Emotions, complex physical and instinctive phenomena, cause unconscious bodily signals that can be instantly and objectively measured. The application of a cosmetic as a sensory experience is a stimulus that modifies the heart rate, facial expressions, skin surface activity, in a multidimensional cognitive, behavioural, and physiological process.

Multidimensional studies

Experts agree that six primary emotions, sometimes more, constitute the common and universal base of individuals with: pleasure, sadness, fear, disgust, surprise, and anger, (contempt, shame, guilt, curiosity). The emotional response as a subjective feeling associated with an event is spontaneous, instantaneous, rapid, universal and consists of the 3 expressive, physiological, and subjective components. The effect of the application of a cosmetic product is unconsciously and quickly evaluated by the brain.

When it comes to claims, the study of emotions makes it possible to evaluate a wide range of perceptions caused by the application of a product and the improvements in self-representation as well as the physiological effects induced.

To objectify emotions scientifically, there is not a single simple and direct method but a multitude of methods. To increase the reliability of these analyses resulting from an unconscious and implicit process, it is necessary to consider in the design of the protocols, the claim sought, the type of product studied, the typology of consumers and to integrate the combination of the three components of the emotion:

 Expressive or behavioural: what modifies facial and postural expressions
 Physiological: what changes body parameters
 Subjective or cognitive: what can be verbalized.

The table at the bottom of the article presents the summary of the methods that can be used for the study of emotions through the three components they represent. A multidimensional EmoChar® method was developed from the meta-analysis of available scientific data by Arnaud Aubert’s research teams from the University of Tours. You can find all these methods by connecting for free to the Skinobs Clinical Testing Platform by choosing the "Sensory Analysis" category and more particularly the "Emotions & Psychophysiological Evaluation" method offered by many laboratories and consultants such as CIDP, PhD Trials, Eurofins, Cosmetoscent, he TSTL... or "Neurosciences", a scientific approach developed by Anne Abriat and a Swiss academic laboratory.

The future of virtual reality?

The study of emotional processes represents an infinite source of innovation for the beauty industry by following the expectations of consumers in search of an ever-renewed sensory experience. It is essential to combine the study of the three emotional components and to pay particular attention to the methodological rigour of these complex, global, and multidimensional studies to ensure their reliability and robustness. Will the evolution of the uses of virtual reality, known to induce a stronger emotional experience, be in cosmetics, a stimulator of innovation in neurosensory studies?

The future and the desires shared or not, science fiction universes such as the "Metaverse" promoted by GAFAs, will undoubtedly generate advances in this field of study.