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Many Women Feel Unattractive Without Makeup, Survey Finds

Buena Vista Images/Getty(PHILADELPHIA) -- Nearly half of all women -- 44 percent -- view themselves negatively when they are not wearing makeup, according to the results of a new survey.

Harris Interactive conducted the poll of 1,292 women 18 and older on behalf of the Renfrew Center Foundation and found that 16 percent of them reported feeling unattractive without makeup.

Going "bare face" also made 14 percent of the respondents feel self-conscious, and the same amount feel naked or as though something was missing.

Among the survey's other findings:

-- 44 percent of women said they wear makeup to cover up flaws in their skin.
-- 48 percent noted wearing makeup because they liked how they look with it.
-- 32 percent said wearing makeup makes them feel good.
-- 11 percent wear makeup because it's the norm.
-- 3 percent said they feel more attractive going bare face.

"Wearing makeup to enhance one's appearance is normal in our society and often a right of passage for young women," said Adrienne Ressler, national training director for the Renfrew Center Foundation and a body image expert.

The survey found that most respondents -- 51 percent -- started applying makeup when they were between 14 and 16 years old, while 27 percent began between 11 and 13.

"There is concern, however, when makeup no longer becomes a tool for enhancement but, rather, a security blanket that conceals negative feelings about one's self-image and self-esteem.  For many individuals, these feelings may set the stage for addictions or patterns of disordered eating to develop," Ressler added.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio