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Research on Skin Care Linked to Emotions

Effects of Positive Emotions Induced by the Use of Skin Care Products Confirmed: Positive emotions contributed to improving skin appearance

This is an English translation of the news release in Japanese on October 12th.

Skincare Products Research, Kansei Science Research, Makeup Products Research and Biological Science Research laboratories of Kao Corporation (Michitaka Sawada, President) obtained the following research findings during ongoing research focusing on stimulation that produces positive emotions.
-Positive emotions induced by the use of skincare products lead to better skin appearance.
Research results were presented at the 30th IFSCC Congress held in Munich from September 18 to 21, 2018.


The main purpose of skin care products is to keep the skin healthy and beautiful. Various dermatological approaches have been shown to have effects for skin care, and, based on research findings, active ingredients and formulation technologies have been developed. On the other hand, there are several examples of skin care users who experience the generation of positive emotions, such as happiness and satisfaction, when performing the skin care routine. Kao speculated that "skincare not only makes one feel good, but evokes positive emotions that lead to better skin condition" and has promoted "Research on Skin Care Linked to Emotions." In order to verify the hypothesis, Kao has promoted "Research on Skin Care Linked to Emotions."
Previously, research by Kao revealed that the pleasant touch of a "hand-press," or gently touching the facial skin with the palms, arouses positive emotions. Kao has also found that positive emotions induced by the hand-press ritual improve skin appearance. With a focus on the effect of the use of skin care products on the generation of positive emotions, Kao tested whether the positive emotions induced by the application of cream during the skin care ritual improved the skin's appearance.

Recent research findings


80 women aged 20-39 years without major skin problems
Testing conditions:
Participants used cream twice daily (morning and night) for four weeks.
Indicators for evaluation
Skin appearance:
Each participant's skin appearance was evaluated using a 7-point response [-3 (most negative) to 3 (most positive)] by sensory experts trained in objective visual assessment corresponding to the evaluation parameters of skin appearance.

Level of positive emotion
The average value during the 4-week study period was calculated for each of the eight emotional factors related to positive emotions based on the cosmetics version of emotion evaluation scale. The overall positive emotion value was calculated by further averaging each average value of eight factors. Changes in skin appearance were compared between the group with higher positive emotions (n = 20) and the group with lower positive emotions (n = 20).

The study confirmed that the skin care activity of using cream evoked positive emotions and that the group with a higher value of positive emotions had a better skin appearance (radiance and clarity) than the group with a lower value of positive emotions (Fig. 1).


Fig1. Changes in skin appearance

The present study demonstrated that positive emotions evoked by the skincare ritual of using cream contributed to improvement in skin appearance. Results suggest that a psychological approach is effective for making the skin beautiful in a different manner than a dermatological approach.

About Kao

Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,500 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,000 people worldwide and has 130 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Corporate Communications
Kao Corporation

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