Happiness and well-being molecules are the latest trend in cosmetic and skin care products. The craze for cannabidiol-based (CBD) cosmetics is certainly one the clearest signs of how the “happy skin” trend is growing. However, regulatory hurdles linked to the use of this substance encourage cosmetic actives manufacturers to turn to other molecules.
At the in-cosmetics Global tradeshow, which was held in Paris at the beginning of the month, Givaudan launched Sensityl, an active cosmetic ingredient developed from microalgae with powerful soothing effects and the ability to positively influence consumers’ mood. "Consumers have fewer and fewer problems accepting their wrinkles," said Pauline Martin, Global Communications & Events Manager at Givaudan. “However, they want to feel well with their age.”
To demonstrate the effects of their ingredient on the consumer’s mood, Givaudan used test protocols developed within its fragrance division. "The main mission of the beauty industry is to bring emotion to consumers. Now we are able to demonstrate this effect scientifically," added Pauline Martin.
In the same vein, Seqens tested the emotional impact of Glycuron 2.78, a biotech active promoting hydration and skin regeneration which was launched at in-cosmetics 2019 in Paris. Evaluated in a placebo-controlled study according to a protocol developed by Spincontrol, Glycuron 2.78 has demonstrated its ability to significantly enhance self-image perception.
"Self-image perception is a key element within the well-aging trend, which is a major change in the way women perceive their age," says Aïna Queiroz, Innovation and Scientific Communication Manager at Seqens.
This point of view is also shared by Solabia. According to the French supplier, "today, consumers do no longer want to hide their wrinkles by any possible means, first of all they want to be in harmony with their body and image." Solabia thus launched 3Dermilyn at in-cosmetics, a new active ingredient obtained from plantain (Plantago lanceolate) seeds, organically and sustainably grown in France and offering a high content mucilage. 3Dermilyn is a polysaccharide that has the ability to retain large amounts of water.
According to Solabia, the active has three types of action on the skin: a structural action by strengthening the -deep architecture, sensorial action thanks to a unique touch, and an emotional action, by regenerating natural soothing abilities and limiting the consequences of stress.
In an in vitro placebo-controlled study, 3Dermilyn showed its capacity to increase the release of dopamine (+19%) and serotonin (+12%), two molecules known for their positive effects on mood.
Can consumers expect to reach unrivalled levels of happiness and wellbeing thanks to soon-to-be-launched revolutionary creams? Some suppliers call for more caution as some claims might be seen as exaggerated.
"The links between physiological and psychological well-being have been known for a long time," highlighted Edith Filaire, Scientific Director at Greentech. “We know that aging is linked to a decrease in self-esteem. These psychological changes can also be related to changes in hormonal levels. The application of a skincare cream can improve wellness, but the effect must be quantified using scientifically validated tests.”
With this in mind, Greentech presented at in-cosmetics the results of new studies for Hebelys, a cosmetic active dedicated to mature skin launched in 2018 in partnership with biotech company Deinove. Tested on a panel of 24 volunteers of 60-70 years, Hebelys has demonstrated a positive impact on self-esteem (+10.5%) and on the general mood (+9%).
The emotional approach undoubtedly offers new innovation opportunities for the cosmetics industry. However, brands and suppliers will have to take care to strongly substantiate their claims as part of a more holistic conception of beauty.