Skin Health × Mental Wellness Underpinning the Science — An Exploration

A recent academic workshop was carried out to scientifically underpin connections between skin health and mental well-being. This article outlines the insights shared, which underline that skin health and appearance can affect mental well-being.
A recent academic workshop was carried out to scientifically underpin connections between skin health and mental well-being. This article outlines the insights shared, which underline that skin health and appearance can affect mental well-being.
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Read the full article in the Nov/Dec edition of C&T magazine.

Most people have experienced the feeling of well-being that comes from caring for their skin. Healthy skin, in addition to serving as a physical barrier against pathogens, has been connected1 to a positive emotional state in consumers. This is not a new notion. Personal care brands have communicated this to consumers for decades. The recent focus on overall health, however, accelerated by the pandemic, has heightened the need to support both physical and mental consumer well-being—and personal care products have the potential to meet this need.

Skin is both a sensory and communication organ, an emotional and physical envelope that expresses to the external world one’s internal state of health and well-being. The skin-brain connection has been implicated in psychodermatology, and an emerging body of early research even suggests reciprocity;1 i.e., that poor mental health poorly affects skin health, and vice versa.

One recent academic workshop1 was carried out in May 2022 at the University of Southampton in an attempt to scientifically underpin connections in this emerging market space. This article summarizes insights and presentations from more than 15 academics and eight industry experts.1 The discussion underlines that skin health and appearance can affect the consumer’s mental well-being, emphasizing that cosmetics and personal care could play a role in mental health.

Initial Thoughts and Theories

A diverse academic team of experts was gathered to identify needs in personal care and mental health/well-being, as well as the health benefits of new products and interventions across both consumer and national primary care/dermatology sectors in the UK. The focus was on skin health, skin feel and skin barrier integrity as they relate to mental health and well-being, the skin-brain axis and the role of touch in stress—i.e., supporting mental resilience and self-esteem—toward healthy aging and women’s health.

Read the full article in the Nov/Dec edition of C&T magazine.

References

  1. National Biofilms Innovation Centre Workshop (2022, May 27). Skin health and mental well-being: NBIC senior innovation consultant awarded project funding. Individual presentations not yet published. See https://www.biofilms.ac.uk/skin-health-mental-wellbeing-project/ for presentations and speakers.


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