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Empowering students to boost skin confidence through design

The Skin Health Alliance, a non-profit responsible for accrediting skin safe products and educating
consumers on skin health, has recently revealed that young people feel significant social pressure about
their skin. A staggering 66% report having received hate or bullying due to their appearance whilst 62%
say social media exacerbates this issue by worsening their perception of their skin.

In response to these concerns, the Skin Health Alliance is joining forces with its longstanding collaborator, design agency Bond & Coyne, and the Royal Society of Arts on the RSA Student Design Awards. Together, they are inviting students to leverage any design medium to respond to their brief – ‘How might we increase the skin confidence of every young person to enable their unique identity to flourish?’.

“It’s time we gave students a platform to voice their concerns and the tools to tackle the confidence issues that affect them most in society”, says Matthew Patey OBE, founder of the Skin Health Alliance.

The Student Design Awards provide an opportunity for young people from across the globe to answer design briefs, focusing on the most pressing social and environmental challenges.

Matthew Patey states, “Time and again our research highlights the impact that skin has on young people’s confidence, sense of self and identity. The Student Design Awards are the perfect opportunity to really understand how skin health issues are affecting them and, more importantly, empower students to find creative ways to address them.’

Mike Bond, co-founder of design Agency Bond & Coyne, says, “I’ve seen what the Student Design Awards can achieve. It gives students a voice, challenging them to take their ideas into the real world and change people’s lives for the better. As a lecturer, I see at first hand how important design for social impact is to students and how willing they are to tackle big issues head on in their work. These awards really embody that desire.’

The Student Design Awards welcome participation from undergraduate and postgraduate students worldwide, fostering diversity and creativity of entries. Among the six design briefs the students can choose to enter, the Skin Health Alliance’s brief, titled In Your Skin, intentionally embraces a broad scope, open to interpretation, to reflect the individuality of skin. Students from all academic disciplines and backgrounds are encouraged to take part, from fashion to data science and everything in between.

Past winners of the Student Design Awards have used the opportunity to launch successful careers. Each winner receives a financial reward to support their development, as well as gaining access to a valuable network of professionals and business leaders. To help students with their entries, there’s a wealth of information on the Royal Society of Arts website, and complimentary workshops available.
Entries close on 16 March 2024.

More information can be found on the RSA website:

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