Emotions and beauty aspects in cosmetics: new insight and implications for the cosmetics formulator

Emotions and beauty aspects in cosmetics: new insight and implications for the cosmetics formulator

02 April 2019, 14:00 - 17:30

Workshop Room 1

Cosmetic science and research in face care, haircare and body care has approached a ceiling in some extent: molecular biology, genetics and epigenetics are quite advanced in cellular mechanisms. It is uncertain that consumers choose their products based on scientific arguments emerging from the research.

New concepts of blue light and/or anti-pollution protection, microbiome and miracle ingredients might not last long. All the while, some criteria of purchase are forgotten, such as: pleasure, well-being, emotions, hedonism.

The workshop, animated by professors of neuroscience and psychology and by cosmetic scientists from prestigious brands will present new viewpoints on perception and self-perception, new protocols and ideas on how emotions play a role in optimising product performance.

Expected take-home message: the success of a cosmetic product in the market (including toiletries and make-up…) depends at least as much, if not more on the emotional/psychological/behavioural benefits it affords than on the scientific/efficacy oriented details – even if those latter ones are not to be neglected!

14:00 - 14:10     Introduction
Dr. Karl Lintner, President, KAL'IDEES

The big questions are, as always: what’s new in the field? Allegedly (but probably true), a study carried out many years ago by a large cosmetic company came to the conclusion that ≈95% of the purchase criteria for a cosmetic product is based on the texture! That should put a damper on the increasingly hyper-scientific approach to skin care product development, basing claims on genetic and epigenetic activities, on mechanics of the cytoskeleton and membrane zeta potentials, all way beyond the capacity of consumers to understand, evaluate and integrate into their purchase criteria and into their degree of satisfaction with the products over the period of using them.

While quality research on cellular and tissular events and interactions is useful for continued improvement of safety and potential efficacy of cosmetic products, the industry places an increased effort on studying and integrating emotional, sensorial, hedonist parameters during product development and in communication to consumers. New paths of investigation, new protocols and measurable parameters able to replace guesswork and unreliable consumer polls are being introduced.

The speakers of this workshop have done extensive research in this field and will help to confirm the two pertinent quotations from famous poets such as “beauty is but the promise of happiness” (Stendhal) and “There is no better cosmetic [product] than happiness” (Lady Blessington).

14:10 - 14:45     The biology of beauty: Darwin, skin, and ageing
Dr. Bernhard FinkUniversity of Göttingen

People judge attractiveness and make trait inferences from the physical appearance of others, and research reveals high agreement among observers making such judgments. Evolutionary scientists argue that the human interest in facial and body morphology - and the social perceptions evoked by physical features - are neither arbitrary nor culture-bound, but instead reflect the operation of adaptations shaped by sexual selection. These adaptations motivate the search for desirable qualities in mating partners. Young and healthy-looking skin is universally admired and considered attractive among humans. However, as we age skin condition deteriorates due to a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors including behaviour and lifestyle choice.

In this talk, Dr. Bernhard Fink reviews evidence for skin-specific effects of chronic ultraviolet radiation exposure and relate it to the perception of visible skin condition. He stresses the evolutionary psychology context in understanding the significance of age-related changes of visible skin condition in human social perception. He argues that the integration of the scientific fields of skin biology and evolutionary psychology provides a modern, powerful framework for investigating the causes, mechanisms and perception of chronic sun damage of skin, as it explains the human obsession with a youthful and healthy appearance.

14:45 - 15:20      A world of emotions: insights from psychology and neurosciences on the quest to wellbeing in cosmetics
Prof. Dr. Arnaud Aubert, Senior Lecturer, University of Tours

Wellbeing and wellness are terms increasingly used in cosmetics. However, if they serve communication purposes, they often lack a scientific ground to validate their use. Current advances from psychology and neurosciences offer theoretical concepts and practical methods to align innovation in cosmetics with customers expectancies. Wellbeing is consensually considered as a positive global condition allowing individuals to adapt and thrive. Such a condition is a supported by complex processes in which emotions play a critical role.

Opening a luxurious box of skin care, smelling the scent of a new perfume, looking at oneself after the application of a fancy lipstick activate fast and unconscious brain processes from which emerge the construction of the final sensory and emotional experience, either good or bad. The understanding of such processes can therefore reveal valuable in the development of the various domains of cosmetics (i.e. skin care, hair care, perfume, makeup), as they all represent potent emotional triggers.

Measuring such emotions and grasp their holistic nature involves a multidimensional approach addressing mental, behavioral, and physiological processes. This presentation will summarize basic notions regarding wellbeing and emotions, and will describe different examples of emotion-based development in cosmetics.

15:20 - 15:40     Coffee and networking break

15:40 - 16:15     How do emotions get into the skin?
Prof. Eva PetersUniversitätsmedizin Charité & Justus-Liebig University

How do emotions get into the skin? What are the biomolecular correlates? In her talk Dr. Eva Peters will take you into the world underneath the skin´s surface and show you how the skin´s immune and nervous systems interact to integrate environmental and mental stressors. She will also show you, why this affects inflammation and the wellbeing of skin and hair, both in healthy people as well in the skin of individuals requiring special care, such as people with atopic dermatitis. Finally, we will discuss what life-style factors, including skin care, contribute to a skin homeostasis that can cope well with a wide variety of stressors and how this can be influenced to maintain a healthy and youthful skin.

16:15 - 16:45     The eyes of others: is it of interest for the cosmetic industry?
Cyril Messaraa, Senior Research Scientist, Oriflame

One of the first interaction between people is to, unconsciously, make a “judgement” about the appearance of their fellows, whether positively or negatively. As part of this presentation, Cyril is going to share which skin cues can affect the perception of others when it comes to estimate not only someone’s age but also how “healthy” their skin may be viewed. These cues, as he will explain, can vary between distinct ethnic groups. Additionally, we will discuss how some lifestyle factors – including the usage of cosmetic products – have an influence on the way we are perceived by our fellows and throughout this talk, a few examples and suggestions will be provided on how to capitalise on “the eyes of others” for cosmetic products.

16:45 - 17:20     Cosmetic skincare products improve quality of life
Dr. Greg Hillebrand, Senior Principal Research Scientist, Amway

Dermatologists have long known that having skin diseases such as acne, rosacea and psoriasis causes psychosocial and emotional distress for their patients. Disease remission goes well beyond improvement in skin physiology and appearance; there is improvement in patient self-confidence, happiness and social interaction, all important domains of a person’s quality of life.

In the clinic, quality of life can be scientifically and objectively measured using validated questionnaires called quality of life instruments. A perfect example in cosmetic dermatology is the use of QoL instruments to accurately measure how cosmetic camouflage significantly improves the quality of life of patients with skin disfigurements like facial scars and other serious dermatological disorders. Only recently have QoL instruments been used to measure the emotional and psychosocial benefits afforded by using skin moisturizers, anti-aging products and other skin care products in normal healthy people.

Dr. Greg Hillebrand argues that the QoL benefits afforded by cosmetic skin care products are equally or even more important to consumers than conventional utilitarian measures of product efficacy like hydration, barrier function, and elasticity. He will review the current state of the science in this exciting area of research and present some original unpublished data to help fuel workshop discussion.

17:20 - 17:30     Discussion & conclusion


  • Dr. Karl Lintner




    Dr. Karl LINTNER obtained a Degree in Chemical Engineering from Vienna University (Austria) and a PhD in Biochemistry from the same University. After...

  • Dr. Bernhard Fink


    University of Göttingen

    Dr. Bernhard Fink received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Vienna (Austria) for work investigating organizational androgenic effects...

  • Prof. Dr. Arnaud Aubert


    Senior Lecturer

    University of Tours

    Arnaud Aubert has an academic education from the universities of Bordeaux (France) and Berkeley (USA). After a Master’s degree in Neurosciences and...

  • Prof. Eva Peters


    Universitätsmedizin Charité & Justus-Liebig University

    Prof. Eva Peters obtained a Degree in Medicine from the Humbold University (Berlin, Germany), an MD in Dermatology and a postdoctoral lecturer...

  • Cyril Messaraa


    Senior Research Scientist


    Cyril Messaraa holds a Masters in Cosmetic Science from the ISIPCA (Institut supérieur international du parfum, de la cosmétique et de l'aromatique...

  • Dr. Greg Hillebrand


    Senior Principal Research Scientist


    Dr. Greg Hillebrand received his BS degree from Michigan State University, his PhD degree from Baylor College of Medicine and did his postdoctoral...

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