Can cosmetic products actually make you happier?

Neurocosmetics is rooted in the idea that the brain and skin are connected and that emotions can affect your skin. According to research beauty products have been shown to have a positive effect on people’s mental health. When you apply a cosmetic product to your skin, the first thing you expect to happen is that you will experience the immediate biological advantage that the product claims to provide, whether it is moisturising, anti-cellulite, or anti-aging.

The brain is activated to understand and deal with the feelings of applying the product and the immediate next step is a self-perception of the expected benefits.

An emotion is created and this emotion has a significant impact on the individual’s overall well-being. More importantly, this triggered emotion (negative or positive) can have a further impact on the skin and on biological benefits.

When certain active ingredients contact nerve endings in the dermis, they can influence one’s mood. By targeting the interactions between the skin and the nervous system, can play a significant role in skin balance

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It’s all about the brain-skin connection …

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Chemically speaking, a positive emotion will raise the level of endorphins which are hormones known to have a positive effect on the skin. They support wound healing.

On the contrary, negative emotions may raise the level of some stress hormones, such as cortisol, which has a negative effect on the skin, like raising the level of key inflammatory mediators.

Next to chemicals, there is a physical aspect. Sensorial information generated by the application of a cosmetic product will first go to the thalamus, the area of the brain which collects all the sensory signals and sends them to the various unimodal cortex areas, like the visual or the auditive cortex.

Additionally, the amygdala, which is positioned beneath the cortex and deep within the brain, receives information from the thalamus. This is the part of the body that makes and controls emotions. It is completely detached from our consciousness. This is where the information will be emotionally processed.

Mood Changer?


#Why: Studies have shown that floral scents, jasmine in particular, can boost your mood significantly. Inhaling the scent of jasmine has a natural stimulating effect on the brain by increasing cognitive-emotional responses, which, in turn, increase positive thoughts. The result is that you feel more energized and better able to deal with stress.



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Red Lipstick

#Why: Coco Chanel once said: “If you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack.”

Studies have shown that red lipstick does boost confidence. In the study, 300 women were interviewed and 253 of those reported lipstick made them feel “very confident.” Furthermore, their study found that while many colours of lipstick can impact the emotions of the wearer, red was the favoured colour and made the respondents feel happy.



#Why: Most who’ve been lucky enough to experience one know a restorative facial feels very relaxing.

Research has shown that the human touch alone improves positivity, it’s a source of comfort. It’s the primary language of compassion and has positive emotional benefits.

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The good news is that you can indulge guilt-free because the products will improve your mood and, as a result, your mental health.


RAHN-Good-to-Know: Neurocosmetics

PDF, 10 Pages, 3.2 MB

Your personal contact

Sandra Gut

Sandra Gut

Portfolio & Application Laboratory Manager Cosmetics

RAHN (UK) Ltd.