In late October, a new ‘sensory immersion’ brand Lifelines launched into the US market with a range of diffusers, essential oils and journaling tools designed to help people manage their stress levels. It's set to be available at mainstream retailers like CVS, Target and Macy's.
Meanwhile, over in the UK, more brands based around the concept of ‘psychodermatology’, holistic wellness and the mind-body-gut axis are emerging, such as startup, Eyeam, which was created by the founder of The Organic Pharmacy Margo Marrone and her daughter and wellness influencer Roxy Marrone.
One of Eyeam’s products features Timut pepper, which is a spice plant from the Himalayas that has been shown to improve neuronal function in the skin and increase skin homogeneity, as well as improve one’s mood and emotional wellbeing.
Ingredients company Mibelle Biochemisty has incorporated this active into a new ingredient TiMOOD™, which it claims can protect neurons from ageing, support a healthy and even skin complexion, improve wellbeing under stress, and stimulate the skin-brain connection.
It recommends it for use in neurocosmetics; in body treatments, face serums and skin masks that are designed to boost happiness and enhance relaxation.
The company said it has in vitro studies showing: protection of sensory neurons from ageing, enhanced keratinocyte proliferation and increased dopamine release. As well as in vivo studies showing it: increased skin tone evenness, gave a healthier complexion/increased skin luminosity, reduced skin redness, and supported emotional wellbeing by helping stressed people to feel more balanced and relaxed.
From a marketing perspective, these ingredients work on so many levels, as the beauty and personal care routine has traditionally been linked to pampering and stress-relief, plus stress is a known trigger in creating skin problems.
More stressed than ever
The fast-paced world we are living in appears to make more people feel ‘stressed’ than ever.
A UK survey from the Mental Health Foundation and YouGov with a sample size of 4,619 respondents found that 74% of people said they have felt so stressed that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope
Meanwhile, 49% of 18-24-year-olds who have experienced high levels of stress felt that comparing themselves to others was a source of stress, which was higher than in any of the older age groups.
This focus on mental wellness is being addressed through brands' purposes and marketing campaigns, with brands like Rare Beauty, Dove and Cosmoss all working towards supporting their customers' mental wellbeing.
But there are now a host of ingredients and products emerging that are designed to make their users feel happier and more relaxed, and in turn, more beautiful.
White space in neurocosmetics market
The market intelligence company Mintel has identified the increased emphasis on the mind-body connection in the beauty, personal care and wellness industries and has touted 'NeuroGlow' as one of its key global beauty industry trends for 2024.
Mintel’s Associate Director for Beauty & Personal Care, Rosalia Di Gesu, said: “The science around neurocosmetics/psychodermatology is in its infancy but poised for growth, as examined in Mintel's 2024 BPC Trend NeuroGlow. The continued consumer interest in wellness-focused beauty concepts, and research advancements that emphasise the link between emotional/psychological wellbeing and skin/hair health will propel the NeuroGlow Trend forwards.”
Di Gesu noted there is: “a notable white space for more NeuroGlow innovation.”
She continued: “Mintel's Global New Products Database shows that less than 1% of BPC (and 3% of face/neck care) launches in 2023 (January-November) featured specific 'neurocosmetics', 'psychodermatology' or 'mind-body-skin connection' claims on-pack."
"Brands can be disruptors in this emerging space, especially if they educate consumers and clearly demonstrate and prove exactly how specific ingredients/fragrances/textures can help stimulate areas of the brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters (eg dopamine and oxytocin) and in doing so, help minimise stress-induced skin issues/flare-ups issues (eg redness, acne, psoriasis).”
Stress-relieving plant-based 'botox-like' ingredient
Another ingredients company that’s recently been innovating within this space is SILAB, which has just launched MYOLINE – an ingredient derived from watercress that’s designed to meet the needs of stressed skin by targeting the behavioural and biological consequences of stress.
“This natural relaxing active ingredient reduces muscle contraction (action on the neuromuscular junction) and provides a wellness effect (stimulation of stress response mediators and receptors),” explained Marketing Project Leader at SILAB, Camille Désperiez.
“As a genuine plant “botox-like”, MYOLINE® reduced expression lines after five days in young and mature volunteers. Also, the skin’s barrier function is reinforced, for long-lasting moisturising and radiance-boosting effects.”
Désperiez said the company managed to adjust technical skills to rely on a robust methodology that allowed it to quantify the oxytocin production directly in vivo on volunteers. “This step required an extensive number of samples from volunteers, taken from different body areas, at different time of analysis to make sure that the result of the quantification would be relevant,” she said. “Although time-consuming, this modelling study is nevertheless essential in order to demonstrate the efficacy of the natural active ingredient.”
According to the company, this patented active ingredient can be used twice-daily risk-free by adults up to a concentration of 10% in leave-on facial care products. It’s an aqueous solution with a natural content of 99.2% (ISO 16128).
SILAB claims a myriad of benefits, demonstrated on young and mature volunteers after five days of use, and recommends incorporating it into skin care products for skin that’s been subjected to psychological stress; in need of botox alternatives or post-botox injection solutions; and to promote a feeling of well-being.
Aware that more transparent and sustainable beauty also plays a significant role in consumers' choice criteria, SILAB has also worked with watercress that can be traced to the cultivation plots and that’s part of an upcycling approach.
Want to know more about this trend and other Next-Generation Beauty Consumer trends? Register now to listen to our free Beauty Forward 2024 summit, which will take place from 29- 31 January 2024.