Dove's DermaSeries Campaign Features Women With Skin Conditions
It’s not often we see advertisements with models who don’t have “flawless,” airbrushed skin – despite the fact that more than one in four Americans live with a skin disease. Even ads for products meant to combat red, flaky or itchy skin feature models who don’t have a single blemish anywhere on their bodies. But a new campaign from Dove is trying to change that.
On Wednesday, Dove launched its DermaSeries collection – a range of hypoallergenic and fragrance-free products made especially for those with dry skin. Unlike other ad campaigns, Dove’s features women who live with the dry skin conditions its products are meant to care for, including eczema and psoriasis.
“These women are under-represented in mainstream media – they don’t feature them even in advertisements aimed at them. We are changing this by putting real women with real conditions – looking beautiful, confident and at peace with their skin – at the heart of our campaign for Dove DermaSeries,” a Dove spokesperson told The Mighty.
Along with their photo, each woman shared how living with a skin condition has affected them and how they learned to embrace and feel confident in their skin. “You see perfect skin all over social media. But not everyone has perfect skin – whether it’s eczema, psoriasis, acne, or whatever,” Mercedes, one of the women featured in the campaign, said. “[T]he more we show it, the more people will accept it. Nobody is perfect. We should rock our scars.”
Approximately 31.6 million people in the U.S. have eczema, 7.5 million have psoriasis and 60 million have acne. Despite how common skin conditions are, it is highly uncommon to see anything other than smooth and clear skin in advertisements and beauty magazines
Studies show that the way women are represented in media causes 80 percent of women to feel insecure about their bodies. This, paired with the stigma and misconceptions those living with a skin condition face, gives skin care advertisers the power to boost or destroy their customer’s self-esteem.
“My advice for others with psoriasis is just to be vulnerable and open,” Reena, another woman featured as part of Dove’s campaign, said. “When I started sharing and talking about it, that’s when I really started healing. It’s wonderful because I don’t feel alone. I’m not hiding, and I’m so proud of that.”
Images courtesy of Dove