DAILY MAIL ONLINE FEATURE
Our 'Dare to Bare' survey recently appeared in the Daily Mail. Read it here:
Imagine never being able to let anyone, even your partner, see you in your natural state.
It may sound ridiculous but this is the reality for Lara Peterson, from Nantwich, Cheshire, who is crippled with insecurities about her appearance without makeup.
The 25-year-old office administrator admits: 'My boyfriend didn't see me without makeup on until after a year.
'I haven't been confident about my skin since I was about 15 and started suffering with acne.
'Although I would describe myself as a confident person, without my war paint I start to feel anxious and it totally affects my personality….even now.
'From about the age of 17 I have never let a boyfriend see me without my makeup until at least a year down the line.
'I would panic that they wouldn't find me attractive without my flawless finish and was scared to see the look on their faces when they did see me au natural. I went so far as to always wear waterproof mascara on holidays away together and never put my head under water for fear that was makeup mask would be washed away.'
Despite her obvious natural beauty, Lara's lack of confidence means she ensures she is never seen without a full face of makeup, regardless of the reassurances of those around her.
'My friends and my boyfriends have always said they think I am mad and that I look just as beautiful without my make-up but it's a confidence issue that I have and no matter what others say I know I look far better when my blemishes are concealed.
'However if me and my partner were to split and I was to embark on a new relationship I still wouldn't dare to bare any sooner.
While Lara's tale might sound extreme, new research reveals that the majority of women are crippled by insecurities about their natural appearance.
A survey of women between the ages of 18-30 and found that over half (54 per cent) wouldn't let their partner see them without cosmetics until they had been dating at least 12 months.
In contrast the majority (51 per cent) said they would bare their bodies after just six months, suggesting the nation's females are more confident with their bodies than their skin.
Maxine Flint, owner of skincare brand Flint + Flint, who conducted the research, comments: 'We were shocked to find out so many women feel so insecure about their skin that they would hide behind their makeup for such a long length of time. We would have expected less body confidence than skin shyness.'
'It's a shame that us women appear to have so many hang ups about ourselves and we hope that our Flint + Flint beauty range will help to bring some well-needed confidence back. They do say after all that beauty is skin deep!'