Charismaphobia is a new concept to me. During my search for trends in psychodermatology, it emerged in a recent article title in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (JCD).1 The condition is described by Waqar Husain (Sukoon), Ph.D., a co-author on the paper and clinical psychologist, as a “newly devolved” clinical condition that refers to a fear of being or becoming unattractive. He’s even developed a Sukoon Charismaphobia Scale and test to determine at what level an individual is experiencing it.2
The JCD paper analyzes the prevalent role of cosmetic dermatologists and beauticians in handling the psychological issues of their clients. It is yet another example of the how psychodermatology is evolving as a subspecialty in dermatology. But it is in its infancy; a paper in Dermatologica Sinica3 underscores that the connection between skin disease and psyche has been underemphasized, and that an increased pathophysiological understanding of these issues with biopsychosocial approaches and psychodermatology clinics would be highly beneficial.3
The discussion on Page 32 in this issue concurs. Here, insights are shared from a recent academic workshop aiming to scientifically underpin connections between skin health and mental well-being. The roles of cosmetics and personal care products in this space are also considered. Delving even deeper, the article on Page 36 tests the potential of a botanical extract to activate the piezo1 touch receptor in skin for well-being effects. Oxytocin release and skin barrier function are additionally evaluated in an objective clinical study.
On a related note, acne often degrades self-esteem and confidence; the work presented on Page 40 demonstrates how a pomegranate pericarp extract can improve acne via four biological pathways. Also, the physical and mental side effects of cancer and cancer therapy are all too well-known; this month’s Formulating Forum column, on Page 44, describes makeup to support oncology patients.
This month’s edition of Cosmetics & Toiletries straddles the space between psyche and skin in attempt to analyze and validate how beauty can and does serve a greater purpose. It’s more than a feeling; it’s cosmetic science.