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Mindful senses: awaken the emotions of your skin

The emergence of multi-sensory experiences and growing consumer interest for products that stimulate their positive emotions are driving forces behind the development of cosmetics in conjunction with neuroscience. Today, the promise of a unique experience involves the most intimate and personal realm there is: that of memory and remembrance by awakening the senses.

The skin: a sensory organ of our emotions

How can we show the importance of the relationship between the skin and the brain? First, both organs share the same embryological origin. As of the 21st day of development of the embryo, the outermost cell layer gives rise to the nervous system and to the epidermis. This common origin explains the similarities between skin cells and neurons. In her book “The skin, metaphor of an encounter between art and clinical” (in French), Martine Colignon describes the skin as “metaphorically a second brain” or a “prolongation” of the brain.

Furthermore, an emotion is caused by a complex sensory process involving several steps. This is constituted by the stimulation of one of our sensory organs (sight, touch, smell, taste or hearing), the release of a sensation, perception by the nervous system and finally an emotional response accompanied by physiological behaviors, expressive behaviors (smiling, blushing, etc.) and by awareness.

Cosmetics that stimulate the senses

Many authors have studied the relationships between the emotional aspects of a product and consumers’ behavior, for a better understanding of how they process information and their preferences. In the saturated cosmetics market, the senses play a significant role in purchasing and in the creation of an experience to remember.

Taking the senses into account when designing beauty products has existed for a very long time. The relationship between the senses and emotions, however, has now assumed a broader scope than before. This is because even though cosmetics have always been seen as stimulating wellbeing, it is only recently that cosmetics laboratories have taken on the task of scientifically demonstrating their impacts on emotions. Taking this one step further, they have developed active ingredients whose properties affect the biological and physiological factors related positive moods.

“Mood-enhancing cosmetics” are cosmetic innovations that concentrate on the tendency toward emotions and on sensoriality by augmenting psychological benefits (serenity, relaxation, self-image, etc.). Consumers are attracted by the approach that tends to explain the correlations between wellbeing and health of the skin and so are intrigued by new concepts embodying the basic principles of neurosciences in a societal context where wellbeing is the objective to reach and retain daily.

Sight: an intimate link with immediate satisfaction

Among the five senses, that of sight is the one most often used. In the case of cosmetic products, the perception of functional performance of the product is detected primarily by observing visible results. According to a Mintel study, more than 70% of women in France, Spain and Italy say that skin care products must clearly state when they can expect to see visible results.

Designed from an unprecedented technology, FILMEXEL® is a natural “second skin” biopolymer which has many properties. FILMEXEL® is a film-forming active ingredient that protects the skin from harmful exogenous agents. With a genuine tensor action as of the first application, its immediate smoothing and anti-wrinkles effects have been proven in various formulas, at different doses and with Caucasian and Asian volunteer panels. The restored complexion radiance is perceived by users and by third persons. It also makes the foundation last longer. FILMEXEL® is universal for facial and body care, and make-up.

The sense of touch: a vector of a soothing sensation

When stimulated by external aggressions, the skin sends messages to the brain that responds by the local release of neuromediators. Among them, beta-endorphin has analgesic effects that help control pain and also participate in the domains of pleasure and wellbeing. According to the marketing consulting firm Kantar, 75% of consumers throughout the world state that they would purchase products or services that improve their feeling of emotional wellbeing.

CALMISKIN® is an active ingredient obtained from peppermint that provides an immediate sensation of soothing by stimulating the production of beta-endorphins, also called “pleasure hormones”. By slowing the release of key mediators of inflammation, including interleukins-1α and -8, prostaglandin E2 and histamine, and by regulating cutaneous microcirculation, it limits the symptoms of skin irritation.

Smell and taste: indissociable senses

Smell is the most primary of our senses because it is an essential emotional trigger for recalling memories. Nevertheless, stimulation of its receptors cannot be separated from that of taste receptors for the sensory appreciation of foods and their tastes. As a result, taste is also an unavoidable sense in the process for a return to sensoriality. This synergistic action between the sensory receptors of taste and smell has recently been studied for their function never seen before in an unsuspected organ: the skin. This discovery of sensory receptors in the skin, in particular smell and taste receptors expressed by keratinocytes, subsequently enabled their role in the modulation of cutaneous homeostasis to be shown. These sensory information relays affect the proliferation, migration and differentiation of cells and thereby promote epidermal regeneration.

SENSORIALINE® activates these epidermal sensory receptors deregulated in the course of aging, awakens the senses, favors cutaneous regeneration and guarantees maintaining a robust and effective barrier function over time. This natural active ingredient obtained from coconuts boosts skin hydration and significantly revives its radiance. The skin is visibly smoother, more moisturized and more comfortable.

In the case of cosmetics, logic dictates that sight, touch and smell should be stimulated in priority. Nevertheless, it may be asked if rupture innovation actually involves awakening the most unexpected senses in the heart of the skin. As a result of SILAB’s selection of natural active ingredients, we are able to propose optimally allying sensory properties and efficacy to enhance the positive emotions of users of cosmetics.

Camille Desperiez

Marketing project leader
As a biologist engineer, I am fascinated by the benefits of Nature on well-being and on the skin. At SILAB, within the marketing and communication department, my creative spirit is expressed in the production of thematic and trend presentations. In an international environment, my job requires to be continuously attentive to the current and future needs of consumers.

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