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19 Feb 2013

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).

Answer 430 views

01 Jan 0001

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.
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