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Psychodermatology: Believing is Seeing
By: Alex Voigt, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine, with Linda Papadopoulos, PhD, and Bruce Green
Posted: April 1, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
Psychodermatology is the study of how the mind and body interact in relation to the onset and progression of various skin disorders. It also examines psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)—the way one’s mental state affects the immune system and hormones, in turn affecting the skin. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians,1 psychodermatologic disorders can include skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis that are worsened by stress.
For nearly 15 years, psychologist Linda Papadopoulos, PhD, has studied this specialty. Her interest in skin care led to an examination of current skin care offerings on the market.
“I didn’t really see anything that represented the psychological aspects of skin care,” said Papadopoulos. This observed gap in the market led her to Bruce Green, a 25-year veteran of skin and hair care formulation chemistry, who helped her create a product line.
Almost four years later, Psy-Derma skin care was launched. “The psychosomatic [mind and body] aspect of the line took longer to examine than originally expected,” noted Green, who added, “It became an issue of utilizing the ingredients to tell the correct story.” The correct marketing story, that is, such as improving mood or cognitive ability topically.
To tell the correct story, Green incorporated natural nootropics, substances that enhance cognition and memory, in the product range. “[These] compounds affect the way you feel and the way your skin looks,” said Papadopoulos, “and the two have a great effect on one another.”