmentation, or rosacea.
It also emerged one in four (26 percent) have quit playing sport entirely due to a lack of general confidence in themselves and their appearance.
The research was commissioned by Venus, as part of its “Move Your Skin” campaign, ahead of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament.
Olivia Hughes, from the female razor brand, said: “We’ve come a long way in celebrating women’s bodies for what they can do, not how they look.
“But there’s sadly still a lingering self-consciousness in all manner of perceived imperfections in skin when it comes to sport.
“Whether it’s what skin to show or what skin to hide, there are many rules, both implicit and explicit, placed on women’s skin today. That becomes greater under the spotlight of sport.”
The study also found one in five (21 percent) have received negative comments on the appearance of their skin or bodies while playing sport, according to the OnePoll data.
And over a third (36 percent) have even missed a sports match because they didn’t want to reveal their body in the appropriate kit.
Stomachs, legs and arms are the areas women tend to hide the most – with 42 percent claiming their skin and body anxieties have got worse as they’ve got older.
However, 18 percent would feel more encouraged to play or take part in sport if there was less negative conversation on women’s bodies and skin in the media.
And over half (52 percent) said there are not enough well-known role models or people like them that they can relate to in sports, compared to other industries such as fashion, music, and beauty.
Olivia Hughes, from Venus, added: “This summer is set to be a showstopper in women’s football, so we’re incredibly proud to be part of it and use the much-needed focus to redefine and celebrate what real skin in sport looks like.
“Through “Move Your Skin” we want to empower more women and girls to play confidently in their skin, and celebrate their bodies for what they can achieve – rolls, bumps, scars, hairs, and all.”
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