Pleasant to apply, an essential skincare ingredient

Dr. Anny Cohen-Letessier's PERSpective

For a long time, the pleasantness of a skincare product was considered superfluous, even contrary to its effectiveness. The idea was tenacious: the virtues of a skincare product could in no way be linked to its fragrance or texture, as these characteristics were marketing features with no proven efficacy.

Today, numerous studies refute this belief. On the contrary, they play an active role in the results observed.

Enjoyability, perseverance and results

While the pleasure experienced when applying a cosmetic product may long have seemed like a placebo, neuro-sensory analysis today demonstrates the direct action of pleasant cosmetic care on the physiological triggering of pleasure hormones such as serotonin and endorphins.
Far from being trivial, this dimension of pleasure is even vital. In fact, as Dr Anny Cohen-Letessier points out, the pleasantness of cosmetics has a direct impact on compliance (i.e., following through to the end of treatment):

"Perseverance is the key to results: it takes two to three months of use to determine the effectiveness of a cosmetic care product. For application to be regular, users must be guaranteed a certain level of comfort in their treatment, whether in dermatology or cosmetics. The notion of pleasure in skincare is therefore extremely important."

Added to this pleasure, which encourages regular treatment, is the body's physiological reaction: the application of a pleasant treatment relaxes, producing a visible organic effect of relaxation.

"A stressed face is an aged face. A cosmetic that's pleasant to wear gives us the same effect as comfortable clothing: we feel good about ourselves and our features relax. That's what we're looking for when we want to look younger!

According to Evidence-Based Medicine, the physiological effects induced by the hedonism of cosmetic and technical care (i.e. massage during application) should be taken into account when measuring the efficacy of a cosmetic. Finally, as the saying goes look good, feel betterthe perception of appearance has an important psychological and social impact, which in turn has physiological effects.

What makes cosmetics pleasant?

Among the "eight commandments" identified by Dr. Anny Cohen-Letessier as the basis of cosmetology, we note the importance of a cosmetic product having "good cosmetic acceptability and a good neuro-sensory index".
This neuro-sensory index is influenced by several parameters: texture, fragrance, viscosity, spreadability and mechanics (e.g., the way it is massaged in).

What about the risk of allergies?

In the past, the natural fragrances used to perfume cosmetics could cause allergy risks. As a result, skincare products were devoid of them. Today, thanks to synthetic molecules, it's possible to bring olfactory pleasure to cosmetics without causing allergies (although it's still advisable to be careful about allergies in children and pregnant women).

Sources: Thérapeutiques en Dermato-Vénérologie # 231_Mars 2014_Cahier 2_Dermatologie Esthétique