Women feel most confident in their appearance at the age of 33, a study has found.
A poll of 2,000 women aged 50 and above found their early thirties are when they feel happiest with how they look and are most comfortable in their skin.
At 33 – the age of The Crown actress Claire Foy, reality star Khloe Kardashian and Avengers actress Scarlett Johansson – women felt they were at a weight which suited them, they had no wrinkles or greys and their hair was in good condition.
They also put the confidence down to having a toned stomach.
It also emerged 62 per cent of women said weight gain was most likely to cause their confidence level drop, along with the condition of their hair and how their teeth look.
But the study, by hair and skincare brand Healthspan Nurture Replenish, also found 46 per cent of women believe the menopause damaged their confidence with two fifths saying it had a ‘negative impact’ on their appearance.
Thinning hair was hailed as the worst part of ageing along with getting age, spots, wrinkles and losing the elasticity of skin had in their earlier years.
Three quarters admitted they were ‘unprepared’ for the menopause and the affect it had on their confidence levels.
Dr Sarah Brewer, Medical Director of Healthspan Nurture Replenish, said: “Weight gain, skin and hair changes, coupled with hot flushes, tend to come all at once for many women and this can knock their confidence, leaving them feeling self-conscious and unattractive.
“Oestrogen levels start to fall for most women during their forties as we head into perimenopause which results in many of the symptoms that impact on confidence.
“Menopause is no longer a taboo subject and there are a number of specifically developed products to help women tackle the effects of what happens when oestrogen levels take a dive.
“Nurture Replenish contains natural plant phytoestrogens to help replenish what is naturally lost as hormone levels decline.”
The study also found 72 per cent of women reckon their overall confidence depends on how they feel about their appearance.
But 46 per cent believe confidence doesn’t necessarily come with youth, believing self-esteem levels grow as women become more comfortable within themselves.
The study, carried out via OnePoll.com, found more than six in 10 said a bad hair day can have a huge effect on their self-esteem, while more than half reckon it can be wrecked by bad skin.
Fifty-four per cent women even went as far as to say low confidence can ruin their day.
Almost one in ten have even ended up rowing with their partner due to a lack of confidence in their appearance, while 14 per cent admit they have cancelled plans with friends.
Dr Megan Arroll, a psychologist and co-author of ‘The Menopause Maze’ said: “This survey highlights how appearance can impact confidence but we also know that confidence can influence how we feel about ourselves.
“When we feel more self-assured, we’re more likely to engage in self-care activities which can directly affect our appearance (i.e. taking good care of our teeth, skin and hair), which then acts as a loop as we feel our best and most confident.
“Hence, boosting confidence from within is a powerful tool for long term health – on the inside and out.
“With regard to the menopause, research has shown that women who feel more satisfied with their appearance report fewer menopausal symptoms.
“The key here appears to be self-esteem and confidence as the researchers took into account the women’s hormone levels.
“Therefore, in this study at least, feeling good about oneself actually made experiencing menopausal symptoms less likely.
“This is why self-care is so important – so do whatever makes you feel good, whether it is using a new shampoo that brings the shine back to your crowning glory or a high-quality moisturiser to refresh the skin.”
Top ten reasons for feeling the most confident at the age of 33:
1. I was at a weight I was happy with
2. I was yet to show any signs of aging, such as wrinkles
3. My stomach was flat and toned
4. I didn’t have any grey hairs
5. My hair was in the best condition
6. I had good, clear skin
7. I didn’t have any saggy skin
8. My breasts were more pert and a size I was happy with
9. I was toned
10. My teeth were white and in good condition
Top 20 things which cause confidence levels to fall
1. Weight gain
2. A bad hair day
3. Uncomfortable clothing
4. Hot flushes / sweating
5. Thinning hair
6. Dull skin
7. Greasy hair
8. Shoes that have become painful to walk in / uncomfortable shoes
9. Hair which has got wet in the rain
10. Getting a spot
11. A skirt that is too tight or riding up
12. Dirty clothes
13. Laddered tights
14. Make-up that has run or faded
15. Realising you’ve forgotten to shave your legs
16. VPL (visible panty line when wearing a piece of clothing)
17. Finding a grey hair
18. Worrying about your scent as the day goes on
19. A fading/no tan
20. A cold sore
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