Adults under 25 spend more than an hour and a half each day worrying about their appearance - the equivalent of 26 days a year

A study of 2,000 young adults found they also suffer an average of 10 bad skin days a month, with 43 per cent relying on make-up to hide blemishes.

Spots are the biggest worry for 18-25 year olds who spend almost 14 minutes a day thinking about them, while just under 11 minutes is spent panicking about dry skin.

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A further 12 minutes is spent worrying about hair, and nine minutes respectively are spent thinking about how ears, eyebrows and unwanted hairs might look.

It emerged 51 per cent of youngsters have even avoided social occasions because of spots or cold sores.

Unrealistic standards on social media

And youngsters believe images posted by social media users are setting unrealistic standards for young people, particularly those having their first breakout.

It also emerged one in five will take more than 10 selfies of themselves before they commit to sharing one on social media.

And when they do post, the poll commissioned by Zovirax found almost two thirds (64 per cent) will add filters to improve their appearance.

Following the research of young adults aged 18-25, life coach Lia Rich said: “It can be hard at any age to feel comfortable in your own skin.

“With an immense pressure inflicted by social media, these platforms have made the saying ‘looks are only skin deep’ redundant, as young people are absorbing this on a much deeper level.

“As a result, it is not surprising that young people’s confidence and how they see themselves is hugely affected. What is vital to remember is that everyone has their own unique look as well as their own unique way of overcoming the stress brought on by having a ‘bad skin day’.

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“Being blemish-free does not equate to perfection. We should all strive to better understand ourselves on a deeper level, empathise, and support one another so we can feel comfortable and confident in our own skin.”

Young adults are educated on skin care

The study also found that despite skin worries, youngsters need to be better educated on skin care and skin conditions, as just 28 per cent know how to help prevent getting a cold sore.

In a bid to rid themselves of unsightly blemishes, young adults have been resorting to old wives’ tales or myths, with 27 per cent having applied toothpaste to the affected area.

And one in 20 have even used food condiments like tomato ketchup or vinegar instead of a clinically proven product, according to the OnePoll research.

It also emerged that when young people think they have a skin condition, they are most likely to search for more information about cold sores or spot breakouts on the internet rather than discuss face-to-face with family or friends.

Ellie Webster, spokesperson for Zovirax, which has introduced its LipBot suite of digital tools designed to help those battling their first cold sores, added:

“Although many skin conditions including cold sores are common, this research has showed that appearance is intertwined with the confidence of young people.

“As such, when they get a cold sore or spot, it can cause embarrassment or even stop them leaving the house.

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“Our tools allow young people research their own lip condition, so that they can feel more confident and not let a cold sore ruin their day.”


Spots - 13 minutes 42 seconds

Cold sores – 6 minutes 30 seconds

Hairstyle/colour – 12 minutes

Eyebrows – 9 minutes 12 seconds

Lips – 8 minutes

Eyes – 7 minutes 24 seconds

Ears – 6 minutes 42 seconds

Nose – 9 minutes 24 seconds

Unwanted hairs - 9 minutes 48 seconds

Being tanned – 7 minutes 42 seconds

Freckles – 5 minutes 54 seconds

Dry skin – 10 minutes 42 seconds