Expert Opinions: Wellness Beauty and Personal Care
The Vancouver Sun recently published1 an interview with Toronto-based Maybelline New York Chief Makeup Artist Grace Lee, who presented her Spring Beauty Report. But rather than matte or glossy lipstick, or heavy or light application of foundation, Lee reported that the past few years have really focused on personal style. “We’re in a scary pandemic and we’re fighting COVID,” she said, emphasizing that it’s about, “[Doing] anything that makes you feel good.
The “feel good” factor in beauty is not limited to whether the consumer likes or dislikes a product; it is about the emotion aroused and the measurement of these effects. According to Markets and Markets, the global emotion detection and recognition market is expected to grow from US$23.6 billion in 2022 to US$43.3 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 12.9%.2 On an end-user basis, the commercial segment is expected to experience the fastest growth with applications ranging from customer satisfaction measurement to video rating and image processing; and detecting a customer’s moods; work with sales teams and AI to improve the buyer experience.
A recent collaboration between L’Oréal and the neurotech firm Emotiv illustrates such an application.3 According to L’Oréal, 77% of consumers want their perfume to bring emotional benefits such as happiness or relaxation. The partnership therefore aims to combine fragrances, algorithms and a headset to help consumers make personalized fragrance choices.
The electroencephalogram (EEG)-based device detects consumer responses to scents, which are then fed into machine learning algorithms for analysis. The result determines the ideal perfume “suited to their emotions”. Commenting on this initiative, Stephan Bezy, International Managing Director at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, said: “Once we know which scents make people happy, energized or other emotions, we can personalize scents even more – the potential is unlimited”.
Belcorp Latin America has also used biometrics to design a range of inspirational fragrances.4 During product development, the company even added a layer of complexity to the emotional rating: socio-cultural influence. Lavender, for example, is a scent that many consumers would find relaxing, but in parts of South America it has been used to scent a household cleaner. Such associations certainly influence the emotions of the user.
Emotions are also linked to the health and appearance of the skin. It has been shown that negative thinking styles i.e. hostility, pessimism, thought suppression, rumination, etc. shorten telomeres.5 In contrast, increasing stress resilience through a sense of life, optimism, focus, mindfulness, and self-compassion has been shown to slow the aging process.
Given these links, how could cosmetics inspire positive emotions in consumers and, in turn, promote positive health and beauty outcomes? What directions might product development take? We asked several industry experts to weigh in; here are their answers.
- Harris, A. (2022, March 29). Spring beauty report: it’s all about the question: “You do it”. Available at https://vancouversun.com/life/spring-beauty-report-its-all-about-you-do-you
- MarketsandMarkets (2022, March 23). An emotion detection and recognition market worth $43.3 billion by 2027. Available at https://prn.to/3uFbgrhhtml
- Gleason-Allured, J. (2022, March 23). L’Oréal x Emotiv launch a neurotech fragrance selection platform. Available at https://bit.ly/3xrA5bP
- García, D., Guzmán Alonso, M., Briceño, F. and Jiménez, J. (October 2021). Wellness by design. Positive comparison models to engage Latin American consumers through fragrance. Available at https://bit.ly/36aANPu
- Cerebral Beauty: Emotions and Aging, and Ayurvedic Analysis. Available at https://bit.ly/3M4OmPK