5 motivations why women check their skin. Where do you fit?

Previously, we shared research among more than 300 women between 30 and 50 performed by SkinVision, revealing that 70% of them examines their skin on a regular basis. Nearly all of those women do so through self-exams, providing the large majority with massive peace of mind.

Now let’s dive into the psychology of why women examine their skin. As straightforward as it may sound, so diverse it appears to be. We have listed out the 5 motivations for women to check their skin on a regular basis. Where do you fit?

What is Skin Cancer?

The most common motivation for women to check their skin is Prevention & Monitoring. 37% of women check their skin to detect suspicious spots on their skin in an early stage when it can still be treated easily and with high cure rates. “This helps to prevent me from developing later stage skin cancer” and “self-examination provides me with a feeling of safety” were often mentioned. On how women check their skin, a common response was “I created a habit of examining my skin on a regular basis and made it part of my skin regime”. This group feels that being alert and keeping track of changes to their skin are key in early detection of skin cancer.

For 20% of women, the motivation to check their skin is related to Existing Skin Conditions. Many women who indicated, “I have a lot of moles”, “I have light skin” or “I am often outdoors”, realize they may have elevated risk profiles to develop skin cancer and therefore check their skin on a regular basis. In addition, other skin conditions like eczema, skin infections, allergic skin reactions, having difficult skin in general and perfume allergies were mentioned frequently in this group as drivers of higher awareness to overall skin health and a reason for checking more carefully.

What does a normal mole look like?

Another 20% of women are primarily driven by Fear & Anxiety. The number 1 reason that is mentioned in this group is “I am afraid to develop skin cancer”. Unlike the Prevention & Monitoring group, a lot of responses in this group deal with checking their skin when confronted with something and less in a preventative way. Examples of quotes include: “I want to know if it is severe’, “maybe there’s something”, “when something seems odd” or “you never know”.

A slightly less common, but for sure very strong motivation for checking their skin are women who have experienced skin cancer themselves or among close friends and family. No less than 14% of respondents have a Personal or Family History: “I am currently undergoing melanoma treatment”, “I have successfully survived skin cancer”, “I have a family member with skin cancer”, “skin cancer is very common in our family” or “I know someone who was diagnosed with skin cancer”.

Skin cancer pictures

With 9%, the least common motivation for women to check their skin is driven by Aspiration. A movement, however, is growing quickly through initiatives like Quantified Self and other self-knowledge tools that empower consumers to take responsibility for their own health. Quotes like “I want healthy skin”, “health is everything to me”, “I want to take good care of my body” and “I want to take responsibility of my own health” are great examples of motivation coming from wanting to take ownership for your own health and be less dependent on other people to look after you or fix things when they are broken.

No matter which of the 5 motivations applies to you, SkinVision offers a very easy to use application for smartphone users to help you check your moles, track changes, be reminded when to check yourself again and adopt preventative behaviors into your day-to-day lifestyle and skin regimes.

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