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IFF/Lucas Meyer Reveals Skin's Olfaction Perception

Contact Author Rachel Grabenhofer
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Olfactory receptors in tissues other than those for olfaction have previously been reported; including in the skin. However, their role has yet to be explored. This was the focus of a poster presented by IFF/Lucas Meyer during the SCC Annual Meeting.

Emotional connections between cosmetics and consumers have long been known to drive sales. If they like the color or scent, or it speaks to them ethically, there's a good chance consumers will try it.

Now, physical connections between emotion and skin health are being mapped and drawing R&D interest. Add this to the fact that physical and mental stress are ever-present in daily life, and well-known to damage skin, and this broadens the scope of cosmetic and skin care effects to new, deeply moving levels.

Take olfaction, for example, which as noted was the focus of research by IFF/Lucas Meyer. Rose extract is known in aromachology for its anti-stress effect on emotions, which is mainly due to its inhalation and subsequent signaling of the brain. However, olfactory receptors have also been found in skin; one in particular, OR2AT4, has been potentially associated with mitigating keratinocyte proliferation, migration and regeneration.

The company sought to determine whether rose extract might also have biological anti-stress activity physically, through topical application. Interestingly, the extract was found to activate olfaction receptors in skin—three of which were newly identified. The researchers propose the extract may be desensitizing the β2AR receptor to epinephrine, in turn reducing stress.

Activating Olfaction:


The poster revealed how the topical application of epinephrine for nine days induced stress alterations in cellular metabolism, epidermal differentiation, pigmentation and cellular DNA damage. However, 1% of the rose extract appeared to reverse these effects. Stay tuned as we follow future developments in this research.

Reparative Anti-stress Effects:


For more information, contact IFF/Lucas Meyer.


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