Posted by: Lana | 2013-02-19

Must I cover my physical flaws?

HI all, and CS

Sorry, it may seem a odd question, but I have very bad skin (decades of acne) and I''ve been ''politely asked'' by the HR dept at work to wear foundation to cover my gross imperfections. I was unsure how to react, it was the last thing I was expecting. I find my acne looks and gets worse when caked in foundation. The amount I would have to wear is so preposterous, I don''t even bother. I also have never known acne, even severe acne like mine, to ever interfere with workplace duties - unless one is a actress which I certainly am not.

Please advise how I should tackle this issue, I feel affronted, yet am trying to make sense of the ''polite request'' from HR. My face is apparently quite a distraction at the workplace - for all the wrong reasons. And no, I am not client-facing. Back-office support staff, but with bad acne. PS - NO meds have worked (including the much-touted cure) and I have resigned myself to looking like this. I am not a nasty or inefficient employee. I just have a grotty face.

pls advise, I feel hurt...yet am silently wondering if the HR request has any merit. I googled the matter and to my horror, not wearing make-up to work is a dismissable offence in some states in America. Tell me we are not there (yet).


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Our expert says:
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Sounds like most peculiar advice from HR. Especially from HR. Have you had any complaints or problems in other jobs or in social life, about your skin ? As you're presumably not a model, how does the state of your skin interfere with your ability to do the job you were hired to do ? Did the job description include a phrase like : " FLawless skin is compulsory " ?
YOu're right that heavy makeup is usually likely to make acne and similar problems worse.
If other workers get "distracted" at their work by your complexion, it sounds as though they don't have enough work to do to keep them busy.
Consult a labour lawyer if you can, and certainly consult the Dept of Labour. I'm certain the Constitution did not make it compulsory to wear makeup at work, or to harm your skin health by doing so.
As other readers ask, if they hired you in this state, what has changed to suddenly make this a problem ?
On Christina's points - drinking boiling water is dangerous and not of the slightest benefit to anyone. The heat of the water is irrelevant. Lemon juice as such isn't the magic ingredient, but the vitamin C it contains is helpful, and you can drink that diluted without losing the benefit, and can get that in other fruits. My late mother swore by eating guavas, which are high in vitamin C and which she loved.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: T | 2013-02-20

oh lady i feel so sorry for you, recently i have found a remedy for my problem skin, i used to have acne as well, but snce clicks introduced their products of face masks from essence, i dont have acne anymore, Thank God,

It Called essence pore minising mask, read it before u buy, it says it unclocks pores so to prevent pimples, its in a blue box, they are 2 inside.

Reply to T
Posted by: Gracie | 2013-02-20

Oh hell no, what an a$$hole this person is! How shallow! How can your skin condition possibly offend anyone, what a biatch? I would not leave it at that if I were you. Good luck with all the remedies suggested above, I hope one helps for you! *hug* for you! I thought grown up people were way past the " bullying"  stage, clearly not.

Reply to Gracie
Posted by: Pixie | 2013-02-20

Oh my word - that is ridiculous and very discriminating . They obvioiusly knew your appearance when they hired you and beside that, when does what you look like affect how you do your job? I can understand if you were a cosmetics saleswoman, model etc where it could be questionable toward the company''s image but seriously??? Your HR person should be smacked upside the head for being so insensitive and discriminating. AND lathering your face in foundation would exacerbate your skin problems and also not look good - you should turn it around on her and come into the office with a paperbag over your face with eyes and mouth cut out and ask her if that her appearance is " Acceptable"  now? Stupid cow - sorry hey, that is really cruel of her - especially someone who is supposed to know HR protocol

Reply to Pixie
Posted by: Just Me | 2013-02-20

I am totally out of words, shockinly crazy for an HR person to say that, the sad part is for most people if you have never struggled with acne its difficult to understand the emotional impact of it, not just the physical impact, and this idiot of an HR has the guts to come and say that to you. I am sitting here and imagining how would i have reacted to such statement as someone who has been struggling with acne since her teen age, not as bad as you describe your but there was a time when i self esteem took a knock after trying almost anything to have clear skin, and it takes a lot to regain the confidence. Unfortunately i don''t have an advice that i can guarantee works, since different skins react differently to certain product, i am currently using Diane 35, Benzac AC5 lotion for external application &  face wash, seems to be working for me. And i also use the colgate from time to time (evenings) when i get those big pimples, it helps to dry them out, i struggle but try to drink a lot of water, steam the face sometimes. I apply minimal make up, but when i do i applyVitamin E first. Eish, i have done a lot of things but the latest treatment attempt seem to be working. I hope you come right with what can work for you, and not for the stupid HR, i feel you pain.

Reply to Just Me
Posted by: What? | 2013-02-19

I am shocked! What on earth does your face/acne scars have to do with your performance? I do believe you are justly hurt, and have a right to tell your HR so. If you were fat, would they ask you to lose weight because you were? If you had brown hair, would you be asked to colour it blond because they don''t like brown hair? I could understand if you were asked to dress appropriately (assuming you were wearing dirty/torn/revealing clothing) but to ask you to cover up your scars is grossly insensitive to say the least. I''m assuming you had acne scars when you were hired? If so, why did they hire you if they found your scars so offensive? And I''m assuming that there is no policy that says wearing makeup is compulsory, or that scars must be covered up? This is, in my opinion, grossly insenstive, and I would most certaily address it with HR and ask for clarity on the basis for the (not so) " polite request" . Your scars are part of who you are, and it''s downright rude to ask you to change/cover who you are.

Best of luck, and don''t let an incident like this affect you.

Reply to What?
Posted by: Christina | 2013-02-19

Hey hey. I too had acne problems I''m my teens. Today there''s not one pimple or acne sticking out. As far as HR is concerned I''m not sure what you should do about that. But I would rather avoid painting my face with crap. I use to always steam my face. Everyday. To help unclog the pores. Drink a lot of water. If possible 10glasses per day. I also you to drink a lot of lemon juice (without water), I also drank boiling water now and than. But people today tell me that it is very dangerous to drink boiling water. So try drinking boiling water with a few drops of lemon juices. Try the above (If you have not already) and try it for two weeks and see how it works. Before I use to just wash my face with dettol soap. Nothing else, as my skin felt very oily. After all those cleared up, I started using dove go fresh soap. Sometimes it makes my skin to oily, and that''s when I use dettol again. I hope one of my tips work for you. I know my cousin use to use colgate toothpaste on her face (and she had terrible acne when she was young). I tried that also once. Just be warned, that it burns a lot hey. She use to put on at night before going to bed and would wash it off in the morning. So this is the step you start off with as from tonight. 1. Wash your face with dettol soap. 2.Dap your face dry. 3. Apply the colgate toothpaste. (rather buy the plain White one). 4.Wash your face of with dettol soap in the morning. Try this method for atleast 2 to 3 weeks. Also try and drink pure lemon juice. Hope it works.

Reply to Christina
Posted by: Mia | 2013-02-19

It sounds like the company I worked for. They were more interested in the exterior than the employee''s ability. I may be totally wrong but if they employed you with your already " grotty face"  why now all of a sudden the request. this tells me you were capable of doing the job. Tell the colleagues that find your face a distraction to rather concentrate on the job employed for and getting paid for and stop looking at your face. Good luck and
hopefully one of the wise people would be able to give better advice

Reply to Mia
Posted by: Kelly | 2013-02-19

lol! OMG you cannot be serious!
Tell your HR to shove off and mind their own skin if they do not want to end up with a major lawsuit against them. Even if you were front office they should have thought about that before they hired you. Tell them to grow a life!

Foundation over pimples is not the best sight I have to say, it does not cover anything but only seems to make it look worse.
I don''t know why women subject themselves to these things.
I''m glad that you however do not feel so insecure that you need to paint your face every morning. This only blocks your pores and worsens the condition you trying to cover.

Reply to Kelly

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