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Behind the Beauty Scenes … ProTec Ingredia Proudly Presents: Emotional Beauty

This is a translation of my German blogpost Hinter den Beauty-Kulissen… ProTec Ingredia Proudly Presents: Emotional Beauty. Enjoy!

Emotional Beauty

In cooperation with ProTec Ingredia // Around 200 years ago, Irish author Lady Blessington accurately summed up what ’emotional beauty’ is all about: “There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.” Feeling happy makes anyone beautiful.

However, I also feel happy when I am using cosmetics: From enjoying product textures and fragrances to applying a cream or serum to the skin – using beauty products always releases positive feelings in me. And I’m not the only one feeling like that. Over the last few years and especially during the pandemic, ‘self-care’ has become a major trend. Private bathrooms were turned into spas and our daily beauty routine became a wellness ritual. Most likely, this desire for more wellness was driven by an increasingly stressful lifestyle which is negatively affecting our physical and also mental health.

Traditionally, relaxing or invigorating rituals are structured around aromatherapeutic products because essential oils have a demonstrable effect on the psyche – treatment fragrances can trigger emotional responses merely through their scent notes. Neurocosmetics, on the other hand, work through the skin to help create a connection to the brain and emotions. In this chapter of my Beauty Soap, I‘m highlighting some exciting new ingredients that focus on the link between skin and brain and we’ll also further explore the topic of ’emotional beauty’.

Previously on Behind the Beauty Scenes: I’ve developed a monthly beauty serial story in cooperation with ProTec Ingredia GmbH. Our journey is leading us to the heart of the cosmetics industry – because without raw and active ingredients there wouldn’t be any beauty products. My cosmetic adventure started in October 2019 with a visit to an algae farmer in Brittany. Other episodes dealt with how beauty innovations are developed, highlighting some of the challenges associated with the manufacturing of cosmetic ingredients (how do you get the interesting properties of moss into a cream jar?) or finding out more about the field of cosmetic application technology. During a walk around the Research & Development facility of Codif I saw what true 360° sustainability means and learned more about the exciting new technologies that help measure the effects of active ingredients with the help of skin models. I also interviewed several key players from the cosmetic ingredients industry, like this private label manufacturer who told me how he selects the ingredients for his products and spoke with Study & Research Manager Dr. Franziska Wandrey from Mibelle Biochemistry about her interesting job. You can find all previous episodes in English on this page here.

The connection between our skin, the brain and our emotions

Over the last few years, scientific research has increasingly focused on the relationship between the brain and our skin: Emotions cause a release of hormones which in turn can affect the state of the skin. New technologies and test methods based on, for example, Artificial Intelligence allow researchers to measure stress-related psychological and physiological effects in the human body.

Physical stress markers prove that negative emotions can, for example, cause redness, irritations or impurities in the skin. These effects can then trigger stress reactions in the central nervous system. This shows that our central and peripheral nervous systems are constantly interacting and can be affected by stress or ageing processes.

A new generation of “emotional” ingredients targets this interaction between the brain and the skin with great precision. These ingredients are said to have a positive effect on the nervous system of the body when applied topically as a part of a beauty product, and help boost the communication between skin and brain.

The emotional beauty trend

A few years ago, Korean niche brand FillVoid launched beauty products for consumers who felt empty and exhausted because of their stressful life. The name of fellow Korean beauty start-up EnufProj (Enough Project) also indicates the purpose behind the label: This minimalistic product range wants to convey the calming thought that its customers are already enough just the way they are.

German-South American brand Amo como soy offers encouraging affirmations that can be manifested whilst using its beauty products, and Swiss organic brand Farfalla has had a Happiness Cream (which is said to boost dopamine production) in its product range for many years. I believe that the topic of ‘Emotional Beauty’ won’t remain niche much longer, because now there is a range of cosmetic actives that have a precise and demonstrable positive effect on the skin and the emotions.

Emotional Beauty Mibelle Biochemistry

TiMOOD™ from Mibelle Biochemistry

At in-cosmetics trade show this year, Swiss cosmetic actives manufacturer Mibelle Biochemistry introduced its new launch TiMOOD™ which is leading the trend: The complex is manufactured from timut pepper and focuses on the skin-brain axis. Timut pepper (Zanthoxylum alatum) is not a real pepper, by the way; the berries of this spice plant smell and taste like grapefruit – much like Szechuan pepper which, incidentally, is related to timut pepper. TiMOOD™ boosts the neuronal function of the skin and makes skin tone appear more even and luminous, with less redness. In addition, the ingredient increases the release of dopamine and has a positive (and demonstrable) effect on emotional well-being.

Happybelle-PE from Mibelle Biochemistry

Mibelle Biochemistry offers another active ingredient that affects both the skin and the mood. Happybelle-PE is based on a phyto-endorphin complex with mood-bosting monk’s pepper. Monk’s pepper is often used in the treatment of PMS or menstrual cycle disorders since the berries of this plant contain hormone-regulating compounds and can trigger feelings of well-being in the brain. In Happybelle-PE, the monk’s pepper is encapsulated with antioxidants and moisturising factors to increase skin hydration, boost collagen production and significantly improve skin density.

Rejuvaveen Oat Cosmetics B-Shape Codif

Rejuvaveen from Oat Cosmetics

Stress doesn’t just negatively affect the mood but also increases early skin ageing: Psychological strain triggers the release of stress hormones like cortisol or neuropeptides. These hormones promote the development of free radicals which cause oxidative stresses in the body as well as making skin thinner, drier and more flaky. Rejuvaveen from UK manufacturer Oat Cosmetics reduces the effects of stress on the skin, strengthening the barrier function and helping skin retain moisture. This holistic ingredient is manufactured from Swedish oat and contains immune-stimulating beta-glucans, hydrating starches and moisturising lipids. However, the complex also includes the essential amino acid tryptophan which is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin and has a calming effect.

B-Shape from Codif

Stress and its effects on the body are the primary focus of B-Shape from French manufacturer Codif. Using cortisol as a stress marker, studies have shown that a hectic and stressful lifestyle impairs lipolysis – the fat breakdown in the body. Even the effects of well-known slimming ingredients like caffeine and forskolin are reduced by stress. B-Shape is based on an extract of the red algae Polysiphonia brodiei which has lipolytic properties. Boosting lipolysis in the skin’s fat cells, B-Shape helps to refine and tighten the contours of the body’s silhouette even whilst stressed. It can also visibly decrease undereye swellings.

© Pictures 2 and 3 were supplied by Mibelle Biochemistry, Oat Cosmetics and Codif for the purposes of this blog post.

Trade customers can order the ingredients of Mibelle Biochemistry, Codif and Oat Cosmetics from the companies‘ German distributor ProTec Ingredia.

In the next episode of our Beauty Soap I am learning more about an exciting job in the beauty industry. Stay tuned!

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