Beauty in the eye of the beholder

Posted on January 12th, 2010 by Gina

Dr. Linda Papadolpolous, the UK’s television pop-psychologist with the best body on either continent (who is also not afraid to show it), is creating a new movement in beauty and grooming: Psychodermatology.  So compelling is her union of psychology, chemicals and skin care, that industry trend-tracker Mintel predicts others will follow in creating new “mood beauty” brands in 2010.

Adding ingredients into skin care products that work on neurotransmitters in the brain goes way beyond aromatherapy.

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The Papadopolous collection, Psy Derma, includes Cleansing Thoughts Foaming Cleanser, and Enlightenment Day Moisturizing Treatment.  All are designed to boost your complexion’s tone, with the added benefit of “tyrosine, an amino acid that can help with mood regulation … as well as Phytokeratin, to increase endorphins and help create a feeling of wellbeing,” according to the British Times Online. This intersection of psychology and science with beauty products offers psychological benefits that surpass the mood boost of a new haircut.  With all that new dopamine and seratonin in your system, not only will your cheeks blush from using a new product, your disposition will gush from being chemically-charged.

I exaggerate, of course.  We get neurotransmitters from our food supply every day, so theoretically, we could enhance our moods by changing our eating patterns or taking over-the-counter neurotransmitter vitamin supplements.  And people do.

Still, stimulating those self-love neurons via our cosmetics is definitely new and fairly exciting.  A little self-deception never hurt.  I’m hoping for a cream that, once rubbed in, will make me think my thighs are thinner.

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A short history of cosmetics

150BC Romans use yellow eye shadow.

The Romans preferred to use gold-colored eye shadow which was made from saffron and painted onto the area around the sides and under their eyes. Then they used powdered wood ash to color their eyelids black. This gold color was quite significant at the time because they saw themselves as the rulers of the Mediterranean.