Neuroscience, which involves studying the links between the brain and the nervous system, has been of interest to the cosmetic industry for a long time. In fact, major cosmetic companies’ research teams have been studying the brain’s response to emotions triggered by the application of a cosmetic product for the past two decades.
Today, neuroscience is not only used in assessing the benefits of a product. Current research includes the development of products that directly stimulate communication between the nervous system and the skin, in turn reaching the brain. Neurocosmetics therefore relate to any products which can be applied to the skin exerting a direct action on the epidermis and linked to an influence in the nervous system. This action can be soothing or stimulating, reduce inflammatory reactions or modulating certain receptors. Neurocosmetics seeks to directly harness that brainpower and trigger positive neurological responses in both the skin and the mind.
The relationship between the skin and brain is one of 2023’s most significant trends in cosmetic and personal care ingredients. With mood-boosting beauty on the rise, many players in the industry have launched several ingredients on this topic:
Ingredient to bring meditation effects to the skin
Pink Rock-Rose is a flower that grows in the desert in harsh temperatures and drought, yet this flower continues to blossom season after season. Pink Rock-Rose was studied and developed into a unique ingredient to reduce signs of stress-induced aging, providing meditation benefits to the skin and overall promoting younger and healthier-looking skin. Also described as “meditation in a bottle”, it blocks CRH-R1 receptors locally in the skin and biomimics the action of meditation by preventing NF-kB activation to block anxiety and stress related to skin aging.
Ingredient to improve emotional wellbeing effects to the skin
An ingredient derived from the Timut Pepper has been clinically shown to “improve emotional wellbeing, significantly improve skin tone evenness, and improve skin complexion by reducing redness and enhancing luminosity.” This technology prevents the aging of sensory neurons in the skin, improving the health of keratinocytes. This in turn boosts the release of dopamine that promotes microcirculation, enhances skin tone evenness, and imparts a sense of wellbeing.
These are just a couple of ingredients developed that are targeting skin aging in correlation to mood and wellbeing effects to the skin. There is an infinite range of opportunities for neurcosmetics, as the nervous physiology of the skin, as complex as it is, is still being studied and far from revealing all its secrets. The skin would contain no less than 800,000 neurons, 11 meters of nerves and around 200 sensory receptors per cm². The potential of the skin for applications in neuroscience, and in neurocosmetics, opens a wide field of applications.