CTPA survey reveals self-esteem slump among UK adults

By Julia Wray | Published: 28-Jun-2022

Post-Covid, 20% of British people surveyed reported low self-esteem, compared with just 7% in 2004

The number of Brits reporting low self-esteem has tripled in the last two decades, according to a new survey carried out on behalf of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association.

In a poll of 2,000 UK adults by Opinium, 20% said they had low self-esteem, compared with just 7% in 2004.

Additionally, more than a third of Brits (39%) thought the pandemic had adversely affected their self-esteem, with this figure rising to 45% among women.

‘Confidence in my appearance’ was cited as ‘very important’ for building up self-esteem by more than half of those surveyed (54%), while ‘having a supportive family’ was likewise classified as ‘very important’ by 53%.

In both cases, the closure of gyms and prolonged periods of isolation during Covid-19 lockdowns would likely have had negative impacts, said the CTPA.

Meanwhile, ‘having a rewarding job’ was ‘very important’ to a third of Brits (35%), millions of whom were furloughed or working remotely during the pandemic.

“Since 2004, we’ve run a number of research dips looking at self-esteem and the factors that influence this and we have never seen the nation’s self-esteem levels so low,” commented Emma Meredith, Pharmacist and Director-General of the CTPA.

“Likewise, those reporting high self-esteem have dropped from 37% a decade ago to 29% today.

“It’s clear that the disruption the pandemic caused has significantly affected our mood and that self-care to support our mental health is a pressing priority.”

When asked what helped boost their self-esteem, those surveyed put ‘positive mental health’ at the top of their list with 88%.

Getting enough sleep (87%); using toiletries for cleanliness and hygiene (84%); maintaining a healthy weight (83%); eating a healthy diet (81%); keeping fit and active (78%); wearing clothes that make me feel confident (73%); and wearing sunscreen to protect my skin from the sun (65%) were likewise prioritised.

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