Skin deep: Kao research links positive feelings to improved appearance

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Skin deep: Kao research links positive feelings to improved appearance
The Kao Corporation has found that positive emotions induced by the use of beauty products can lead to better skin appearance.

The results were presented at the 30th IFSCC Congress held in Munich and is part of a larger research project Kao has undertaken since 2012.

Skin happiness

According to the company, its belief that skin care routines generate positive emotions spurred them on to prove that positive emotions generated by skin care can lead to better skin condition.

“The main purpose of skin care products is to keep the skin healthy and beautiful. On the other hand, there are several examples of skin care users who experience the generation of positive emotions, such as happiness and satisfaction, when performing the skin care routine,” ​said Kao.

The study engaged 80 women aged 20 to 39 years who did not suffer from major skin problems and tasked them to use a cream twice daily for four weeks.

Each participant’s skin appearance was then evaluated using a seven-point response system, designed by sensory experts trained in objective visual assessment.

The study confirmed that the daily routine cream evoked positive emotions, and the group which reported higher value of positive emotions had a better skin appearance than the group with a lower value of positive emotions.

“The present study demonstrated that positive emotions evoked by the skincare ritual of using cream contributed to improvement in skin appearance. Results suggest that a psychological approach is effective for making the skin beautiful in a different manner than a dermatological approach,” ​said the company

Previous research

In 2017, Kao demonstrated the benefits of a daily skin ritual by confirming that gently touching the facial skin with bare palms, not only evoked positive emotions but improved skin appearance as well.

Kao found that salivary oxytocin, which functions to establish emotional attachment in relationships, reduce stress, and stabilise emotions, were increased as a result of tactile stimulation. The research also suggested that higher salivary oxytocin level is linked to improved skin appearance.

“Based on past research results, Kao will further build on its study of skin care with a focus on the physiological effects of stimulation through the five senses,”​ said the company in a statement.

Emotional dozen

In order to evaluate and create an assessment scale, Kao defined 12 emotional factors. With it, it was able to objectively understand the effect of cosmetics products have on emotions and the state of mind

The 12 factors were: happiness and satisfaction, luxury, vitality, eustress, focus, surprise, enjoyment, relaxation, refreshment, discontent, disappointment and sleepiness.

Kao said it was previously impossible to understand the mental and emotional changes till they created this new emotional evaluation scale.

”The evaluation scale made it possible to visualise changes in emotion while wearing cosmetics and to measure it objectively. Using the evaluation scale, Kao is currently working to verify the effect of cosmetic feel and hand touching on the users' skin. Subsequently, Kao will examine the relationship between emotional changes and [skin appearance], and apply the results to research on skin care linked to emotions.”

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